Switzerland is a great place to live and bring up kids. There is so much open space to get out and enjoy. Great areas to go walking, grill sausages over open fires in the woods, skiing during the winter, and lots of different activities laid on for kids in the school holidays.
We live in a quiet road so Matthew can play outside with his friends and the kids walk to Kindergarten/School by themselves they don't have to be driven. May sound idyllic but there are always drawbacks to everything.
Switzerland is well and truly behind the times in lots of ways. It is made very hard for Mums to go out to work or really do much at all. Unless you go to the huge expense of putting the kids into an international school.
Schooling is currently not organised by the country. At the moment it is arranged by the Canton/county. Every Canton has a different system. When Matthew started kindergarten he was 5 and in our area they only did 3 mornings and 1 afternoon in the first year. The afternoon wasn't even the same day as one of the mornings. He has always been a very sociable boy and loves being with other kids so really enjoys going. This year he is happy that he has more hrs. 5 Mornings and 1 afternoon.. Great one full day for me. Would be but he has to come home for lunch. This is such a rush I have to make sure that lunch is ready on the table as he walks in so that he can be ready to go back 50 minutes later. He also loves learning and I guess they are but they don't start reading and writing etc. till they are 7. Matthew has already taught himself to read English and can write his letters and do simple sums. His challenge at school will be to do it all again in German.
Even when Matthew is doing more afternoons he will still be coming home for lunch and it still won't be every afternoon he goes back. Sometimes I wonder when they have time to learn. This is the first year our school is trialling a mittagtish. (somewhere the kids can go to have lunch). So when kids are doing more afternoons I guess there is a bit more of an opportunity for mums to work. Hardly gives you time to go into town to do any shopping. I might just have to ask someone to have him for lunch once in a while.
Our house is very time consuming to keep in order. Matthew has an allergy to dust mites so I have to keep the house on the clean side. We also like to have a kid free area come the evening so all his toys have to be back in his room at the end of the day. Some days I just seem to be constantly on the go what with looking after the house and Entertaining Matthew. I know we all have it but some days you just think it would be nice to sit down with a quiet cup of tea for 10 minutes rather than drinking a half cold cup on the go.
Some days I just feel so guilty for wanting time on my own with nobody else around. I think this is why two mornings a week while Matthew is at kindergarten I try to make me time. I try not to do house work (although on a nice sunny day there is often washing to hang out) and do something that I enjoy.
Recently this has been making cards. I saw ideas for making cards out of the paint colour charts you pick up in the DIY stores. Looking on Pinterest I found lots that looked nice so I'm currently playing around with these and also Christmas cards. Cards are not a big thing in Switzerland and they are expensive so at least this hobby has a use.
My other main interest is our veg patch. Luckily Matthew also loves this so we get to work on this together in the afternoon. It is so good for him to be able to go out and pick the veg fresh for the meal. I'm sure he eat more beans this year than if I had bought them.