Monday 28 January 2013

It’s not all roses n castles

Rather than acknowledging that mothering on a boat is a difficult choice, and therefore that it makes me quite a good mother, I seem to default to beating myself up about not being good enough. It’s almost as if being ‘The Narrowboat Wife’ has become my whole identity. It makes me interesting in social company, and it’s given me a writing niche on the Internet that I have turned into a career.

However, I am beginning to think living in a house would be easier, and if I’m honest with myself, if I won the lottery right now I might buy a house, rather than a better boat. After all, I can always return to boating when my kids are older.

Since I was little I dreamed of living a romantic gypsy lifestyle. I have a good friend who tells it like it is so I asked for her ‘no nonsense’ style of advice. She said,
“Please don’t feel that you are failing your dream by moving on to the next stage in your life.”
That was really helpful for me. I think that is how I have been feeling.
She pointed out that the ‘periphery crap’ like trying to make sure there is heating and running water, or simply getting rid of rubbish and recycling by walking to disposal points on foot; these things all take time: Time that I could spend enjoying my children or running my business.

I love my boat. I love the canals. I love the little roses and castles in the girls’ bedroom and the swans visiting the side hatch in summer. Most of all I love that I own my home and no one can take that away from me. To live in a house we would have to rent one.
“But there’s no reason why the girls’ bedroom couldn’t have roses and castles in it,” said my friend.

"Rapunzel began to worry. If her dream finally came true - then what would happen?
Flynn knew just what to say. "Well, that's the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream."


Alice said...

A heartfelt post, Peggy. I can feel your struggle... but your friend is right. Don't think you are giving up on your dream... I tend to look at life like chapters. Each one can be different and yet just as satisfying. If this is how you truly feel then go with it (as per my email suggestion). It will be sad to leave the water, but it will always be there waiting for you and who knows, it might be just as exciting to be a different kind of 'wife' for a while. Big hugs xxx

Narrowboat Wife said...

Thanks Alice. xx

Sarahmumof3 said...

its always a tricky thing isn't it, I would love to live onboard, and it is a big drea of my other half, and he is constantly saying if that business venture takes off lets save and buy a boat, which could happen in the next couple of years, and it would be wonderful to feel we had managed to accomplish what we want too.. but I do wonder if it is a dream that once is a reality would not have the same dream appeal, I guess you just don't know do you until you have done it, I guess could you rent for a whiel and keep your boat, (maybe rent out the boat? - hey we could trade!) and then if you feel like you want to return to the boat then its still there, still yours, still owned and loved, and you also get to see how ebing the narrowboatwife - onland, feels!

Narrowboat Wife said...

If you own your house maybe you could rent it out and rent a boat for a bit? You will never know if the life is for you unless you try it - although you already did it last summer didn't you? It's just a big leap tho - for me to go back to houses or for you to go on to boats. If only we lived close by we COULD swap! lol!

Dr Barry Pierce said...

You get my vote. Mothering ain't easy at the best of times.

Narrowboat Wife said...

Thank you Barry :-)

Unknown said...

As a narrowboat wife to be this is my deepest secret fear! We have lived on our lovely boat for 6 years and finally pay our boat loan off next summer then the wedding and baby plans can become reality.

I worry that when I have children I will want to have a more convenient/spacious home but with that comes more expense! ! I'm glad I'm not the only one that feels this way at times. I don't know any narrowboat families so your blogs are very much appreciated,Thank you x

Narrowboat Wife said...

Hi Marie,
I lived on a boat for 7 years before I had kids and still never doubted my lifestyle when I had my first baby. When I had my second child things just got busier, the boat got smaller, things got harder! I know lots of boat parents who moved back onto 'dry land' after having kids, but there are also lots who continue to live aboard. Everyone's different, so you may find you are one of the ones who can stay aboard with kids. I am feeling happier this week and thinking maybe I will stay afloat! xx