I may not actually live in Spain, not yet anyway but this year has seen us us spend 8 week in Spain and I am starting to feel well versed on life in Spain with kids. So much so I’ve decided to pit living in Spain against living in England in a bid to help us reach a conclusion as to whether;
we are best suited a life in Spain with kids or one in England. Indulge me for a little and play along, why don’t you?
- The time zone
The time in Spain is technically GMT + 1, not much of a difference eh? WRONG. Spain apparently works within it’s own time zone.Firstly come 2pm everywhere empties, you’ll see the Spanish flock from the beaches, the pools, the streets, anywhere in their droves to head back and sit in their cool, dark finca to eat their lunch, with the front door open. Following which they will sleep and reappear again in the evening, when the sun has cooled somewhat.It makes sense right? Well yes but equally nothing really gets going until 8pm, at the earliest. The Spanish don’t eat until 9pm, again earliest. A recent overnight stay we had at the Grand Luxor saw mini disco start at 10pm, during which some kids were having their dinner ordered to their table. You can’t beat pizza a 10pm right? The circus and fair in our local Spanish town doesn’t start until 9pm and bouncy castles aren’t put up until 8pm. Friends of ours went to a party the other night and the ‘foam party’ element for the kids didn’t kick off until midnight. MIDNIGHT. This is all totally normal way of life in Spain with kids, of whatever age. We’ve been walking home at 10.30 as parents are pushing push chairs on their way out. My British two on the other hand, cannot.hack.it. On the occasions we have let them stay up and party with their Spanish counterparts we have paid for it the following day. There is nothing more fun than two overtired three year olds who basically give up on life by 6pm. If you want to entertain your little ones in the day organised events probably aren’t the way to do it. There will be NONE. Go hard for go home people.
- Outdoor play Outdoor play at school in blighty pretty much consists of running around a probably wet sports field. You remember the days right? Well aqui in Espana how does a trip to the beach suit you? Whilst minding our own on the beach on Tuesday morning we were descended upon by, quite literally, thousands of Spanish children. There they spent the morning at the beach, kayaking, swimming, playing football, having swimming races, school life in Spain can be pretty great for kids. What an awesome way to spend your Tuesday. Less so for us at that particular time.
- SafetyWhilst I am on the topic of thousands of kids on the beach.On that particular day we got talking to one of ladies accompanying said kids. Turns out there was 2000 of them and it was her job to keep count of all 2000. Not a clip board in sight. Now I don’t wish to make judgments on how well she does her job, or indeed her ability to count but I struggle to keep eyes on my two let alone two thousand children running in and out of large open bodies of water. Health and safety in Spain, erm…to be desired. Our friend’s kids go to a summer school and they also went on a trip to the beach, where 100s of children were marched, quite literally, down to the beach and along the road, holding a really really long rope. Seems safe.
- That said, it’s all about the kids. Life in Spain with kids can be pretty ace, they might pierce their ears while still on the maternity ward, feed them chocolate churros for breakfast and pizza at 11pm. They might put them in pants on their second birthday, regardless, throw them in the pool at three years old and let be sink or swim but the kids are never, ever, an inconvenience. My mother in law was out with her great grandson the other day (he’s a few months old) and they were told that they couldn’t sit inside with him as it’s their policy not to have children under 5. They could however sit outside in the smoking area with him if they wished. How nice.Children are celebrated in Spain, welcomed and catered for. I have been in many a place where the Spanish have gone out of their way to make my little ones smile, happy or entertained. They are never an inconvenience or an unwanted guest. You don’t feel compelled to keep your kids seen and not heard. I meant it’s nice sometimes, especially circa 7pm but it’s not a pre requisite.
Life in Spain with kids isn’t perfect but for them and you it’s also pretty darn good.
Like it? Pin it.