Motherhood

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

For this summer’s Motherhood Around the World series, our next stop in Europe is Wales. Bethan Griffiths and her husband James live in Cardiff with their three children — Anwen, Hywel and Rhodri. Through a child’s eyes, the country seems right out of a storybook, with its dragon flag, grazing sheep and castle ruins. Here are 13 things that have surprised Bethan about parenting in Wales…

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

Bethan’s background:

Bethan grew up in Wales, and then moved to England to study medicine. As a twentysomething, she was working as a doctor in London, but she knew she wouldn’t stay forever. “I had this yearning to be back home with its lovely familiarity,” she says. “There is this Welsh word called hiraeth, which means nostalgia or homesickness. I felt that.”

Seven years ago, Bethan and her husband James welcomed a daughter named Anwen; and, when she turned four, they moved back to Cardiff. “She has autism,” says Bethan, “We wanted her to go to a school where she could stay for years, instead of moving around.”

Now the family has two more children — Hywel, 4, and Rhodri, 10 months. “It has taken us ages to feel settled, much longer than we’d expected!” says Bethan. “Welsh people are quite reserved and although everyone we’ve met has been friendly, people generally aren’t forthcoming about dinner invites, etc. We are just now beginning to make good friends through our neighbors and schools.”

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On free-range kids: Kids are outside all the time, either in the fields or the streets or the playgrounds, often on their own. The general parenting vibe is: Get on with it. Like, get on with that climbing frame that’s ridiculously high and you can easily break your neck on, you’ll work it out! That mentality has also helped with our daughter, who has autism. Back in London, at the playgrounds, strangers could be a bit frowny if she was having a meltdown; whereas here children are generally pretty loud and wild and feral. You can let it all hang out. She attends a mainstream school, and her friends really watch out for her; it warms my heart.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On endless rain: It’s ridiculously rainy. Cardiff has been named the rainiest city in the U.K. It rains most summer days, and it’s horrendous in the winter. You just adapt and get a good raincoat. My husband just invested in a Fjällräven — he massively splashed out on that — but the rest of us have normal raincoats. We call it a ‘cag in a bag‘ — a ‘cagoul’ is a lightweight raincoat, and it folds into a belt bag so you can wear it everywhere around your waist.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On the Welsh language: When we moved back to Wales, we were struck by how many people spoke Welsh, especially in the trendier parts of Cardiff where the men grow beards and the women wear dungarees. There are some cafés and pubs where all menus, signage and ordering is done in Welsh. Despite this, only around 20% of the country can speak Welsh and the Welsh government is trying to improve this. All road signs are bilingual — it’s taken very seriously. The language is known for its difficult pronunciation; the letters K, Q, V and Z do not feature in the Welsh alphabet. I don’t speak much Welsh, but one day when I’m not running around after children I’ll learn. Our kids have Welsh names, and I love the language. For example, there’s a tiny town called Llanfair­pwllgwyngyll­gogery­chwyrn­drobwll­llan­tysilio­gogo­goch. That old chestnut! Bizarrely, its one of the few Welsh words I can pronounce!

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On Welsh celebrations: Every year, schools hold a ‘Eisteddfod,’ which is a celebration of music, performance and Welsh culture. This is a very big deal in the school year. Children dress up in traditional costumes; Anwen loved wearing her Welsh lady outfit. All children submit a poem, and there’s a big ceremony crowning the winner with flower crowns. Many of the poems are about Wales — castles or flowers or dragons! (The Welsh flag has a big red dragon on it, so dragons are a big deal for kids.) I think it’s wonderful that arts activities get the kind of recognition in Wales normally afforded to sport.

On the land of the song: Wales is also known as ‘the land of the song,’ and most school children either belong to a choir or play an instrument. They attend an assembly most days and are expected to sing loudly and with enthusiasm! Quite a few of my friends are in local choirs, too. Evidence shows that it’s good for your mental health to sing, especially in unison. You get those tingles down the back of your neck when you’re singing in a choir.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On tea time: Table manners are very important, especially to the older generations in Wales. My grandmother would judge all of my school friends’ upbringing by the exact way they held their cutlery at meal times. There are a few specifically Welsh treats which we sometimes indulge in: We like bara brith (‘speckled bread’), a sweet bread with dried fruit. And Welsh cakes with currants are a perfect accompaniment to a cup of tea, something we live on in Wales. My mum started me on milky tea when I was three — in a sippy cup! — which probably explains why I’m now completely addicted. My kids don’t drink tea yet but they dunk their biscuits in our mugs. They’re real dunkers.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On sheep everywhere: Given that sheep outnumber people in Wales by three to one, you can’t walk a mile outside Cardiff into the countryside and not be surrounded by them. Welsh children are not at all excited by sheep. They’re like, yeah, whatever. For this reason, lamb is the meat traditionally associated with Welsh cooking. We have lamb at least once a week — roast lamb with vegetables and gravy, lamb chops with new potatoes, or lamb stew in the winter.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On exploring outdoors: Taking a countryside walk with your family is a very common thing to do. We started when our kids were little, so now they’re used to it and will go on a two-hour walk quite happily. We do games and sing the Beatles. There is a huge amount of beautiful countryside right on our doorstep, ranging from beaches, mountains and rivers. The Brecon Beacons, just a half-hour drive from our house, are a truly stunning wilderness.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On castles: Wales is believed to have more castles per square mile than anywhere else in the world, and my children love to explore them! We have the Cardiff Castle, which is quite formal; they do jousting twice a year, where people pretend to be knights. And then there are castle ruins that you stumble upon in west Wales, and that’s equally exciting. My kids will play act around them, pretending to be knights or a damsel in distress. It can take hours. I just sit on the edge and feel wet and cold.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On rugby: We often watch rugby as a family – grandparents included. Rugby is a national religion. People go to their local rugby club to play and watch rugby or just socialize. Rugby clubs also often have an affiliated male-voice choir, something Wales is famous for and I challenge any Welsh person to listen to ‘Bread of Heaven’ sung by such a choir without crying.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On being humble: You’re taught from a young age to not show off. Everyone is seen as equally important, and you’re not more important than anyone else. You fit in with the family, you work hard and that’s all we ask. If you stand out a bit, you’re showing off. We absolutely make sure our kids don’t brag. My son is going through that phase, where he’ll run down the road and say, ‘I beat you!’ I’m like, okay, now, don’t make your peers feel bad.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On birth experiences: Medicine is Wales is progressive, and I love that the healthcare system is free and available to all, regardless of wealth. I had my first two children in London, and my third in Cardiff. One difference in Wales was that a sexual health doctor went round the postnatal ward on the first day talking with each woman about contraception options, which were available immediately, including injections and implants. Although it was the LAST thing on my mind at point, I appreciated having a conversation with a lovely empathic doctor about family planning and all my choices. These measures were enacted to reduce teenage pregnancies, and now the current teenage pregnancy rate is at a record low.

One difference was that husbands were allowed to stay overnight. At first, I felt this was great, but then in a four-bed ward, I had to endure three men snoring extremely heavily. Given what had just happened, I could not believe how deeply they were all sleeping, and also that their partners were not waking them to pipe down! My husband didn’t stay overnight, since he went home to look after the other two.

Finally, after heading home, all parents receive several home visits from midwives and health visitors, and this can be life-saving, literally! My midwife visited regularly for two weeks to weigh the baby and check that everyone was keeping sane.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

On beach vacations: It’s quite a common thing for families in Wales to go to Pembrokeshire, on the west coast. There are rolling hills and countryside paths. The beaches in particular are rugged and beautiful, and there are loads of creatures and jellyfish. Of course, my sister and I were complete wusses and wouldn’t go near them, but the kids were into them. My daughter actually licked one. She got stung, of course, on her tongue! She just went, ‘Ow,’ and then carried on.

13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Wales

Thank you so much, Bethan!

P.S. More Motherhood Around the World posts, including Norway, Namibia and Japan.

(Lamb stew photo from Taste. Sheep photo by The Independent. Rainy days by Will. Schools sign from Alamy.)

  1. o says...

    Loved this one with all my heart :) LOL’ed so many times )))

  2. I was born and raised in Tredegar, on the edge of the Brecon Beacons and loved to go up there with a book and enjoy the scenery. I loved being in choirs and listening to male voice choirs. My kids send me CDs of Welsh singing and yes, my eyes fill with tears. Last year, my entire family visited Plas Dinam and loved being in Wales, with all that the country has to offer. My step granddaughter got engaged on a Welsh hill and my granddaughter just sent me this site, so lots of memories. We live in the USA now.

  3. Anni says...

    I’m half Welsh, and went to university in Wales (UW Aberystwyth). I’m currently living in Australia and I can’t wait to come home! Completely agree with Bethan – anyone who can listen to Bread of Heaven without crying isn’t human! Cymru am Byth!

  4. I love Wales! I studied abroad in London and went on a horseback riding trip through the Gower Peninsula and it was stunning!!! I loved the landscape of the countryside-meets-the sea. Breathtaking! This makes me dream of relocating there!

  5. Ali says...

    Aww I loved this! I’m half Welsh- my dad is Welsh, and all of his side of the family still live there- and while I grew up in rural England, I went to Cardiff University (and now am in my twenties in London, so maybe I’ll do a Bethan and return to Cardiff at some point!). It is the most gorgeous city (and country- St David’s in Pembrokeshire is one of my happiest happy places). Absolutely agree that Cwm Rondda/ Bread of Heaven sends tingles down my spine- my dad and I used to go and watch Welsh international rugby games while I was at uni and singing that at the top of my lungs was the BEST.
    Cymru am Byth! :)

  6. Dara says...

    I spent a semester in Wales and loved every moment. Thank you for featuring this wonderful and often overlooked country.

  7. Joana, I just love this series so much and the inside look parents provide at raising kids in other countries. It often reminds how cultural so many of our parenting “values” and “expectations” are. Gosh, we can all learn so much from other countries and cultures, not only in how we parent but in how we do life. I sometimes think the most dangerous belief in the world right now is the assumption that “we know how to do____!” We need far more question marks in our world right now (Can you tell me more about that? How come you do___?) and less exclamation marks. :)

  8. Elaine says...

    This series is fascinating. Thank you!

  9. Prissy says...

    This is such a fun series! Can’t wait to see a single mom here! I’ve been a single mom from my son’s birth and have a hard time to connect with “families” in this way. I also live and raise my son in another country – I can’t wait to see somebody like me – I’m sure you guys are on it – this blog is such at the forefront of cool and new things!

  10. JT says...

    I must be the only single woman reader in the CoJ blogsphere who thoroughly enjoys this series. I don’t want to have children either. But how eye opening, right? I move around as a kid with my parents and still move around as an adult and its hard enough as a married adult (I have a built in best friend that travels with me) without having to think about the impact on children! I am constantly in awe of my parents having done a couple of moves on my own now about all they have done and gone through. (The news story of the day when we moved to the US was on a woman who spanked her kid in her mini van and caught on the security cameras and people thought she should have been arrested for child abuse. As immigrant parents they were horrified that in the US parents could not discipline their child in the way they best saw fit! Little cultural moments like that always make me giggle)

    • ALLISON says...

      You’re not alone! I am happily single, do not ever want kids, and endlessly fascinated by this series.

  11. “I just sit on the edge and feel wet and cold.” This lady is such a hoot. She needs her own column.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      she was really fun to talk to — so frank and funny.

    • Lisa says...

      I was laughing here too. What a beautiful place! Makes me want to visit. And the name of that town! How do you even pronounce that!?

  12. Tricia M says...

    As someone who was brought up in Wales,but born in Liverpool, this made me feel very nostalgic especially about the Bara Brith which is SO delicious. I can sing the Welsh National Anthem and that’s about it. I also love rugby, a far more visually interesting game than football. Thanks for featuring Bethan.

  13. Julie says...

    This is amazing. I’m ready to move!

  14. Meggles says...

    One more comment: I am so tired of reading about women who have access to universal healthcare—-because I want that here in the US, too!! I have completely changed my voting patterns and who I support politically over the past several years. I will never again vote for a candidate that does not support healthcare for all. I will never give up campaigning and voting until we have that here, too. Raise the taxes to make this possible, including mine . We have plenty of money here to do it (our Sec of Ed. has 10 yachts, one valued at $40 million dollars—-yes, $40 million. Think about that, kids).

    • Emma says...

      She’s a monster. One of the worst.

  15. Meggles says...

    When I spent a semester in London 20 (!!!) years ago, a friend and I traveled by bus to stay in the lovely Welsh town of Breacon. We went for a long hike in the Beacons. I cherish the memories, and the friendly Welsh people we met!

  16. Katie says...

    Lovely article! Thank you for sharing.

    Question about the Welsh people: how do they feel about the royals, particularily the “young royals” making headlines? Are they an exception to not standing out?

  17. M says...

    Fun fact: The Mormon Tabernacle Choir grew primarily out of a group of Welsh converts that came from Wales to Utah in the 19th century. If I remember correctly, the first director of the choir was Welsh.

  18. Em says...

    We are so lucky with healthcare in the UK. You take your baby home, a lovely NHS professional turns up at your door to check up on you, have a cup of tea and a chat. They keep turning up for the next couple of weeks, you don’t have to pay anything or change out of your pyjamas. It’s just looking out for your own.

    Cymru am byth!

  19. alice says...

    I have just returned from a two week holiday in Pembrokeshire and the beaches there are truly incredible. We were lucky – it rained once :) Snowdonia is beautiful too, but perpetually rainy!

    I’m from Bristol, which is not far from Cardiff, but my mum is half Welsh, and we used to go camping there when we were kids. They live on Anglesey now, a tiny island off the North coast of Wales, and we visit two or three times a year. My husband calls it The Shire, it’s so beautiful, and has a really unique, feel to it. My kids love it and know they’re in dragon territory as soon as we arrive. I live in Edinburgh, so I’m surrounded by wilderness too, but Wales has an intimacy to it that’s really special.

    Bethan sums up Wales so beautifully, and I love her children’s names! I gave my second son a Welsh name too. This piece really warmed my heart, thank you so much :)

  20. There’s a great TV show called Stella that takes place in a fictional village in Wales and ever since then I’ve been obsessed with all things welsh. I like to randomly walk up to friends and say, “Alright then?” instead of “How are you?” and I always call my husband to “Put kettle on!” He refuses to play along and will just tell me he’s has put the water on to boil. (Watch it on HULU!)

    • Willow says...

      If you like Stella, you have to watch Gavin and Stacey. Same writer (Ruth Jones, who also appears in it) but even funnier!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i loved gavin and stacey!! what a flashback!

  21. Laura says...

    I love that you featured Wales! It’s where I’m from and have returned to live with my husband and two small children.
    Maybe it depends on the part of Wales you’re from ( we’re in a seaside town just outside Cardiff) but I feel like everyone is super friendly. We have tonnes of wonderful clubs, groups and classes for parents & have forged many really wonderful friendships.
    I find elderly people are especially fond of listening to small children. We take my Grandmother out once a week (she’s a fabulous 92 years old) and her friends are not the least bit reserved. In fact, they’re always pretty keen for the children to show off what they are learning. I also don’t think it rains that much! We have a dog so we’re outside everyday on the beach or through the fields and I haven’t had my waterproofs out for months! I really do love living here, this article definitely captured the magic of this place! X

  22. Jude says...

    As a regular Cup of Jo reader from Merthyr Tydfil near the Brecon Beacons and now living in England with my family, this feature has made me ridiculously happy and proud! Thank you!

  23. Sharon in Scotland says...

    The Welsh national anthem also reduces me to tears, it’s up there with the South African n/a……………there is no higher praise as far as I’m concerned!

  24. This was a lovely read. The part that stuck out to me most was the family’s 2-hour-long walks in the country! That sounds wonderful and so different from what is considered “family time” here in LA. Here, it’s all about places like Kidspace (a children’s museum) or big city gardens (like The Huntington Gardens) and also SO MANY people go to Disneyland with their kids on the reg. I’m like, how are they going to learn to just be? My 2.5-year-old daughter is honestly happiest when we go across the street to the university lawn and she just runs around. :)

  25. Heather says...

    Another voice to request stories about single women around the world! Finding myself single and childless in my late 30s means I am often looking for a range of role models (childfree and with kids!) and the childfree ones are harder to find, that don’t the traditional model of ‘career mad’ (I’m not), or anti-kid (I’m not that either, but cancer has somewhat removed that option for me). I’m used to the dominant narrative being how women have children and how life has meaning from that, but hearing voice for the women walking another path would be lovely…

  26. A says...

    Love this series. How about a series (or maybe a post or two) about single parenting in different countries (or even different places in the U.S.)? Would love to get a perspective about this other than my own.
    Thanks!

  27. Joey says...

    What a pleasure to read a bit about Wales. My husband is a proud Welshman, and hails from a small and lovely village in the mountains of North Wales. I remember being so nervous about going to meet the family for the first time, but their characteristic reserve quickly gave way to a warmth that made me feel not only welcomed, but loved. One of my fondest memories is our visit to the senior center where his grandmother would spend some afternoons — when we arrived, she and a gaggle of her friends, all white-haired and gushing in rapid-fire Welsh, scooted their walkers around us and beckoned us to join them for tea and to tell us all the news. We now take our two children, both with very Welsh names, to visit every other year, and every time, it is a delight. How heartwarming to realize how fully you can feel at home in a country, landscape, and language that is not your own. Cymru am byth!

  28. Chloe says...

    absolutely love the idea of “free-range” children! I’m not a parent, but when I think of having children of my own I get a bit worried about how overly protected and sheltered kids are these days. when I was young, I spent a lot of time falling down and figuring it out. I think it’s important to try, fail, succeed, learn. it’s cool to hear that this mentality is the norm in Wales!

    have you considered featuring Canada in this series (unless you have already and I somehow missed it)? I would love to read :)

  29. cindy says...

    Thank you for this insight into parenting in Wales! My great grandmother was born in Wales and I still have relatives there as well. I am wanting to plan a trip to see ancestral sites as well as the gorgeous countryside. It looks like a wonderful place to live and raise a family.

  30. We have been to Wales last Saturday. Cardiff to be exact in a place called St Fagans Castle. So pretty in there. I lived in a place where I can see the Cardiff Bay so visiting is always nice and reading this is much nicer.

  31. Jade says...

    I spent some time in Wales last year by myself. I hired a car and drove the coastline and had an incredible time. Loved every second!

  32. nolita lobo says...

    I studied in Cardiff and this brings back memories :) We now live in Salzburg with it’s mountains, lakes, farms and sound of music! Weird fact- very few Austrians have actually watched it. Our two year old loves it here.

    • Rachel L says...

      Oh Nolita – Salzburg is my VERY favourite place! I’ve visited 39 times (Mozart Freak!) I did know the Sound of Music isn’t a popular film there, in fact I think the release was delayed. But they’ve realised that movie tourism brings a lot of money to the area! I have a friend who is bringing up her little boy just outside Vienna and her forest treks with him sound idyllic…

  33. Marie says...

    Lovely post, as always!

    I can’t resist the urge to add, though: I know CoJ usually refrains from commenting on non-US politics (although there seems to be a general consensus in the articles and the comments that free healthcare is the way to go). But every time I read or hear something about life in Wales, I can’t help feeling deeply saddened by the fact that this beautiful country voted quite clearly in favour of Brexit. A lot of what makes Wales a place where life is sweets directly stems from EU money (infrastructure, social enterprise funding, and the insane amounts invested in Wales through the regional support instruments in the years after the U.K. became a Member State) and policies (beach protection measures to cite one). It is rather obvious that this support wouldn’t have come from Westminster and will not come after Brexit, except if they copy-paste the EU way of doing things (and in that case, why Brexit?)

    It is all such a waste.

    • Sarah says...

      I’m a Brit and couldn’t agree more, it makes me so sad that this madness is going ahead. The majority of Cornish people (where Jo’s Granny lives) voted for Brexit, then realised that some of the grants they receive are EU and would be cut! Sad and mad. Brexit and Trump are why I like reading this blog instead of the news now.

    • Sarah says...

      Yes, of course- it’s appalling and innumerable people in Wales and across Britain are devastated and in grief about it. Just like you guys about Trump. A large proportion of Brexit voters were over 65 though and, I’d expect, are not CoJ readers… the vote was painful and surprising- in no way a reflection of the general sense of Wales, which actually feels pretty European. Brexit is not a ‘Welsh’ thing, or a ‘Cornish’ one – although poverty is (both parts of the U.K. are amongst the poorest parts of Europe). Brexit is a symptom of the legacy of first past the post voting and a measure of how many people feel so betrayed by the political class (exactly like with Trump, in fact).

    • Sarah says...

      I think this is a really interesting point and one we (and by we I mean everyone regardless of nationality) needs to consider because it is linked to a much wider issue – fear of the other. People within the UK voted against their own interests in many circumstances, I believe, because of the huge focus brexit had on immigration. I think it’s important to remember that a lot of those who voted for brexit were working class and the spread of wealth within the UK is largely concentrated to certain parts of England. The biggest lie we have been told by those in power is that there is not enough wealth to go around and immigrants are here to take what little there is. You can see this happening in the US as well, this fear of people coming in to ‘take what is ours.’ As a Scot I am proud that we voted to stay in the EU but saddened we will be taken out anyway. Ironically Scotland (and I imagine Wales and Northern Ireland) needs immigration to sustain the economy due to our rate of population growth. So to sum up – it’s a sh*t show!

  34. Juliette says...

    I love this series, but as a single woman with no kids, I wonder if you would consider doing a series on single women around the world?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      would love that! this series focuses on parenting, but a post about hobbies/career/friendship/dating/etc would be so fascinating.

    • Kim says...

      Yes to this!

    • Mara says...

      I second this!! I’m sure a lot of readers are single/no kids and married/no kids.

    • Nicola says...

      You know what I would love actually, a series on career around the world? I’m thinking of expat life someday myself and would love a similar view on it to the motherhood around the world posts.

      Nicola

  35. JP says...

    I love this: ‘I just sit on the edge and feel wet and cold’. Yep.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha isn’t that what all parenting is, in a way? ;)

    • Fran says...

      Yes! I laughed so much at this.

  36. Brittany says...

    My brother’s name is Rhodri! Growing up in Washington state everyone was very confused by his name.

  37. Rob says...

    Great piece! Makes me feel like I really know this family!

  38. I am Welsh, but know nothing about it (my family has been in California for several generations now). This really sparked my interest – I feel like I HAVE to take my kiddos there immediately!

  39. Roxana says...

    So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

    I love the approach to children being out and about, and “feral” :). It seems that childhood should be that way.

    Also, the fact that her daughter who has autism is looked after by her friends and classmates warms my heart. So beautiful. My youngest has Down syndrome and a culture like that would be a dream come true for our family.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i agree, roxana. my whole heart wishes for a more educated, inclusive society at large, and i’m happy to think it’s heading in this direction. xoxo

    • cgw says...

      ^ This.

      Talk of inclusivity is simply that. So much talk, and folks seem to believe they’re being inclusive. But the reality is that as a society, we have a very long way to go before special needs are truly understood and accepted. As a mom of a 13 year old autistic who is gregarious and mainstreamed, I have found that as she gets older her peers have started to peel away and have less interest in interacting with her. Forget birthday parties, sleep over, or even hanging out at lunch time or after care, those dropped many years ago. When she was younger and the kids were younger they were at much more equal social standing. Or parents who chat it up with me and talk about other “strange” or “weird” kids but always make an exception of mine because she “talks, and is so sweet and polite”. Yeah… ok, I think I’ll leave now. Middle school has been tough…perhaps even more, emotionally, for this mama.

    • Amy says...

      I would love to read more about how to raise children who look out for and include other kids who are different than them and who sometimes have trouble fitting in. I *hope* I’m doing a good job, but would welcome some additional advice.

    • Adriana says...

      In response to Amy, if I’m not mistaken, CoJ did a post or shared a link to another blog written by a mom whose child had a disability and she explained how to navigate this topic with small children, how to set an example as a parent and how to help children interact properly with children with disabilities. I can’t find it now, but maybe someone else remembers it. it was an enlightening read.

    • Roxana says...

      Amy and Adriana, it was a link to This Little Miggy! Her name is Amy Webb. She wrote a children’s book, which is going to be published soon. Very exciting!

      If you look her up, be sure to also read her post “Fear to Love.” It was so beautiful.

      At the risk of sounding like a weirdo, I’ve never met her, but I LOVE her! And, so randomly, I started reading her blog a few months before I knew I’d be a special needs mom. Strange, right? Anyway, she really helped me at the beginning of my journey as a special needs mom, when I was in the painful process of reconciling “before and after.” To me, she’s the doyenne of the hipster special needs community. She writes with passion and aplomb, but humility and grace, and has a boat-load of wisdom and perspective to share.

      Check her out! Families with special needs would be so appreciative ;).

  40. Emma says...

    So wonderful to read this. I was just telling my husband that I feel like Wales is a country that needs to be discovered by more people… from the rolling Brecon Beacons, the beaches in Pembrokeshire, the mountains in Snowdonia, it really is a beautiful country. I’m half Welsh and will be visiting my Mamgu (grandmother) who lives near the Brecon Beacons in a couple weeks. I will be bringing my 8 month old and I am told she will be sat in the middle of the room while everyone decides who she looks like most! Also, I found it interesting to read that the Welsh are more reserved. Some of the noisiest buses I have been on are the ones I took from within the Dulais valley to Swansea – everyone knows everyone and you are expected to chat for the entire journey! Speaking of the Dulais valley, there is an excellent movie called Pride (https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3169706/) that is based on a true story of U.K. gay activists helping the Welsh miners during a long strike back in the 1980s. Highly recommended. Oh and her version of Bread of Heaven got to me. One hymn that always touches me is Ar Hyd Y Nos (All Through the Night- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wvV9bHstVs) …ahhh I think I am experiencing hiraeith ;-)

    • Sarah says...

      Yes! Pride is the best film! And I love that it’s based on a true story :)

    • Marion says...

      Oh yes! Pride is a wonderful, heart-warming film. And the Welsh accents are beeeaautiful!

    • Sasha L says...

      I love your comment 😊
      Pride is such a wonderful movie, we loved it, second your recommendation.

    • Amanda Riley says...

      Pride is a fabulous film.
      Another thing to watch is the Britain’s got talent audition 2013 for Only boys aloud, a boy’s choir from the valleys.
      I am from London, but have lived in Abergavenny on and off for nearly 40 years.Its a fabulous place.

  41. Lucy says...

    Wonderful! My mum is from Wales and although we moved to the States when I was young, we spent summers in Newport, a city just east of Cardiff. Wales is a wonderful place that I would encourage people to visit, but it’s so often overlooked given its size and proximity to England, Scotland and Ireland. Snowdonia, the Breacon Beacons, Cardiff; there’s a lot to see and the drives are beautiful. And so much of this rings true – my mum and her family all grew up reciting the name of this town and signing nonstop :-)

  42. Lissa says...

    These types of posts are my absolute favorite. Wish there were more and more and more…

  43. M. says...

    Have you ever considered a series about how parenting differs within the U.S.? I’m the parent of an almost 4 year-old and I’ve lived in four different states. The different trends I’ve seen are astonishing.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      yes, i would love to learn/read more about this, too!!!

    • Lisa says...

      Yes! That’d be fascinating.

    • That would be cool! I had my baby in Denver and then moved back home to Los Angeles and even there, the differences were quite obvious (e.g., everyone in my moms group in Denver did cloth diapers, but when I moved back to LA I was a total hippie for doing them!)

  44. Rachael says...

    Feral children running wild outdoors are the norm, you say? Sounds like I need to move my troop of unruly boys to Wales!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, it sounds so refreshing! i’d love to stop constantly shushing my children when we’re in public and just let them shout, run and play! :)

    • t says...

      I am a little confused by all of this. We rarely shush our children (trust me they are loud and unruly). running around ikea… eff it. being loud in the grocery store… whatever. climbing trees at an office complex… oh well. BUT we do not let them be unruly at restaurants. That is where we say this is the place where children need to understand and follow rules. And the kids get it and follow the rules because they know when they eat at restaurants if they follow the rules (and eat their dinner) there is dessert.

      My confusion is where are kids having to constantly be quiet and calm? Even on our bi-annual trip to NYC to visit family it’s like “fine run to the end of the block and back and don’t let any tricky people grab you.”

      Are we crazy? or are you all just concerned about the dirty looks? And also props to you for keeping your kids in line. half the time we don’t because we’ve thrown in the towel.

    • Ellie says...

      I’m Welsh and I thought this was a bit odd – I don’t think children are any more feral or wild there than anywhere else in the UK or many European countries. I do think that living somewhere like London where there is a stronger class divide can make it feel like that’s frowned upon.

    • Heather says...

      Yes! A kindergarten teacher recently told me that she’s frustrated with the curriculum she’s supposed to use for the kids, which requires lots of quiet, order, and focus: “We spend years teaching them to walk and talk, and then almost immediately tell them ‘now sit down and be quiet.'”

    • NAS says...

      DITTO!

    • Jessica says...

      My husband and I just spent 4 weeks in the U.K. with our young children and I can’t tell you how many times people came up to my toddler in particular and told him to “use your inside voice”. Every time it was when he was excited or talking, never when he was crying. And he was told this in all sorts of circumstances – on the bus, in the airport, in the grocery store, etc. And the people never addressed my husband or myself, but would always address my son, then walk away. We live in California and I’ve never had anything like that happen to us at home.

    • gfy says...

      @T…it is about teaching children to develop self-control and to be mindful of other people’s right to their own soundspace for lack of a better word. In groups, we all defer to the practice of public decorum. To ignore that is extremely inconsiderate. Public spaces are always a zone where mutual respect is required in order to preserve PEACE and well-being for all concerned.

    • Janette says...

      In response to Jessica- I’m so sorry you had such rude people aproaching your child whilst you were here in the UK. I have never had that experience and it is totally bizarre to hear about. If you haven’t been put off returning, please feel free to tell those people where to get off if it ever happens again!
      Please know this is not the norm, we’re not all like that.

    • Jessica says...

      @Janette – my father in law is from rural England and him and my mother in law made me feel like it was a totally normal and acceptable thing for people to do, so I just thought it was a cultural thing. Thanks for telling me it isnt everywhere there.

  45. Joy says...

    This is so intriguing, to view the healthcare system surrounding labor and delivery in another country *through the eyes of a doctor from that country.* A few commenters here seem to be emphasizing that they had a similar experience with midwife-only care, but I love that this article emphasizes doctors, nurses, and midwives working together to care for patients into the extended post-partum period.

    This is also super interesting how moving to a more rugged/less urban place has influenced raising their daughter with autism. Thank you Bethan for sharing, and well done cup of jo!

    • Emily says...

      There is very good doctor/midwifery care here in the US but I think it is generally available only to a privileged group of people – those with great health insurance and those who live near good medical facilities. The inequality of health care here in the US is shameful.

  46. M says...

    This type of care is available here in the U. S. I had four homebirths with midwives. All prenatal appointments were held at their houses or mine, and there were always at least five postpartum visits by the midwives to the baby and me at home (I live in Connecticut). After the birth they even posted a note on my house’s main entrance advising visitors to bring a hot meal, wash some dishes or laundry, and spend time with any older children in the household.

    • Sasha L says...

      ❤️❤️❤️
      I had this kind of compassionate care with my homebirth as well. I felt very loved and cared for.

    • Nina says...

      Noy paid for by the government or insurance though, right?

    • Natalie says...

      Yes, but in most cases this is something you would have to pay out of pocket in the U.S., thus making it out-of-reach for many people. Most insurance providers don’t cover the cost of a midwife, and it’s probably near impossible to get one to cover the cost of multiple postpartum home visits (that’s my guess, anyway). But in Wales this is part of the standard national health insurance, so it’s available to everyone (in theory anyway). If only the US could provide this kind of support to pregnant women and new mothers!!

    • Rachel says...

      That might be available here, but not everyone’s insurance will cover it to an affordable degree. I can say that from personal experience

    • Cay says...

      Not quite. What you described is available in the US – if you are in an area with actual maternal healthcare options, have the means to pay for care options that are not fully covered by insurance, and are have a level of education in regards to maternal health that would encourage you to seek out less traditional options. You were extremely lucky and privileged to have this experience.

      So no, the type of care Bethan experienced is not available in the United States, because the type of care that she is describing is standard care covered by the government, available to everyone in Wales. What we have in the US isn’t remotely comparable.

    • Dimara says...

      Yes, but it’s not free in the U.S. like it is in Wales and other countries.

    • M says...

      Everyone’s replies have a valid point–I paid for this care out-of-pocket (from a low-income household), because I’ve never been able to have health insurance. The midwives, however, worked with me (sliding scale fee, periodic payments), and didn’t turn away clients solely based on monetary resources.
      Yes, the health care system in the U. S. needs to change drastically. Meanwhile, though, I have to live here, and tried to make the best choices for my babies and myself, given the options available.
      Here’s a humorous note to end on: when someone heard I gave birth at home, she said, “You mean they let you do that?”–as though there’s a Big Brother-type birthing police force!

  47. BC says...

    When I had my twins at a hospital in NY, a social worker came by to explain the symptoms of PPD and other stuff. She asked how I was planning to feed the babies. When I said exclusively breastfeeding, she subtly carried on the conversation a bit, then asked if I would mind if she signed us up for a visiting nurse to check on us a few times. The nurse came 3 times, weighed the babies, and chatted with me to make sure everything was ok. It was covered by insurance. I wondered later whether she was dispatched more to check on the babies or me! P.S. We definitely needed to supplement with formula for everyone’s well-being.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s amazing, BC. so glad to hear that.

    • t says...

      hey fellow mama of twins. just want to shout out and say holy cow it is hard and well done recognizing what is best for everyone’s well being. i went to the pediatrician in tears after breastfeeding for 6 weeks saying i was losing my mind. he said, there is no advantage whatsoever from breastfeeding and feeling stress vs formula and feeling a bit less stress. kids (twins!!!) are stressful enough. I started supplementing then and there and the kids were healthier and i was happier. i weaned them shortly thereafter for my mental wellbeing. I would have been proud to formula feed from day one.

    • Alycia says...

      I have found that not everyone wants a visiting nurse to come to their house after they have a baby or ever! I have spent years going into people’s houses for various jobs and while some are welcoming, some are completely stressed about my visit, and some really don’t want me there. I wonder if this is just an American thing, believing that when someone comes into your house for their job, they are looking for everything bad and will upend your lives?

  48. Heather says...

    Has anyone read/watched A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas? It was one of those things that our mom had us watch when we were young and we never got into it, but now I love it!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BTSQYdBuZY

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! Last Christmas we watched that with our older two kiddos who at the time were 6 1/2 and 4 (we started a Christmas movie tradition), as we were watching it we were like “Are they going to like this???” To our surprise, they LOVED it. They still randomly quote the part (after the “fire” when the fire brigade drenches the neighbor’s house) when the weird aunt asks “Would anybody like something to read??” They thought it was hilarious! It was pretty funny. It is a sweet film :).

    • Lesley says...

      Yes! We watched a Child’s Christmas In Wales every Christmas growing up. Now I make my kids watch it with me every year on the afternoon of December 24th (while my husband drinks spiked eggnog and tries to recite all the Dylan Thomas parts). Love hearing about life in Wales!

    • Kate says...

      It’s the best!!! The Irish Rep theatre in NYC usually does a performance of it around Christmas and it’s wonderful.

  49. Jessica says...

    This is so cool! I love the way this woman speaks — it feels like I’m there with her!

    Some of my ancestors are from Wales, so my last name traces back to Wales. There’s actually a young woman with my exact first (very common) and last (uncommon) names who just graduated from a college in Wales. Somehow one of her advisors started using my gmail address to contact her — periodically over the past few years, he’d send emails to both my gmail and to her school email address. I emailed her and let her know about the error, but she never corrected it, so I continued to receive the emails. The emails themselves were in English, but there was some text in the bottom that was in Welsh — that language is insane!

    This has inspired me to take a trip to visit some of the areas where my ancestors lived!

    • Capucine says...

      My husband gets this periodically too, for a woman with his same first initial and last name in France with Gmail. He’s reached out to her a couple times, but it still happens periodically. Apparently it’s because of the dot in the name, like “j.lastname@gmail.com”. I’m not an IT person, I don’t know the ins and outs of why that makes them go astray sometimes but…

      The most recent email he got addressed to this woman was not her college communications as in years passed, but someone following up after a threesome they had together saying in flowery French they would like to get together again soon for another round!

  50. Megan says...

    My husband is Scottish, so we’ve had a couple of discussions about whether we can or should move back there. It usually comes down to “Does the awesome NHS outweigh the rainy weather?”

    I vote ‘Yes!’ but my husband says ‘No’ in his most Shrek voice, so we’re still here in sunny Philadelphia :)

    • Capucine says...

      No in the Shrek voice. That made me laugh; thanks!

    • Jessica says...

      Do it! It doesn’t rain all the time. You get used to the weather and still go out in it. There are so many great things about Scotland besides the nhs. It’s a slower pace of life, the people are so friendly and welcoming, and more. Take a few week trip there to make a decision. But having lived there for several years, I say do it.

    • Roxana says...

      Haha! “Shrek voice.”

      That said, I think the NHS is seriously overrated. I would never want the socialized medical care in the UK (or Canada). . . the Charlie Gard case and many others like it were and are horrible. No, thank you.

      This is not to say that the US’ corporate system is without fault. Because it can be just as brutal. As others have commented, our postpartum care (for one) is lousy. Both systems are broken :(.

    • Liss says...

      We visited Edinburgh a few years ago and fell in the love with the city! It is part of our plan to move there. My husband currently works for the federal government here in the states and if our president gets re-elected, we are likely going to make the move!

    • Taylor says...

      Hello from Philadelphia! My grandfather came over here from Scotland when he was 3. I would so love to visit. (I’ll just keep watching Outlander in the meantime!)

    • Hannah says...

      Roxana – honestly, the NHS is hugely underrated!

      The Charlie Gard case and others like it are matters of the law and the Supreme Court, not the NHS itself. Every citizen in the UK is eligible for healthcare whether they pay a penny in taxes or not which means that those who are truly needy are looked after and not left to struggle because they can’t afford insurance.

    • Rachel L says...

      Roxana, I can honestly say that the NHS has it’s faults but it’s definitely one of the most wonderful things about living in the UK. The cases you are talking about were horrible, but incredibly complex and there was a lot of misreporting. I feel so blessed that I am able to access healthcare of the highest order that is free whenever I need it, regardless of my income or status. I’ve never known life without it, and for that and the amazing people who work so hard to deliver it ( my sister is one) I will be forever grateful!

    • Roxana says...

      @Hannah and Rachel, thank you for your responses. Honestly, I was ignorant of the distinction between the NHS vs. UK law. I did not know that, and I can’t pretend that sought out any of the details. Also, I’m sure there was a lot of misreporting :/.

      Admittedly, the fact that every citizen can access healthcare is great. I hope I don’t sound deluded about the US system. . . my parents, for one, have always been self-employed and quite literally never had decent medical care (because they couldn’t afford it!) until they finally qualified for Medicare. More I could say.

      But, any scenario where someone’s life is seemingly reduced to a matter of cost and their fate is decided by a panel of judges scares the daylights out of me, which is why government run healthcare makes me nervous. But, of course, a private system can also reduce someone’s life to a matter of cost. So, like I said, both broken :(.

      Sorry for the epic comment. Thanks for your replies!

      Given that this post is about the beautiful country of Wales I think I should add that I have long been a hardcore Anglophile (a UKphile? More accurately?) and would LOVE to spend an extended amount of time in any part of the UK. Someday! I did marry a man whose heritage is Scottish, Irish, English and Welsh, so hopefully I’m getting close ;).

  51. Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing this beautiful experience with us. I can’t believe the name of the town!!! How do you pronounce it?!?! OMG can you imagine remembering that if you lived there?

  52. Cynthia says...

    The recording of “Bread of Heaven” was amazing. I remember it from childhood and I still remember most of the words. I would enjoy exploring castle ruins. Unfortunately, all the rain would drive my husband bonkers.

  53. It’s funny, I’ve never been to Wales but I did have a Welsh roommate for a year and this rung so true to me. It took a long time for her to be friendly to me, never inviting me out, even though I invited her out all the time, she made her parents mail her tea over from Wales because the local tea wasn’t good enough, and she was obsessed with rugby and played the harp. I would love to go there someday. I looooove old castles!

  54. Mel says...

    Lovely! But no “moms” in Wales, it is of course, “mum”.

    • Willow says...

      Or mam!

    • Melanie says...

      It’s definitely Mam 😉 . From a Welsh mam (I can’t believe you featured my little country!)

  55. Meg says...

    This post gives me the travel bug!

  56. Sasha L says...

    Such a charming glimpse at family life in Wales! Thank you for sharing. What a delight on a Monday.

    The outdoor walks and descriptions of beaches, ocean, and children outside was so lovely to read.

  57. i legit just finished planning out the entire itinerary for our Switzerland and Italy vacation in September and all i want to do now is GO TO WALES, complete with a choir singing Bread of Heaven.

  58. Nancey says...

    This was wonderful! I could never ever live there. I have a horrible time with rain, it’s a strange thing I can’t stand the rain, I try my hardest to not leave the house when it starts and just curl up with my book and call it a day. Of course work doesn’t find this too enchanting, hahah!

    Beautiful countryside and beautiful words though, I watched “Hinterland” so I know….I kept saying to my BF, it’s so lovely, but it’s raining again, oh no! more rain, why does it keep raining? finally he said ‘could we watch something else?’.

  59. Sima says...

    On our travels in Orkney, we picked up a children’s book in a language we did not recognize in a thrift shop. A previous owner had written in the English on every single page. After rounds of unsuccessful guessing, we googled and found out that the book was in Welsh. Wil a Tom Tom is still a favored book in our household many years later. I always thank that Welsh speaker for translating that book! Wonderful story and pictures!

  60. Lucy in England says...

    I love this. Lots of similarities to parenting here in Devon, so very different from “fancy fancy London Town” as my 3yo calls it.

    Outdoor feral noisy children, continuity of care with your midwife, Hills and beach and sheep, the centrality of the rugby club to our lives. I love it!

  61. Katie Larissa says...

    I visited Wales for 2 weeks when I was 15, and it felt like home.

  62. Emily says...

    I gave birth here in the US with a hospital based midwifery practice. Literally on their rounds the day after I gave birth, they were asking me about my birth control plans. I was like, my birth control is currently attached to my nipple.
    Nothing worse than dragging yourself out to those post-partum checkups though.

    • Caitlin says...

      In the UK they are in-home!

    • Lisa says...

      My daughter was still in the NICU when I went for my 6 week check up. There was this HORRIBLE nurse who unfortunately was the only nurse for my doctor. She actually told me I was lucky my daughter was in the NICU because I could come to the appointment and not have to worry about taking my daughter. She also said things must have been going better for me because I had finally stopped calling. I still remember her saying “every day I would come in and there would be a message that Lisa called!” Yeah, maybe because I went into labor at 20 weeks! I responded “I didn’t call during the 2 months I was across the street in the hospital.” She didn’t like that. I had a post-partum infection in my c-section incision and kept calling because my temp was over 104 and the antibiotic wasn’t working! The doctors kept telling me I was fine! Eventually I was re-hospitalized for IV antibiotics. When they finally brought me back in the resident was worried about sepsis and called my OB so upset they hadn’t acted sooner. Anyway, our post-partum care sucks here. I have 3 friends who almost died from hemorrhaging.

  63. Shruti says...

    Myself and my husband moved from London to Philadelphia last year for his Masters studies and he is an offer in New York which he wants to try.
    As much as I am loving the new experiences ( currently soaking up in Williamsburg), the whole medical care in US depresses me and makes me want to move back to UK .

    This read just reaffirmed the why.

  64. Andrea says...

    Some of my favorite hymns are Welsh :) I watched How Green Was My Valley a lot in high school. Would love to visit some day.

  65. Alexia says...

    The humility aspect of UK culture might sound like a great thing (and it definitely has its advantages), it also contributes to tearing people down when they excel at something. In Australia they call it “tall poppy syndrome” and it’s a large part of the reason my dad left. Like she says in the article “if you stand out a bit, you’re showing off”. So even if you’re humble and don’t boast, if you’re good at something (sports, school) people aren’t encouraging about it.

    Not sure if the exact same is true in Wales, but my mum has spoke to it being similar in parts of England. It’s a good thing in that people are a lot less obsessed with prestige and there’s not the American push to make your children excellent at everything, but like everything, it’s not all roses.

    I really enjoyed this insight into Welsh culture though—would love to visit!

    • Laureen says...

      +1 My husband grew up in Ireland, which has a similar values system.

      When we ask people to dim their light to make others feel more comfortable it can create self-limiting beliefs that manifest later in life and undermine confidence/feelings of worthiness, e.g. “who am I to be great at ____,” “who am I to make a lot of money?” “who am I to be recognized for my amazing talent?”

      There’s a balance to be sure but I say shine shine shine!

    • It’s the same in Scotland – you’re expected to be humble. When I lived overseas with American people it was really jarring for me to hear them openly say they were good at something.

    • Ali says...

      It’s definitely like that in England/ across the UK. I once read something that said something to the effect of “American kids are taught ‘it could be you! You could be anything!’, while British kids are taught ‘Yeah, it probably won’t be you'”. I find it quite entertaining to be honest!

  66. Crosby says...

    I was born in the US, but grew up in Wales (my father worked for S4C, the welsh language TV station), and while I’m back solidly on American soil for now, I’m forever plotting how to move back. In the meantime I console myself with the “hiraeth” tattoo on my shoulder.
    Also if Bethan has a good recipe for bara brith she would be willing to share I’d be eternally grateful!

  67. J. says...

    Just love this series! Dying to go to Wales now.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      me too!!

    • Willow says...

      Yay, I am so pleased to hear this! Wales (my homeland) is just beautiful and the people so friendly. I always feel like the rest of the world has never even heard of Wales-I once had to describe it to an NYC taxi driver by reference to Diana bring the Princess of Wales (though not remotely Welsh ha). So excited that all these lovely CoJ readers will now know something about Wales!

  68. Emme says...

    Lovely feature. Did they not want to show photographs of their faces?

    • Hani says...

      Maybe t would be considered showing off? I wondered this too!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      They’re a more private family, so they were up for showing faces in a few photos, but not every one. Every family has different comfort levels in that way, of course, and we were happy to accommodate! xo

  69. Meghan says...

    My grandfather was born in Bristol (to Welsh parents) Although I have never visited Wales, I have always felt a strange familiarity to Wales- like Bethan described as nostalgia or homesickness. I hope to one day explore the gorgeous landscapes and villages of Wales!

  70. “Finally, after heading home, all parents receive several home visits from midwives and health visitors, and this can be life-saving, literally! My midwife visited regularly for two weeks to weigh the baby and check that everyone was keeping sane.”

    What I would give to have this here! After my third baby I had severe postpartum preeclampsia and it would have been so nice to have people come to me. Instead I nearly passed out in the hallway of my pediatrician’s office 6 days after giving birth (nearly ripping my c-section stitches in the process), and had to haul myself and my baby to my doctor’s office once a week for five weeks for blood-pressure checks. With two other children and a husband who doesn’t get real paternity leave (because, America), that was a rough time to say the least!

    • Lisa says...

      You get it across the UK and I have to say – it’s wonderful. Even my French in law’s (the French are very sceptical of the nhs) were impressed. With my first, I had issues with feeding (my milk was late coming in). A couple of hours after the midwife came, a lactation consultant came to check me out, said I needed to eat properly and sleep so she sent my husband to the shops. She also checked the latch and just was an angel.

    • Sasha L says...

      Ugh, I’m so sorry for your hard time!! It’s insane. Yes, we all deserve this kind of care. It would save lives. And make becoming a parent so much easier. Countries that have this kind of care take better care of women with ppmd as well, so important.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i would have looooooooved that, too. i felt so alone and disoriented those first few weeks/months with a new baby. how wonderful to have someone coming by to check in on you! xo

    • claire says...

      There’s a really amazing program in the U.S. that helps to connect low-income families who are at high risk to nursing visits after childbirth. They are in part funded through state/fed governments, in part through donations. You can read more, donate, and sign up to advocate for expansion of these services on their website! https://www.nursefamilypartnership.org/

  71. Lesley says...

    That town name is very impressive! I appreciated this mother’s sense of humor.

    • Dani says...

      I had to look up the pronunciation out of complete curiosity and found this amazing song that helps break it down:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BXKsQ2nbno

      I’ve been humming it all morning at my desk.

  72. Nadia says...

    Hello!
    One of my sons also has autism and I love to here other family stories. Not stories about autism. Simple family stories like this one. Bravo!

  73. Silvana says...

    Great story to get familiarize with beautiful Wales! Stunning!
    Greetings from Croatia

  74. Julie says...

    Ugh now I want to move there! As a music teacher and music education advocate, I can’t imagine how wonderful it must be to live in a community where singing (and singing in choirs) is valued! ❤️❤️❤️

  75. Louise says...

    I love this so much! I grew up in Bath in England, but my family has been going on holiday to Pembrokeshire for over twenty years. We go for coast path walks, stroll on the beach, my dad plays golf and I horse ride on the mountains. Now that I live in Washington D.C. I hear many Americans say how much they want to visit England, Scotland and Ireland, but Wales always seems to get forgotten! It has just as beautiful scenery and everyone we’ve met has been very friendly towards us. I miss being able to visit easily!