After Japan, we were all looking forward to a slower pace in Australia, and that is just what we got! We were in Australia for a total of 6-weeks, 3 in Sydney and 3 in Melbourne. During our time in Sydney, my Dad actually came for a visit, so we spent lots of time with Papaw. We stayed close to Sydney and we just enjoyed being at home. My time with my Dad was pretty special, so I plan to write a blog just about his visit. Our time in Sydney flew by … before I knew it we were in Melbourne. Shortly after arriving in Melbourne, Jim headed off for a few days to dive the Great Barrier Reef while Nolan and I enjoyed a quiet Easter weekend. Then we closed out our time in Melbourne a family trip down the Great Ocean Road.
I did a bit of research and did find a few interesting facts about Australia on www.aifs.gov.au/facts-and-figures, including:
- In 2013, 77% of couples lived together before marriage. Unmarried cohabitation provides couples with autonomy from their parents, the ability to adjust to one another on a more intimate and immediate level (that previously occurred during early marriage) and enables both people to pursue careers and opportunities without children.
- The average age of (first) marriage is almost 30 for men and 28 for women.
- In 2017, it became legal for same-sex couples to marry, following a nationwide postal vote in favor of the legislation.
- The divorce rate is actually dropping in Australia.
- The percentage of parent couples with children under 18 years where both partners work is increasing steadily, from 53% in 1996 to 61% in 2016. There has been a corresponding decrease in the percentage of stay-at-home mums.
Here’s are my research findings:
- Based on averages of time use estimates reported by parents (with children aged under 15 years) over the period 2002–15: Fathers work, on average, 75 hours a week. Of that, 46 hours is on paid work, 16 hours is on housework and 13 hours is on child care, and Mothers work an average of 77 hours a week: 20 hours is paid work, 30 hours is household work and 27 hours is child care.
- The parks were busy in the evenings and on the weekend they were even busier!
- Coffee shops were busy and during the week we often saw people enjoying a morning coffee and reading the paper.
- A sense of “community” in Australia, I would translate “community” to “family.”
Here’s my final thought on Australia:
- Our time in Australia was an opportunity to reconnect to our own family. I remember arriving in Sydney totally exhausted and by the time we left Melbourne, we were all feeling rested, connected, and ready to continue our adventure. I think Australia will always be a little extra special for me when I look back on this trip because our time in Australia was really about us. We enjoyed the country, but more importantly, we slowed down and focused on our family.
- In general, I found Australia to be pretty laid back. Maybe my memory of the United States is becoming a bit jaded, but I recall life in the US being a bit more … well, “more.” As Americans, I think we often get caught up in the idea of more … more money … more things … etc. I didn’t get the feeling in Australia. The culture seems to be more settled, more relaxed.
And now as always, some of my favorite pictures: