7 Reasons I Love Small Town Living

I lived in a “suburb” of Waterloo, Iowa for almost nine years of my life. Between my 2nd and 3rd grade year, my parents bought a house in Traer, a small town 30 miles south of Waterloo. I was devastated. I would be leaving my neighborhood friends and my bestest friend (who also was my neighbor) to live in the country in a small farm town. (Side note: my husband, Jeremy, and his family moved to Traer a year before my family and I did.)

Growing up in this small town was hard. I couldn’t wait to leave.  Now that I’m 34 years old with six children of my own, I realize why my parents made the move. Here are seven of my top reasons for staying and raising my children in a small farm town.

Small school setting.

There are about 20 children in each class. I feel like my kids get more opportunities by having a small class setting. There are around 400 kids in our whole school district, which is Pre-K through 12. The whole school is connected. If I need to pick up my kindergartener and then go talk to my junior higher before track practice, I’m able to walk through one building. My kids attend the same small school my husband Jeremy and I did, so they have some of the same teachers we did. My oldest hears at least once a day how much she is like her mom, and my second oldest gets told how much she is like her aunts. (Love you Bree and Ava!)

My sister in law is also a teacher at the school, and has helped me in a jam more times than I can count. We see teachers around town too, which is great to see them in everyday life. They are also our friends. I like to think we are a close-knit community. I cannot say enough of how appreciative I am of our small school.  Our bus driver is our neighbor–can’t get any better then that!

Everyone is my neighbor.

You live five miles down the road to the south? Then you are my neighbor that lives five miles down the road to the south. We all look out for each other. It’s such a blessing.

When you’re in town, everything is within walking distance.

The grocery store, hardware store, theater, pharmacy, restaurants, banks, library, etc. are all nearby. My grandma also lives across the street from the school. If I need help with the kids after school, she is always more than happy to have them walk to her house. She likes to feed them cookies and milk. They are SO SPOILED. (Love you too, Grandma!)

Everyone knows who you are.

This could also be a con, but I see it as a positive. We all have each others’ backs. It also means that we are all looking out for each other and each others’ kids. Don’t mess with small town kids. It won’t be a good idea. Did I mention my grandma lives across the street from the school? Well, another reason I love my small town is because both of my kids’ grandparents live in this town! Many aunts, great aunts, uncles, great uncles, more grandparents, great grandparents, and cousins all live in the small town or around it! We don’t have to go far to visit our family.

All the stores in town!

I love shopping in small towns. Sometimes that is where you can find some of the neatest things! The grocery store doesn’t have milk that is a mile away from the door. I can run in and out in 30 seconds, unless I get stuck in an aisle having a conversation with a dear friend. Another bonus: everyone knows who my family is, and if I’m making a beeline for the milk, they better not stop me. 🙂

The co-op in town knows I’ll be in every two weeks for pig feed in the spring, summer, and fall. They always make sure to have some on hand for me! The hardware store has most things I would ever need for our little acreage, plus they run a cell phone shop out of the store. I can stop in at anytime and get help with my phone. Most of the time there is no wait time. The pharmacists know me by my first name! They actually were my neighbors growing up. (They lived a mile or so to the north. I know they are looking out for me when we get our medications and always ask us how are kids are doing.

There are never any traffic jams!

Okay, I take that back. A slow moving tractor can cause a little congestion, but not much. I love seeing the tractors roll through town on their way to the co-op. We like to play “How many tractors can we spot?” during spring planting and fall harvesting.

Why I Love Raising my Family in a Small Town

I can see advantages of living in a big city, but the big city is not meant for me or my family. We love the adventures we go on here in our small farm town. I love cheering on the North Tama Redhawks–I know all their names and make sure I cheer for them loudly! There is no place I’d rather be. I love you, small farm town Iowa. Thanks for helping me raise these six babies.  



Amber has called Iowa home all her life. She and her husband Jeremy live on an acreage just south of Traer where they raise their 6 blue eyed, blonde haired babes. Amber is a stay at home mama to 3 girls ages 12, 9, & 4 and 3 boys ages 2,1, & 7 months. Amber earned an AAS in Early Childhood Education at Hawkeye Community College. She also spent 9 years in the Iowa Army National Guard. Amber is always busy attending Redhawk sporting events, 4­H meetings, teaching RE classes at St. Paul, reading stories, playing house, cooking, feeding various animals, & running around after her kids. In her spare time (ha!) she likes to can produce out of the huge garden her husband plants every year, read a book to the end, watch a good movie (that she normally falls asleep in the middle of) and spend time with Jeremy, which is normally at Iowa Hawkeye Wrestling Meets! Go Hawks!


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