My name is Elize and I am a mother of two amazing daughters, aged 10 and 3. Yes I know we all think our kids are the best ,we only human. I have a 7 year gap between the two , so I am at two different stages. The eldest one is 10 going on 18 and well the 3 year old thinks the world revolves around her, that’s my fault yes. I am very grateful to have this opportunity to write about what its like raising two girls in todays day and age. Here is my story, 7 years of my life on a page.
Well where do I start…Hmm ok…When I met my hubby I moved with him to Jozi in 2005 , we lived happily in a 2 bedroom apartment with my first born. I decorated her room in pink with butterflies,so many memories. I walked her to crèche twice a week and she could run around in the complex were we lived. We had our own garden, so summer time would come and she would play in her blow up pool. I could leave her for a few seconds and go grab a towel or a glass of water I loved this complex. The neighbours were friendly and we always could catch up with coffee. Goodness, I could even leave my front door open and not be disturbed.
Fast forward 2 and a half years… My husband got a job in Dubai, WOW amazing. This was such an exciting time for us, our family was sad that we were leaving, but hey we needed to get away. This was a whole new chapter in our lives, we would be on our own.. miles away from family , well a close to 10 hour flight. He went up first and got things settled over there. We were apart for weeks,it gave me enough time to pack up our flat, well just the personal items as we rented it fully furnished. He came down just before my birthday and we drove down to Cape Town, to go say our good byes and farewells.The nerves had not set in yet as it all felt like a dream still, I kept thinking Dubai glitz and glamour. Driving back to Johannesburg and arriving the morning of our flight, I kept saying to myself.. thank God I packed before we left for Cape Town. The day passed in a blur we said goodbye to our neighbours and we were off. The flight was long and traveling with a 3 year old was a bit tough, not to mention I was a nervous wreck as this was my very first international flight. Only when the air hostess said, get ready for landing,did it all set it, Gosh, no friends , what will my daughter do? How are the neighbours? What about the people roaming the streets? First few days was hectic,very hot. It was winter when I arrived in November , was about 20 to 27 degrees . So that was summer days for me, I used to laugh at how people use to wear jackets and scarves . I was amazed how clean the streets were, people greeted you walking by. My eldest just loved it , a new place. Our apartment was AMAZING wow it was huge compared to our flat in jozi, the whole flat could fit in our lounge, it was really something. Good thing my husband could walk to work. We lived a life of luxury, the company he worked for paid for housing (lights and water included), car , petrol, schooling and even gave us a budget to buy furniture. So I spent my days in the mall, literally . As I was just across the road to a mall, Deira City Centre. The schools were amazing, clean, small classes and always having functions. My daughter did so well academically she made friends ,had play dates, best of all no bullying. There wasn’t much crime, kids were safe. No rape or kidnapping , no robbing you of your bag. I am not saying Dubai was perfect, it did have its crime. I missed South Africa so much, but this was all to exciting for us. I made friends, best of all they were South African. We went for weekly breakfast meets, Play dates with our kids. The parks were amazing, with braaing facilities, but no drinking.
Fast forward a few more years and we still enjoying Dubai. Our families thought we were living like kings and queens. They said my daughter is a brat as she got everything she wanted. But they didn’t understand, we could have a good life, the money my husband earned was spent on us alone. We still supported our families here in Cape Town. We couldn’t let them go hungry , while we were enjoying life.Then I fell pregnant… YaY…exciting time, to be honest I just wanted to eat food. The hospitals were extremely clean and everyone was really helpful. Little miss muffet was born and so the craziness began,a 7 year gap was crazy but I managed. I just felt very blessed I could give my kids what they needed and more.
Fast forward a year and a half…
My husband came home just after 2pm, with the life changing words… I was retrenched…OMG…it was the worst feeling ever. My kids, our lifestyle,God no this cant be true… Please NO I kept saying… a stab through the heart… I was so afraid to come to South Africa. The country I was born in, where my roots were . It scared me, all the crime, the racism, the bullying. I can not raise my kids in a world like this and so our wonderful life came crumbling down. We had a month to get everything sorted. Hubby was determined to find a job in SA and I was not pleased.It broke my heart cause I had to sell my kids Toys, 7 years of toys. The baby’s first Christmas gift, first birthday,my eldest concert costumes were left behind, It felt like I was leaving apart of my life behind. But we did it, I supported my husband,I came back 3 days before him. On the 9 and a half hour flight, lots of thoughts went through my mind,I had made amazing friends, that will always have a place in my heart. I will not have the luxury like housemaid, a cook, someone to do my ironing. My kids will have to face crime, something they never knew. I mean my eldest could walk to the shop alone, we could leave our car keys in the engine. Kids could walk around with there iPads and no one will grab.. It was safe living.
The first few days being back in the mother city was ok I guess, it shocked me to see how much groceries cost, even a kids meal at the Spur. My husband made it clear that we would have to budget,I mean what the hell is that?? This was the first time ever that I had to check the prices of goodies. I really take my hat off to those that have families and can work with a small income. The worst was saying no to my kids,that was tough. They were used to a lifestyle and now it was ripped away from them . We came back home to a big house, in not the greatest of areas, with 7 family members living with us. It was our home, they were taking care of it while we were overseas. That was very tough for me, to cook and feed 10 people. Family members looking to us like we are bags of gold.The months passed and my husband still did not get a job. We came back in July and schools wouldn’t accept my daughter in the middle of the year, so she was home with me. Their birthdays were very sad, but most importantly we were together. In November my husband got an interview,thank you God, just in time for Christmas.. Our hopes were up, excited, hoping and praying, only to find out he didn’t get the job. Another stab to the chest, no Christmas, no gifts for my girls. What is wrong, why are we being punished. January came and my husband got a temp teaching job, by this time our savings were running low and we started to worry.
My daughter started school, she was excited for new friends and just to get back into the swing of things. I walked her to school in the morning and fetched her. She seemed happy but little did I know that my child was being bullied and she was to scared to tell me. This broke my heart, why bully my child? She couldn’t hurt a fly, I know kids aren’t perfect and she was far from being a perfect child, but she was so soft hearted , you shout at her and she cries. She cried a lot to my mother and said how much she hates going to school and that she wishes she was still in Dubai. They bullied her of her bread, bullied money from her, they would break her stationary . How do you protect your child , how can you tell her to fight back?? If she cant even kill an ant? She was afraid to go to school, but I sent her. As education is very important . First term went well.. But the worse was yet to come…later.
It was March and we decided to sell our flat in Jozi. This hurt as it was our first home together. Our life started there. It was simple, but meant so much to me. It sold with in 10 days. By the end of March my hubby was called in for an a interview and a week later he got the job. Thank you God, this was amazing news, we were thrilled. We could live again. He started on the 1st April. Oh boy couldn’t I wait for pay day that month hehe. Second term came for my daughter an she was extremely nervous to go to school. But I kept telling her all will be ok and that God has a plan. She seemed very off an I just knew the bullying has started again.Yet another stab , right in the centre of my heart, this was hurting me just as much as it was hurting her. I have been to the school, written letters and nothing , just empty promises . Hubby was settled in nicely at work and working very long hours. Up to 12 hours a day, so we hardly saw him. I had to deal with a toddler and a child being bullied on a daily basis. I was women alone with no support from family..(long story that I will share one day ) I was hating life in Cape Town. All I wanted to do was run far away and put my kids in a bubble an protect them. The names they called my daughter whitey, milky bar, milkshake and the list goes on. They have thrown her with stones, it just never ended. She asked many questions, why mommy? why do they hate me so much? why are they calling me whitey? For a child that hasn’t known colour, how do you explain? She comes from a mix race family, my husband is coloured ?How? Exam times was stressful , she refused to study, she never had a pencil, a ruler, colours as the kids stole it ,or broke it. I was buying new stationary every second week.When exams was done, I knew it didn’t look good as my child was just not herself . The week before the school closed, my daughter went to the toilets during class time. As she came out 3 boys attacked her, 2 held her down while the other hit her. Thank the Lord she got away. My God was I upset, where the hell were the teachers? cleaning staff ? why the hell are these 3 boys walking around??I was on serious panic mode, I mean what if they raped her ( my poor child doesn’t even know what that is).What made me even more upset , is that the teacher didn’t even let me know that my child was attacked. Went to the school and what a silly response I got. By this time I just knew, I wanted out not for me , but my daughter. A new school and a home in a better suburb, I need to protect her and the little one.
Gosh this is just way to much for me to handle, I sometimes fear that I will die young and not see my kids grow,the stress is that bad. My hubby is still happy at work and my daughter is okay for now at school. Going through this tough time in our lives has shown me that family is not important, what’s important is my Husband and two Daughters. That is OUR family and we should do what is best for us. I stood by my husband and many times it got tough, but we made it. Our kids are healthy and we have food on our table and a roof over our head. I do believe everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan for us, might not be now, but it will come in view. I am happy to be back home, it was tough in the beginning , but hey we survived. So to some it all up.. No its not easy raising girls in this crazy world of ours, I also realized we cant protect them from everything, they can see it on the TV or even hear it from a class friend. I just have to raise them to be respectful little humans and guide them as one day they will have to take the world head on. Touch wood , there has not been funny or creepy questions asked by my 10 year old.Lets see what a few months brings.
Really hope you enjoy this piece. This is me and my family in just over 2000 words, hey I have lots to write about. Here is to the next chapter to my life.. with Gods help of course.
All my love , stay at home mom, wife and mother of 2