Okay, I miss ‘home’ BIG time right about now. Our old home that is – Johannesburg the city of gold and my heart! It’s taken a while (in all the chaos and excitement of everything new) to get to the place of craving things I know, seeing some faces I need to see, and just being in my place of birth for a bit; my Africa. Oh, and live-streaming the Comrades Marathon in the middle of the night while I fed my newborn baby definitely helped my homesick feeling subside… NOT! Haha :). I adore Comrades and would have given anything to be there supporting. Tears for days! 😉
Having a newborn that hasn’t met so many of our special people makes my heart incredibly sad. You know those people that love your kids like their own even if they haven’t met them. Those people – we miss you! Words can’t really explain how challenging it is (at times) to live through the last bit of pregnancy, birth and the newborn phase without certain people by your side, but we are making it through and are enjoying this phase of life for sure – despite the challenges. A major help has been knowing that we are going to South Africa for a visit real soon – my saving grace right now! With me feeling homesick and a bit sad over the last two weeks, it’s been good to reflect and think about what’s great here and how much we are enjoying our new life.
If you know me well (or even at all), you know that I don’t and can’t dwell on the negative or ‘tough’ parts of life for too long, and I always look for the positive and what’s going well. Right now I truly feel homesick AND happy at the same time. Like extremely homesick and insanely happy. We are so blessed to have an incredible new life here and we are so happy and at peace, but it’s okay to feel homesick at the same time (at least I’m learning that it’s possible and okay too)! So I wanted to take stock of a few things and share what I truly adore about this place we get to call home for this season of our lives…
These people are the business. They are kind and genuine and have welcomed us into their fold. We are lucky enough to be part of a wonderful church community and have relationships that will only grow from here.
2. Summer time
Oh how I have waited to experience Summer in Saskatoon… and it is glorious! 🙂 We’ve enjoyed well over a month of AMAZING weather – high twenty degree celsius temperatures most days, and up to thirties at least twice per week, and it’s only getting better! We’ve explored a bit and gone for so many beautiful walks in and around our city, visited lakes and spray parks and playgrounds. It’s incredible. This city is so equipped to help people enjoy every single season!
*Lakes, parks, spray parks, river walks & full on adventuring
3. Our family
Being a stay at home mom has definitely been a challenge for me, having coming from being a full time working mommy in SA (which I loved). I also used to feel such mommy guilt being away from my little one and feeling like I wasn’t truly raising her and being there as much as I’d have liked to. This week Summer put her arms around my neck, as I was putting her in bed for her nap, and she said ‘Mommy please don’t go back to work like Daddy, I want you to stay forever!’ I mean come on! You can’t make this stuff up. There are many (MANY!) moments and days that are difficult raising kids without help and it’s really FULL ON to say the least. Especially when you don’t have family around. But I’m blessed to be able to do this for this time in our lives. I know that I will miss this one day looking back, and I know many mommies who would LOVE to be able to stay home with their kids if they could do so financially. I don’t want to take this for granted and it really is a HUGE positive of living here.
4. Freedom and safety
There was a message on our Facebook community group this week saying that there’s been a bit of theft in the area lately and warning people to be on the lookout. The most recent things that were stolen were planters (plant pots). This is completely different to the type of thing we used to hear happening on our community groups in South Africa, and I don’t need to go into it or be a negative nelly, but I’m thankful that this is the kind of newsworthy information spread around on our community groups here. Growing up as a South African, it’s hard not to giggle at the thought of planters only being stolen, but I get that for Canadians this is a big deal with growing up in safe areas!
Our family regularly takes an evening walk around our neighbourhood and we don’t even think about our safety and if it’s okay to do so. Only South Africans, or people in other places with extreme crime and poverty, would understand what it feels like to live like this coming from what used to be our normal. It’s really weird and wonderful. I still can’t fully process it all but I’m thankful to be feeling this peace here for this time.
5. Raising kids
I’ve mentioned that a huge difference for our family is that I’m home with the kids, so they get their mama with them 24/7, even though sometimes I think they wish they had someone more patient dealing with them! I know Summer loves it even if I feel hugely inadequate at times.
There are so many programs and activities available here for the kids and for families. There are public play parks everywhere – we have five parks within a three block radius of our house. Amazing parks! There are spray parks spread throughout the city where your kids can play in the water all summer long for free, and it’s totally safe! There are buttons on the water features that the kiddos press and activate the water sprays – Sum loves it! Library programs – we go to the library once a week usually and get new books and play, and often participate in their toddler group sing-a-long and dance or nursery rhyme classes. Indoor and outdoor pools, play areas and bouncy castles. Walks – there are so many places I can walk with the kids that are always safe and have great paths that are stroller-friendly too. The list really goes on for ages, but I’m so thankful for a city and community of people who honour moms staying home with their kids and create such awesome programs and public space for families to enjoy. Happy heart!
*Parks, spray parks & so much more!
6. Exploring our City
It’s been such fun being in a new area and our family adores adventure and exploring our surroundings. We’ve done a few road trips to nearby lakes (beaches) and provincial parks and plan on doing a whole lot more soon. We also love going into the city and doing river walks on the beautiful Meewasin trails, and also have a bush trail in walking distance from our house. The sun rises at 4:30am and sets after 9pm now so we make the most of our very full days and I’ve been able to get some runs in too which I’ve been loving!
It’s also so amazingly clean and well-kept everywhere, and the public paths and walking areas are another level.
So as much as I am excited to be visiting SA soon, we love our life here and I am making a mental note to remember how blessed we are even when it feels like I want to fly back ‘home’ for good! 🙂