If you’d asked me 10 years ago what the next decade would hold, I would NEVER have guessed. Here are my reflections on the last 10 years on the eve of 2020. I was going to do this as an Instagram post, but the last decade has been so busy. I thought this would be a better way to reflect on the decade that saw us grow as a family. The decade I became a mum, the decade I travelled and moved, and built and immigrated more times than I even thought I would.
2010 – Our first year of marriage, itchy feet!
We decided we’d had enough of life in the UK. It was never meant to be forever. After living there for 10 years we wanted something more, we had itchy feet. We decided to move back to Zimbabwe. We said goodbye to work friends, and family, and packed up our cats and left! Gosh, thinking back it was so easy compared to having to haul kids with you! lol
Life in Zim was good, and by the end of the year ‘we’ were pregnant. What made life there so good was the family, lifestyle and the weather!
2011 – The Year I Became A Mum!
I spent most of the year throwing up, not going to lie. And then after that, I decided to make up for it by eating everything in sight! We welcomed our very special eldest (my first, his second) little girl. Suffice it to say, life will never be the same, no matter what decade! lol
2012 – Setting down roots, or so we thought.
We moved from Harare to Kadoma (my home town), visited the UK, and started building our forever house. That’s also the year my dad & step-mum were viciously attacked and beaten by the ZanuPF youths because my dad was trying to make life in Zimbabwe better. He was an active member of the opposition. Thank goodness they survived! By the end of that year, I was pregnant with my second baby (hubby’s third) and I was sick as a dog! And by sick, I mean, SICK!
2013 – Another baby, and immigrating again.
We continued building, I continued throwing up and losing weight throughout my pregnancy. I don’t remember much else until the last few months before the baby arrived.
By that time we had decided to move to South Africa for a little bit of financial security. Zim was not getting better and we wanted to finish our house. The girls were tiny though. It was meant to be temporary. We moved to Middleburg in Mpumalanga when the girls were 2 years old, and 5 weeks old. It was HARD.
2014 – Living apart.
We moved to Jo’burg early that year, but shortly after that my husband was sent to work in Nigeria. The girls and I were back in Zim most of that year. I continued to oversee the building works of our house. Do you know how hard it is to build a house, in Zimbabwe, when your husband is a civil engineer but is working in another country and you basically built the house by sending him daily photos and videos of progress?! That was a tough year. I did, however, win a car that year too – yup, for real! By the end of the year, my husband was home from Nigeria. We moved to Kathu, in the Northern Cape. We were Still building in Zim.
2015 – Our final move in South Africa.
We moved again, this time to Welkom with a 3-year plan. THREE WHOLE YEARS IN ONE PLACE! And yes, we did actually stay there for 3 years. That is the year I had both my hips replaced, four months apart. Another tough year.
2016 – We settled into life in the Free State.
We did our first 2-week road trip tour with the kids down to Cape Town on a “Not the N1” road trip – it was amazing. I also got a bit bored with life and so started my blog. Woohoo! The house in Zim was finished, but we were contracted to a job for 3 years. That was a hard pill to swallow. We did take friends back to Zim with us too, which was a memorable trip, to say the least! A road trip through Botswana to Zimbabwe with friends, which was a nightmare return journey that you can’t even make up!
2017 – Was This Going To Be Our Normal Forever?
Nothing super epic happened this year, and by that I mean, no babies, no moving house, no major operations. There was, however, more blogging, and more travelling. We also went on our first big motorbike tour together – 3 countries in 3 days (South Africa, Swaziland and Lesotho). And then another one where we took my mom to visit the Northern Cape!
2018 – We made the decision to leave South Africa and return to the UK.
Once we’d made the decision, we were packed up and gone within 6 months. For us that was a looong time, but in hindsight, it was very quick. Despite the trauma of immigrating with kids, and having to say very sad goodbyes to our family and friends, and leaving our ‘home’ country, again, we had a really good year.
We were excited about our new life adventures. The cherry on the top, my bonus-daughter (15) decided to come live with us. And so our little family of 5 was finally completed under one roof.
2019 – We settled into our life in the UK.
The girls excelled in their school life, and we couldn’t be more proud of them. In 2020 we did a lot of travelling, visiting 9 countries in total (Wales, Scotland, France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and exploring a lot of England too). We had family and friends come and visit, and it was an all-round good year. We did move house mid-way through the year but stayed in the same town. It wasn’t that big a deal compared to our previous relocations. lol
What Have I Learnt About Me in my Reflections on the last 10 Years?
- I may have been a mother for over 8 years, but I have no clue what I’m doing. I also don’t think experience counts for anything because they (the children) are human beings who have their own ideas, thoughts, opinions and fashion sense. All I can do it try to survive the next decade when they will grow into teenagers (who actually ARE harder to deal with than newborns, threenagers and fournados, or seven & eight year olds!). Pray for me.
- I love to travel. It makes my heart feel alive and, god willing, I hope I never lose the thirsty to explore this amazing planet.
- Finally, after 38 years, I have realised that the only opinions about me that I care about, are from those closest to me (my husband, my kids and my parents and sisters). And that’s how it should be.
What does 2020 and the next decade hold?
What 2020 and the next decade holds for us, I have no idea. At this stage, I’m just counting our blessings so far and hoping for more of the same because we are loving life, and all it’s challenges, highs and lows!
Happy New Year, and may 2020 bless you and those you hold dear.
This really is just a summary of all that we’ve done this decade. But writing about my reflections of the last 10 years has inspired me to be just as fearless, and just as adventurous in the coming decade. I’m really quite proud of me, and my family of course. Whatever the 20s might throw at us, bring it on.