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All The Things We Did Not Know

All The Things We Did Not Know

Looking back now at this picture of us on your first day of the school year ten months ago, a lump rises in my throat: I look at our nervous, expectant smiles and I want to cry. I want to cry for those two people who had no idea that the hardest year of our lives lay ahead of us. I want to cry for our unwavering, as yet untested belief that things would always go our way. I want to cry for all the tears we had yet to shed. Most of all, I want to cry for all...

What I know for sure about expat life

What I know for sure about expat life

I never thought we would be the people who ended up leaving our home town and moving all over the world. As impulsive 20-somethings we left on a whim because I had a dream to live and work in the most exciting city in the world. I thought we’d be in London for a few years and then go “home” to Cape Town and live our adulthood as we had our very happy childhoods, on the slopes of Table Mountain amongst family and friends. But then one opportunity followed another and we kept saying “yes” to them… Thirteen years later...

Her Heartbreak is My Heartbreak

Her Heartbreak is My Heartbreak

It was 10am on a Tuesday in the depths of November, and as the rain poured down for what felt like the 27th day in a row (but was probably only the fifth), I found myself in my GP’s office, in floods of tears.

I’d gone in for a follow-up on a chest infection, but as I sat across her desk and she asked kindly, “So, how are you?”, the floodgates I didn’t even know had been carefully shored up burst open and all the overwhelm of the previous months erupted – unstoppable. I cried and cried.

Of course – as unexpected...

Six.

Six.

Six.

It’s such a little word. My first baby turned six.

On her fifth birthday I remember looking at my hand, five fingers spread out in front of my eyes, and thinking, “A whole handful of years have gone by since she got here. I only have one more hand before her childhood is almost over.” I had a helpless feeling of time slipping through those five fingers, my powerlessness to stop it almost overwhelming. 

A year later, I know something I didn’t know then.

I see mums on social media posting pictures of their sleeping babies with captions like “Please don’t ever grow...

A Change of Scenery

A Change of Scenery

Life lately has been all change. New country, new home, new schools for our girls, a whole new life to get used to, and goodbye to the sweet life we lived in paradise.   And my writing has been quiet for a while because of all the noise that’s been going on in my head. And my life. And my soul. All the push and pull of emotions that come with upheaval and newness. All the intensity of feelings when we’re living not just our own challenges, but every single moment of our children’s as well.   And it’s been hard! On...
Mama, This is Your Superpower

Mama, This is Your Superpower

Hey Mama,

Not too long ago I had an epiphany – and it has changed the way I do motherhood.

This is no exaggeration. It has changed the way I spend time with my children, it has changed the dynamic in our household, it has changed the way I react in difficult situations, and it has given me more confidence to turn things around when they’re not going my way – which as a stay-at-home-mum, let’s be honest, is several times a day.

Like when the witching hour rolls around and the girls won’t eat their dinner and they’re fighting and one is...

Keeping the Faith

Keeping the Faith

It’s about now that I start to feel my resolve wavering.

Weeks away from another international move, we’ve reached the stage that I now think of as the special kind of purgatory that lies between decision and action. The days that stretch ahead where boxes are not yet packed and normal service is expected to continue – snacks to be prepared, playdates made, yoghurt wiped from the walls, toys pulled out and packed away again, dinner served, stories read, little foreheads kissed goodnight – all while my mind races on ahead of me. All while my head tells me that to...

Preparing for Goodbye

Preparing for Goodbye

We didn’t come here for ever.

We didn’t mean to stay much longer than a year. We never intended to make the Bahamas our home; we didn’t mean to fall in love with it, and we could never have predicted that from the first moment we got that white white coral sand in our shoes it would feel like it had always been there.

But that was what happened.

Two years ago next month we arrived on this island with our belongings in 10 boxes and – as with so many leaps of faith in life – found that the risk had been...

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About Catherine

Wife, mum, tea drinker, shoe lover, South African Brit living in the Bahamas with my husband and two small girls. I write about the gloriously ordinary everyday of motherhood - and occasionally about sunshine, shoes and perfect cups of tea.

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