Eve writes: Sleepless in Johannesburg

This is not a love story like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks shared in the movie (Sleepless in Seattle). But after spending 3 weeks in our new home, I am starting to believe we can have a happy ending also. So as some of you know, we moved to South Africa. Yup I know, our adventures in Africa don’t seem to stop because after moving back to Estonia from Mozambique and having 2 kids I was actually the one who thought that I won’t be going to Africa any time soon. But as we all know – life can be full of surprises. So when we were planning our future and rising M (our oldest, 1 year 10 months old) and waiting the second one to pop out, life gave us some strange new signs that we couldn’t ignore. Everything just happened at the right time, so we made the decision to give Africa another shot.

After K was born, we decided to wait 2 months and booked the tickets. The flight from Tallinn to Joburg was “interesting”. I mean, we have travelled with M before to different places, but with 2 kids and 160 kg of stuff we had to pack, it was totally different story. I am not stopping on the details of our travel, nor am I giving much thought about the first days here in our new home. Let’s just say we both agreed that these were the hardest days of our lives yet (wiping the sweat from my forehead 😀).    

First weekend was for surviving. Getting stuff we needed for our new place etc. Second weekend was for doing something small with the family, so that we could get out of the house and spend some time together. We decided to visit Gauteng’s Lion and safari park.  We have visited few other safari parks in South Africa before so this one I wouldn’t even call being on safari. BUT when you want to see some lions not just sleeping and hiding like they usually are in the zoo, this is THE SPOT for doing that! Add a few zebras and giraffes passing by the car and you can call the trip a great success😄. Last weekend was the first one for my family to really start exploring the city of Johannesburg all together. We chose Rosebank Sunday market for that (I will write about it in my next post).

Me and my husband have been to Johannesburg many times while we were living in Mozambique, but not with two small children. Every trip outside of the house together is like a small adventure – who forgets what, who poops where and when, who has a tantrum every 5 minutes and the list goes on and on. Even with so much hassle and sweating it is still a joy to gather experiences and memories together. Also you get wiser and you don’t worry as much as you did the first time. You feel more confident and you actually start to enjoy yourself again.

But getting back to the not sleeping part. Well, the thing is, if your child doesn’t sleep well during the night that means you don’t sleep well and this is why you don’t have the energy to do stuff, plus you have a grumpy kid during daytime. And then you just don’t feel like doing anything special or going anywhere with the family. If this goes on and on and on for a while..well you can see where I am going with this. This is the recipe for disaster. Anyway, we had some pretty bad nights that meant pretty bad days also and we chose to at least do stuff during weekend. And you know what – it totally helped. We still have so-so nights, but what I wanted to say here is that we CHOSE not to let it turn us into sleep deprive zombies. I pretty much worked out a day schedule to do different and fun things together with M and yes, the baby usually messes up some of our plans, but it doesn’t matter. Time goes by so quickly. When M was a newborn I was so overwhelmed by everything that I totally lost myself in this new chaotic life. This time I started to lose myself again but reminded just in time to take control and take action. Thinking positively about everything, not stressing about sleep or the messed up schedule and putting a lot of fun and play into all of the activities is my way of staying sane and taking control. Most important, I started thinking about myself again and started to mix my interests into our daily schedule (workouts with the kid, painting, writing not cleaning and cooking like a crazy person while kids are taking daytime naps etc). Every day is such a valuable learning opportunity for all of us, so don’t get yourself caught up in small errors.

You know what, I think this actually is a love story – love yourself and each day as fully and fearlessly as possible😉

One way only – the positive thinking way 😉

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