The world of social media gives you a glimpse into the lives of many other moms around the world, seeing a slice of how they do this thing called parenthood.
When I started my journey as a blogger, it was important to me to represent myself as a mother based in South Africa. I love my country and proud to be African and bring my child up in this country and great cotenant.
What it’s like to be a Mom in South Africa
Majority of moms in SA HAVE to work – due to our social economics, there are also a lot of households where moms are the sole parent and bread winner. These mamas have to leave their children with caregivers and at day-care. Our country is a one of stark contrasts, from the very poor to the elite. Struggling moms leave their children in daycare scenarios that are less than perfect or send them away during the week to stay with family. Mamas who earn more have live in ‘nannys’ to look after their little ones and so many caring options in between.
Health care – is great for some, majority not, many children and moms do not have access to the best health care. HIV/AIDS is prevalent and this becomes part of early education for children and also results in many single parent homes, or children being brought up be a relative or by welfare.
Crime is an ever looming factor when bringing up your children. From not leaving older children at home alone. Where to place your car chair in case you are high-jacked is a real conversation you have.
Limited products – we don’t have shelves and shelves of different baby brand products – therefore the prices of nappies/diapers is horrendous. Less competition means higher prices.
Domestic Helpers –Middle income and upwards have the privilege of having the help of domestic workers/maids, who without them, many South African homes would fall into disrepair. It is not uncommon for these angel ladies to work 5/6 days a week, and stay on the property. This makes life a whole lot easier for moms.
I am sure I have left out a lot of things about being an SA mom – please comment below and I will add them in.
Why South Africa is a cool place to bring up your children
Outdoor space – we have a lot of it. Even children who grow up within our cities have the privilege of many parks, trees to climb and beaches to run on.
Diversity – our children are privileged to grow up in a country with so many cultures. They see so many variations of human kind, that they are educated to love and respect each other. Over the festive season I got to chat to a SA born child now living in the USA. She is in high school, her peers could not believe she was from South Africa, she was white? She could also count on her hands how many kids in her school were African-American or Hispanic. They had no exposure to many cultures and therefore were ignorant.
Creativity – the arts and culture is alive in our country that means there are so many local businesses for us to support and opportunities for our children to explore their creative sides.
Bucket list status – South Africa and coming on a safari to “Africa” is on many a travellers wish list. We get to live here….
What did you have to say:
I know how I feel about being a mom in South Africa, and I wanted to hear from our awesome InstaCommunity of mamas.
This is what I asked: What does it mean to you to be a mom here in SA the good and the bad? What makes us unique and different to the rest of the world.
@This.is.Bentleys.World “My roots are grounded and they deep in SA soil. When it comes to me I can honestly say I’m proudly South African. We have the best of so many things and I want Bentley to grow up where I grew up doing those things I did as a child. Family and Friends is another reason we have stayed. Life is what you make of it and it can only get better from here”
@mvexx “As a young woman, there’s a life dependant on me and I need to be responsible in planning the best future for my daughter. I must be there for my daughter and protect her from this scary world. I need to enable her to think independently. It means I need to prepare her for anything and everything that may happen in the world and teach her to be her own person who can speak her mind without hurting the next person and the spirit of Ubuntu.”
@ollypollydecor “Raising a kid in South Africa to me means sunshine, playing outside with friends and lazy days on the beach. What better way to raise your kid.”
@keep_up_with_kieran “There is a lot of good. I love our country and the uniqueness that comes with it, but better yet I love being a mom. I think the one thing that affects me almost on a daily basis that is a part of our country’s history, would be its divided past. I was born post-apartheid (1995) I know nothing (other than what was taught to us in school, but nothing first hand) about colour lines. I am white, my son’s father is coloured. My son is now coloured too…quite dark actually considering that he is mixed-race. To me I see no difference when I look at him and then myself in the mirror (obviously I see a colour difference but you know what I mean). He is my son. I am his mom. But when we go out, I am constantly confronted by anger/hatred for the decision I’ve made. Mainly by the older generations of my race and I often wonder what my son will face when he goes to school or out in the world without me. The judgement and resentment is sadly very much still around. I guess 1994 wasn’t that long ago after all and some people haven’t learnt to forgive. One day I will have to explain this to my son. I on the other hand have nothing but love for all races and our wonderful diverse heritage!
@tinytaleofannaleah “I grew up here in South Africa but I moved around a lot. The best times of my childhood was spent in Durbanville in Cape Town. Just before falling pregnant I moved back to Durbanville after having been away for 13 years, I was so happy to be back! While pregnant I drove around in the streets I had as a child with my little girl growing inside me which was an amazing and surreal experience. I remember how sad I was leaving this area as a child and to be able to raise my Annaleah in the place that gave me so much joy is a gift to me. She can see the mountains I stared at outside the windows, dip her feet into the first ocean I ever touched and possibly go to the same school I went to. South Africa, for me means memories and I want my daughter to have my best memories recreated for her and more! The bad is the obvious, the crime and the government and I ponder over the future my child will one day have. I keep reminding myself that every country has their flaws and we can only hope for the best. I think South Africa is worth it though, despite all of our troubles.”