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Velvet Ashes link up: Daily Life

Yesterday I had a meeting at Elliot’s school. He’s fine, there are just some extra strategies to implement at home.

And I came home and could not cope with my life. Dinner was avocado on toast. Arthur got the boys through the bath. We aborted family prayers halfway through. I sat and watched Netflix while Arthur sang the boys to sleep.

And it dawned on me that what were some manageable strategies from the specialist, and what seemed creative and fun to Arthur did not feel that way to me, because there were too many other things pressing in on me. I wrote a list of why I feel stressed out, and it seems not a bad tie in with Velvet Ashes’ Daily Life link up.

  1. Water in our house
    • The upstairs toilet runs
    • The downstairs toilet leaks
    • Our water pump doesn’t turn on when it’s supposed to, and turns on when it’s not supposed to. It’s already been ‘fixed’ 4 times.
    • I have to fill the washing machine manually ferrying buckets in from the bathroom.
    • Our water bill was 3x what it should have been this month, possibly because there’s some kind of issue with the pipes, which is why the pump is acting up. The plumbers are at a loss about this.
  2. Our kitchen draws don’t roll any more. They are permanently open, balanced on top of one another. They need to be fixed.
  3. There is no money to fix anything this month because we had to pay USD500 for Arthur’s work permit – that’s a lot of Tanzanian shillings!
  4. Arthur’s work permit is still un-submitted, because we lost an important document. Once we’ve sorted out the document issue, he has to go to Dodoma to submit it. That’s a 3 day round-trip if everything goes well. (Excuse my cynicism, but the likelihood of it going well is very low.)
  5. He’s just been away for a month.
  6. It feels like there is no time in the afternoons to do the strategies the specialist talked about. In reality there is time, but it means getting the boys to leave the school playground, which they resist every day.
  7. Then they fight in the car on the way home from school. It’s 5mins, but it’s a long 5mins.
  8. They are always squabbling!
  9. When they are not squabbling, they are constantly talking to me, or climbing on me.
  10. I want to talk to Red Twin about how the kids drive me up the wall, and hear her tell me that I’m actually a good mum even though one of them won’t greet anyone and the other one invades other people’s personal space. Someone else can say it, but I’d believe it if she said it.
  11. I have to negotiate with the staff, especially about money. I hate it. I feel mean even though we pay generously. Then I feel guilty for paying our nanny half of what Arthur’s colleagues get paid per month when she only works 2 mornings per week and is late every time.
  12. How do four people make so much mess??
  13. Settling into a new community is hard. I’m not even sure I want to be a part of this community. But even if I decide I do, it takes a long time to feel like you actually belong.
  14. We have a permanent house guest. He is lovely and no hassle and we are glad to have him. But I have to make sure I don’t come downstairs in my nightie. Which is no big deal. It’s a tiny deal actually. But it’s still on the list.

That’s the daily life stuff. Very ordinary, very mundane. Probably pretty similar to what a lot of mums experience in Australia. Except I’m in Dar es Salaam.

If you head over to Velvet Ashes, you can see my answers to the daily life questions there, which are a bit more upbeat!

Categories: Tanzania Woman Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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