Apr 28

‘My children thank me every day for bringing them back’

Mandy de Lange, her husband and four children returned home after two years in the United Kingdom. She tells us about the highs and lows associated with moving back.

“The grass is always greener” is a quote I had often heard of however never really understood until now. My family and I gave our lives to the UK for two years, and somehow our souls felt like we just did not belong.

The first year was what I like to call the “honeymoon stage”. We were in awe of our new surroundings, we explored, we were delighted and intrigued by how well things worked, we found everything just so delightful, until the honeymoon was over and the wanting for what we have only known our entire lives started becoming daily thoughts, as yet you miss another family member’s birthday or a best friend’s wedding.


The winter months were long and harsh especially if you have 4 very energetic children and a mother that does not believe in technology to stimulate little brains all day long. I became quite a professional at keeping kids entertained even if it did require multiple layers of clothing to remain outdoors.


We are fortunate enough to be able to live almost anywhere as my husband is in the oil and gas industry, which is a huge blessing.


One day when my daughter was ill and was insisting on going outside on one of the coldest days we had, we decided to return home. My husband watched me layer her up to a point she could barely move and we looked at each other as she played outside and said this is just not a life we want any more for our children. We agreed they should be running in costumes on a beach and just being happy healthy children.


Without a doubt or a second thought we moved back to South Africa within a month, and we have honestly never once had a moment where we thought we had made a mistake. My children run around barefoot playing with their cousins and are around family, they thank me every day for bringing them back.

Nothing has changed since we left, the crime and awareness of being alert is just the same as two years ago. Since returning I have not felt scared or overwhelmed by anything, I feel the news is largely to a blame as we see the very worst of things.  I can understand those who still ask me why on earth we came back.  My answer to them is the grass is not always greener on the other side. My soul finally belongs again and my family is happy and that is what living is about!