What makes a mom?
Bayshore | | Caregiver Support
Being a parent is difficult and can often feel like thankless work. At Bayshore, we salute all moms (and dads!) and celebrate families of all shapes and sizes. Here are a few parenting stories from our own Bayshore family.
“My husband and I will be celebrating our 10-year anniversary this year. We met in B.C. through mutual friends and moved to Ontario five years ago. Our daughter is 16 months old. She is a clever, sweet and delightful addition to our family.
I was surprised at how completely my world changed when our daughter was born. Nothing could have prepared me for the huge shift in my world and identity. Motherhood has been the most intense experience of my life.
The hardest thing about being a new mom is the sleep deprivation! The 24/7 nature of motherhood can be challenging. Finding ways to maintain balance in our lives is also tricky. My advice to new parents is to go easy on yourselves. There are so many opinions and a lot of pressure out there about how moms ‘should’ be doing things. I think it’s important to tune out the noise and focus on what’s right for you and your family.”
Stepmom / Blended Family
“My boyfriend and I have been together for about five years. He has two daughters, and I have a son. Our families live separately, but we see each other often and take vacations together.
What’s interesting, as a stepmom, is seeing how people raise their children differently – and to realize you can’t interject if you disagree. At first that was tough, but we’ve figured out how to make it work. It also took time for the girls to come to terms with having someone new in their lives, and to realize that they should be happy for their dad.
I don’t tell the girls what to do. I’ve made it clear I’m not replacing their mother. I’m more of a friend, someone they can have a casual conversation with. You have to be patient. A blended family doesn’t happen overnight, like a Hollywood movie where everybody moves in together! That’s not real life.”
Adoptive and New Mom
“My husband and I struggled with infertility for about 11 years before we finally decided to pursue adoption.
Getting ready to adopt was overwhelming. There are a lot of steps, including training courses and home studies. It was very intense. And then you get a call saying that there’s a child waiting for you, and it’s completely nerve-wracking, waiting to see if the birth mother has chosen you.
Our first adoption, a newborn boy, failed. The birth mom changed her mind after 10 weeks. We were heartbroken, but about six weeks later, we got the call about the twins. It was the best gift in the world – and the day Jasmine and Marcus came home, we found out I was pregnant with our daughter Emily!
Adoption is amazing. It’s worth every minute of uncertainty. People ask if I have a different bond with Emily, but adopted or biological, it doesn’t matter – there is nothing I wouldn’t do for any of my children.”
“I lost my husband to cancer when my daughter was six months old. She’s now 11. It’s been just her and me from almost the beginning. We’re extremely close, pretty much joined at the hip. We’re in it together. At one of my previous jobs, my co-workers used to liken us to the Gilmore Girls!
It’s tough being a single parent because you have to do everything – drop-offs, pickups, extracurricular activities, housekeeping. Everything falls to me. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also very, very fulfilling.
As moms, single or otherwise, we give our heart and soul to the kids we raise. The struggle is finding time to be good to yourself as well. I think it’s really important for all moms to do something special for ourselves. In my case, I love to dance. It’s tricky to find time, but it’s necessary. I do a bit of everything – ballroom, salsa, belly dancing, Indian – whatever fits in my schedule!”
“I was born in Zambia, and I moved to India as a teenager. After I got married, I moved to England. That’s where I had my son and daughter. In the late 2000s, when they were teens, our family moved to Canada. We felt it was less restrictive – I didn’t worry about my kids playing outside or staying out late, and I felt they could develop more of a personality and be themselves here. Also, what we love about living here in Canada is that you can continue to follow your own traditions and culture, as it is such a diverse country. My son is now 21, and my daughter is 18.
The first year in Canada was very difficult because we didn’t know many people. Coming to a new country, we had to make new friends. It was harder for me and my husband than for the children. They settled in well at school, but it took some time for us, especially with the weather. In England, we had snowstorms, but not to these extremes!
But we found that people here are very friendly and helpful, and there are a lot of organizations that help newcomers. They actually helped us settle in. So never hesitate to ask for help if you need it, because there’s always somebody to help you.”
“I have two sons. One has been married for 13 years and has two daughters, ages 12 and 8. My other son is a year younger than his brother, and he’s been married three years and has a one-year-old son.
Being a mother-in-law is actually kind of cool. I’m still pretty close with my boys, and I’m fairly close to my daughters-in-law. They’re really nice, strong, smart women. Both my sons lucked out! They made good choices, and their wives care for them a lot.
My advice, in terms of having good relationships with your children and grandchildren, is to be open and non-judgmental. I don’t think that parents really have the right to judge how our children live their lives. Just be open and honest and enjoy the relationship you have with all of them.”
As these personal stories illustrate, there are many different kinds of moms and dads, and each one has a special story to tell. We’re thankful to these moms for sharing their families’ experiences as part of our Call Your Mom series. Don’t forget to call your own mom!
Help your own mom live independently for as long as possible with services from Bayshore Home Health. We offer transportation, light housekeeping, meal preparation and other services, available as needed. Contact us at 1-877-289-3997 for details.