It can be a challenge when you’re a newcomer and you have to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. It can be a drastic lifestyle shift, especially if you’ve left a thriving career or business back home and are used to working from nine to five. This time, you have a 24-hour job where taking care of the kids and minding the housework are your main duties.
Aside from this new and heavy workload, isolation is another problem for stay-at-home moms or dads. Domestic duties can keep you away from being involved in the community or enrolling in self-improvement activities. It can be doubly harder for those who know little or no English because this limits their opportunities to interact with others. You may be missing your usual community connections or family support that you used to have back home.
The good news is that there are supports specifically designed for you in Manitoba. You can make the most of this permanent or temporary assignment by joining programs that can boost your skills, assist in your integration, and make you a better parent. Most of these seminars and training programs are free. Some provide child-minding as well so that you can fully participate in the activities.
How to find programs:
If you have just arrived in the community, you can consult he nearest settlement provider organization for programs you can join (please see a list for Winnipeg programs in the Community Resources section below).
Organizations that focus on Family/Parenting Support include:
- MOSAIC (Newcomer Family Resource)
- Family Dynamics
- West Central Women’s Resource Centre
- Winnipeg Central Park Women’s Resource Centre
- South Winnipeg Family Information Centre (please note that they also offer paid programs).
Community Centres all over the province also have a host of educational and recreational activities you can participate in to stay physically and mentally healthy. These are free or for a minimal fee. If you’re in Winnipeg, you can check the activities and locations here: Leisure Guide. You can see a list of recreation centres here if you’re in rural Manitoba.
Have you tried online learning?
It can be hard for mothers who have recently given birth, or for parents of young children to attend face-to-face seminars or trainings since not all programs offer child-minding. Also, babysitters and child care centres are not always available and can be costly. But if you want to continue building your English language skills, learn about workplace culture, or Canadian culture in general, you can try learning online.
Online programs, such as those offered by English Online, allow you to learn in the comfort of your own home, at a schedule most convenient to you. Maybe you have an hour or so in the day (while your baby is asleep) or in the afternoon or weekends when your spouse is at home. This would be enough to attend a webinar or connect with an e-facilitator or mentor. Moreover, you won’t need to spend time and money to travel.
You can choose to learn with a group, by yourself, with a peer, or with an e-facilitator. The best thing about it is that you learn at your own pace, so there’s no rush. As long as you have a computer with a good internet connection, you’re pretty much set. You can check out English Online’s learning options to see what appeals to you.
Article updated May 13, 2022.
Supports for stay-at-home moms (and dads)
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