It can be a challenge when you’re a newcomer and you have to be a stay-at-home mom or dad. This can be a drastic shift in your lifestyle, 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.
Isolation can be a problem for stay-at-home moms or dads too. Your domestic duties can keep you away from being involved in the community or from activities for self-improvement. It can be doubly harder for those who know little or no English because they would have no chance to interact with others and thus improve their language skills. Many may be left pining for their usual community connections or family support which they used to have back home.
The good news is that there are supports specifically designed for you in Manitoba. You can actually make the most of this temporary assignment by taking advantage of programs that can boost your skills, assist in your integration, and make you a better parent. You can avail of seminars and training programs on parenting, building language proficiency, or learning new skills that can prepare you for your eventual return to your career (if you so choose). You will also be glad to know that some of these organizations provide child-minding as well so that you can fully participate in the activities.
If you have just arrived in the community, you should find out about the neighborhood immigrant settlement program nearest you. Your Neighborhood Immigrant Settlement Worker (NISW) can advise and connect you to many programs that you can avail around the city. Check out the list of NISWs in this article: Immigrant Serving Organizations. On this list, immigrant serving organizations are arranged by the kind of services they offer. Organizations like MOSAIC (Newcomer Family Resource), Family Dynamics, West Central Women’s Resource Centre, Winnipeg Central Park Women’s Resource Centre, and others are in the Women and Family Support category.
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 or worry about what clothes to wear!
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. Also read the story of our learner, Iryna Bakunets , a stay-at-home mom (for the meantime), and see how online learning can open doors for your continued learning.
Supports for stay-at-home moms (and dads)
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