Although I could pat myself on the back for the great job I did as a single mother for five years, the truth of the matter is that I had a LOT of help raising my eldest daughter. I know not everyone has it as easy as I did.
My parents provided free childcare – my daughter was dropped off at, and picked up from school without incident, each and every day. I had no shuffling and juggling to do in order to make sure she was taken care of, and I had no costs to speak of. By the time I got to my parents from my office job every weekday, my daughter was happy, had been fed a healthy supper and was being played with – it was not an uncommon scene to arrive home to see my mom playing dress-up or baking with my little one, or to see my dad playing tag or Barbies with her.
My brother, sister, aunts, uncles and cousins would “fight” over who would take my daughter to amusement parks, the zoo, the latest animated blockbuster, the museum, the science centre, the Santa Claus parade.
My daughter has been hosted on countless sleepovers, taken on numerous trips, cottages, camping, sampling fine cuisine and local fare along the way. Through play, attention and involvement, she developed a keen sense of Self and confidence.
For birthdays and other holidays, they contributed towards her love of athletics and summer camps that otherwise she would not have been able to enjoy. Through charity walks and CN Tower climbs, they instilled in her a sense of community and giving back that now sees her volunteering for her sheer love of being involved.
My daughter, through love, involvement, play and attention is a healthy, happy 16yo who believes in the power of her dreams and that she can achieve anything she sets her mind to, thanks in huge part to the village that helped raise her. And for that I am so thankful.