When this mom first came to Canada, she’d never heard of a play date. Happily this strange new ritual would be the beginning of many wonderful new friendships for the whole family.
We are a family of three: Selin, Mom and Dad. Originally from Istanbul, we have been in Canada since 2007. Selin learned how to walk and talk here as she had just turned one when we all hopped on a plane to start a new life on a new continent.
Initially, Dad was looking for a job; Selin and I were enjoying being together 24/7, making new friends at libraries or parks. However, with no income and all the living expenses, our honeymoon with the country had to be cut short. Like a miracle, despite the long wait lists we heard about, Selin found a spot at the daycare just a week before Dad and I got our first jobs.
Since then, positions/jobs changed but our routine is pretty much the same. Whoever has the office closer to home is in charge of drop-off, pick-up, lunch and dinner for Selin and, in return, gets to drive the one and only family car rather than ride public transit! The one thing that does not change no matter what is that Mom is responsible for the social schedule of the family. With play dates, birthdays, classes for swimming, dancing, ice-skating, Selin is the busiest in the family.
I was startled when daycare friends of Selin started asking for play dates at the age of three. I didn’t know these people other than quick chitchat during morning or evening rush. Yet, I did not want Selin to suffer from having an immigrant mom keeping her daughter from blending in if this was the norm in Canada. I did not know. My way out was setting the first play date at our place, inviting other moms/dads to join me for coffee while the kids played, so next time when Selin went to their house at least I’d feel more comfortable that I know the parents. Good thing I did; it turned out I made some good friend for me too!
Our week days are long with work and extracurricular activities. Weekends are when we enjoy our family time—attending some activities that are new to us like apple picking, tobogganing, tubing, as well as the inevitable video chats with grandparents overseas.
This is #1000families post number 48. Do you have a family story of your own to contribute to the 1,000 Families Project? Or do you know a family that might want to do so? Learn more about how the series got started and how to get involved here. You can find all of the #1000families posts here.