Expatriates: those who left their homeland
Maternal: art of exercising maternal function
Maternal: affectionate and affectionate
In the play on words, infinite feelings also play: insecurities, achievements, pride, challenges, fears, escalations, plenitudes, certainties, dreams, determinations. Above all, love for children and trust in the chosen land.
Living far from where you were born and raised is difficult, even for those who longed for and built a Canadian life plan in the long run. But whoever wants to come and who already lives this reality finds comfort, support and identification in the words and welcome of an online maternal network. If you have a simple question (How to dress my child in the Canadian winter? How does the public library work?) Or need shelter (What to do with this pain for raising them away from the family? How to keep our culture and language alive?) there is a network prepared to support you.
Between blogs and digital media, we talked to three expatriate and active mothers in the information, integration and reception of other Brazilian and Portuguese mothers to Canada.
Livi Souza, 41, is the author of the blog Baianos No Polo Norte. She has been in Toronto for twenty years and is the mother of two girls, one 11 and the other 9. Educational consultant and graphic designer, she found on the blog a way to share with her family in Brazil a little bit of routine after the birth of her first daughter. Since then, it has become a reference in information on the most diverse subjects related to the city and the country. In addition to personal experiences, the blog details the public health and education systems, addresses the local reality in relevant topics, gives tips on festivals, various cultural attractions and fascinating historical details.
Danielle Vidal, 35, is an expatriate family mentor and founder of Conscious Migration. Creator of the blog Vidal Norte, Dani talks about her experience living in New Market after a season in Toronto, where she faced a pregnancy during college and shortly after her arrival in the country. Mother of two girls, one 3 years old and another 10 months old, she presents a little bit of the Canadian routine and the region where she lives and brings approaches on topics relevant to those who live in close situations.
Mafalda Oliveira is a Doula, and a Yoga and Thai massage instructor, mother of a 2 year old girl and an 11 month old boy. She arrived in Canada to study and ended up seeing more favorable economic opportunities than in her native Portugal. With other Portuguese and Brazilian women, she is ahead as a founding partner of Mama Doula, a company that offers information, services and workshops on doulage, childbirth, newborn care. The team also translates medical consultations and other needs for families not fluent in English as translators.
In common: the difficulties of a minimal support network; not having space for solitude, difficulty maintaining social and couple life, invisible overwork.
Mainly, maternal entrepreneurship arises from the need to remain healthy and economically active. An escape to the infinite tiredness of motherhood in something that, for (yet) more work than it brings, is also self-love and inspiration.
A routine with a high price, but one that pays for anyone who sees the importance and difference of raising a child in a country like Canada.
Here, they will have contact with different cultures at a high level of tolerance and respect. They will be educated in public schools and will attend the same hospitals regardless of their parents’ profession. They will have safe transportation to and fro, with freedom to walk on the street without fear of assaults and violence. Social equality is shown not only in political projects, but in the routine of those who live here.
Priscilla Ruzzante is a journalist, mother, and lives in Toronto.