Text: The participant chose to remain anonoymous both in text and photos
Photos: Anouk G Photos
My husband and I decided to have children two years after we got married. The journey wasn't perfectly smooth but it passed. We were both super happy about it. The pregnancy took a toll on my health and the birth was somehow stressful.
I had only been a mother for hours when we realized something was wrong
When my daughter was born, this is when the stress really began. She was born with a congenital anomaly in the heart and had to be operated on very early. I'd say this was my first and biggest challenge in my parenting years. I had only been a mother for hours when we realized something was wrong with her and I remember thinking:
Luckily, she was diagnosed only a couple of days after she was born and then we went into the dilemma of being moved from the maternity to the children's hospital, and lots and lots of tests, so many tears, and a lot of worrying... but we made it! She underwent a procedure when she was 12 days old, and ever since has been on regular follow-ups, is asymptomatic, and is leading a happy life as a normal child.
I've never really thought of my parenting values... but let's see...
Health and well-being is definitely #1 - I did not grow up as a very active child (as opposed to my husband who has always worked on his fitness), so it was natural for both of us (from different perspectives) to teach our daughter to be very active and promote her well-being through outdoor play and exercise. It's also an opportunity for us to explore the world and make memories as a family doing activities like hiking and skiing.
I feel that this parenting style works out for all three of us
I'd say I'm closest in my parenting philosophy to authoritative parenting. I'm a control freak by nature (lol!), very disciplined, and super organized. In a nutshell, I'm the boss! But, I also like to reason with my child and nourish and nurture her character. My husband is the same, he's also a I-don't-take-no-shit kind of person, so we're both on the same wavelength here. The good thing is that our daughter is a very structured person - just like us - so I feel that this parenting style works out for all three of us.
Makes it easy for our daughter to understand the fact that she is part of two cultures
As an immigrant family, we find ourselves very lucky to be among a diverse and multicultural community in Montreal. The fact that diversity is embraced by most people in Montreal makes it easy for our daughter to understand the fact that she is part of two cultures, and to be proud of her heritage. When she went to daycare, we were encouraged (as parents) to go and celebrate our traditional occasions with the class and tell them more about our culture. My daughter has always been proud (and a little bragging!) about the fact that she is trilingual.
Do you feel confident, comfortable in your role as a parent?
What do you need most as a parent?
What are the biggest challenges of your parenthood?
Patience, time, interest to participate in children activities
What are your strengths as a parent?
Commitment and responsibility
If there was only one thing you could share with other parents, what would that be?
If there is one advice I would give to new (and generally other parents) is to do what's best for you and not compare yourself with others. Do what you think is best and what you think works best for your family. It's especially easy to compare and stress out at a time when people's whole lives are shared on social media. Please don't do that. And remember, no one posts their bad mornings, their sink full, or the milk that's spilt on the floor. Be easy on yourself.
Toutes les familles sont célébrées, oui, même vous.
Peu importe votre réalité, la composition de votre famille, tout élément physique et d'appartenance, votre parcours ou votre vécu de la parentalité, vous êtes les bienvenus.
©Anouk G Photos - Photographe documentaire à Montréal - 2021
Mes services sont offerts à Montréal dans un rayon de 15 km du centre-ville (parce que la plupart du temps je suis en vélo); contactez-moi pour les détails en dehors de ce périmètre.
All famillies are celebrated, even yours.
No matter your reality, the composition of your family, any physical element and any community you associate with, your background or your experience of parenthood, you are welcome.
©Anouk G Photos - Montreal Documentary Family Photographer - 2021
My services are offered in Montreal, within a 15 km radius from downtown (cause I am mostly on my bick); please contact me for details if you are outside of that perimeter.