Feet of a newborn close-up in a woolen blanket. Pregnancy, motherhood, preparation and expectation of motherhood, the concept of the birth of a child. High quality photo

Blog provided by young parent from Villa Rosa.

I am a 25 year old Indigenous mother of three boys. Their ages are 8, 6, and 9 months
old. I live in the St Vital area of Winnipeg, but grew up in Sagkeeng First Nation. I have been
living in Winnipeg since I was around 12 years old.

I had my first child when I was 18, my second at 20 and then my third at 25. My two
older kids live with me on weekends and holidays. They are in the system right now, but I’m
working on bringing them home. They are currently living on reserve with my mother.

When I was 18, I called around to find a school that I could attend with my baby and
ended up at Adolescent Parent Centre, where I worked to get my mature diploma and graduate
in 2017. I was there while I was pregnant with my second baby and they helped get my oldest
into their daycare program across the street. Their support allowed me to focus on school and
finishing my high school credits.

When I was pregnant with my youngest child, I got a spot at Villa Rosa. The support I got
while there was exactly what I needed while preparing for my third child. I was able to attend all
of their programs about parenting skills, as well programs learning about mental health, and
addictions awareness. These programs, especially the parenting ones, helped me brush up on
my skills to make sure that I felt confident in my own abilities to raise my kids. I also attended
school to upgrade my marks/skills, all while my son was right down the hall from me in a safe
child care setting. Once I moved into the second stage housing, I got to live independently,
creating a routine and cooking/cleaning for my family. I left there feeling confident in my
parenting skills which has helped me a lot when I got into my own place. I know that I can
provide a safe home for my kids to be in, because of the support and systems I had in place
while I was at Villa Rosa.

I was asked to share some of my top tips for parenting and some of the worst advice I
was given. I had a hard time writing this because each kid is different and what worked for me
might not work for you. Here are some of the pieces of advice that I was given…

You don’t need to spend lots of money on gadgets and baby things.

  • Babies mostly just need you! Having expensive gadgets doesn’t make being a mom

Don’t give up if you really want to breastfeed.

  • It is really hard at first. Latching, sore nipples, the timing and frequency, you will feel like
    a human vending machine. All of this sucks, and for some moms breastfeeding might not
    be an option. Ultimately, BREASTFED IS BEST!

Boys have boys clothes, and girls have girl clothes.

  • Colours are for EVERYONE! Clothes are good and your baby should have some that
    they feel comfortable in.

Get down on the floor, be face to face and play with your kids.

  • It is easy to be on your phone or be busy doing other things, but when you take the time
    to be face-to-face with your baby they learn from you.

Take care of yourself in order to be the best mom you can be!

Kids grow up so fast, be there for them as much as you can.

Kids listen better when you are calm.

  • But don’t beat yourself up if you yell sometimes because you are a human too!