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Meet Mrs. Olawoye: A Mother's Day Interview

We sat down with Mrs. Olawoye earlier this week to discuss the importance of a healthy family and stong community.

“There’s a pressure on mothers to put their kids first, but we must understand that we have to do what’s best for our family as a whole. It doesn’t matter whether a mother stays home or goes to work, different experiences are healthy for children and every decision a mother makes contributes to the family immensely.  Mothers are better off when they have a balanced life of work, children and personal achievement because when their mental health and well-being are taken care of, the family will thrive.  Happy homes are integral to healthy communities!’

Our full interview is below!

Why are mother’s such an integral part of the community?

Mothers safeguard their communities and ensure it continues to thrive by being connectors of the community and family life. By ensuring kids are at school, that they’re fed and involved in their community, mothers build their communities and hold families together.  They keep everyone connected by associating with other mom’s to find out what’s the best place to take their kids for different activities or services, they’re always willing to help figure out how to do better by their kids.

What personal experience have you had of a mother supporting you? is an example of how mothers help each other? 

When we first moved into the neighborhood, my neighbor told me about the different schools and which she thought were the best ones and for what reasons from her own experience.  She helped me know which school was better for my children’s needs and what various services are available.  Our connecting helps ground families and connect with others experiencing similar challenges.

What services in your community are most helpful to mothers?

Drop in centres for mom are very important because they allow mothers to crate new experiences for their kids in environments where they can socialize with other kids and learn something new.  As well, community centre programs like the literacy program at George Anderson is very helpful because we as parents get time to mingle with other parents and share information and resources.

What are the biggest challenges for mothers in your community?

Some of the drop-in centres aren’t open on the weekends which is extremely important for working mother’s who can’t take advantage of the weekday drop in programs.  Free community events not just in the week will allow all mothers whether stay at home or working to associate and build a stronger network as well as a larger friend base for their children.

Also, choices for daycare are quite limited especially for infants.  As a result, many of us have to look for home care, because either the care is inadequate, not close enough or too expensive.

How can the community better supported, protect and encourage mothers? 

  1. More accessibility to childcare by providing daycare options that are budget friendly and free community drop in activities for various parent schedules
  2. Offering support groups for moms like mother and me recreational activities, where moms can connect and have some ‘me’ time to be a better balanced and healthy parent. For example there are Mother and me walks in High park that Parks & Rec could perhaps start offering all around the city so mothers can band together and support each other in a recreational environment