A Chilliwack, B.C. woman has posted on Craigslist offering free grandmother services to young mothers and their children.
Christine Kobler is already a mother of twin adopted daughters with special needs, but unfortunately she says it is unlikely her children will ever have any kids of their own.
"As I reach the age that I'm at now, my friends around me are having grandchildren, and I see how it benefits them and how it benefits the grandkids. And it's just something that I've pretty much been looking forward to my entire life," Kobler said.
Having moved to Canada from New Zealand in 1979, Kobler doesn't have any extended family around that could use the help, so she reached out through Craigslist to find a family in need.
In a post titled "I want to be a grandmother." Kobler lists a few of her grandmotherly assets including being honest, loving and funny, while enjoying crafting, hiking and baking.
Second set of helping hands
Kobler says she's fairly open minded about the type of woman with whom she'd like to start a relationship.
"I mean the perfect scenario would be a woman in her early to mid-twenties, either single or not, who is even with a new baby or in the later stages of pregnancy, or even planning a family, who does not have a mother in her life," said Kobler.
Some of the services she says she would provide as a grandmother include taking the children to their activities, camping, shopping, going for walks and of course spending time with the whole family.
Kobler's husband, Chris said he was surprised Christine went so far as to use Craigslist.
"Well it's not exactly my cup of tea. I find the days busy enough as it is, but I totally back her up." Kobler told CBC News that she has received several responses from mothers, and has met with a few of them to see how they connect.
"I think a lot of people are nervous and scared as they have every right to be," she said.
"These are their children we're talking about, so you're not just going to meet somebody on Facebook and send your toddler off with them to have lunch at McDonalds or go to the park. Both parties I think need to keep their guard up a little bit and really take the time to get to know people."
Hoping to start foster grandparent program
Both Chris and Christine Kobler are ready and willing to be grandparents and hope that his could be the start of a foster grandparent program in the Fraser Valley.
"I believe that there's a need for this out there, I think there's a lot of women who don't have mothers by choice or by chance, and I think they would benefit from having that kind of presence in their lives and in the lives of their children as they grow up."
With Mother's day this month, Christine says the best gift would be a young mother reaching out to her.
"An awesome Mother's Day gift would be somebody contacting me and saying, hey, I'm either pregnant or I have a young baby or a toddler and you're just the person we've been looking for."
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