Canadian parents, it’s time to pat yourselves on the back. 2019 was a wild year for parenting stories and you parented the heck out of it. There was so much to look back on including the Canadian celebrities and everyday heroes alike who shaped conversations, made us rethink our mindsets, and affirmed their kids like no other.
Here are 10 parenting moments from 2019 that deserve all of our respect.
When Shay Mitchell shut down her haters
The biggest takeaway from 2019? Don’t mess with Shay Mitchell. The “Baby Mama Dance” queen took no shit while pregnant and she certainly won’t be taking any now that her daughter Atlas is out in the world. The actress/model from Mississauga, Ont. fired back at online hate over how she breastfed in an editorial photo in December, writing that she “missed the part in the baby books” where eye contact was necessary. Yeah, you can practically hear the sarcasm.
Alanis Morissette’s post-partum depression struggles
Almost one in four Canadian moms have post-partum depression (PPD), Ottawa singer Alanis Morissette included. The mother of three, who’s had PPD twice before, described it as “a sneaky monkey with a machete” in an October blog post. Once hidden from loved ones, the “Jagged Little Pill” singer says she now seeks the treatment and care she needs.
The Ottawa mom who embraced her trans family
When Amanda Jetté Knox’s daughter, Alexis, came out as trans, the Ottawa mom followed her mantra: “lead with love.” That accepting approach allowed Alexis to thrive and led Knox’s wife to come out as trans too, and Knox herself to embrace being queer for the first time. Knox shared how their journey proves acceptance can make transitioning a joyful experience for families in her memoir “Love Lives Here: A Story Of Thriving In A Transgender Family.”
Toronto Raptors Kyle Lowry was a cool dad
“Understand that I have two young children and being able to hold myself to a certain standard, which I do, I hold myself to a high, high standard,” he told reporters. “And I have to make sure that I uphold that.”
Watch: Best NBA post-conference kids moments. Story continues below.
Ryan Reynolds supports immigrant children
Celebrity parents served cuteness year-round, but this moment reminded us of the responsibility we owe the next generation. Vancouver-born actor Ryan Reynolds and wife Blake Lively joined forces with a Chicago non-profit to match donations in support of immigrant children separated from their families.
Michael Bublé gave us a back-to-school anthem
Parents had all the feels watching Michael Bublé’s video for “Forever Now” in August, as they prepared to send their kids off to school. The Canadian crooner perfectly captures the bittersweet heartache when children head off to kindergarten or teens pack off for college.
Dad Village got real about fatherhood
We’re leaving outdated dad stereotypes behind, right? As HuffPost Canada’s ongoing series “Dad Village” proves, Canadian dads in 2019 are busting cliches about being emotionally unavailable, and are striving to give their best possible selves to their kids. From stay-at-home dads and dads who raise daughters to dads who love each other, “Dad Village” highlighted all things fatherhood and will keep celebrating dads in 2020.
Brampton politician had the cutest son moments
Gurpreet Singh Dhillon brought us moments that warmed our hearts twice this year. The first time was in April, when the Ontario city councillor captured his five-year-old’s adorable cuddle with his basketball teammates.
The second time, Dhillon gave his Instagram followers an intimate look at his son’s hair routine and how it’s prepared in the Sikh tradition. In the post, Dhillon expressed gratitude for how his son’s appearance is received — a far cry from what Dhillon experienced when he was younger.
“For me growing up I would have to prep for the daily battles of racism that awaited,” Dhillon wrote. “So thankfully I live in Brampton where my kids can be themselves.”
No Fly List Kids got a big win for young travellers
The parents behind No Fly List Kids will finally be able to travel without fear. The children had been falsely flagged as security threats because their names were shared with people who were actually on a no-fly list. As part of a security bill’s provisions, the federal government will soon change how the no-fly list works. Group founder Sulemaan Ahmed sees this as a victory for the mothers and fathers who tirelessly campaigned to raise awareness about the harrowing experiences their kids faced at airports.
Moms can go by ‘they’
Who gets to be a mother? Toronto mom Kyisha Williams, who goes by she and they pronouns, thought raising children wasn’t something queer people could do. Williams shared with HuffPost Canada how they unlearned that mindset and have started raising their child in an identity-affirming way.
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