Having lived in Prince George for nearly twenty years – almost two thirds of my life – I have held many roles here: high school student, college student, university student, part-time retail worker, weekend partier, outdoor explorer, volunteer, corporate professional, community advocate… the list could go on. But recently, I’ve taken on a new, very important role: new mom.
During the last couple of decades, as I’ve moved into adulthood, I’ve found my niche in Prince George. The city has provided me with amazing opportunities to grow to where I am today – opportunities I feel like I couldn’t have seen anywhere else, and I love what Prince George has to offer. I now have a great career, I started my own side business, I know where to get excellent Friday post-work cocktails, I love a good weekend hike or kayak trip, and I’ve been known to while away many hours on a patio or two enjoying some delicious appies and beverages. And I’m always up for trying new things, with next to no notice.
However, as any parent knows, as I took that extra step into a new kind of adulthood, many of the previously mentioned activities came to a screeching halt as soon as my daughter was born (ok, they all came to a halt, and of course, some even nine months before this big event). So where does that leave me and the identity I’ve carved out for myself in our fair city?
I find myself now looking at Prince George from a new perspective, trying to figure out how everything will work for this new me. I’ve had a lot of questions over the past few months: Where’s a good place to have lunch out where I can make a quick getaway in the event of a baby meltdown? What’s a good park for a walk with a stroller? Where can I strap her in my carrier and amuse myself for an hour while she naps? What new things can I do while toting a little person with me?
What I’m slowly and surely figuring out is that while Prince George has been very good and generous to me in all of my previous roles, it turns out that the city is also a great place for the new mom and their little munchkins!
The many parks in town are perfect for an afternoon walk with a stroller or a picnic lunch (Cottonwood Island Park and Fort George Park being our favorites so far); our malls are convenient for wandering around and running errands while baby naps; people are friendly and polite to me and baby (even if she’s fussing); and I’ve found some cool classes to take with a new baby, like Stroller Fit in the park, and I hope to try a baby and mom yoga class too.
I can see there will be lots to introduce my little one to as she grows and becomes more interested in her surroundings. While watching the leaves in the trees suffice for entertainment for now, I can’t wait to eventually take her to places like Exploration Place and the Railway Museum to explore (and to ride the Little Prince!), to the awesome playground at Duchess Park, to get a treat at Ice Cream Express, and down the road to enjoy the same hikes that I’ve done in the past (like LC Gunn Park, Teapot Mountain, Ancient Forest and more!).
While I’m embracing this ‘new mom’ role with everything I have, I’m enjoying all that Prince George has to offer us. But one of the greatest things about it is I know this is a city where I don’t have to permanently leave behind the roles I had before either. I’m proud to call this home and excited to watch my little girl grow up here and learn to love it herself too, while I rediscover the city as a mom.
Want to keep the conversation going? Find me on Twitter at @jessicaleequinn!