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Why I’m Grateful to be a Mom in Alberta

By: Rachel Jones

It’s undeniable — Alberta is one of the best places in the world to be a mom.

Today, my little family of three made a short drive north on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway, a route we take very frequently to visit family.

Farm kid

We were returning home to Edmonton from a farming town just south of Red Deer. My toddler and I had spent two weeks enjoying the quiet life with my parents, strolling around and trying to keep ourselves busy. We’re used to a urban life with loud streets and lots of people. Yet, it didn’t take long before I started to enjoy the slower rhythm. I grew up in Southern Alberta and had so many memories of small-town adventures. Memories of my childhood came rushing back. I sat down and started to list them all.

Now that I’m a mom, I can truly appreciate Alberta.

Our entire province is unique — it’s spacious, magical and wild. People are drawn here.

Alberta is perfect for families that want to explore with their children. It has every geographic region imaginable: badlands, grass prairies, thick boreal forests, aspen parkland, ranging foothills, majestic rocky mountains and massive lakes. It’s settlement history is impressive. It’s got interactive museums and attractions that give a glimpse of the past. Those who live in bigger cities can wander out to experience so many things.

Growing up in Southern Alberta, I visited Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, met owls and eagles at the Birds of Prey Foundation, and watched Fort McLeod’s Mounties ride in unison while I chewed on a purple crystal candy stick. I loved when my Brownie Troop had sleepovers at Drumheller’s Royal Tyrell Museum. The dinosaur bones on display there were proudly recovered from the local area. I explored the Fairmont Banff Springs. I craved the mini-doughnuts from the Calgary Stampede and couldn’t wait to go through the haunted house every summer at Callaway Park, while still licking the cotton candy off my fingers.

Royal Tyrrell Museum

I loved camping and being on the farm as a kid. We stayed at Buck Lake, Two-Jack Lake, Waterton, Kananaskis, Waiparous, Lundbreck Falls and Westward Ho. I would wade into freezing cold rivers and roast anything I could over a fire. We’d always stop in Cochrane for McKay’s ice cream. I loved hiking, making bannock and exploring trails on horseback. Visiting my relatives, I built tree forts, rode horses, sat in tractors and trucks, bottle-fed dairy calves, built tree forts and ran free. I even got to snowmobile on massive fields covered in a thick, fresh blanket of snow.

Fast-forward 20 + years, and here I am in quiet central Alberta with my own little boy, thinking about all of these amazing childhood experiences I enjoyed in this province.

And as he grows up, I get to do it all over again.

You’ll usually find me blogging about how great motherhood is in Edmonton — but really, I’m grateful to be a mom in Alberta.

Rachel is a mama to one adorable little boy and lives in Downtown Edmonton with her family. You can find her sharing all sorts of amazing parenting supports and stories on her blog, Edmomton