Although these two neighboring countries have so much in common, the differences between them are quite vast. Some of the greatest differences between these two northern neighbors are in the areas of culture, weather, policies, and the cost of living. Education and healthcare costs, which are key elements in determining the cost of living, are much lower in Canada when we compare them with the US. Tuition fees are less expensive and surprisingly healthcare is free for mothers.
People would expect that everyone who can speak English would refer to their mother the same way, right? Well, it may surprise some to realize that those from Canada and the US refer to their mother differently. However, the issue here is with the US, since most of the world refers to their mother as "mum," while in the US she is referred to as "mom" with a stress on the 'o.' Most people from Canada—like the rest of the world—say 'mum' but pronounce it as ma'am or mahm.
Considering the above, it is only safe to assume that the moms in the two countries live completely different lives. They may struggle with similar situations like juggling work and motherhood but the two sets of women hail from somewhat different worlds and therefore have different experiences as seen below.
Here are 20 things that moms in Canada can do that their counterparts in the US can’t.
20 Moms In Canada Have Longer Maternity Breaks
Moms in Canada have it easy compared to those in the US. In Canada, pregnant moms are entitled to go on leave and have a benefit component. Depending on the length mom has been in a particular job, a pregnant mother can be given up to 63 weeks of maternity leave, as stated by Investopedia. The minimum a mom can take is a 17-week paid maternity leave.
In the US, there aren't many laws mandating maternity leave or benefits to pregnant women. Moms can only go for a brief 12-week leave after birth to take care of the baby and recuperate. After this, they should report back to work.
19 They Are Opposed To Using Baby Walkers
Most US moms cannot live without baby walkers. This is because they believe that they normally help their babies learn how to walk. When babies between six and 12 months are placed in walkers, they get excited and can happily entertain themselves for hours giving mom time to catch up on chores around the house.
In contrast, moms in Canada do not use walkers; the country does not allow them because of the safety risks associated with them. According to Healthy Children, walkers can make babies roll down the stairs, crash into stoves, reach high objects that can be dangerous, and also flip over.
18 The Best Poutine In The World
If you have ever been to Canada, then you know just how much the locals value their Poutine. Poutine is a tasty dish that came from Canada that, according to The Cozy Cook, consists of French fries, cheese curds, and brown gravy. Although most people associate this dish with Quebec's cuisine, you can get this tasty dish almost anywhere in Canada.
Therefore, moms in this northernmost country in the continent have the privilege of feasting on the tastiest poutine in the world and get to enjoy giving the same to their kids. Of course, the recipe is quite easy and any mom in the US can make the same for herself, but the truth is that there is a way it tastes in Canada that it doesn't taste outside the country.
17 Milk In Bags? You Betcha!
Moms in Canada buy milk in bags as opposed to cartons and plastic bottles. Canada started this back in the 1970s, and according to Mental Floss, they pack three or four medium-sized bags in one large bag. At home, mom places the milk in a pitcher container and when she wants to use it, she easily snips off one corner.
On the other hand, moms in the US have never experienced this because their milk supply comes in cartons and bottles. This is what they have been accustomed to and if their supplying companies were to start selling their milk in bags, they would greatly question their hygiene.
16 Most Male Newborns Ignore The Snip
The Canadian Pediatric Society does not recommend circumcision of newborn males at birth. They leave it to the parents to make that decision and the majority of them choose not to. The number of those who do it has also greatly reduced over the years. According to CPS, only 32% of male newborns get the snip. Many parents around the world also do not do it at birth for religious and cultural reasons.
In the US, there are no restrictions on neonatal circumcision, therefore a majority of moms leave the hospital with their boys already snipped. In the US, 90% of newborn boys are snipped at birth, it is actually a normal thing.
15 They Receive Free Health Care
Because taxpayers in Canada pay medical expenses, moms here receive free health care as stated by Romper. When giving birth, a mother can just walk in and out of the hospital without paying a cent. Unless mom wants a private room which sometimes insurance can take care of, there are no costs associated with giving birth.
Unlike women in Canada, US moms without insurance cannot afford to walk in and out of the hospital without spending a lot of money. In fact, the health care system in the US is quite expensive, not everyone can afford medical services although their hospitals are among the best in the world. Many people fly from across the world to get their services.
14 And Educate Their Kids At A Cheaper Price
For a child to get a good education, parents in the US have to dig deep into their pockets, but not so much for those moms living in Canada. The education system in Canada is excellent and also cheaper compared to the US. Moms in Canada can afford to give their kids a decent education at a pocket-friendly price ranging between $5,000 and $20,000 in tuition fees per year for an undergraduate course.
While the US's system is also top-notch, moms have to pay relatively more. Without scholarship programs, tuition fees for the same undergraduate courses start from $23,000 and above, as stated by IE Abroad.
13 They Buy Their Kids Books They Used To Read
In Canada, when moms were just little girls they had particular favorite storybooks that they loved reading or were read to by their moms as they grew up. Some moms keep those books so that they can pass them to their children while others purchase the same books because they are still available in stores.
Even if US moms wanted to do this (or do this), it's not a priority. According to The Guardian, The US banned children books published before 1985 because of the potential they have to cause brain developmental issues in children. The print on the majority of these books is ink and paints that used lead pigments and therefore posed health risks. The new laws state that children’s books with excess lead should not get into circulation.
12 And Treat Their Kids To Kinder Surprise Eggs
Moms in Canada can treat their children to Kinder Surprise Eggs treats because they are readily available in their stores. These treats are popular among children because of the surprise toys placed inside each chocolate egg. No matter how small, children treasure them and moms cannot help but buy the chocolate eggs.
In contrast, mom in the US cannot buy these delicious treats for their children because they are not sold in their stores. Kinder Eggs were banned in the US markets because they could easily cause serious safety issues owing to the small parts of the toys found inside the egg, as claimed by Canada.com.
11 They Can Afford To Accidentally Wash Their Money
Moms in both Canada and the US know the importance of checking pockets before doing laundry, however, there are times when either of them can forget to do so and toss clothes in the washer. Majority of the time, much of what remains in pockets is either money or papers. If it is money, moms in Canada do not feel the pinch as much as the US ones.
Moms in the US cannot afford to forget money in their pockets because it will tear and become worthless. Moms up north, however, have money made of a plastic-like material and is, therefore, harder to tear in the wash, as stated by Thought Co.
10 Choosing OBGYNs Instead Of Midwives
Since the health care system in Canada is super affordable, most mothers go to hospitals for prenatal care and to give birth. Some insurance companies even cover the costs of extra items that a mom requests for in order to make her stay in the hospital more comfortable.
The majority of expectant moms in the US cannot afford this kind of treatment because of the high fees that tag along. A good number of them also do not have insurance to cover hospital costs. Most will prefer using a midwife instead who is cheaper and well trained. Apparently, midwives nowadays deliver more kids in the US than OBGYNs.
9 Going Shopping With Their Kids
Interestingly, moms in Canada do not shop online as much as mamas in the US. They will take their kids to the malls and shop the old school way for foodstuff, groceries, and clothing. According to A2R.ca, only 4.5% of total retail sales in Canada are online.
On the other side, US moms hardly buy things in person they enjoy shopping online. It is fast and convenient. Moms here prefer clicking on the buy icon whenever they see something that they want. Majority of the sellers deliver their items to their doorsteps. 7.7% of retail sales in the US are online which threatens many of the physical retail stores.
8 They Don't Take Their Kids To Middle School
In the US, after pupils are through with elementary school, they move on to middle school or junior high, and then to high school. Many other countries have this education structure as well, though each country is free to choose the ages at which pupils get to transit to the next stage.
However, moms in Canada need not trouble themselves with the idea of middle school, because a pupil in Canada's education system will go straight to high school after completing his or her primary/elementary school studies. According to Scholaro Pro, moms enroll their kids at the age of six years for a compulsory six-year primary school education.
7 They Help Their Kids With French Homework
English is the official language in the US and the majority of moms grew up learning only this one language with a few exceptions adding in language requirements in school. On the other hand, French is useful in international diplomacy and business therefore; many moms have encouraged their kids to pursue it. However, most US mamas cannot help their kids with homework because they do not know any other languages other than English.
According to This Is Insider, this is not the case for their friends from Canada. English and French are both official languages in Canada. Sometimes they even sing their national anthem in French as well. Moms have a lot of experience with the language and are thus able to help their little ones with any foreign-language homework that they may have.
6 Taking 30-Minute Breaks Every 5 Hours
Labor laws in Canada are quite different from the laws in the US. When it comes to normal working hours, many moms in the US cannot take as much time off from work as women up North do. They are usually stuck at their desks all day and some will hardly eat their lunch so that they can finish the day’s work.
In Canada, according to HR Daily Advisor, a working mom is required to take a 24-hour off day per week or 30 minutes break after every five hours of work. This happens in order to give the employees time to recharge and hence make them more productive. They even give two weeks paid annual vacation to employees who have worked for a year plus.
5 Go Big Or Go Home With Breakfast
For these moms, breakfast is a big deal. A hearty breakfast from Canada consists of toasted bread or pancakes, eggs, bacon, fried sausages, poutine, deep-fried potatoes, cereals, or a bowl of oatmeal, as pointed out by The Canada Guide. Everything is topped with maple syrup. However, if mom is in a hurry, she can prepare a few of the above items.
In the US, the majority of moms tend to rush in the morning and barely give this most important meal of the day their time. They will quickly make a bowl of cereal with milk for the kids, grab a coffee and then head off to work. There are a few exceptions who will take their time to prepare a sumptuous meal.
4 Good At Apologizing When In The Wrong
Moms in Canada—and the nation as a whole—have a reputation of being very friendly and polite. They are overly apologetic and therefore quick to say sorry when they know they are on the wrong. They are mindful of their neighbors and for generations, moms have been passing this trait to their children so that it can continue as an important quality of their culture.
According to Inc, it is safe to say that a good number of US moms are neither polite nor apologetic. The state of Oklahoma is arguably the most-polite state at 49% while Tennessee and Utah are the most impolite states at 6%.
3 Let It Snow!
Moms in Canada will be out building snowmen with their children as soon as the temperature is above zero degrees. As The Travel points out, Canada experiences a good number of winter months with temperatures in the negative so when the numbers go up to zero degrees, they are practically in summer and people actually dress down.
In the US, moms do not leave the house when it is so cold. They will dress themselves and their kids warmly and stay indoors. This is because they have fewer winter days compared to Canada. The majority of US moms also do not like moving around in their cars during the winter season. However, they take advantage of the snow and enjoy recreational activities like skiing.
2 Buying Their Kids Lays Ketchup Chips
According to This Is Insider, moms from Canada love potato chips and ketchup; therefore, they end up buying their children Lay Ketchup Chips. This delicious snack has been an all-time favorite for kids in Canada. They enjoy it, even more, when they have finished the pack because they get to leak the remaining red dust seasoning off their fingers after eating.
The kids on the other side of the state line cannot enjoy these delightful snacks because they are only in Canada (for now). Anyone would expect that this ketchup chips would come from the US because of the popular Heinz ketchup brand running their markets. Supposedly, many companies are trying to imitate the version from Canada, but none is close to the real thing.
1 They Are In No Hurry To Pop Out Babies
Moms in Canada are usually not in a hurry to have kids. Despite having free health care, the majority of them prefer to have children when they are between 30 and 34 years old, which many would consider a little late. This is because most moms in Canada seek higher education and wait to have kids after school.
In the US, moms do not wait this long. Most women have their first child between the ages of 23 and 26 years. According to The Atlantic, this is because the majority of them do not pursue higher studies. Most get their diplomas and venture into the labor market.
Sources: investopedia.com, thetravel.com, mentalfloss.com, thecanadaguide.com, hrdailyadvisor.blr.com, inc.com, romper.com, iecabroad.com, cps.ca, healthychildren.org, theguardian.com, thisisinsider.com, a2r.ca, theatlantic.com, thoughtco.com