Based in Vancouver, SwankMama is a family and lifestyle blog written by Kristina Cross. She chronicles her life as a mom to a preschooler and toddler, and a stepmom to a teenager, all while working full-time. Discover her personalized...

Kristina is a winner of Top 25 Canadian Moms - 2013

What's the best part of raising a family in Canada?

Living in Canada, we are extremely fortunate to be able to spend the first year with our baby thanks to our maternity/parental leave (a combined 50 weeks). This, along with our universal health care, is the best part of raising a family in Canada in my opinion, as I honestly couldn't imagine leaving my baby's side to go back to work before their first birthday.

What's the biggest misconception people have about raising a family in Canada?

That Canada is cold year round and we all live in igloos. It couldn't be the furthest from the truth! Growing up in the Pacific Northwest (Vancouver), and also raising our kids in this beautiful city, we are surrounded by parks, beaches, mountains and the great outdoors.

What do your kids love most about living in Canada?

Our kids love the fact that they can enjoy their summers at the beach and their winters at our local mountains. Recently, I did a staycation series on SwankMama and it was so much fun to stay home and really discover our city, and visit tourist attractions that we wouldn't normally visit.