I live in Seoul, South Korea currently, but I am from The States. My husband and I moved here for his job in May of 2011.
What language(s) do you speak?
English is my native tongue. I am also fluent in Spanish, and I am learning Korean. So far I have a grip on the basics: hello, goodbye, please, thank you, I’m sorry, excuse me, and (most importantly since it pertains to food) vegetarian. They say that Korean is the easiest of the Asian languages to learn due to its simple alphabet, Hangul. I have learned to read Hangul, which sounds more impressive than it is because I have no idea what any of it means. And, just to make things really interesting, Korean/Hangul sentences are written in syllables not words, so trying to figure out where one word ends and another begins feels impossible. It’s all very humbling.
When did you first become a mother?
I became a mother to our beautiful son in June 2011
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
I currently do not work outside of the home though that is set to change within the next few months. I am a Yoga teacher, specializing in therapeutic yoga for folks dealing with trauma. We live very close to a US military base here in Korea and I’d like to start teaching some of the soldiers and their families there.
Why do you blog/write?
Writing for me is synonymous with thinking. It isn’t until I start writing about something that I truly understand it and my thoughts and feelings about whatever it is. Writing helps me to know myself. I experience clarity when I get the thoughts out of my head and onto paper (or computer screen, more frequently). Much like “talking it out” helps to sort out feelings and arrive at conclusions; writing for me is talking it out with my own self. Every time I sit down to write about a thought, I’m amazed by what comes out, how the thought evolves, and the conclusions I reach, sometimes ending in a very different place from where I started.
How would you say that you are different from other mothers?
I think we’re all a lot more alike than we are different. Like all mothers I want health and happiness in body, mind, and spirit for my child. I guess we differ in how we go about accomplishing that, but I really try not to compare myself. New parenthood is vulnerable enough without wondering how you are stacking up to others. I’m also quite new at this, so my parenting style is still developing. As of right now I’d call it instinctual. I just do what feels right.
My circumstances might be what make me different from the norm right now. I was 34 weeks pregnant when we packed up our life and moved to the other side of the world. A lot of people couldn’t believe I was willing to move somewhere so foreign so close to giving birth. I had my concerns but honestly they didn’t give me a moment’s pause. I guess I just have an adventurous spirit and I trust that I can always figure it out. Of course, now I find myself raising a child away from any kind of built-in support system, which I suppose is a different experience from many new moms.
What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?
I think technology poses a big challenge. We used to be willing to wait for answers. Now the second we wonder about something we can whip out a smart phone and get an answer (dubious as the info may be). How will my son learn to be patient when it seems that the world and all its information are always readily available? Knowledge is wonderful but there is something great about not always having an answer and having to figure it out on your own. Along the same lines, it is very easy to interact through technology. So easy that I worry about interpersonal skills. It is much easier to let compassion fall by the wayside when people are names on a friend list. Face to face interaction breeds empathy and compassion and there is less and less of it all the time. So, to sum up, the challenge is raising a patient, compassionate, and empathetic human being in a world that makes it more and more convenient to get by without developing those qualities.
How did you find World Moms Blog?
From ScaryMommy. Hilarious!
This is an original, first-time post to World Moms Blog from our new writer, mommy-of-one and yogi, Ms. V, in Korea.
The photograph used in this post was taken by the author.