Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

In 2011, my two year-old daughter and I left my husband behind in Moscow (temporarily!) and moved to Beijing, China.  Answering the “where are you from” question is a bit difficult… I was born in Johanessburg, South Africa and moved to Canada when I was really young. Since then, I have lived in Toronto, Vancouver, Indiana USA, and finally had settled down in Ottawa before moving to Moscow in 2010.

What language(s) do you speak?

English, French, Mandarin, Tibetan. Does toddler-speak count as a language?

When did you first become a mother?

Technically, I became a mother in January 2010 when my daughter was born. But actually, I feel like I first became a mother the day I saw that plus sign on the home pregnancy test.

Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?

I work full-time, and often feel like I work full-time as a mom too! But I do so wish I could be a stay-at-home mom…

Why do you blog/write?

So many reasons! My blog started out as a place where I could update family and friends back home on our adventures overseas. It evolved into a forum where I could share travel advice and tips with other parents and has also become a sort of sanctuary where I can (and often do) rant about mama-related matters. As a mother, I think it’s extremely important to have something that is all your own and that for me is my blog.

How would you say that you are different from other mothers?

Well, I guess the most obvious difference would be that I live in China with my daughter while my husband lives in another country. People often tell me I’m brave/crazy but I just respond that I’m just doing what I have to do.

Another thing that sets me apart is that, ever since we decided to have a baby, my husband and I vowed to continue to indulge our love of travel. As a result, we have traveled to numerous countries with our daughter, from Slovakia to Georgia to the Maldives and to Thailand. It’s not always easy, but it’s really not as hard as you’d think.

And I guess one other thing that might be a bit different is my hippie-granola parenting philosophy: I cloth diaper, practice extended breastfeeding, own too many baby carriers, keep plastic flashy toys to a minimum (my daughter actually enjoys playing with sticks and rocks!) and work hard to keep my daughter from eating sugar and too much processed food.

What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?

By far the biggest challenge for me is the enormous expectation placed on women to be great mothers and wives, and at the same time to excel professionally.  I often find myself having to choose between my job and my family, and really I am not entirely sure that I can (or even should be expected to) ‘have it all.’

Other worries that keep me up at night include food safety (do we really know what we’re eating?), the impact of technology on our children, and how to encourage social responsibility and compassion in my daughter

How did you find World Moms Blog?

I had heard of a mythical blog where women from all around the world shared their unique experiences but it was just by chance that the founder, Jen Burden, stopped by my blog and left a comment suggesting I become a World Moms Blog writer.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by our new writer in China and mother of one, Taryn.

The photo used in this post is credited to the author.

Mamasgotwanderlust (China)

You could say that Taryn has travel in her blood: a South African-born Canadian, Taryn has lived in Toronto, Vancouver, and Indiana, and has travelled extensively to Iceland, Israel, Italy, India, and a few places that don't begin with the letter I. After a brief stint as a travel guide writer, where she realized that her dream job was actually a lot of work for not much pay, she gave in to the lure of a steady job (and pay cheque) and settled in Canada's beautiful capital, Ottawa.

In 2010, she embarked on her biggest adventure when her daughter Charlotte was born. A few months later, her hubby J. accepted a work assignment in Russia, and the family moved to Moscow. In 2011, Taryn accepted a work assignment of her own in Beijing, China where she currently lives. While excited about the opportunity to live in the world's biggest up-and-coming country (and to practice herMandarin skills), moving to China has meant leaving J. behind in Russia while he finishes up his work assignment before moving to Beijing this summer.

In the meantime, Taryn juggles career-dom, living in a foreign culture, and being a temporary single-mom to a spunky toddler. Taryn is also the blogger behind Mama's Got Wanderlust, where she writes about her adventures in travelling, parenting, and living abroad.

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