SOUTH KOREA: Enlightened Houses Oozing Ghosts

Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

Royal Tomb Yeonsangun, 10th King of the Joseon Dynasty

Italian journalist and writer Italo Calvino said, “The more enlightened our houses are, the more their walls ooze ghosts.

I love this quote for many reasons, and it carries new weight for me being here in Korea where one’s ancestors are a prominent part of life. They are honored at various times throughout the year and the story or history of a family is one that carries much weight. For better or worse, the past is always present and ghosts abound. Turns out, it may indeed be for the better.

There was a recent article in the New York Times, The Stories That Bind Us. It’s a fascinating read about recent research that suggests that there is a direct correlation between a child’s resilience, self-esteem, and sense of control and how much they know about their family’s story. The article says:

“The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.” (more…)

Ms. V. (South Korea)

Ms. V returned from a 3-year stint in Seoul, South Korea and is now living in the US in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her partner, their two kids, three ferocious felines, and a dog named Avon Barksdale. She grew up all over the US, mostly along the east coast, but lived in New York City longer than anywhere else, so considers NYC “home.” Her love of travel has taken her all over the world and to all but four of the 50 states. Ms. V is contemplative and sacred activist, exploring the intersection of yoga, new monasticism, feminism and social change. She is the co-director and co-founder of Samdhana-Karana Yoga: A Healing Arts Center, a non-profit yoga studio and the spiritual director for Hab Community. While not marveling at her beautiful children, she enjoys reading, cooking, and has dreams of one day sleeping again.

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PHILIPPINES: The Things Our Kids Learn Behind Our Backs

PHILIPPINES: The Things Our Kids Learn Behind Our Backs

WMBMarch22I worry a lot these days. Come to think of it, I’ve always been a little bit of a worrywart, but it seems to have gotten worse in the last few weeks. I worry about big things like our health, our family’s financial situation, getting a home of our own, and even the well-being of my parents and parents-in-law. I worry about the little things too, like what to prepare for lunch, the small pimple sprouting on my chin, and even about what activities to do with my son this summer. Yes, I worry, and sometimes I wonder if worrying is part of a mother’s nature, or if I’m just being an exaggerated version of how I’m supposed to be. It could be an age thing too, something new that sprung from my turning 30. Goodbye carefree 20’s, hello 30. I really am not sure.

I noticed that a lot of what I worry about involves my son. I suppose it’s because I have come to terms with the fact the he is now a big kid, no longer a baby, and no longer easily swayed by mom and dad. His peers now play a huge part in building his character and in influencing him to be or do certain things. And that doesn’t just worry me. It actually scares me. I get worked up over the things my kid may be learning in school because I’m not there to impart the little bit of mom-wisdom that I think I have. No, it isn’t the education that I have trust issues with. It’s the time spent outside his classroom, with his peers, away from his teacher’s guidance. (more…)

Patricia Cuyugan (Philippines)

Patricia Cuyugan is a wife, mom, cat momma, and a hands-on homemaker from Manila, whose greatest achievement is her pork adobo. She has been writing about parenting for about as long as she’s been a parent, which is just a little over a decade. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her reading a book, binge-watching a K-drama series, or folding laundry. She really should be writing, though! Follow her homemaking adventures on Instagram at @patriciacuyugs. 

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CALIFORNIA, USA: Parrots in the House

CALIFORNIA, USA: Parrots in the House

3766009204_8721a00ddeLittle Girl at almost age 3 and is just starting to form sentences and phrases. Big Girl at age 5 has a good grasp of the English language including many popular slang words and phrases. When I hear Big Girl use slang phrases in correct context with emotion, I often wonder where she gets them? Do you know where? The answer is obvious.

From me. Most of the time. But not always.

Recently Big Girl’s response to any request I made that she either didn’t want to do or like to do was “Whatever Mom!” It was irritating. I cringed every time she said it. And I thought, “Where did she get that?”  And then I heard myself say it. With the same tone and in similar context.  I am working to rid my response of, “Whatever!” and sure enough, the times I hear it from her have decreased.

Then there are the rouge phrases that Big Girl picks up from television cartoons. One day her response to me was, “Duh! Boring!”.  I KNOW I don’t say that! Turns out that it is a favorite phrase of a little pink pony. (more…)

Angela Y (USA)

Angela Y. is in her mid-thirties and attempting to raise her two daughters (big girl, R, 3 years; little girl, M, 1 year) with her husband in San Francisco, CA. After spending ten years climbing the corporate ladder, she traded it all in to be a stay-at-home mom! Her perspective of raising a child in the city is definitely different from those who have been city dwellers all their lives, as she grew up in rural Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) surrounded by her extended family. Angela Y. and her husband are on their own on the west coast of the United States — the only family help they receive is when someone comes for a visit. But, the lifestyle in San Francisco is like no other for them, so there, they stay! This exercise conscious mom is easily recognized, especially when she is riding around her husband-built bike with two seats on the back. And, when she’s not hanging out with the girls, you can find Angela Y. in the kitchen. She loves to cook for her family, especially dessert, and then eats some herself when no one is looking! Sneaky, mom!

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SINGAPORE:  Interview with A Juggling Mom

SINGAPORE: Interview with A Juggling Mom

Susan Koh Author World Moms Blog

Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I was born and raised in Singapore and have lived here all my life. Although I live in the smallest country in Southeast Asia, I take pride at the vast progress that we’ve achieved. At the same time, I’m humbled to live in a city where it’s a melting pot of different cultures, fueling my passion to travel to learn more about different cultures.

What language(s) do you speak?

English is my first language. I also speak Mandarin, and dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien. Oh and I also speak baby language 🙂

When did you first become a mother?
I became a mom at 29 years old in August 2009 which also happens to be our National Day or Independence Day!

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

I’m a full time working mom and made this choice consciously as I believe that it’s possible to balance family and a career. Though I’ve had my ups and downs especially in the initial years, I don’t regret it and hope to inspire other moms to find work life balance. (more…)

Susan Koh

Susan is from Singapore. As a full-time working mom, she's still learning to perfect the art of juggling between career and family while leading a happy and fulfilled life. She can't get by a day without coffee and swears she's no bimbo even though she likes pink and Hello Kitty. She's loves to travel and blogs passionately about parenting, marriage and relationship and leading a healthy life at A Juggling Mom.

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ISRAEL:  Set Yourself Free

ISRAEL: Set Yourself Free

SetyourselffreeTonight is the first night of Passover, a Jewish holiday that commemorates the story of the Exodus when the Jews were freed from prolonged slavery in ancient Egypt.

On Passover (also called Pesach) we refrain from eating “chametz”. Chametz (leavening) is anything made from five types of grain and left to rise more than 18 minutes. So basically, the prelude to this holiday is crazy spring cleaning, getting rid of any chametz in the house before Passover starts, and not bringing anything not kosher for Passover into the house until after Passover. It also involves koshering your kitchen and making sure not to mix the “chametz” with the Passover stuff.

As you can imagine, the logistics are enough to cause anyone an ulcer. At least they are if you are not living alone, continue to work and have a family to feed and take care of while trying to get everything else done. Say the word Pesach to me and there is an immediate visceral reaction of stress.

The question I have been asking myself for years is why do we all tend to make things so much harder on ourselves than it really has to be. Passover is the holiday  that represents freedom yet way too many people feel like slaves in the weeks before Passover. A self imposed slavery. (more…)

Susie Newday (Israel)

Susie Newday is a happily-married American-born Israeli mother of five. She is an oncology nurse, blogger and avid amateur photographer. Most importantly, Susie is a happily married mother of five amazing kids from age 8-24 and soon to be a mother in law. (Which also makes her a chef, maid, tutor, chauffeur, launderer...) Susie's blog, New Day, New Lesson, is her attempt to help others and herself view the lessons life hands all of us in a positive light. She will also be the first to admit that blogging is great free therapy as well. Susie's hope for the world? Increasing kindness, tolerance and love. You can also follow her Facebook page New Day, New Lesson where she posts her unique photos with quotes as well as gift ideas.

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