Am I “Asian Mom” Enough? and My HuffPost Live Segment

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I was a panelist on HuffPost Live for a segment called Don’t Judge Moms with Erin Cox of One Hot Mama, Farah Miller of HuffPost Parents, Diane Kline of QuirkOut and Rhiana Maidenberg of Married with Toddlers. I was honored to be featured with this talented group of moms.

We talked about our experiences with mommy guilt. Check it out:


And one minor clarification… In the video, I mentioned that my husband had no problem resuming the activities that he loved after our first son was born, while it took me a couple of years. In no way, did I mean to say that he didn’t do his part or have high expectations for himself. In fact, it was just the opposite – he went above and beyond. He got up with me every feeding in the middle of the night when I breastfed to make me more comfortable, he stayed home with our son for the first year and half while I went back to work, and was way better than me at putting our son to bed for a nap. What I was trying to say in the segment was that I was jealous that my husband didn’t have the guilt that I had to spend every waking minute with our son. I admired that he made time for himself and wished I had his more relaxed style of parenting – it certainly made him saner than me at the time. I don’t know why I put that kind of pressure on myself when it was really making me crazy, and it wasn’t until I got permission from another mom that I finally let myself off the hook as the mommy martyr.


I hope you can join No Judgment Day with me, Redbook Magazine and Huffington Post. Just follow hashtag #NoJudgmentDay all week to read posts from Mamarama bloggers and guests like Laurie Kilmartin of Sh*tty Mom: The Parenting Guide for the Rest of Us, Susan McLean of Mom Shaming and the Mouthy Housewives.

And check out my latest post for Redbook for No Judgment Day…

Am I “Asian Mom” Enough?

When TIME asked, “Are You Mom Enough?”, there was a lot of backlash, but I have to admit, the question stuck with me: Am I? In my case, though, the dilemma isn’t breastfeeding or attachment parenting; it’s about my Asian heritage.

I love talking about my children’s unique mix of Chinese and Caucasian ancestry, but other Asian moms always ask if I speak Chinese — which I don’t. I go into my well-rehearsed spiel that although my mom and sisters spoke Chinese, no one taught me. I jokingly add that I suspect it’s because they wanted to talk about me in front of my face without me knowing what they were saying. This always gets a chuckle.

Then, the questions take a serious turn: “No really, when are your kids starting Chinese school?” To be honest, I feel guilty they don’t go: I’m afraid that without Chinese school, my kids won’t have the opportunity to learn the language at an early age, but because I don’t speak the language, they wouldn’t have anyone to practice with at home. Because I’m conflicted, I just don’t know how to respond to the other Chinese moms.

And Chinese school is just one piece of what I’m expected to do. It may sound ridiculous to admit, but I struggle with the guilt that my kids may not live up to the Asian stereotype — excelling in school. I was certainly expected to: My mom would admonish me for coming home with a B, asking why I couldn’t get an A.

When my oldest son started kindergarten I remember pressuring him to read, practice his handwriting, go through addition flashcards, and so on. Then, when his first set of report cards arrived, I was devastated that his marks weren’t all exemplary. I really had to take a step back and think about what was really important: outstanding grades or a love of learning. I also had to remind myself one report card wasn’t going to determine his whole future.

Read the rest of this blog post at Redbook Mamarama.




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About Tracey Black

Hi, I’m Tracey. Welcome to Don’t Mess with Mama. Join me to stand up against junk food, processed food, and anything artificial. I’ll show you how to cook wholesome, gluten free (and grain free) meals with real food ingredients to nourish your family. Plus, learn how to get the toxins and chemicals out of your home for good with my favorite DIY and homemade recipes for beauty, personal care and cleaning products.

Comments

  1. Both great posts, congrats! Yes, we should not judge (though we all do it from time to time) and I also understand about the whole, “Are you Asian enough?” thoughts. I’m not fluent, either, and it raises eyebrows when I’m with other Asians who are fluent. Ultimately you have to do what’s right for your particular family as no one else is living it but you and your family.

    • Thanks, Maria. Love your feedback. I agree – ultimately, we all live different lives and have our own ways of instilling our culture and background into our parenting.

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