• I Give My Kids Reasons Instead of Saying “Because I Said So”

    “Because I said so” has no place in my home. As soon as my kids were no longer newborns, I started giving them reasons for why they couldn’t do something. “No, you can’t eat paper because it’s not food.” “No, you can’t have the scissors because they’re sharp and you might hurt yourself.” “No, you can’t pull the cat’s tail because she might scratch you.” “No, you can’t have Mommy’s glasses because then she can’t see you.” Of course I knew they couldn’t understand me at 3 months old. They just smiled at giggled at me. But I didn’t want to be the stereotypical parent who yells “because I said…

  • Isolating Myself for the First 3.5 Years of Motherhood Was the Best Thing I Ever Did

    The moment you reveal you’re pregnant, you’re inundated with people telling you it takes a village, find your tribe, join mom groups, find play groups. Basically, surrounded yourself with moms. I did none of this, and I couldn’t have been happier. They say to connect with other moms because only they can understand. Only moms can give advice you can trust. Only moms can commiserate. When I got pregnant with my first, I was in grad school (for clinical psychology with an emphasis on children, so I don’t have a “guide,” but a really, really good idea of what to do). My group consisted of the oldest person in our…

  • The Grass is Not Always Greener

    I’m a mom of two, but sometimes I feel like a fraud. Sometimes I fret about how other people see me when I’m out with my kids, and not because of how I parent. But because of how I look, which is absolutely absurd, but, nonetheless, a true experience. I’m one of those ageless Asians. With two Chinese parents, I look like I’m permanently stuck in high school even though I’m 31. It’s easy for people to say how lucky I am and how much they wished they looked like me. Uh, no. Would you want to be mistaken as a high school kid when you’re in a professional environment…

  • I Don’t Know Whether to Celebrate or Grieve Whenever I Get My Period

    As a teenager, menstrual cycles were annoying, gross, and pointless. I had no intention of having kids and just wanted to rip my uterus out. After I met The Husband, they were a cause to celebrate because it meant I was not going to be a mom yet. After having an early miscarriage and subsequent successful pregnancies, I am now conflicted about them. Over the past 5 years, I’ve had only about a handful of periods thanks to pregnancy and enthusiastic breastfeeding on my children’s parts. Having one after so long was kind of surprising and I couldn’t quite remember what to do. But the most surprising part was how I felt.…

  • The Power of a Lullaby

    Growing Up With Music Growing up, music was important to my family. My siblings and I were forced into piano lessons, which we took for a varying number of years. But we also independently chose violin, guitar, clarinet, flute, and harp. Not that any of us claim any proficiency anymore. But, before we even began lessons with these various instruments, sometimes learning two of them at a time, we had our mother singing to us every single night. None of us remember, but our mom has always told us that she used to sing us to sleep every night when we were very young. We lovingly joke with her that…

  • How I…Am Selecting an Elementary School for My Child

    Before we moved, we lived in what felt like the suburbs of the suburbs. It was a quiet area, but had plenty for us to do. Actually, we loved living there. We had our son’s entire educational career planned out. Then we moved to a bustling metropolis. L.A. is huge and sprawling to the point where, depending on where you live, it feels like something between a city and a suburb. A kind of cramped suburb? Anyways, my plans for my son went out the window and, with him starting Kindergarten in August, we’re kind of in overdrive trying to get his educational career back on track. What I love…

  • How I…Ended the Poop/Butt Stage

    The dreaded poop/butt stage. It seems every toddler goes through this, especially during potty training. I don’t know about you, but I always dreaded it simply because I think it’s gross. When my son and I started potty training when he was not quite 3.5, I was bracing for it. For awhile, it didn’t really happen. He was actually afraid of pooping for months, so he didn’t talk about it. Shortly before he turned 4, though, it happened. Poop. Butt. Poopy butt poopy head. Poopoo nugget. And more combinations than I choose to remember. He has some cousins who are just a few months to a couple of years older…

  • To My Kids, As You Grow Up in the Wake of the Metoo Movement

    I’m not a boy mom or a girl mom. I’m just a mom. I have a boy and a girl and just see children. I see children who are growing up in a rapidly changing world, a world where it’s not always safe to be male or female. I spend a lot of time worrying about the future my children will come of age in. I worry about what adolescence and adulthood will be like for them. And, in the wake of the Metoo movement, I worry about whether they will become sexual assault victims or accused perpetrators. I can only hope that, as their mother, I’ll have given them…

  • Breastfeeding My 16 Month Old is Like Nursing a Baby Cow

    Well, not exactly, but close enough! Recently, my daughter and I went to the county fair with my son and his class. She had a blast looking at all the animals and calling them all kitty. He…not so much. My son may be interested in science, but animals and insects and plants have no appeal to him. He’s more of a space and gravity and robotics guy. But he did manage to be more interested in the milking demonstration. Probably because he didn’t have to get anywhere close to the cow. Guess I’m not looking at a future vet. For now, at least. I have to admit, as a nursing…

  • How I…Teach My Toddler Simple Math

    I raise my children the same way I was raised: by letting them develop their own personalities and interests. As a parent, it’s my job to introduce as much as I can into their lives. We provide diverse experiences and activities, introduce different ideas and ways of doing things, and expose them to as many subject areas as possible. For most of the year, I’ve done a revolving schedule of reading, letters, numbers, science, history, and art with my son, one subject per day. Even though I love books and reading, I don’t spend our days just reading books with my kids. Even though my husband is a scientist, he…