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Being a mom in U.S.


I still vividly remember the moment that the doctor said “it’s a girl!” Then I was holding my tiny little baby with very confused feeling of amazement, worry and tiredness (of course I stayed up night and spent 12 exhausted hours of laboring). By the time my mom was on the way flying from Korea, I couldn’t finish my master thesis yet and my husband was scheduling to make a business trip to South Pole for his research in a few months later. The afternoon that I delivered my first baby at hospital in a small town in Pennsylvania, I felt like I am somewhat connected to this country and everything seems so strange to me at the same time.

Susan Ha with her husband and daughter!
Susan Ha with her husband and daughter!

Four years ago, my lovely girl was born in the middle of such a mixed up and I have become a mom. Having a baby was on a totally different page of my life throughout marriage, living in foreign country as well as my own values and identities. I need to start building up my new identity ‘as a mom’ from the beginning like when I had arrived in U. S. first time. It was more challenging than defining just myself, because my baby always needed my help even though I cannot get some help for myself sometimes. My baby was always in the center of my daily living, in my mind and even in my unconscious. The more I spent time to take care of her, the more depressed I became and it seemed forever for me to keep loosing myself. In the mean time, our family moved to berkeley and we started over in a new place.

Whole new environment gave me a refreshing idea and challenges altogether. Finally I have started a book club, tutor students in mathematic with Yvonne’s advice and I make new friends through my daughter’s friends. These days, my 4-year-old girl sings a song “Rudolf the red nosed reindeer” learned from her preschool and she dressed up as a fairy princess on last Halloween’s day. Raising a kid provides me a chance to recall my childhood and to picture of future of child.Then I get to think about objective issues such as human being, life or world.

I still complain about the poor public transportation, expensive education and medical bills, but I know I can have quality family time here and nice memory of traveling, instead. Soon I realize that my life becomes richer and more meaningful as parenting. I am growing together with my kids and I am picturing my family with my second baby who is on the way now.