Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Multnomah Falls, Oregon

Friday, July 9, 2010

Korean Criticism

I haven't had to deal with this so much lately, but when SJ was young it was TERRIBLE- strangers were always telling me he was cold and wasn't dressed properly, or that I should have a plastic cover for my stroller because the wind was bad for him, etc. I saw a woman in Chicago in Feb. with a plastic cover over her stroller and I was like, I just can't escape (she was obviously Korean....)!

I took SJ on the subway in his stroller today. I parked the stroller in front of the doors that don't open, except at a few RARE stations. I set the brake, and one wheel is parked against the wall- it's a safe place, and I've seen other ppl park their strollers there. I sat next to him. At one of the rare stations where the doors happen to open on SJ's side, a woman came on and started exclaiming that it wasn't safe for him to be parked there. I seriously wanted to smack her, because I NEVER see ppl make comments to Korean women (mothers) admonishing them. I don't know why they think it's ok to criticize me. I've been with other friends and seen the same, so it's not just me, but I don't think it's fair that they think they've got the market covered on good mothering and eveyone else (i.e. foreign) is just wrong- GRRRRRRRRR! It makes me SOOOOOO upset. Granted, unless it's done in an indirect, polite way, I'm not good at handling criticism (along with most others, I'd figure- I can really do without the exclaiming).

Well, I told them that he was fine, and that the doors opened on the other side. I said it in English, because my husband advised me ppl won't continue to argue with me if I speak in English since they will be intimidated (it's been good advice ^~). They were staring, so I said, "What?!" The woman looks at the other woman and says that she can't speak English. Thus, I effectively shut them down. GOD I need to get a car, since I swear most ppl bug me on public transport.

I've never had anyone say anything positive to me, and I'm a good mom, so when ppl are critical, I want to go bat shiz crazy. I feed him soy milk and other healthy snacks. I see Korean moms give their kids packaged crap, but they don't get cricticized. There was a little boy eating french fries at the hospital the other day (SJ was there for a vaccination), and if it was SJ, I'm sure ppl would tell me, "Don't you know it's bad to give your kid french fries?" I really, really want to know why everyone here thinks it's ok to give me their (unsolicated) child care advice. Do they think I'd appreciate it? Do they really think I don't have a clue what I'm doing after 42 months of caring for my son? Arrrgh! I don't know if I can hack it here for the long run. Maybe things will get better if I get a car. I don't know. I just really want people to stay the fuck out of my business and respect that other cultures have a different way of doing things (which is a pipe dream, because Koreans don't mind their own business). Just because it's not the Korean way doesn't mean it's wrong or bad. Fuck-I learned that back in a Women in World Cultures class in uni., but I guess people don't have that kind of education here.


  1. Yeah, I was scolded while pregnant for getting a Powerade or something from the vending machine because it's bad for baby...but women here drink even ginseng while pregnant (which can be dangerous, especially as Korean ginseng is pretty strong). I'm lucky that my husband doesn't tolerate it. He'll tell people off for me with far more grace than I ever could. (When he was out with our son alone he told someone not to touch him because she was dirty, LOL.)

    When I am out alone with our baby, I just pretend like I don't understand many times. If they try to physically assert themselves (by trying to touch our son or adjust whatever blanket or what have you), I block them from doing so. Seriously, back off.

    1. I live in Germany and I face the same thing while trying to raise my baby here. I try to believe that they all have the best intentions but I agree that it becomes exhausting. They must have gotten to me because before I leave the house I think, "Have I covered everything they could criticize? Does she have socks on even though it's 80 degrees out? Are all of her snacks apples and not puffs?" HAHA You're not the only one facing this while raising global kids! Hang in there mama!