Mia Wenjen, the voice behind Pragmatic Mom agreed to share some of her stories with us, told MomCrib what she believes in, and how good it feels to keep true to yourself and take a stand in things that matter and in which you believe!
1. Let’s begin! Care to tell our readers a little something about yourself:
I’m half Japanese, half Chinese American, and married to a Korean American.
2. What’s the story of Pragmatic Mom? What led to its creation and how has it evolved since your first posts?
I started blogging when my oldest, now 19, was in first grade. Her class had substitute teachers for substitutes. It was not a good year but I didn’t realize how behind she was until April. I had to spend the next year trying to catch her up.
My blog on education and parenting started to share the resources I found including books that we read since I found picture books to work [well] as a simultaneous read aloud for all three of my kids at bedtime.
3. What have you learned from blogging? What impact did it have on your life, and what motivates you to keep the blog up and running?
If you post on what you believe in, it doesn’t matter how small your audience is. Your post can still go viral. I had this happen for a microblog, ILoveNewton, when I posted on a racist musical my high school put on. I also had a really old post on Dr. Seuss that contributed to revealing his racism recently.
4. You blog, you’re a mom: how do you manage to stay organized throughout the day and make time for everything?
One, I am always behind, but that’s ok. I just try to prioritize one or two things that MUST get done each day and let the rest go.
5. Do you have any advice for our readers on that matter?
It’s really helped me to make a “To Do” list and try to get one thing done off it every day.
6. Want to share a funny kid-work balancing story or event?
Now that my kids are on social media, they see what I post on. If my middle daughter objects to an Instagram post because she is referenced, she will hack my phone and delete it.
7. What do you most enjoy doing with your kids or do you have family traditions?
We have managed to apple pick every single year since before they [the children] were born. My kids now prefer peach picking but we can do both at the farm that we go to if we hit the apple picking season early.
8. Confession time: what do you consider your biggest parenting success? Would you mind telling us your biggest parenting failure too?
My biggest parenting success is watching my kids be confident enough to take risks. My oldest, when she was young, was a quiet child and we and her teachers always encouraged her to be more assertive.
My husband and I are so proud of her for being able to take risks over the years like signing up for art classes without going with a friend and being able to travel abroad by herself.
She and her sister have started a company, indigo Clothing Co., and we are so proud of them for their success both in working together and in growing their business.
My biggest parenting fail is my kids’ ability to curse. Like sailors. Or worse. They claim they learned it from us (their parents). Oops!
9. On a similar note, would you share your best and worst days as a mom?
My days are defined by how well my kids get along. When my kids are fighting (and the walls will shake from their screaming at each other), my husband and I say that its like when your parents fight and you just want to put a pillow over your head to block it out. When they get along and are really kind to each other, it’s both a joy and a miracle.
10. What helps you decide whether to post or not to post pictures of your children on social media?
My kids need to approve them or they will hack my phone and remove them on their own (see Question 6 again). If they complain, I take them down.
11. Want to share your opinion or discuss a controversial parenting subject?
I’m really shocked to see how sexual misconduct in the children’s book publishing industry has been swept under the table. It’s as if people can’t believe picture book authors like Matt de la Pena, Junot Diaz, and Drew Daywalt could do such a thing based on their books.
But, it is the power they wield as New York Times bestselling authors that gives them the power and ego to do this. School Library Journal just scrubbed the comments off an article that listed ALL the KidLit authors and illustrators accused of sexual misconduct.
I’ve preserved it here (in a blog post). I think there needs to be accountability and I’m working with Harvard‘s Schlesinger Library (Women’s History Library) to document and preserve this information.
12. Tell us all about your favorite baby or child accessory or product.
I swear by “Camilia Teething Drops” from Whole Foods (available online too). My sister told me about it, but not until my youngest was teething. It’s a homeopathic remedy. I use the drops, not the tablets. It works and I don’t know why.
13. While it might sometimes be hard to find a moment for yourself, what are your favorite “Me time” indulgences?
I like to box. I’m lucky to have a mom friend group that started with me six years ago, and some of us have stuck with it. We’re also lucky that our trainer, Marc Gargaro of Nonantum Boxing Club, was recently selected for the U.S. Elite Men’s and Women’s team.
This is the team that will compete in the Pan Am and Olympic Games. We get to train like these elite athletes, doing the same drills, but luckily not getting punched by them!
View this post on Instagram
My boxing trainer, Dena, had @mboucher14 and I take the 45 pound weight plank challenge so we could make the board. We both lasted one minute (which is way longer than I thought I could do because planking for 1.5 minutes without weight feels like an eternity). Thanks Dena for encouraging us to push ourselves! 🥊 p.s. The record at @nonantumboxing is nearly four minutes. #boxing #planking #plankchallenge
14. What is your biggest achievement/what you are most proud of?
I’ve blogged on controversial topics (Dr. Seuss being racist, #MeToo in children’s book publishing industry, #OwnVoices controversy) and feel like this has helped keep these important topics front and center. I feel like after sparring in a boxing ring and getting clocked in the head (see above), it’s nothing to take on internet trolls.
15. To wrap things up, do you have any advice you want to offer our readers?
Be your authentic self on social media even it means that not everyone will agree or like you.
Have any questions for Mia or want to find out more about this mom? Then be sure to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you! 🙂