Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?

I live just outside of Boston, Massachusetts, USA. If you are familiar at all with the Boston Marathon, we’re half way in, half way out (13.1 mi from the start or finish line).

No, I’m not from here. I grew up outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an area known as the “Main Line.” But also in New England, where I spent my summers and attended boarding school from an early age. My husband and I met in Boston, moved to Washington, DC for a few years and then returned here for business school and to raise our kids.

What language(s) do you speak?

I speak English and Japanese. My husband and kids speak English and Mandarin Chinese. If I want to keep up, I better start learning Chinese soon or my two-year-old is going to start  plotting cookie jar raids with his sister and I’ll never know!

When did you first become a mother?

Five years ago, on Earth Day 2006 in the middle of a deluge. I was 33. Then again in the freezing cold of a New England February in 2009.  In many ways the time has flown by but there also have been occasions (especially in early mother hood) when time stood still. I consider these pre-school-aged days the period of life when a day can feel like a year and a year can blink by in a day.

Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?

I do both. I stay at home and when I have time (like when kids are at a drop off activity/preschool or asleep) I am a freelance writer. I mainly do correspondence writing for large museum  membership and college alumni programs in the US but also some occasional copy editing for international clients.

Why do you blog/write?

I write because it keeps my brain from atrophying. I have to reach far back into the cobweb-depths of it to resurrect vocabulary rendered obsolete whilst conversing with young children. It keeps my head in the game for that day, in the not too distant future, when I imagine I’ll either go back to work in an office or at least pick up more freelance clients.

I blog because I find it challenging and stimulating to convert seemingly mundane events into interesting or informative posts; topics capable of generating online dialogue and helping educate or inform people of situations they may or have encountered too (like this WMB post I wrote  back in May about circumcision, for example, which has generated a robust dialogue of 55 comments so far and still counting).

I also very much want to write a children’s book someday and this is my practice range: do I have what it takes? Are people interested in what I have to say and how I say it? Is there a character or topic hidden somewhere in one of my posts?

How would you say that you are different from other mothers?

I don’t know that I’m vastly different from other mothers, perhaps just that I have a hard time staying put. I like to be on the go, go, go and remain very active with my kids. When I leave the house in the morning, I typically don’t come back until nap time  or even until dinner time. I try to take my kids to destinations like the nearby pond, nature preserve, farm, library, zoo, anything that can act as a classroom outside of our home setting. I admire people who spend large chunks of time in their homes (assuming they probably get more accomplished than I), it’s just not something I’m very good at.

What do you view as the challenges of raising a child in today’s world?

I see two major challenges: 1) that our generation is more involved than ever with our kids; and 2) that our generation can unplug from our kids (or plug our kids in)  like never before. What I mean is, parents “play” with their kids more than they used to which is good but can make it hard for kids to learn to play on their own and to gain independence from their parents. At the same time, there are so many technologies at our finger tips–DVRs, DVDs, TVs in cars, computers, electronic toys–that a lot of kids get plugged in while the parents check out. The whole “electronic babysitter” phenomenon is a concern that I work hard to avoid with my own kids but whom I see witnessing some of their friends being exposed to.

How did you find World Moms Blog?

I’m honored to say that it found me, shortly after WMB started last November, the founder and Editor-in-Chief, Jennifer Burden, contacted me based on a post on my personal blog: Growing Muses about internationally themed children’s books that I love and got involved with.

What do you like best about writing for World Moms Blog?

I love that there is a deepening sense of community building among the regular writers; I love that a lot of us have more worldly views than some of my more provincial neighbors; I love that, if I’m ever anywhere in the world near a fellow WMBer I know that I’d have a friend to grab a cup of joe with; I love discovering that I’m not alone in the follies and foibles of motherhood.

In her diminished spare time, Kyla can be found right here on World Moms Blog, on her personal blog: Growing Muses or occasionally promoting awesome, international children’s books with Barefoot Books. The photo used in this post is attributed to the author’s DH.

Kyla P'an (USA)

Kyla was born in suburban Philadelphia but tried not to let that stifle her deep desire to see the world. Her travels have included: three months on the European rails, three years studying and working in Japan, and nine months taking the slow road back from Japan to the US when she was done. Kyla took all of her Japanese knowledge and language ability and threw it right out the window when she met her Chinese-American husband in 2000. In addition to her work as Managing Editor of World Moms Bog, Kyla is a freelance writer, copy editor, triathlete and blogger. She and her husband reside outside of Boston, Massachusetts, where they are raising two spunky kids (ages 8 and 5), two frisky cats, a snail, a fish and a snake. You can read more about Kyla’s outlook on the world and motherhood on her personal blog, Growing Muses.

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