Muse Mama | Hannah Chen
Our latest #musemama Hannah recently gave birth to her first baby boy. We met with Hannah and talked motherhood; what it’s like being a Chinese woman raising a baby in Australia, dealing with a bambino that won’t sleep and embracing the support of local community
You were born in China, your baby will be raised in Australia… what are the biggest differences in motherhood between the two cultures?
The biggest difference between these two cultures is the parents’ expectation of their children. In Australia, I notice parents are more willing to develop children’s independence and the ability to get things done on one's own, which I feel encourages children to act autonomously and demonstrate initiative from an early age. Parents in China are more protective of their children; parents typically arrange everything in their child’s life so that they can focus all their attention on studying.
Hannah wears the Hannah Knit Pant & Cardigan with the Elliott Nursing Tee
What traditions will you continue on from your mother?
I talk about everyday things as I go through my day, which encourages baby Ian to get used to having lots of communication. My mother did this with me, and it can make it much easier as the child grows, to fell comfortable taling when big or tricky issues come up. Also, praise a lot and give positive feedback to baby when necessary… I will definitely pass this on.
Have you got any suggestions for new mothers with different cultural backgrounds raising children in Australia?
Yes! I encourage people to be open to Australian’s way of raising children. There are a lot of resources, I have benefited from taking part in activities and playgroups organized by the local council. Through communicating with mums from different cultures, we can get better understanding of raising our children.
Also, learning English is important in Australia, but it is also good to keep speaking family’s first language at home. It helps children stay connected to their community and talk to their relatives.
Hanna wears the Lindsay Nursing Dress
How has the baby's sleeping patterns affecting your sleeping patterns?
Oh Gosh, I wish I could sleep through the night now ahah!!
My baby’s sleeping issue has been of the the most challenging ordeals of my life.
I have to follow his sleep patterns… At first, it was totally out of my control because he wakes up so frequently through the night. I definitely didn’t get enough sleep at the beginning.
However, as the months pass and the baby grows, I’ve started to cope a lot better. Once he starts to show signs of being tired, I will put down everything and focus on getting him to the bed. Once he falls asleep, then I can try and do my work and housework.
What’s your must have maternity clothing item?
I must say skirt. A comfy and stretched maternity skirt is so important during the pregnancy, especially for the third trimester.