Being a single mother in Korea

From KoreAm Journal editor Corinna Knoll

Motherhood: Being Single and a Mom in the Korean American Community

KoreAm Journal, NCM Award Winner, Corina Knoll, Posted: Jan 30, 2006

There was a time when she would count the minutes like they were dollars, back when the days died too early and she was stretched paper thin, working a full-time job and raising two kids on her own.

The after-school program her daughters attended charged parents for every minute they were late. So each day she left her paralegal job, she faced a no-win battle on the jammed freeways of Los Angeles. Often, she would break down in tears amid the rush hour traffic, thinking about the money she would lose with every passing minute. She wondered how she had become a woman who cried in her car.

This wasn’t in her master plan. For a while, her life had played out the way she thought it was supposed to. She was married at 24 to a successful businessman and gave birth to daughters, Liah and Sarah. She didn’t worry about money, drove various luxury cars and shopped on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. She worked occasionally at home for her husband’s company, did housework and watched over her daughters’ schooling and extracurricular activities.

Jessica Hong laces her story with sighs and laughs. It’s been seven years since her divorce, and while recounting the trials of her marriage and the period after it ended is tiresome, it is also a source of pride for her because it doesn’t end tragically.

Read the rest of the article here

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

One thought

  1. “In Korea, part of the problem is that there isn’t a very extensive social network to support single mothers. In some ways, the orphanage system is the social welfare system. That coincides, I think, with the rights of women and how the society looks at the ability of a single mom.”
    I am so sad when I read this. So happy some moms with the support ( and sometimes not ) of their families are able to make it and keep their children through all of this discrimination and suppression.

Share your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s