Quick Link: The Language Learning Mother

I get lots of emails from moms, especially moms with young children, who are trying to study a foreign language. It is so hard to do but it is possible. Possible to learn without feeling like you’ve abandoned your family when they are in the throes of culture shock. Possible to stay healthy and sane. One thing that didn’t make it into the blog post is that moms across the world are working moms. Think of the hours spent in language study like that. You are doing your job and putting in these hours will make you better at the rest of your job in this new, still foreign country. There is nothing wrong with being a working mother. It is time for women, especially (in my opinion) women living abroad, to move beyond the stigmas of ‘working moms’ as having somehow neglected our families. Working, and in this case, learning language, is part of caring for our families. So if I were to add a fifth suggestion, it would be to stop feeling guilty. There, ‘nuf said about that for now.

Working moms

In this short piece, I write about some tips for language learning mothers. Good luck, bon courage, shaqo wanaagsan.

I moved to Africa with two-and-a-half year old twins. One of the first things people ask me about that year is how I learned language, because I did. And I don’t feel like I abandoned my kids or neglected my husband in order to do it.

I’m focusing on the Mother here because I typically hear from moms. I don’t hear many dads wonder how they can learn the language while breastfeeding or potty training. A father has never asked for tips on getting through a language lesson while in the throes of morning sickness. I know dads have their own struggles to learn, my husband spent the early years working way over full-time as an English professor. I also know single men and women work loads of hours and lots of moms do too. But, all those caveats aside, here I’m writing to moms, especially moms with young children. Here’s what you do:

  1. Hire help
  2. Talk with your husband
  3. Use your kids
  4. Trust grace

Click here to read more about these four tips: The Language Learning Mother

*image via Flickr