My Daughter is a Third Culture Baby

Born to an American mother and Nigerian father living in South Korea, the reality that I am bringing up a third culture kid has hit me. Let’s back track.

allured abroad expat mother baby

A few evenings ago, I thought my ears wear playing tricks on me, when I heard my nine-month old say, “Omma” which is mama in Korean (엄마). Then, she kept saying it yesterday evening when her father was holding her, “Omma, Omma, Omma” and he goes, “Really, you’re speaking Korean.”

Yep, she was asking for me in neither her father’s native language or mine. How can this be?

Well, exactly a month ago she started going to daycare for a few hours a day. While her teacher speaks some English, obviously the language she hears while there is Korean. When I arrive to pick her up, they always announce that I’m there by saying, “Amira, 엄마 는 여기”, which is “Here’s Mama.”

Right after she started going to daycare, I noticed that the frequency she called me “Mama” was significantly reduced and I was a bit bothered because what mother doesn’t love hearing her baby call her those sweet words, especially when it was her first word of intention.

But then, the music to my ears returned.

Today, she was saying both “Omma” and “Mama” and I’m okay with it.  It is only natural for her to pick up the language since we live here and the fact is she will be multilingual. Are you a parent of a third culture baby? If so, how many languages does your little one hear on a daily basis and can understand?

I am an American living in South Korea and the creator of Allured Abroad, an expat lifestyle blog focusing on expat family life, parenting abroad, and raising multicultural kids. I’ve been living abroad for nearly five years and what I have realized through travel and cultural immersion is that we’re just one in 7+ billion people. With so much variation in the world, what are the possibilities?


    • Allured Abroad

      Thank you and thanks for visiting my blog!! 🙂

  1. Ron Bowen

    You and daughter look great. My first time see her Enjoyed reading ur blog

    • Allured Abroad

      Thank you, my friend! I hope you are doing very well and happy to hear you enjoyed reading my blog.

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