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Life As A Working Parent: KUNR Youth Media

Women sitting and hugging each other.
Courtesy Hannah Choi
KUNR Youth Media
Kristine Choi and her daughter, Hannah.

Reno resident Kristine Choi always knew she wanted to be a mother, but along with motherhood, she had to work to provide for her family, which is a tough balancing act. Now, her older daughter, Hannah, is 18 and her youngest daughter, Katelyn, is 16.

For KUNR’s Youth Media Program, Hannah interviewed her mom about the challenges of being a working parent.

HANNAH: How did you balance taking care of Katelyn and me, and working at the same time?

KRISTINE: I think I was grateful that I had my mom with us. Your grandma was always in the house to help. Dad and I always worked opposite shifts. Like if I work day shift, Dad would work [the] night shift, so that there was always somebody here to take care of you guys. And the other person was working and one was here with you, kids. And Grandma always, you know, she helped a lot too.

HANNAH: So you said that Grandma and Dad helped you out a lot while taking care of Katelyn and me. How different did that become once Dad had left us?

KRISTINE: Luckily by the time dad went to Korea for his job, I think I was okay. Because you guys were pretty much all grown up and you, in a way, you weren't totally grown up, but you guys were at an age where you were able to understand. And you were able to take care of yourself. And you being my first child, I think I was very grateful to have Hannah as my first child. You helped out a lot. You took care of your sister. Things that I couldn't do while I was working. You always looked after her. And you were like her second mom, even though you guys are only two years apart. So you played a big role in helping me raise Katelyn.

HANNAH: What would you consider to be your dream job?

KRISTINE: A dream job? Just to have kids and take care of you guys. I wish I had... um, what is the word that I wanna use?... I wish that I didn't have to work outside of the home. I wish I was able to stay home and be a stay-at-home mom. That way, I could have had more than just two kids, because each one of you guys is so different. I'm kind of curious if I'd had more, how different they would be.

HANNAH: And how different do you think your life would have been if you didn't have Katelyn and me?

KRISTINE: Wow. I never thought about that since I had you guys so young, you guys have always been part of my life. I don't know, what would I be doing? Probably definitely not Reno. Maybe traveled the world.

HANNAH: Why do you choose family over your career so much? Or why do you want to do that so much?

KRISTINE: I feel like in life, you always wonder about what could have been. So me growing up as an only child, I wanted siblings. I wanted a big family. And to me, that's why family met so much. It was because of something that I didn't have. And I think that's why I want it to have [it.] I think you should have kids. That's one thing that I will never regret in my life, is having you and Katelyn.

HANNAH: Do you have any last words?

KRISTINE: Study hard. I love you.

HANNAH: I love you too.

Hannah Choi is a recent high school graduate and a reporter for our youth media program, a special partnership with the Washoe County School District to train the next generation of journalists. Since the start of the pandemic, the program has met remotely, and students have not been reporting in the field to avoid the transmission of COVID-19.

Music by Podington Bear.

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