When Thien-Kim Lam was mistaken as her biracial children’s nanny, she started I’m Not the Nanny, a blog devoted to her experiences and interests with parenting, food, and technology.
We got to sit down with Lam and discuss interracial families—particularly, in regards to her experience of motherhood in that context.
What do you do for a living and why should readers know about it?
Thien-Kim Lam: I’m a writer and recipe creator. There’s much more involved but if I had to simplify my current career path, that covers almost everything. While I also write for other sites, I’m Not the Nanny encompasses many of my passions. I started my blog as a way to share my experiences parenting biracial children, but now it’s evolved. I curate lists that feature diverse books for kids, share my Vietnamese inspired recipes, and snippets of how our multicultural family celebrates our Asian American, African American, and Louisiana cultures.
Can you talk more about the numbers regarding interracial family visibility—why is it so important to talk about multicultural parenting?
TKL: Talking about race and family isn’t optional for my family. We’re living in a world where race and ethnicity affects how we’re treated. Multiracial people face a unique set of challenges. As an Asian American parent, I have no first hand experience on how my children’s mixed race heritage will be treated by others. The best I can do is to instill pride in who they are. During my All Things Considered interview, NPR says that “15% of [US] marriages are interracial and inter-ethnic.” That means our multiracial population is also growing. Interracial families shouldn’t be the only ones discussing race and culture. I started I’m Not the Nanny to offer all parents — not just those in multicultural families — resources to raise compassionate, global citizens.
What is your favorite thing about the work you do and the impact it has on people?
TKL: My favorite thing is when a reader lets me know how one of my stories, recipes, or book lists have impacted them. When my kids were younger, I had a tough time finding books that reflected their background. So I curate multicultural book lists for parents in similar situations. I’ve also received emails from people in interracial relationships after they read about how my parents didn’t approve of my black husband. I’m happy that my words are helping others.
What are your hopes for your future and the future of your blog?
TKL: I want I’m Not the Nanny to be an example of how families don’t have to choose between our many cultures. We can celebrate all parts of ourselves equally or as much as we desire. We’re all trying our best to raise good children. For those reasons, I will keep curating diverse book lists and continue to share recipes influenced by my Vietnamese and Louisiana background.
Is there something specific that sparked your interest in parenting, tech, and food? Do you ever feel like you have trouble tying together these topics?
TKL: The beauty of blogging is that I can share all the thing that make me who I am. I love food: cooking it, eating it, serving it to family and friends. I’m also a huge geek who squeals about the latest smartphone or a new camera. Combine these two loves with the people I love most–my family–that’s what you’ll see when you read I’m Not the Nanny.
For more information and updates, you can like Lam’s personal blog on Facebook.