Amber Malinowski

Children and Ages? Edward Joseph (Eddie), 3.5 years old and Nikolai David (Niko), almost 1 year old.

Where were you born? Cedar Grove, Wisconsin, USA. I’m a Midwest American girl born and bred.

Where else have you lived? Outside of living in my home town for most my life, I only lived in two other places. I did a four year stint in Stevens Point, Wisconsin for university and then moved to Chicago, Illinois before packing up and relocating across the world to Hong Kong.

How long have you been in Hong Kong? I just passed my one-year-mark in September.

What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? My husband was offered a job to work for a major hotel company. We simply could not say no to such amazing opportunity! So even though I was 7 months pregnant with a toddler in tow, we packed up everything we owned and shipped our entire lives here.

We stay because being here is truly the most amazing of adventures. Ten years ago, if you would have asked me if I ever saw myself living in Hong Kong, I would have laughed! On top of that, my husband really enjoys his work and the culture differences between Hong Kong and the US. There is an ebb and flow to my own feelings of Hong Kong and I’ll be the first to admit that homesickness grips me often and makes me dislike almost everything. However, I feel like the Hong Kong chapter of our lives is far from over.

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? The better question is ‘At what time of day do I not check Hong Kong Moms?’. I’m basically on it most of the day, usually when I’m hiding in the bathroom for a few sanity-grasping moments as my children run wild through the household. My more frequent times to check, though, are generally mornings and evenings, with a few glances around lunch when my tiny dictators are distracted by food or sleeping.

What posts do you comment on and why? I find myself drawn to posts that have similarities to the difficulties I’m going through or have gone through. So, things such as ‘why is my 3 year old such a jerk?’ or ‘what is up with babies that don’t sleep through the night!?’ and even ‘Park ‘n Shop, why is it taking a WEEK to get my mofo’ing groceries!?’ usually grab my attention! I am all about giving an Internet fistbump to fellow moms who are suffering through the same situations that I am. I find that it makes the struggles of parenting feel a little less lonely when you have others stepping up and commiserating or raising a glass of wine in your direction.

I also like shouting out in any post where the bit of Hong Kong knowledge I’ve gleaned can be useful — like where are some good playgroups or what items to bring with you when you move. I remember that those sorts of posts were the ones I found super helpful when I was gearing up for my move or had just arrived. Reaching out to any newly moved moms is also important to me and I always try to at least give a friendly welcome.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? Before my 30th birthday this past March, I had posted asking what kind of interesting, fascinating things I could do in Hong Kong to make me a less lame mom. The post exploded and the responses I got were OVERWHELMING! I was straight up blown away! I never knew that Hong Kong had so much to offer. I’ve done things such as stand-up paddling, aerial silk, as well as find new places to travel to. I still refer back to that post each month to pick what new activity I will do. I thought not knowing the language and being so far from home, my options on hobbies would be limited — Hong Kong Moms taught me that there is literally an ocean of fun and fascinating activities for anyone willing to take the proverbial plunge.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? There have been so many amazing posts on Hong Kong Moms. If I had to narrow it down to just one, my favorite is the ‘Penis Beaker’. I was laughing hysterically at that one! I also have a lot of love for all the positive posts surrounding the Umbrella Protests. So many moms contributing time, money, and resources to support those protesters. The sheer sense of community that came together to help such a worthy cause. My heart swelled with pride to be part of such an amazing group of moms.

What do you Ask Hong Kong Moms? Pretty much everything and anything. I have no shame and bow down the the wisdom and know-how of Hong Kong Moms! Many times I desperately need to know where I can purchase something in particular that won’t have me traipsing from store to store. The other thing I reach out for is simply, support. Mental and emotional support from moms who have been there before me.

Why do you read Hong Kong Moms? Hong Kong Moms is my source of sanity. I was not ready for this place — for the culture shock, the language difficulties or how hard it is to find freaking taco shells. Luckily, this group has helped me adapt and feel comfortable in my new home. There was something about the community that made me feel like I was not as alone in Hong Kong as I thought I was. It’s also why I still read Hong Kong Moms, even now after I’ve found a support network of great friends. I continuously find myself with new difficulties. I still need Hong Kong Moms in my life to get me through the day-to-day grind.

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms? Hilariously, yes! I am shocked whenever someone asks if I’m “the Amber from Hong Kong Moms”. I won’t lie, sometimes I get a thrill and think ‘I’M SUPER FAMOUS!’ until I realize no, I’m not, I just post entirely too much.

Have you met any friends through Hong Kong Moms? I absolutely have and I hope to keep that momentum up. There are so many amazing ladies in the group that I would love to hang out with.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? Without a doubt, I’d love to see Daisy Joy Tan Nemeth featured next! Her posts always crack me up! Her “Peppermint Army” will go down in Hong Kong Moms’ history!

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