Jun Dishes

verb/diSH/ : food or sex or gossip or fiction in real life

Find Your Own Happiness Rant

Real conversation that happens multiple times on some days for me, in-person and online…it happened just this weekend too:

Person: “How is life? Are you happy in Belgium?”

Me: “Yes, very happy. Everything’s great!”

Person: “Oh, really? But…”


Usually that last question ends in a list of any number things about my life before I moved to Belgium.

Can you imagine someone questioning your happiness directly? Maybe you can but I never justify questions like that with anything but a smile. There’s no need for me to indivdiually address unhappy people’s buts and concerns about my happiness anyway, when I can do it in a blog, and this makes me happy. See what I did there? I found my own sliver of happiness.

It took me a while to figure out that the person asking the question wasn’t being intentionally rude or hostile but simply blunt and tactless. Like because I picked up and moved and had a child in a new country with a different language and lifestyle, Belgians and Americans, men and women alike doubt my happiness. Mine.

But said person has probably only dreamt of living in New York or working on Wall Street or winning Big Brother or whatever it is that’s seemingly more important than what I’ve been doing the last few years. Not much else was or is more important to me since I moved to Belgium, than my husband and son and the start of our new family. It’s not like I can rewind and fix things or stuff Noah back up into my womb and re-birth him. Ew. No. I took my start of a new life and committed to it 100% to start a family the right way, being the way that works best for us. Just in the nearly 3 years I’ve been married myself I’ve seen dozens of couples break up or divorce in all stages of their relationships because they didn’t ultimately find what worked for them.

I committed 100% to staying at home just like some mothers commit to working full-time or serving their country or whatever their personal decision. This means my husband Davy committed 100% to being the sole bread winner. Nothing is as glamorous as it’s photo-shopped to be.

I know that Davy has conversations like the one I shared above but even worse, Davy actually hears worse and gets questioned more. Belgium isn’t so different from America in that families with a stay-at-home parent isn’t commonly-practiced and especially not in times of economic eruptions. Still, it’s nobody’s fucking business how and how long I stay at home to care for Noah and Davy. Perhaps it’s easier for me to say this since I’m not Davy and I realize I’m harder and colder than Davy, when dealing with rude nosy people. I know it affects Davy more than it does me. I wish people would mind their own life decisions instead of asking about ours.

But I bet Noah would, if he could, chime in a declaration of his own happiness. But he doesn’t have to. It’s visible and palpable. So why wouldn’t I be happy? It’s probably because I have lived so many different dreams that I’m content to right now watch Noah daydream by day and because I know there are days ahead where I’ll be doing others things, as Noah’s daydreams start to become realities themselves.


For now all I can say is that some people need to just find their own happiness. I’ll be referring them to the link to this blog in the future.

And don’t you worry about what my future looks like because I’ll be sure to let you know anyway.

Always dishing

Posted under: Reality Dishes

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  • I was a stay at home mommy. Now I am a stay at home grandmother. I know how much my son appreciates it. Do I wish we had more money. Who doesn’t. But right now I am comfortable with my decision. Its no ones business how we can do it. We just do. And I know my grand kids are safe and happy. Just as I knew my kids were.

    • Money is the root of all things but we all make sacrifices. How wonderful that you all have a family that sticks together like yours does. You’d one blessed mama and grandma! :)

  • @catmeghan Meghan on December 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm said:


    My response to those types of questions is “why do you ask?”

    This separates those who are genuinely interested in how you guys make it work from the nosy Parkers.

    That question also has the added bonus of inducing embarassed stammering among the nosy-est of the nosy

  • Good for you! It’s nobody’s business how you choose to raise your family or live your life. I can’t believe the nerve of some people.

    • Hahahaha! I can’t either but there are rude people everywhere. It’s so obvious when someone’s just a tad disappointed that you’re so happy. They suck. The end. :)

  • I don’t doubt ur happiness..look at Noah. He is happy . That’s a reflection. .
    I understand..it when ppl say. How are you. I say good. They reply yeah? Like being good has never been an option…gheeze

    • Being good is hard to come by. I’m grateful for all my goodness like you are. We need to spread more of this around! :)

  • Your life is obviously fulfilling. Way to go, Jun. Love your spunk. You’re doing the important thing that most in my generation turned their back upon, raising a decent generation to take over for us…

    • I feel like I’m supposed to be building a space shuttle in my backyard in my free time while I raise Noah and keep a home hahahahaha. Seriously! I keep myself pretty busy :)

  • vivi howe on December 9, 2013 at 5:58 pm said:


    I love that you are a stay at home mom and take care if your own child. I love that you are so committed, I love that you continously leave your comfort zone. Your life is not scripted according to what others think you ought to do or not do. I love that you write your own script. Keep being happy, the secret ingredient…family. your little family and never put yourself into a box,

    • It’s what I’ve always wanted and it’s what fills my day in the most beautiful way. It’s not always pretty but yes…my own script. What a perfect way to put it Vivi :)

  • I dont even understand the “but” people …. meaning: leaving NYC and moving to an entirely new country seems like a HUGE decision and if that wasnt what they wanted to do to make themselves happy, they would probably find a reason to not do it BEFORE they did it!!

    So I always assumed you MUST be happy, otherwise, you’d still be in the US!!

    maybe Im just too logical?? lol

  • When people ask really intrusive questions and I simply cannot smile and ignore it, you know some are way persistent, I respond with with: Oh dear you must be so embarrassed you asked that. That usually shuts them up. It also usually means they never speak to me again, so I am judicious when I use it.

    Envy is truly a green eyed monster, especially when it involves happiness which is so hard to find.

  • My mother is a stay at home mom too. I’m glad that she got to raise me. I never envied friends who had nannies. It’s not easy maintaining kids and a house. Also, I live in NYC and I can’t fucking wait to move to another country.

  • Anonymous on December 9, 2013 at 11:50 pm said:


    Have to read the blog next but just wanted to mention on cbs news had a short piece on rosacea a and mentioned a new topical treatment Mirvaso. You all probably know about it but thought I’d mention. Now going back to read blog

  • My mom was a stay-at-home mom, and my brother and I are the better for it. Her friend down the street worked at a furniture store, and my mom told me (once I was an adult) that she was actually a little jealous that her friend could afford nice throw pillows on their couch and hand towels that were just for show. I told her that raising a family was just as important as throw pillows, but I bought her three for Christmas! You’re doing what you need to do for yourself and your family, and that’s nobody else’s business. I’m glad you can just smile when people question your happiness….I like the idea of saying, ‘why on earth would you say something like that?’

  • i was a stay at home mom and women were the rude ones. always wondering if I was brain dead or something since i didnt have meaningful work. when my kids got to be adults they told me it was great having me there. i acted as an excuse why they couldnt do some dumb thing others wanted them to do. lol the old mom will know and kill me. stay home every day you can.

    ps. what do you want me to bring you from USA. Jan 3rd we will be in the neighborhood if you want to meet at the train station.

    • Oh you don’t have to bring anything at all! If you’re coming into Ghent we could meet right in the city (you can take a tram from the train station right to Gravensteen Castle) and we could meet up! It’s in my calendar. January 3rd.

      I’ve been really surprised at the reactions from people about my staying home. I understand part of it but I still think it’s incredibly rude :)

  • Did you intentionally not sign this blog? Or is it because you’re so unhappy? I kid, of course. One thing I’ve always wondered about these naysayers: why is it they think you would be so much happier in NYC at this stage of the game. I really don’t remember you as a ball of sunshine and sparkles before you moved to be with the love of your life and your precious baby. So what gives?

  • In MY day, all moms were stay at home moms. Lovely for Mommy, so good for the kiddies, but ……. SCAREY AS BLOODY ASSED HELL FOR THE GUYS though of course only very very old and very very grumpy old codgers would EVER admit to such a thing. If Davey ever seems a bit more distracted than you would prefer, chances are today he did NOT tell anybody to Take This Job And Shove It.

  • Anonymous on December 10, 2013 at 6:20 pm said:


    thank you jun , for giving my (onze ) son en grandson so much love ! wij zien dat jullie gelukkig zijn en dan zijn wij het ook natuurlijk !! xxomi

  • I was a SAHM with my oldest for 3 years. It started being because he was 3 months premature & had health issues. Daycare wasn’t an option. I wanted to SAHM but didn’t know if we could afford it but then it wasn’t an option! We did without some extras & made our money stretch. It was the best time in my life & would never trade it! I hate when people judge & question anyone’s choices! I remember being asked what do you do all day? Wouldn’t you be happier getting away every day? What are you doing for the future? It’s crazy!! I’m a single mom now & have to work but I could work 2 jobs & have MORE/DO MORE but I wouldn’t see my boys. They could have more toys & games but that’s not like the memories we make! They are little once. Money isn’t everything. My youngest is 7 & he needs me & I love seeing him grow daily. My oldest is 13 & he needs me now more than ever in different ways! He will be gone from home so soon & I’m enjoying every day before then! Keep being the wonderful mama & wife you are & the haters can just keep on hating!

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