How does a woman retain her freedom and pursue her dreams while still experiencing the incredible gift of motherhood? The fear of losing oneself in becoming a mother is contrasted in this film with the fear of missing the chance to be a mom; this haunts many modern women as the years of child bearing tick forward. These are the questions explored and mastered in the film “Lessons from Jeju: Freediving and Motherhood with Kimi Werner.” Seven months pregnant and apprehensive of the effect motherhood would have on her career as a professional freediver, Kimi Werner took a trip to the island of Jeju in South Korea to meet her heroes, the Haenyeo – a group of freediving and fishing women often regarded as Korea’s first working mother’s whose culture dates back centuries. Kim learns from these free-spirited and strong mothers that having children and diving as a way to provide income for their families does not have to be in conflict. With support from each other and an indomitable will to be independent women, the Haenyeo show Kim that it is possible to be a mother and to also pursue one’s dreams for personal fulfillment.

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  • Read about "Mothering as Social Change" in this essay. 
  • If you are not ready, able or interested in having children, learn about other important and needed ways to nurture and mother children.
  • In what ways can you let go of fears and pursue your dreams whether as a mother or not? Are there others with whom you can band together to find support for being courageous and not giving in to fears? Go for what brings joy into your life.

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