I’m a Mom AND a Foodie, a Traveler and a Community Supporter


As a mom who works full time and has three children (15-year-old girl, 13-year-old boy and 7-year-old boy), if you were to ask me what my mom-related extracurricular activities are, I would most likely say Uber driver, ATM and personal assistant.

I chauffer the children around to their various after-school activities (although I’m very excited my daughter has her learners’ permit and will be able to drive soon!). My daughter is my mini-me and has makes so many plans with friends, works with cotillion and is heavily involved in church leadership. My middle child competes in cubing tournaments and my youngest does Tae Kwon Do.

As their ATM, I pay for the things they need and a few of the things they want. The kids are constantly asking me for money. As their personal assistant, I make sure they have a home, clothes, food, give them advice and be there for them for whatever they need. So, in short, as it relates, I’m a mom and a mom! 

But, I had to think. What am I other than a mom? Things that I would do regardless of whether I had kids or not. I thought about it and came up with these three things: a foodie, a traveler and a community supporter.

I’m a Mom AND…

1. I’m a foodie

I have always loved good food and trying out new and different locations, supporting local businesses wherever I am. Good food also doesn’t mean expensive food. Sometimes the best food can be found in a hole in the wall place. Great food can be at mom-and-pop places, farm to table dinners and catered events.

Rosewood Crawfish Festival

Just recently, I attended the Gervais Street Bridge Dinner, an event that I’ve attended a few times over the years – and it’s not just about the food. It’s about the experience – eating dinner and dancing on the Gervais Street Bridge. Columbia also has festivals year-round with amazing food to try – Food & Wine Festival, Korean Festival, Greek Festival, Crawfish festival and International Festival, just to name a few. 

I am most definitely that person who takes pictures of her food because obviously the camera eats first. Even my kids have gotten to the point to where they are like “Are you done so we can eat already?” However, as much as they complain, they are all just as much foodie children as I am their foodie mom. My youngest (who is 7) loves a good steak tartare or mussels (preferable at Ratio in Northeast Columbia). My daughter loves her sushi and San Jose’s Mexican food. My middle loves any and all Korean food (whether from a local restaurant or food that mom makes!)

2. I’m a traveler

I didn’t realize my love of traveling until later in life. As a child, I remember my mom would send me to visit my brother and sister across the United States during summer vacation by myself. I was ten flying from Atlanta to San Diego, San Deigo to Philadelphia, then back to Atlanta. So, travel wasn’t a new thing for me. I just didn’t appreciate it as much until I was an adult.

MJ 3
MJ 4

I love visiting new cities, whether domestically or internationally. Sometimes I travel by myself, while other times I travel with family or friends. Regardless, I usually do my research and look for the best spots to see and eat (of course…re: foodie above) and can’t miss activities.

Most recently, I went on a trip of a lifetime this summer with my 82-year-old mother for ten days to Italy, Switzerland and France. With friends, I’ve been to Asheville, Nashville, New Orleans and New York these past years. Yes, that means I don’t always travel with my kids. However, I do also travel with my kids. We travel to California every other Christmas to visit my family. Just recently, I took them to Orlando for their fall break to go to the theme parks. We also do travel to drivable cities for long weekend trips such as Greenville or Charlotte. 

3. I’m a community supporter

I’m not originally from Columbia, but I have now been here for over 20 years and love where I live. In loving where I live, I try to give back to my community and provide my support. I work full-time so PTO/PTA is harder to commit time to, but I have served on various non-profit boards and try to volunteer my time.

My Thanksgiving tradition if I’m in town is always to volunteer with Senior Resources to prepare and delivery Meals on Wheels. If my kids are with me that holiday, I take them along too to teach them about volunteering their time and doing something that makes them feel good. Other young professional boards I’ve worked with in the past were with Harvest Hope and Junior Achievement. My daughter still remembers when I volunteered for Junior Achievement in her second grade class. 

Currently, I serve on the board for Columbia Opportunity Resource (COR), a nonprofit organization that helps professionals in Columbia and surrounding areas get plugged in to the community connecting them to opportunities, experiences and diverse networks. We also work to retain talent in Columbia.

Therapalooza is an annual fundraiser benefiting The Therapy Place

The other board I serve on is for The Therapy Place, a nonprofit pediatric therapy center in Columbia that provides unique therapies and programs for children with special needs in an environment that is family-friendly, to include resources and educations for their parents and caregivers. While I’m so thankful that I haven’t needed these resources for my kids, I know many family and friends that do and just giving back some of my time to this great organization makes me feel like I might make a small difference in the community and enriches my life. 

With these three things that I’ve chosen to highlight along with the fact that I’m a mom, I also want to be a role model for my children as their mom to experience these things in life. I want them to be open to trying new and different foods. I want them to see the world, and I want them to give back to their community. Even if they are just open to a little bit of each of those things by watching me and my life, I’ve done my job as their mom.

We’d love to hear about you as well! Tell us what else you are, in addition to being a mom!

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Mee Jean Sasine
Mee Jean is a divorced mom of three amazing kids: Alyssa, (14), Jacob (12) and Isaac (7). She moved to Columbia in 2002 after graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Once wondering how she could live in a small town, she now embraces it and loves her home in Northeast Columbia. She is a Proposal Writer at HCSC and loves being involved in the community and making Columbia the best place for her kids to grow up in. Mee Jean loves going to local events and supporting businesses around the city. In her free time, she loves hanging out with her friends, reading, watching Georgia football, running races (whether it be 5ks or Spartans), taking pictures and making memories (lots of selfies and hashtags), shopping, relaxing with some wine by the pool and sleeping. 


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