Feb 22, 2017

Mothering education circle

One day while I was watching my son play at the local community center, two oba-san approached me and casually started taking to me about how I'm raising my son in a country not my own. Little did I know that this small talk would turn into something that happened monthly and in a very formal manner. These two sweet ladies were both grandmothers and part of a group of women learning about how to raise children. Having already raised their own, they get together inviting any mothers they meet to join in and share stories and questions that most all women who have had to care for other humans have encountered. So far it has been a great experience as a foreigner to be part of this group. Not only does it provide me with Japanese practice, but it involves me in something I've never dealt with before from my own cultural perspective, formality. The meetings are very structured with an opening, introduction speech, topic reading, and then group discussion. While all of the mother's are gathered around discussing their trials and tribulations the grandmothers are in another room caring for children, giving the mothers an hours break from parenting. It's structured, but relaxing, allowing a small respite once a month from watching and guarding the small child.  But my favorite part about the group is how non judgemental everyone is. This includes the older women who truly seem to just want to learn how to better raise tiny humans. They give advice but also encourage different styles of teaching and raising children. I'm not sure if there are other groups exactly like this one around Japan, but if you are a parent looking for camaraderie in the works of fostering the next generation of the human race, I highly recommend asking around at local community centers for mother groups like this one. 

edthethe

edthethe

American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too


7 Comments

  • Ashes

    on Feb 22

    This sounds amazing! I hope there is something like this in Chiba where I live now. It's things like this that I miss about life in rural Japan.

  • Saitama

    on Feb 22

    That is beautiful. <3 So simple, yet so practical. And great for you to have that comradeship and peer support. I would definitely attend something like this if we had one. Like @Ashes we are also in a rural area.

  • edthethe

    on Feb 22

    @Ashes @Saitama I live in a pretty rural area. And it seems the mothers coming to these meetings are from all over the area I live, about 5 or 6 different towns. The ladies who met me at the community center drive me to all the meetings and also pick up another lady sometimes too. It's a really lovely collection of ladies

  • SilviaS15

    on Feb 23

    That's amazing! I've had random old ladies try to tell me how to raise my daughter... :/

  • SilviaS15

    on Feb 23

    That's amazing! I've had random old ladies try to tell me how to raise my daughter... :/

  • SilviaS15

    on Feb 23

    That's amazing! I've had random old ladies try to tell me how to raise my daughter... :/

  • edthethe

    on Feb 26

    @SilviaS15 going into the first meeting, that is what I was afraid of. I don't want to be judged or given advice like it's the only way things should go. Especially when my idea of what is good for my children can be different from Japanese standards. But the reactions I get are all just proud that I want to care for my children.