It doesn’t seem right to start off with a disclaimer but I feel I must point out that the subheading at the top of this page should actually say “Adventures of a (Wannabe) Gaijin Mum and a Japanese Dad” at this stage because I have decided to document our journey from the very early planning stages – especially since for me this is a very important part of the journey.
Who are we?
I am an Australian “early-thirty-something” living in Saitama and working in-house as a Japanese-English translator in Tokyo. My husband and the Japanese Dad in the title is an almost-forty Japanese guy also commuting to Tokyo.
So that you have a better understanding of our situation I feel I should also provide the following information. I speak, read, and write Japanese well. I have studied the language since I was 13 (you do the maths – I’d rather not!) and in addition to high school and university I did a one-year exchange to Tokyo when I was 18. I have now lived in Tokyo for more than 7 years. I have a masters degree in Japanese interpreting and translation so, while my Japanese is far from perfect, I can understand most of what is going on and communicate most of what I need to without too much trouble.
I should also add that my husband lived in the United States for about 7 years, and in Australia with me for about 3 years. This means that he speaks and understands English well and has a less than traditional Japanese mindset, whatever that is (although he may well have had that before his time overseas!).
Why the blog?
The purpose of this blog is to share my experiences doing the baby thing in Japan. I hope to keep family and friends up to date and share my experiences with other people going through the same thing (or thinking about it). I can’t stress enough that this blog is about my experiences and therefore is far from representative of the “having a baby in Japan” experience. Assuming that I do develop any kind of readership outside of family and friends I doubt they will be in my exact situation. Still, hopefully reading about what I go through can help others in their situations. I also have a selfish motive – I am hoping that I will get advice, hints, and other information from people who read this that will help me and make my job as a mum in Japan a bit easier! That was a blatant request for comments – in case you missed it!
I am also hoping that this blog will serve as a reflective tool for me – similar to a journal – and also that it will hold me accountable for my more honourable intentions. I can hardly write a post saying that I guzzled 3 litres of coke and ate a block of dairy milk if I know that everyone is aware of my intentions to eat as well as I possibly can while I’m pregnant and breastfeeding.