Hello from Yuka from Ichiroya.
Is your country generous for mothers with children? We hear from foreign tourists visiting Japan, that they think Japanese are kind to others and have hospitality.
However, we heard Japanese mothers living in other countries feel Japanese society is not kind to mothers with children. Recently we hear, mothers with baby buggy are having a lot of stress using public transportation in Japan,because of the cold stare from others.
Of course that depends on circumstances, and mostly everybody is kind to small children but people feel mothers getting on crowded train with baby buggy are thoughtless and recently there are some discussion about mothers.
The environment of bringing up children has been changed-nuclear families are the main stream and people seem to have obtained `freedom' with bringign up their own children, without being intervened by their own mothers or mothers in law. There are `kid's menu' in restaurants, and shopping centers and department stores have changing station and nursing rooms. There are particular concerts and movies where you can bring small children. There seem more places are available for mothers and children in strollers to go in the society! (Paper diapers are just fantastic now-our granddaughter loves that and does not feel the need of going to a rest room!)
However there seem a generation gap and mothers sometimes seem to receive the cold look. I think using mobile phone when being with small children seem to give a very negative impressin- as if they are neglecting the children. Well, there is always murmur---`Young people (mothers) nowadays.....'
Shoko, our older daughter is staying with us this month-she is expecting the second baby(boy) soon. She found this cafe and we went there together the other day.
I could ot help thinking, if there have been the place like this when I was bringing up children. The place was so close to our house but we did not know there is such place.
From outside, it looked like a regular house-when we went in, a two-year-old girl welcomed us and the guy with his baby on his back led us to a table.
The baby bed is in the center of the cafe and there is a nice and cozy playroom with books and toys. There are loft space on the second floor and another small corner is on the left, there are tables along the window on the right side also. Ichino, our granddaughter started to play as if she is at her friend's house (the owner's two-year-old daughter was welcoming everyone), and we had a relaxing time having sweets and latte ( with cute Latte art of Anpanman, the children's favorite anime character!)
While we were having a nice time, many mothers with children came to this cafe, so this place seemed to be the oasis for mothers to get refreshed in this area. The owner ( the shy guy and his wife with super-friendly smile!)really seemed to be enjoying thir business and also raising their three kids at the same time. I have never seen a cafe like this before.
We say, babies cannot choose when or where to be born and do not blame those small babies but mothers (they must look more fortunate and have more freedom compared to old times) in this time also are struggling and having stress even though they look to have everything in their hands.
I found this advertizement film-mothers who came for one- year checkup of their babies. The husbands give surprise and the message says, `Happy birthday, Mom for your first year as a mother'. First year of raising children-a very tough task.
Mothers too grow as their babies-Shoko did not like cooking but now she cooks and makes a variety of dish having good taste and fully nutricious! (I know, I am oyabaka-a doting mother and overrating own daughter, but having a child, she has been changed).
I cannot thank my mother enough, she passed away 7 years ago and still I talk with her in my heart.
Today I want to wish all mothers who are now raising kids good luck!