Let’s listen to a little talk of a young mother about the journey of motherhood and wifehood that is both sacred, sweet but equally difficult in the land of the rising sun.
Perhaps the Vietnamese community in Japan is very familiar with the name Heni in Japan, one of the YouTubers who receive a lot of attention. Although he has only entered this job since 2018, with witty guidance and close content, Heni has won the hearts of his expatriates in Japan.
Not only that, but Heni also became a Vietnamese bride in a Japanese family, a mother of two children who had honest sharing about married life as well as relationships with her husband’s family members. These very simple moments have a strange attraction to many breastfeeding mothers, especially those who are also mothers in Japan.
Living away from home is indeed not easy, being attached for a lifetime with foreign people and countries is also one of the challenges that Vietnamese mothers in Japan have to go through. Let’s listen to a little experience of a mother of two about motherhood and full-time parenting!
– Hi Heni, can you introduce yourself a little bit?
My name is Thu Hien, 31 years old, currently living in Nara, Japan. I have 2 girls, Jenny 2 and a half years old and Mia 1 and a half years old. 2 babies exactly 1 year apart.
– Is the birth of children close together in the plan of the couple Hien?
Actually having a second baby was out of our plan. When I heard the news that I had a baby, I was also a bit surprised but more happy than worried because for me children are a gift from God. When Loc comes rushing, I must be happy.
– Currently Hien is a full-time mother?
Right. This matter, my husband and I discussed before the first child was pregnant. That is, I will quit my job at the company and stay at home to do housework and take care of the children. Our view is that money can always be earned, it’s okay to be poor, but your childhood is only one, very short, and once it’s gone, you can’t get it back. So I want to spend as much time with him as possible in the first few years of his life.
In Japan, kindergartens are divided into two basic types: Hoikuen and Yochien. Hoikuen requires her mother to go to work to send it, and Yochien can go to school as long as she is old enough, but the sending time is short, so it is more suitable for stay-at-home mothers. And Hoikuen simply takes care of children while Yochien teaches children according to the program set out by the Ministry of Education.
My husband and I decided that we would send our child to Yochien when he was 3 years old, so we have no intention of working until he enters elementary school. Instead, I will do some work that can be done at home and flexible hours so that I can still pick up and take care of my children such as receiving online Japanese lessons, translating or focusing more on the channel. My current Youtube.
– According to Hien, what are the advantages and disadvantages of having a thick birth?
There are 2 children close in age, there are advantage to be:
1. Saves a lot of supplies because the next baby can always use the previous one. For example, milk bottles, towels, clothes, toys… if you were born 3-5 years ago, you will usually want to buy new, but no one will reuse something that has been left unused for such a long time, but what if After that, it’s okay to use it.
2. Shorten the time of breastfeeding and when the two children grow up to go to school, the mother will be more leisurely and have more time for herself and her career. Because I am a full-time mother, if I wait 3-5 years to have another baby, my time at home will be very long.
3. Two children of close age will go to school together, play together very happily, so they are not afraid of being lonely or having no friends.
1. It will be extremely hard. Especially in Japan, the mother does almost everything. Grandparents and grandparents may love and play with their grandchildren but have no concept of taking care of them. Babysitting and bathing services are not as convenient as in Vietnam and the prices are also very expensive. Thinking back to the first 4 months after giving birth to the second baby, I feel really scared. Almost no sleep. At night, feed the second baby 2-3 times until morning, the second baby sleeps, the first baby wakes up. Then the first baby takes a nap, the second baby eats, changes diapers, takes a bath, and so on, day after day. My husband is at home every day, but he can’t help that day.
2. It is not possible to teach children to learn this, learn that, play this and that as much as when there is only one child. Many times you will feel helpless when you can’t split yourself up to solve 2 problems at the same time, but you can only choose the priority order. Choose to change diapers for this baby first or pick up the other sleeping baby first. Read the story to one baby first or give the other baby milk first. Many times, having to refuse older children when they want me to play with them or read books to them is very loving. But it’s only 1-2 years, when the second child is a little older, you can teach 2 children at the same time, play together.
3. The mother’s body will be very weak after 2 births in a row, the change in body can lead to psychological inferiority, low self-esteem, depression and easily lead to postpartum depression. I lost a lot of hair after giving birth to the first baby, then the second baby, his hair grew straight up to the sky, I didn’t dare to take pictures with him because it looked so ugly even though I liked it. I just had to tell myself that it would be okay to lengthen it.
– What is Hien’s point of view on raising children?
I want my children to have an innocent and happy childhood, so I choose education without scolding, it’s also very difficult and sometimes I can’t control my emotions because the older child is in a crisis at the age of 2-3, but I still Trying to train myself every day. I prioritize teaching my children to be polite and respectful before teaching them knowledge.
You may not know the alphabet, don’t know the flags of the countries, don’t know how to speak 2 languages and 3 languages, but you must know how to say thank you every time you receive it, know how to say sorry every time you do something wrong. yes, invite when eating and thank you when finished. Know how to keep order when in public, know how to care and love people. I also try to take my children out to play a lot, let them interact with nature, plants and flowers, I want them to be active, confident and love to explore.
– Can the two children learn Vietnamese?
Currently, children only speak Vietnamese when video calling with their grandparents. I plan to start teaching Vietnamese more methodically when the two children are about 4 years old.
I apologize for not sharing what my child has said and learned. Because of that, I will be compared. If your child is not as good as other children, you will be criticized, and if you are better, you can unintentionally put pressure on other mothers. To me, every child is talented in their own way.
I spend the entire day with my children. When I’m drying clothes or cooking and my children bring books to ask to read, I will stop work and read to them first, it’s okay to dry clothes later. It is up to me to teach my children, I try to maintain the rule of shuffling cards for 10 minutes every morning, read at least 10 ehon books a day and definitely sing 3 favorite songs to my children before going to bed.
Besides, I teach anything whenever I can. For example, when I’m cooking, I try to teach my children to recognize vegetables, when doing housework, teach them the names of objects, colors, how to count…
But when I was too tired every day, I also told my children to play by themselves because Mom was too tired. Or when I’m not in a good mood, I tell my children and sometimes the whole day the three of us just lie down and sing and order food to eat. Because I know that if I try too hard, I will easily lose my temper, get angry with my children, but I don’t want to, so I choose how to make the mother and daughter happy. That is my criterion and for me, having fun is more important than learning a lot of knowledge.
– Was there ever a time when Hien was bored when she had to look after her children day after day?
Yes, sometimes it’s very boring, partly because of the epidemic, so the mother and daughter stay at home, not daring to go anywhere. Then the hair is messy, the whole day a pajamas are covered with food that the child smears on, and then looking at everyone dressed in beautiful clothes, successful career development, it feels like the whole society is moving back. In front of me, I was the only one standing still, old and crumpled, like being rejected by society.
But then I think everyone has their own timeline, I just need to work hard for a few years until my children go to school, then I will have more time to develop myself and my career. This is my choice so I will try to make it the best. And I can’t give my child what I don’t have, so if I want him to be happy, I have to be happy and energetic first.
Well, I also have to thank my husband for accompanying and supporting me a lot. Going to work is also busy and hard, but I know that my wife and children are at home, so every time I take a break, I take my wife and children to go somewhere else, go to the park, go camping, watch flowers and see red leaves, so I don’t come. boredom.
– Sharing about the journey of motherhood, does Hien have any advice for the majority of Vietnamese mothers living in Japan?
Life in Japan is inherently not fun and bustling, close friends and neighbors gather like in Vietnam, so people who live far away from their families and then give birth and take care of their children are very stressful. If I do advise, I advise everyone to prepare carefully in terms of psychology, knowledge as well as living conditions before deciding to have children and raise children here.
Determine if you can take care of the child alone, with your husband helping. Equip with Japanese language for prenatal care, delivery or knowledge to take care of children here. Find out in advance about the postnatal support regimes of the city where you live. Now there are many groups for Vietnamese mothers in Japan on Facebook, people can go there to ask for experience, or find friends in the same area where they live to meet and exchange for mothers and babies to play with. together, talking to each other will be more fun.
As for the pressure to take care of children, it’s everywhere, it’s determined that raising children is a long-distance battle, not a day or two, don’t be sad because of small problems, mom is not happy and children are not happy. I have knowledge, with understanding, I will do well, and no one understands children like my mother. If you don’t have milk, you can drink formula milk, your baby’s low birth weight may be due to human organs and has nothing to do with the mother taking care of them or not. So if you stay optimistic and mentally strong, you’ll be fine.
As for weak Japanese, the only way to overcome it is to study. Determined to study for the children, not for themselves. Later, if I get sick and take me to the doctor, I don’t know which department to go to to do the procedure, I go to school, I don’t know what she said to prepare, I don’t know how to write a contact book for me, so I’m very disadvantaged. You should take that as a motivation to improve your Japanese.
– Thank you for the sincere and close sharing of Hien!
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