I doubt life rarely ends up how we had planned. So, my motto is taken from John Lennon:
Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.
Aptly sums it up! My very first plans for life were created after I read King Arthur, around 7 years old, I was determined to be a princess, or queen, but most importantly, I’d have a knight to rescue me and carry me off on his horse, complete with armor and sword! That plan changed with the next book, Robin Hood, and so it went. Never at any point of those young plans was a life in Japan, in fact, quite the opposite. After reading about Pompeii and Vesuvius, and an in-depth study on earthquakes when I was 8, I decided Japan and Hawaii were absolutely out of the question, and also began dating every single paper I ever wrote on in case future historians needed the date for some important reason, like, our city was covered over in ash and we would be a lost civilization for a few centuries…important stuff like that.
When Japan crept into my life, it was absolutely not permanent…it was a 3-month visit, until the visa ran out, and then on to the next adventure. 27 years later I still wake up and ask myself, ‘Wasn’t this temporary??’
And so I am here.
And so are many other international parents, whose stories are different from mine, but we are bound together by two things:
We are here
We are raising a family here
Ages ago there was no computer, no internet, no amazon.com, no iHerb, no cell-phones and most importantly, no Facebook! Yes, it’s true, in case you forgot, that we somehow managed life without those! But each advance brought us a little closer to each other, to information and connections and resources and (especially in my case!) sanity. I was suddenly connected to the world around and beyond me and it was fantastic!
Which brings us to the birth of the KA International Mothers in Japan. A small community of international parents, we have bonded together over the past year through sharing stories, experiences, advice, support, ranting about frustrations, bragging about our children, and overall, knowing that we aren’t on our own in our job of raising a family in a culture so different from our own.
As our community grows, we want to reach out and offer help to others who find themselves in the same situation. Our goal is to impart some of what we have learned about life in Japan as an international parent, the struggles and victories, the frustrating and the wonderful!
~ And what does KA stand for?
Kick Ass, because to be a foreign parent in a foreign culture, you need a touch of Kick Ass attitude!
Meet my lovely kids: Ages 19-6
This KA International Mothers in Japan article was contributed by foreign wife, Erinn LaMattery.
Erinn is “a workaholic SAHM with a possible touch of ADD. Favorite question: Free time? What’s that?? Days are spent: raising 4 children, teaching part time, developing a jewelry business (http://facebook.com/offonawhim), and following the lives of the KA Moms! Cooking, cleaning and shopping are all secondary.”