“She’s nine months old. I had the easiest pregnancy with her. But now I’m having the hardest time with her. Maybe it’s like reverse karma or something. I want her grow up to be assertive because I notice people here talk to you in this roundabout way. Makes me want to say, ‘Just get to the point’. Thankfully, she’s already got a strong personality, so that’s good. But I’ve heard that being bullied and ostracized in school groups can be pretty harsh, so I don’t want that for her. And I just wish people would stop touching her on the train. That’s why when somebody does, I pull out my Lysol wipes and wipe her hand in front of them. I don’t care if they think I’m rude. Who has to deal with her having a cold? Not that person.

“I’m originally from L.A. I first came to Japan because of my work, as a casting assistant. I was also an acting coach to famous Japanese actors, teaching them acting through English, exposing them to American culture and helping them with pronunciation (because the scripts were from Hollywood). Now I’m a mom and I am being consumed by this mom life. There is this certain expectation that once you become a mom, you have to dress a certain way or act a certain way. All of a sudden it’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re now a housewife.’ But I don’t see it that way. I’d much rather be working, not hanging out with all the moms and babies at department stores on a weekday at 12 o’clock. I feel like dads have an easier time. Socially, there’s not this expectation. You’re not just a housewife. Then there’s the pre-school situation in Japan. The waiting list is really long. A month after she was born, I got a visit from somebody from the ward office. They came to my home. And they’re like, ‘We recommend you look for pre-schools now.’ That’s how bad the wait-list is.

“I guess I miss the sunsets back home in California. But life is so easy here. Facilities to take care of your child are great–the public diaper changing pads are clean. There are places where you can warm up milk and everything’s just so readily available. I know L.A. is not like that. It’s strange. I do miss California. I miss the support system and how people express themselves. People are upfront with each other. Moms here in general are like, ‘Oh my gosh, it’s so fantastic being a mom. It’s hard but it’s fine.’ Whereas my mom friends back home are like, ‘Damn, this shit is hard.’ They lay it out. It’s not really complaining. They’re willing to share information or share truths with each other. So should I go back? I definitely want my daughter to go live in the States for a while and get some exposure.”

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Finding diversity and inclusion. Breaking down barriers one post at a time. Stories and snapshots of foreigners making their way in Japan.

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