I participated in a Blog Blast on behalf of Mom Central for Urbini. I received information from Urbini to facilitate my post as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.
I always wanted to be an international journalist. After I completed my Masters, I almost jetted off to Africa for a three-month stint in Cape Town to cover children soldiers of the Congo. True story. I even wrote my thesis on the International Ethics of Documenting Cultures. Because Americans have a tendency to be sheltered from the world, and I wanted to know and understand the world beyond these inhibiting walls.
Once I became a mother, I was still intrigued to understand how other cultures, especially those outside the United States, raised their offspring. It seemed that many children growing up outside of America grew up like I did in my own childhood – with discipline. So, I researched many different countries, including France, Germany, China and England. One site I loved to follow was mom-voyage.com because it had a community of international moms writing about motherhood under one website. I realized many things are different, yet some are the same.
What is Mom Voyáge?
Mom Voyáge is a community of Mom bloggers sharing their experiences in motherhood from all around the world. Featured contributors on the website come from the Netherlands, France, Britain, Holland, Japan, China and Australia as well as the US. You can get a global perspective on how different cultures name their babies, how they celebrate pregnancies, what their take is on maternity leave, and many other Mom-inspired topics. It has some pretty cool and enlightening reads – and I highly recommend it! (Maybe they’ll even let me contribute one day!)
I think it’s important these days, especially living in such a multi-cultural society to not continue to pigeon-hole ourselves as parents, and open our worlds to understanding others. You may not realize it, but right here in NYC there are thousands of different cultures and traditions going on around us. Languages, mannerisms – just take a look around.
One story in particular that I LOVE that the French teach patience through cooking.
You won’t see French children running wild throughout a restaurant at dinner and why? Because it is taught at an early age. Usually this is done through cooking, so children see the process of creating something, understand how it takes time to create it, and that they must wait for a final product before they can enjoy it. Cooking also teaches them measurements, mathematics, where food comes from and more. It’s a brilliant technique that I have established (well am still working on) with Maximo.
Maternity Leave Around The World
One of the most researched topics I have found astounding is the difference in maternity leave around the world. It’s no secret that America lacks in this department, and overall, the value of family is lower than most countries. You can see a great write-up about this on mom-voyage.com here.
So what are your thoughts on international cultures of parenting? Where are you from and how do you raise/handle your wild toddler? I’d love to know!