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Entertainment for childcare! Angie’s Yamane talks about raising children

 Yoshiaki Yamane of Angels became a father of one child in 2015. He is also a certified child counselor*, and his natural child-rearing style, which he shares on social networking sites and his blog, has attracted a lot of sympathy. We asked him about the joys and hardships of raising a child, as well as his communication with his wife and child, who are currently living apart while studying abroad.
*Experts who use their specialized skills to help children solve problems such as truancy and bullying.
Angie's Yamane Photo
When I felt “it’s tough” to raise a child, I was surprised at what a mother said to me!

 The hardest part of raising a child was the breastfeeding period. My mom is not very good at mornings, so I was often in charge of morning milk, but the morning after I came home late from work, my child would wake up at a ridiculously early hour and I would have to feed her, which was pretty tough.
 I think my mother was very good at “teaching” me. She would say things like, “Isn’t it normal for you to do half the work?” Like, “It’s normal for you to do half of the work. It’s hard to go as far as 50-50, but we are both parents. A child cannot survive without milk, right? You can’t just skip it because you don’t want to.

 One thing my mom told me that left a strong impression on me was, “It’s nice for Dad to be able to travel for work. While he is on the road, he can have some time to himself. But moms stay at home with their children all the time and take care of them, so they don’t have time for themselves. I realized how stressful that is. When I am not there, I leave a lot of things to my mom. So I try to do my best when I am there.

My tricks for my child’s “earliest stage”.

 What I tried when my child was in the “yuck phase” was to talk to her through her stuffed animals. I made her favorite stuffed animal talk and told her what I wanted her to do, and she usually did it. When I wanted her to clean up, for example, I could usually get through it in this way when she was little. I also tried to empathize with the child’s frustration at not being able to put things into words, saying, “I know, I know, I don’t like that!

 The fun part was when my daughter started helping me. She washed dishes with me, helped me prepare meals, and folded laundry. It is nothing but fun, isn’t it? When I praised her in a way that tickled her self-esteem by saying, “That’s really nice of you,” she would help out with gusto, and I felt like our family had become a team.

Angie's Yamane Photo

I prefer “Mom. I don’t like Dad” is a lack of effort and entertainment

 When a child says, “I want mommy! I don’t like daddy” is a lack of effort on the part of the dad. If dads do not spend enough time with their children, they will always say, “I want mommy! If this happens, the burden on the mother will increase. This puts more and more burden on mom. Dads should also make an effort, no matter how busy they are, to make time to be with their children and enjoy them to the fullest.
 Take the bath, for example. It’s fun to take a bath with my dad! If it is entertaining, people will say, “I want to take a bath with my dad! If it’s entertaining, people will say, “I want to take a bath with my dad! If it’s entertaining, then they will want to take a bath with their father. When my daughter was little, she loved playing with water in the bathtub, and I would make her laugh by reacting loudly whenever she was splashed with water. Whether in the bath or on a walk in the park, “It’s fun to be with Daddy! If the number of “I love being with my dad!” increases, and that amount of time is given back to mom to relax, I think dad’s stock will rise.

A couple can have different educational policies.

  In April of this year, my daughter left for Australia to study English with her mother. She wanted to study abroad, and it was made possible by the support of her mother, who has been there for her English studies since she was a little girl. My mom is the type of person who accompanies her, saying, “Let’s work hard and get results,” and I am the type of person who watches over her, saying, “It’s okay if she doesn’t make it.
 If our educational policies were exactly the same, there would be no way for the child to escape, and if it were only my idea, the child would not learn the importance of hard work and results, nor would he feel joy, so I am glad that we have different policies in this regard.
 I currently communicate with the two of them almost daily via video call. If I need advice about my daughter, Mom calls me right away, so I always feel close to her. I feel grateful for the presence of my family even when we are apart, and the joy I feel when I see them is stronger because we are apart, and I think it is a valuable experience.

Photo of Ms. Yamane and her daughter
Two shots with my daughter on my 45th birthday. I think birthdays are fun when you have a family.
Moms in a good mood are the easiest to work with.

 Regarding work drinking parties, I used to think that I had to show up. I wondered if going to drinking parties would lead to more work, or if I had to communicate well with junior staff. However, if I stopped going to drinking parties in order to go home early, did I get less work, or did my communication with junior staff deteriorate, I don’t think it was any different. I think it is the same. Rather, going home early without going to drinking parties puts my mom in a better mood and has a greater positive impact on my work. This is the most comfortable work environment for me (laughs).

When you find yourself spoiled, think back to the promise you made that day.

 My ideal father would be a perfect father who shows his cool side at work and takes care of everything at home when he returns home. In reality, however, I often accidentally forget to do what my mom asks me to do, and I am still a bit spoiled. In the future, I would like to be able to use schedule apps and reminders better. However, I seem to forget to write things down or check my reminders, and I don’t know how to remind myself of that (laughs).

 When we got married, we said, “I will make you happy!” and we came together with a promise, so we have to keep it. I believe that my mission is to fulfill expectations to the extent that “I will fulfill all of Mom’s wishes” because Dad is Mom’s best friend.
 I don’t want to make Mom sad because I can’t make her happy either, and it is definitely more fun for me to be as close to my “ideal husband and father” as possible and always have a smile on my face with my daughter and the three of us. For this reason, when I notice my own naivete, I try to think back to the time when I married my mom and rearrange things.

Photo of mom covering her face with a bouquet of flowers.
Flowers picked out with my daughter for my mom’s birthday.
I’ll never get these moments with my family back.

 For a couple, housework and childcare are part of their lives, so they need to help each other to make it work. If that is one team, then dad should work on what he can do little by little even if he has little time at home for work, and mom should praise and extend such a dad.
 For example, when my dad asked me for a favor, it would be embarrassing to say “thank you” straight out, but I think it would be easier to say, “That’s very helpful! In my case, it was more a pattern of being pointed out and then making changes rather than extending praise (laughs).
 I know that it is hard every day for the fathers and mothers who are working and doing their best with housework and childcare, but these moments spent with their families will never come back. Let’s do our best to make even one more day a happy memory for each other!

Yamane-san Photo