I have some exciting news to share — Tiny Tot in Tokyo now has a forum where you can interact with other parents in Japan!
This is something I’ve been thinking about starting for a while, and part of the reason it took me so long was that I was worried there wouldn’t be any interest. And hey, maybe there won’t be much but after some conversations on Twitter with fellow parents in Japan and with the support of my friends, I decided to go for it!
I’ve met nearly all of my parent friends through social media, specifically Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit. I don’t have many but the ones I’ve been lucky enough to connect with are wonderful people and have absolutely helped with the isolation that has come with the pandemic and being a new parent in Japan.
I hadn’t known any other international parent in Japan until I was a few months into my pregnancy, and an American mother on Reddit messaged me in response to a comment I had made. She lived in Kanto and had a 1.5-year-old daughter. We messaged throughout my pregnancy and after my daughter was born, she took the train for over an hour on a very sweltering summer day to see me, her daughter’s old baby clothes in tow. I was so grateful that someone would come and see me because I was so, so lonely and overwhelmed at the time.
We’re still friends now and her kindness is what motivates me to try to help others as well.
I’m hoping that this forum is able to address some of the difficulties I’ve found with these social media platforms. For instance, it can be a bit hard to find a specific place online to meet and connect with other parents in Japan. It can also be a challenge to find information related to parenting in Japan. Someone asks a question in a subreddit thread or on Twitter and gets really helpful answers, but it is soon buried as time passes and then is hard to find. So we end up asking the same questions, and sometimes don’t even get answers.
With this in mind, I made this forum with the hope that it will become a place where current parents and future parents in Japan can ask questions, get answers, and find what they’re looking for in one place. And yes, above all, I would like us all to connect with this unique experience of being people from all around the world who are now (or will be) parents in Japan!
I am also a fairly new parent and only have one child, so I don’t have all the answers. Therefore, I would especially love it if experienced parents in Japan would join this forum and share their knowledge.
This forum is also meant to be a positive and safe space. I’ve heard a few unpleasant stories about certain social media parent groups and I don’t want that to happen here. There are also no likes/dislikes, upvotes/downvotes (that I know of at the moment), retweets, sharing, follower counts, etc. I want people to feel comfortable taking part in this community, never have a sense of dread after they post something (how I feel whenever I post anything on SNS), be able to maintain their privacy, and just have an enjoyable time connecting with others.
At the moment, the forum has categories similar to the ones on my blog (pregnancy, babies, toddlers, etc). Users are free to create topics on whatever they like, as long as it’s relevant to parenting and/or Japan. There’s also private messaging, so you can privately message a user if you like.
As I’m very new to this and have never made nor run a forum before, I would appreciate your patience as I imagine there will be some trial and error involved.
If you would like to become a part of this new community, please visit this page.