We're All in This Together
Parenting truly has the potential to be a universal language of the heart. Various cultures from around the world may do things a little (or a lot!) differently and have varying opinions about the concepts of motherhood and parenting, but that diversity actually brings about a solid unity, because the root of the subject is always the same—love and care for your child. Here are some lovely ideas from across the globe that we could all take a page from...
In German, this word translates to "Day Mother." A tagesmutter works out of her own home and takes care of a few children at once, though usually not more than four or five. This concept provides a beautiful sense of reassurance since the tagesmutter will be caring for your child as though she were their mother.
In Sweden, this is an incredible childcare benefit where the government pays your salary when you need to stay home from work because your child is sick. February is sometimes dubbed "Vabruary" because it's known as cold and flu season.
Yes, it sounds like a Harry Potter spell, but it's actually a Cuban phrase which translates roughly to, "We'll figure it out." Alexandra Oppmann, who's been parenting in Cuba for three years, said in her interview for Cup of Joe, "It's a national mantra, used in every household to describe overcoming challenges. People will say, 'I resolved eggs today,' meaning they were able to find eggs. You learn to make do and you realize you need less than you think."
Mwana Ndaigirirwo Ihiga
In Kikuyu, a tribal language stemming from the largest ethnic group in Kenya, this translates to, "A child does not carry a stone on its head." The meaning behind it is that children will always grow, no matter their environments, even if you place a stone on their head. Rest assured parents, they're always stronger than we think they are.
This is a Spanish word used throughout Spain, which translates to "above the table." The idea behind it is about the time you spend talking after a meal. In Spanish culture, meals are long and have a lot importance placed on them, and children are always included—even in the sobremesa. It's a time to relax and interact with each other in a very direct way.
This is an Arabic phrase loosely translated as, "may God protect," used often in Turkey as an expression of delight and affection. Here, children are raised in a very hands-on culture where it's not out of the ordinary for strangers to reach out and touch, love on, or even pick up your child.
Doe Maar Gewoon, Dan Doe Je Al Gek Genoeg
A Dutch credo that means, "Just be normal, that's already crazy enough." Though it might sound strange, the concept behind it is that all people are equal and you shouldn't try to stand out from the crowd too much or be better than others. That means there's no pressure for you to make your child the fastest, smartest, silliest, or craziest—you just allow them to be exactly who they are.
This is a Chinese word referencing a nanny, similar to the German "tagesmutter" and translates to "Aunt." Ayi's are very involved in the life of the child they care for as well as their family. China has an "it takes a village" concept toward raising children and believes that moms aren't meant to go at it alone.