My name is Yuuko. I have two daughters, Rin and Mio. Rin is 4 years old, Mio is 1 year old. I live in Japan.
Do you work alongside motherhood?
I am a full-time housewife.
What does being a mother mean to you?
To me, a mother is the person who communicates everything to children and grows alongside them. I think it is important to share all aspects of life with children; happy things, painful things… I want my children to be respected and to be respectful. I want them to feel free to live exactly as they want to. Mothers should inspire and empower their children.
Paint us a picture of daily life as a mother in Japan?
My eldest daughter goes to kindergarten on weekdays. Kindergarten in Japan is from morning till 2 pm. During this time, I am taking care of the baby and doing housework. I pick up my eldest daughter at 2 and after school she practices music and plays with her friends. Children in Japan take many types of lessons from a very young age; English, swimming, piano, etc.
In the evening time, I am busy making dinner, taking care of my daughters, preparing for the next day. I always read the children a picture book before I put them to bed.
What is the most rewarding part of being a mother?
Japan has so many families where both parents work. I really admire working mothers but also consider it such a blessing to not work and be able to stay home with the children without having to juggle my time.
What is the most challenging part of being a mother?
What I’ve learned from having my children is not to ask for perfection. It is important not to try to make everything perfect. I think that it is also necessary for mothers to take a day off.
Looking after children can make you feel exhausted, I feel it is important to make time to have a break; just a little time away if you can, means you can return to your children with new energy. In Japan, it is common to approach motherhood in this way, making sure we maintain a healthy mental balance.
What do you look for when choosing clothes for your children?
Choosing clothes for my daughters is one of my favourite pleasures. A good fit is very important. Sometimes I match the colours of my daughters’ clothes with each other, and with my own. Day to day I choose their clothes depending on time, place and occasion - going to the park, playing with friends.
What do you like about Nellie Quats?
I like the soft clothing of Nellie Quats very much. The light colours are perfect on young children and there is a lovely feeling about the ethos of the brand. I can’t find anything like it in Japan.
What’s your favourite piece from this collection?
I can’t pick one because they are all so cute … I like the Liberty print pieces - especially with the coloured tights!
A big thank you to Yuuko for sharing a little of her life and also for the sweet photographs.
Find more of Yuuko's work on her Instagram account @_.iiu. She posts the cutest photos!