Motherhood Around the World

For the past four summers, we’ve featured a series called Motherhood Around the World

We’ve talked to mothers living everywhere from Mexico City to Iceland to Kenya to Northern Ireland to Sweden to India. As I’ve mentioned before, we decided to speak to American women abroad — versus women who were born and raised in those countries — because we wanted to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. It can be surprisingly hard to realize what’s unique about your own country (“don’t all kids eat snails?”), and it tends to be easier to identify differences as an outsider. (We also talked to moms who grew up abroad about what surprises them about parenting in the U.S.)

We’re thrilled to be putting together our fifth installment now. I’d love to ask: Do you know any American parents living in South America, Southeast Asia, Russia or Eastern Europe? Or any other countries you’re curious to hear about? If so, we would love to hear from them. (To those parents: Please email with a couple surprising things about raising children where you live, plus a few snapshots of your life or a link to your Instagram feed. Thank you so much!)

Motherhood Around the World

Motherhood Around the World

Motherhood Around the World

Here are a handful of quotes from past interviews:

“People in Turkey touch and kiss your baby all the time. It’s not unusual for passersby — even teenage boys — to reach out to pinch my son’s cheek, tickle his feet or ruffle his hair. Strangers have actually lifted my son out of his stroller!” — Diane, 13 Surprising Things About Parenting in Turkey

“Date night is not a thing in the Japanese countryside. I once told some friends I had hired a babysitter to go out to dinner with my husband, and they were shocked. Restaurants are very expensive, and men tend to work very late — even on weekends — so it’s very rare to eat out… maybe just once a year. On your birthday.” — Yoko, 10 Surprising Things About Parenting in Japan

“Whereas Americans are inclined to blow their own horns, the English find this distasteful. This is also true for how parents talk about their children. In America, you might hear a parent say, ‘My son is learning the violin and seems to have a natural gift.’ In England, you’d hear, ‘We’re enduring Tommy’s efforts of learning the violin.’ You’re actually deprecating your children, in front of them, so they learn how to get along with people in society. As an English friend put it, ‘the tallest poppy in the field is the one you cut down first.’ ” — Erin, 15 Surprising Things About Parenting in England

“In Brazil, it’s said that you can cure a baby’s hiccups by sticking a tiny wad of paper in the middle of his or her forehead. I first noticed it on my nephew. I went to wipe away this piece of paper stuck to his forehead, and my husband stopped me saying it was for the hiccups. Then I came home from work while my mother-in-law was visiting and found my baby with a spitball on her forehead.” — Brynn, 17 Surprising Things About Parenting in Brazil

“We go camping right on the river. At night, we can hear hippos chomping on grass right next to our tent. Although we’re camping in the wild, it’s still a very well-managed park with a guard who makes sure predatory animals, like lions and leopards, stay away. We’re never scared, just excited. During a recent trip to the U.S., our kids were squealing with delight when they saw squirrels. Rodents are exotic creatures to them, while impalas and zebras are taken for granted!” — Jessica, 16 Surprising Things About Parenting in Zambia

See the full series here, if you’d like. Thank you so much!