From Heartfelt to Hysterical, Twitter Parenting Poems Go Viral in Japan

[All links lead to Japanese-language pages unless otherwise noted.]

Japanese Twitter users recently peppered the site with tweets about childcare. But it wasn't about how fewer Japanese workers are making use of legally guaranteed childcare leave. Nor was it about the much-debated education policy in the platforms of the island's political parties in the recent 23rd election of the House of Councilors [en].

Departing from politics, Japanese netizens simply wrote poems about parenthood, sharing their personal experiences under the hashtag #途中から育児の話になるポエム, which means “Suddenly A Poem About Taking Care Of a Child”.

Among the messages under the hashtag were both the troubles and the pleasure of parenting. Mothers and fathers expressed their experiences in various styles of writings, from parodies of well-known songs to humorous or self-deprecating posts.  

One mother expressed her loving thoughts to her sound asleep children, with a sincere wish:

Your sleeping face beside me looks so sweet. Please stay calm and never wake up until the morning.

Another user @wandayou_ wrote about the support a parent can give to a child while it goes unnoticed by the child:

You can. Yes, you can. I gave you a supportive pat again and again. Over again and again, I pat your back, and you still smile gently until I give up and put you on the bed… I knew it! You spew out milk.

Ukey offered a humorous poem of fatherhood:

Oh no, please / Please be gentle to me / don’t grope my breast like that / Daddy can’t feed you milk from my breast.

Green_daram, a mother to a young child, wrote about the special touches of a child:

However tired I look, you smile at me. Then, you touch my hair encouragingly and softly daub it with porridge.

More users joined in to talk about everyday experiences of parenthood with whimsy:

Please don’t ever let go of my hand.
I know you will leave some day, but please stay with me for now.
No, please don’t pull out your arm. Please walk with me on the same road.
Or are you trying to kill yourself?

A feeling beyond words. All I can do is just hold you, just hold you. Why does a pill bug appear from the washing machine?

Stop. I don’t want to hear now. I don’t want to hear your words. You stare at me with unusually serious eyes. I know what you want to say…p-o-o-p-i-e. Oh my, there is no restroom around here.

User @fumipol referenced “Soiled Sorrow” [en], a famous poem written by Japanese poet and translator Chūya Nakahara [en]:

Soiled sorrow. We rent this house. Please don’t scribble there.

The tweets were collected and organized by topics on Togetter and Naver, a service that allows user to construct stories with aggregated social media quotes. Readers posted their impressions:

This collection of poems makes it clear that the love for a husband and the love for a child is that different. LOL. If my husband made these, however, I would never forgive him XD

This is interesting. Every child does the same things. LOL. →Don’t miss it, mothers! #途中から育児の話になるポエム, the best sellection – Naver

Proofreading:Keiko Tanaka, L. Finch

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