TMG Mums Spotlight - Kate Sikora
For July, we present Kate Sikora! Kate has been in Tokyo, for the most part, since 2005 with a few years back and forth to her home state, New Jersey. Coming to Japan on a whim, she has continued to follow her passions for writing and playing music and teaching, and she became a mum in 2014. Kate plays with her band pretty regularly and also teaches kindergarten full time. She occasionally gets to do voice work and also creates music for commercials.
1. In one sentence, how would your closest friends describe you?
They tell me that I’m a positive, silly, and idealistic person who loves to be social but also enjoys quiet introspection. I think it’s pretty spot on!
2. What is your family weekend ritual?
Most weekends, we clean our apartment and then head to a pool or park, and sometimes, the library. Almost every Sunday night, we go to our favorite izakaiya followed by gelato at another favorite local spot. My husband and I have been going to the same izakaiya since we first started dating 14 years ago.
3. Whats your no.1 top trick for getting through a hard Mum day?
I love listening to podcasts and music on the way to and from work. It’s the only time that I have to myself most days. I go to a yoga class on Sunday mornings followed by a coffee and journal writing or chatting with other yogis from class. It makes me feel like a human being after working with kids all week at work and momming the rest of the time.
4. What gets you up each day?
Coffee, family and music.
5. What keeps you up at night?
Thinking about my family overseas. I go back at least once a year for about a month but I miss all of the special occasions and every day ordinary stuff too. My parents are healthy, but I worry about them constantly.
6. How has TMG helped you?
It’s just so wonderful to be a part of this community. Any time I’ve had a question about raising children in Japan, there are other Tokyo moms there to help me out.
7. What challenges or benefits do you face being a parent in Tokyo?
I asked my husband to help me with this one and he said, “You have a shy but good looking husband.” I’m not sure if that’s a challenge or a benefit! Honestly though, I didn’t think I would carve out a life in Japan when I first came here 14 years ago. I’ve learned so much, but I still struggle to communicate every single day whether I’m talking to the hoikuen teacher, trying to make a doctor’s appointment, or chatting with the neighbors. It’s exhausting. I have a beautiful life here, I create music, I teach, I have great friends, a shy and good looking husband, and a daughter who amazes me every day. Life is good.
8. Anything else you'd like to share...
It’s hard to keep going with passions (that can use up my income and time) but I think it’s so important for my daughter to see me creating music. I put out a new album, “The Days We Hold Onto,” in November 2018 and I play gigs with my band around Tokyo at least once a month. You can check it out here: www.bandcamp.com/katesikora