5 Reasons why being a mom is convenient in Japan
Till today there is an open question, why the rate of childbirth is so low in Japan. Of course, the logical explanation would be the workaholic lifestyle, and there are so many articles explaining the hardships of being a mom here. However there are also so many great things about Japan, that would trigger your desire to be a mom, and here is my list...
Financial support of the government
First things first, the government financially supportive in pregnancy, childbirth, and further childcare stages. If you work and you take maternity leave, your employer is obligated to manage the papers and pay the leave.
Later on, when you register at the hospital, they pay you from your ward office a Childbirth lump-sum grant worth 420.000 yen, which covers most part of the delivery cost.
After the baby is delivered, you would expect the government to pay a childcare financial support of 15000 yen/month till the child turns 3 years old.
Another additional benefit is coupon discounts for all pregnancy checkups, which almost covers all the price and free baby vaccinations covered by insurance.
Of course, this is an optimistic point of view, considering that all those payments cover all expenses only partially. However, there is a sense of support in this country and from my experience, it was kind of relief knowing that a completely foreign country would help its' permanent resident in such considerable expenses.
Childcare centers, nursing school, and kindergarten
There are many controversial views on the level of daycare and nursing school provision in Japan. Most of the opinions claim about difficulties of rules. However, I have also heard many cases when parents who work and prepare in advance to get to the nursing school or daycare, make it a pretty possible option.
We all now how work-oriented is the society in Japan, so it is pretty common that a woman would go back to her work even after 6 month of giving birth. She would make sure to get full or half daycare for her baby.
As far as I know, the Japanese mentality of discipline, rule-obedience and freedom of imagination starts from kindergartens. That is why, it is a great place to give your child a chance to perceive a behavioural and social basics of Japanese mentality.
Mother and baby rooms everywhere
Before I gave birth, I noticed how thoughtful it is regarding special babycare rooms designated for parents to make all the routines such as changing diapers, cleaning their hands, heating the baby's food, and feeding them. And even the nursing rooms that are usually comfortably equipped for breastfeeding mothers.
And to my surprise, the more I have been visiting new shopping malls or other facilities, the better they have been becoming. That is to say, one of them had a weighing machine and big dining area just for feeding children, together with a vending machine full of all necessities for babies, from formula milk to little toys.
Besides, I can say that any station or railway train would have a special toilet comfortable enough to do the most necessary routine with babies, so you don't have to worry even if you are traveling far places.
For new parents, it is important sometimes to spend time outside the house and enjoy life to the full, as it was before a baby was born. So, even if a new parent couple goes to have dinner in the restaurant, it is great to know that the waiter would always bring a baby chair and provide special baby utensils. That was the case almost all the time we would go out for a dinner.
Another interesting fact was to know that there are special baby-friendly cinemas in Tokyo, where it is okay for babies to make noise and they would keep the light half-darkened.
Regarding some free activities also, namely in Tokyo, for each area there are Childcare Centres where you can come with your baby or toddler and do activities together, developmental games and so on.
Besides that, in Tokyo alone, there are so many free facilities, that are both educational and entertaining for parents with children. For example, Tokyo Police Museum, Water Science Museum, Ueno Park, Galaxy Indoor Playcenter and etc.
Affordable kid stores
We all know that children and babies grow up from their clothes so fast, we cannot even catch to buy a bigger size or buying them always from the most well-known kid stores with the highest quality is pretty pricy (considering Japanese prices).
Hence, a lifesaver would be affordable stores with a much cheaper range of prices, yet with quite good quality. Those stores go in handy when we want many sets of pants and underwear, besides they have big options of baby food and toys. Those are Nishimatsuya, Babies R Us, Akachan Honpo, Anap Kids.
Overall, having kids is one of the most amazing experiences. So despite the most common statement about how difficult is being a parent in Japan, we have to admit that there are also great points and conveniences that have been provided for parents.
I am from beautiful country called Kazakhstan I am married and we have an adorable child who was born in Japan, Tokyo My specialty is Tourism Management, that is why I love to share all my experiences of cultures and traveling destinations,and I’m happy to share with my current experience in Japan
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