Japan Is Among the Hardest Countries for Working Mothers. These Families Want to Change That. – The New York Times

by pregnancy journalist

My husband and I met in Tokyo. He’s from Greece, and I’m from New York. In the first year after our twin boys were born, my husband worked his regular hours, leaving me to care for the infants. That led to my postpartum depression.

Family members flew in to help, but most could only stay a few weeks. My in-laws came for two months, which was crucial for my recovery. But our parents are too old to take 16-hour flights just to help with cooking and watching the twins so we can sleep.

When my health deteriorated, my husband was finally willing to cut back his hours. But that led to his demotion, twice.

At the moment, I earn more than my husband, so we’ve decided to have him be the twins’ main caretaker for now. We also spend a substantial amount of money to hire helpers to clean and cook a few meals a week.

I am an American married to a Japanese man.

The birth of our daughter put a lot of stress on our family, and it was a constant battle to get my husband more involved (he was always busy with his hobbies, work or at university for further education). I made him quit some hobbies, at least until our daughter was a little older.

I once cried in frustration because my husband was too busy enjoying his own food to notice that I was hungry and sitting down to cold, unappetizing food. Since then, he has considered my feelings a little bit more.

This content was originally published here.

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