In Japan, it’s still considered quite normal for women to give up their jobs once they get married and focus on running the home and raising children. Not only is motherhood a respected career in itself, there really isn’t enough support for working mothers, making returning to work a prospect many women don’t aspire to.
And, as this new series of videos shows, working mothers who are also married often don’t get enough support from their spouse or co-workers. We challenge you not to tear up just a tiny bit at this video depicting the struggles of a hard-working mother whose sick child asks her “Mommy, are you okay?”
The videos are a series of commercials by Tokyo-based software company Cybozu, which seeks to show its support for women in the workplace through raising awareness of issues working mothers face which their husbands and male co-workers may not fully understand.
The series of videos (with English subtitles) stars actor Eri Fukatsu as a working mother who, while married, finds herself struggling to juggle a full-time job with housekeeping, child-rearing, and the times when she can’t rely on daycare because her son gets a fever, as children tend to do.
In the first video, the mother describes how she no longer has the time to walk when she leaves work; she must run. She also lacks any time to sleep properly since she has to stay up late making a packed lunch for her little boy who has been released early from daycare due to having a fever. Trying to figure out how she is going to get to work the next day and still somehow find a way to care for her son has her completely downcast until her little boy asks her: “Mommy, are you okay?”
▼ Somebody pass the tissues, please.
Watch the video here:
In another video, a male co-worker excitedly shows her photos on his smartphone of his young child, proudly declaring that he does his bit to help out, while at the same time complaining that his wife doesn’t seem to appreciate his efforts. Naturally, the working mother has some doubts about whether or not he really understands what mothers go through.
Check it out:
While we think this series of videos are a wonderful way to get people thinking about what other people around us have to go through, we’d like to see one that also focuses on the struggles single and divorced mothers face. And perhaps some dads, too? We’re sure there are plenty of them out there.
What more could Japan – or your own country – be doing to support working mothers? Leave us a comment below!