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I have heard my students say things such as, 'Having children means losing income and free time for myself' and 'In the end, only women have to take responsibility for child rearing.'

16 Comments

Nobuko Nagase, a professor of labor economics at Ochanomizu University, suggesting some reasons why marriage has become less attractive for young women, exacerbating the problem of the declining birthrate.

© Asahi Shimbun

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16 Comments
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Child and husband, don't forget aging in law both mother and father in law. They need to take care them too.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

And I guess they would be right. You live only once in an increasingly unpredictable and precarious world so why not live for today for yourself while you can?

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Having children definitely involves trade-offs in areas like time/money, but there is a highly rewarding side to it that's difficult to quantify in absolute metrics like time/money. Whether an individual actually values this rewarding side over the time/money side is up to the individual, and it's great that people are considering the issues these days, rather than just "blindly" having children.

The thing is, you won't know for certain how you'll react until you actually have children, and by that time it could be "too late," so I'd say to anyone considering parenthood:

If you think you'll enjoy it, go for it. If you don't, don't.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is concerning that people can only imagine negative things about marriage. However, if that is the best your imagination can do, then yes, its probably best not to get married. Confirmation bias suggests you'll just look for negatives and be quick to criticize your partner.

I imagined marriage would be good and it has been. I didn't imagine the cost of food and energy would double when having three kids, but I don't regret having them and I'm sure we'll manage.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

@kohakuebisu

It is concerning that people can only imagine negative things about marriage. However, if that is the best your imagination can do, then yes, its probably best not to get married. Confirmation bias suggests you'll just look for negatives and be quick to criticize your partner.

I imagined marriage would be good and it has been. I didn't imagine the cost of food and energy would double when having three kids, but I don't regret having them and I'm sure we'll manage.

Well said and good for you.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Where I live there are many young mothers with two, three, and even four young children. Living in houses with gardens and play areas.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

On the other hand, if you have kids and then regret it, what do you do then? Plenty of people do. You can't put them back.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

That student is correct. There's no need or requirement to have children in order to be deemed "patriotic". Let life take it's course.

To Japanese men: You should definitely avoid getting married. Wait until Japan changes the law about Joint Custody and Spousal Support. It's totally not fair to you when a woman quits her job after her wedding day and puts the entire load on your shoulders.

Go out and see the world. It's going to be over soon anyway.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

On the other hand, if you have kids and then regret it, what do you do then? Plenty of people do. You can't put them back.

I doubt that many people who have successful relationships with their children regret having them. It will be people who have poor relationships with their children. This can happen for many reasons. The focus of regret should then be on why did such poor relationships form. No parent-child relationship is set in stone when the child is born.

If you are genuinely poor, you can kick em out the door when they are 15, and they can make the best of it. You just have to give them survival levels of food and clothing until they hit that age. They don't have to go to SHS or university. There is no need for parents to pay for this and not going will not kill them.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I think the problem is that most people here don't make the most of their single lives before marrying and having kids.

I feel so lucky and satisfied that I travelled extensively and had so many dangerous yet exciting experiences before settling down.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Everything is mendokusai to many in this generation. Working, having ambition, meeting people, travelling, take your pick.

Heard a lecture by a young Japanese activist in his mid 20s who was trying to change society (with a lot of zest a few months back) . He talked for like two ours and covered a huge range of problems he had decided needed urgent attention. A lot of it was just low resolution understandings of the complex challenges we face in life, and then a list of over simplified, badly thought through solutions ( he was young so at least he had some passion) but he did say something that resonated.

In Japan he says, we are raised with a binary mindset.

A) やらなあかん事 ( things you HAVE TO do )

and

B) やったあかん事 ( things you MUST NOT do )

It’s not very inspirational is it? No real agency or idea that if we do this ( work hard, take risks, be brave or curiousとか ) then awesome things can happen. Everything to the poor you folk is just relegated to being a chore or a no no. It’s a bit sad.

With a slight tweak in mindset though the world can open up for them. A good mentor or meeting the right person at the right time usually does the trick, but the damage done by the binary mindset must be massive.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And therein precisely lies the problem.

An inbred attitude of selfishness; childcare (and everything else around the home) is none of my concern, I NEED to be able to indulge myself and my interests.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

These are college students. I couldn't even imagine marriage at that time.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And therein precisely lies the problem: An inbred attitude of selfishness;

And why not? Why live for anyone else? Who cares?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For many who have had children, it is the most important experience of their lives. When you have a child, a whole new level of love opens up to you that you may not even suspect exists.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Anyway, it's a misleading path. Look, if all former generations would ever had developed similar unnatural thoughts we all wouldn't exist now. Sorry, but if such thinking continues, then civilization, developed economies and technological progress will become a short term intermezzo and just quickly disappear, while everything is taken over by those who still will act naturally and have a lot of children and their women do the childbirth, household and caring work and nearly nothing else beyond that. A really scaring outlook, that's for sure.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

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