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single mothers in japan: chat with moeko


Hope you are well. Today, I interview one of my friends, Moeko, who is working for a web media company for mothers in Tokyo.

Here is our conversation x


1. Hi Moeko! Could you introduce yourself first please?


My name is Moeko. I was born in February and am 23 years old now. I live in Tokyo and work near Shibuya as a web media editor. I love good food and traveling! For my next trip, I want to go to Rome!

名前はMoeko。 2月生まれの23歳。 日本の東京に住んでて、渋谷の近くで働いているよ! 職業はウェブメディアのEditor。美味しいものをたくさん食べることと、国内外を旅するのが大好き!!!♡ 次はローマに行きたいな〜〜♪

2. How did you decide to start working at this company for mothers?



I didn't even know there's a website for mums before. I was raised by a single mother who works full-time. This has always made me want to support

other mothers who work full-time and sometimes work too hard.

Then, I found a job where I can pass on useful information and help those mothers. For my job, I talk to a lot of mothers everyday, like over 100 mothers. I feel more passionate about it now.

For example, I want to give more of a communication space to mothers who came to Tokyo from the countryside. Also, I want to give space, like becoming an online writer to some mothers who have nowhere they can express themselves.






Image from Tumblr

3. How about your company? Are there more women than men? Have you ever felt gender inequality in the company?


My company has more men than women but I think women do a better job. For instance, most women are good at proposal book and often they are mentally strong. I've never felt any gender inequality at work. My boss has kids and he understands how hard it is to be a mother and a working mother too.




4. Do you think being a single mother in Japan is hard?


I think so. Although, it's getting more common than before, it is still hard, financially and socially.

I fortunately didn't have any financial problems, but I didn't like that people feel sorry for me for having a single parent.

I know some people who also have a single parent and their mothers got married again because of financial reasons.

Also, I met someone who worked to pay university fees by himself and started university at 26 years old. That made me think that I shouldn't be lazy with my studies at university. Not all single parent families have financial problems.





あと、、昔 神奈川県の利子なしの補償金を借りようとしたけど、シングルマザーとはいえ親の年収が高くて借りれなかった。


5. What should we do to make current single mothers' situation in Japan get better?

シングルマザーの今の日本の状態をよくするには私たちがどうするべきかとかアイデアはある? それとも日本の社会がどう変わるべきだと思う?

I think there are advantages of being a single mother or a single parent family. I have many friends who are also raised by single mothers like me, and want to focus on them and do something. But, as I said before, not all single parent families have the same situations and problems.

I want sex education to be improved and teach young people about sex properly to stop having sex without knowledge about the risks of having and raising a child in an unprepared environment. Talking about sex shouldn't be something you feel ashamed of, and people need to be more open about the topic to give children sex education.





5. What's a good environment for single mothers?


Having enough support from others. I could not have had such a good environment in my childhood if there was no support from local organizations, nursery school, and the school I went to, along with the people around me. Thanks to them, I didn't feel lonely. All families have different problems such as financially or otherwise, but raising a child by yourself is really hard. Single mothers need some kind of support from the people around them.



6. Have you found any difficulties being a woman at work?


Not personally, but I think Japan isn't a great place to raise a child. There's not many day nursery centres and and they charge you alot when mothers couldn't pick the child in time because of her work. Yet, people say mothers, who work alot and can't spend time with her child, are not good mothers. Also, there's a silent pressure to quit your job when you are pregnant. It's normal that pregnant woman have some problems physically and mentally, so they need support to able to be happy while pregnant and raise their child.




Thank you so much Moeko! What do you think of single parent families in Japan or in your country?

And what do you think we need to do support mothers?



Ruru x

Illustration by Lola Rose

Images from Tumblr

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