Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mom-friendly gestures in Japan

As I mentioned the other day, Japan is trying to encourage couples to have children. It has been heartening to see child-friendly signs here. Wouldn't it be great to see more "signs of encouragement" like this in the United States?

On the Kyoto subway: I had to snap this one quickly, but I hope you can see the mother-child symbol at the top left corner. The text says, "Kyoto City, symbol mark for creating an environment gentle in regard to pregnant women."

Venus Fort shopping center, Tokyo. The map and brochure lists family-friendly features.

Baby's Cafe in the Miraikan Science Museum, Tokyo. Note that the Baby's Cafe is not in the bathroom, but rather next to the regular cafe. What a concept!

These gestures seem so simple that it feels rather ludicrous to sit here posting pictures and cataloguing every effort I see that reaches out to moms and families with young kids. But I still feel the hunger to even be acknowledged in society, to be SEEN and RECOGNIZED rather than marginalized. I think that making an accommodation for Moms is as much an invitation to show up as it is a practical measure to help us make our way around. So, the fact is that these gestures do stand out to me, and here they are.

What's on your wish list for a tangible "sign of appreciation" for mothers?

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