It seems that the more American parents who share their experiences raising kids in another country go viral, the more I realize that the U.S. is just so far behind when it comes to innovating and adapting everyday life for families.
In yet another example of how America seems to fall just bit short when it comes to easing the stressors of parents, Nickelle Mickelsen shared her favorite things about living in Okinawa, Japan as an American mom. In her now-viral video, Mickelsen lists off some thoughtful and accommodating features that Japan offers for parents that you’d likely never see in America.
First, Mickelson notes that Japan has “baby rooms everywhere you go” before scanning one of the rooms with her phone. Japan baby rooms look extremely clean and include padded changing tables and state-of-the-art diaper bins so that the rooms stay fresh.
Also, the Japanese baby room that Mickelsen featured in her video also contained a hot water dispenser for moms who need to make a bottle with formula or warm up a bottle of milk.
As far as nursing rooms go, Mickelsen says they’re easy to find, and like so many of us moms know, they’re not a closet with a single folding chair. Nursing rooms in Japan were designed with a nursing mother’s comfort in mind.
“It’s easy to find a nursing room,” Mickelsen writes in text overlay on the video. “You can nurse your baby in private and comfort.”
Instead of having to lug around a giant stroller or wagon on and off public transit, which can be a pain in the neck especially when out and about alone with your kids, Japan offers clean and sanitized strollers for parents “everywhere,” according to Mickelsen.
Japanese hotels often offer adorable, kid-sized PJs, slippers, and toothbrushes to make the stay more comfortable for families, and local restaurants provide kid’s spaces so parents can eat in peace while kids play.
“Life as a parent living in Okinawa, Japan 🇯🇵 probably the most kid friendly place in Japan with its own unique culture 🎏,” she captioned the video where parents from America chimed in with their thoughts on her parenting experience in Japan.
“Wow and things look so clean,” one user wrote.
“Extremely clean! Cleanliness is a big part of Japanese culture,” the OP wrote back.
“This makes me wanna cry because I live in the US,” another said.
Another mom living in Japan also weighed in on parenting on the east asian island, and said, “i agree with it all! i currently live here and it’s been the best raising my baby without the anxiety of it being dirty!”
Mickelsen replied, “It’s the little things that make such a difference.”
“Cries in US. Remembering how many times I nursed my babies on a toilet or had to go the car!,” another mom said.
“So it’s a kids world we’re just living in it. That sounds like the best place. I love it!!🥰” another commented.
In a world that is not designed for kids, despite there being quite literally millions of them walking this earth, family-friendly countries like Japan give parents hope that maybe one day, the rest of the world can follow suit.