Japanese Wife Prepares A Month's Meals For Husband Before Delivery, Sparks Row

A nine-month pregnant Japanese woman who prepared a month's worth of dinners for her husband before going into labour has sparked a debate on traditional gender roles, domestic responsibilities, and modern society's expectations of women.

Oshi Saxena
New Update
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A nine-month pregnant Japanese woman who prepared a month's worth of dinners for her husband before going into labor has sparked a debate on traditional gender roles, domestic responsibilities, and modern society's expectations of women. While it may seem like a simple act of care, this incident makes us question why men often rely heavily on women for household chores, even to the extent of being unable to cook for themselves when their wives are unavailable.


Why Domestic Responsibilities Fall Unevenly on Women

The controversy began when a nine-month pregnant Japanese woman shared on the social media platform X (formerly Twitter) that she had prepared a month's worth of dinners for her husband. Her due date was May 21, and she anticipated staying with her parents for postpartum recovery after the delivery. Concerned that her husband might not eat well in her absence, she took the initiative to cook and freeze these meals.

According to the wife, her husband comes home very late from work and has been very supportive and understanding during her pregnancy. 

In this particular case, the pregnant wife, already undergoing numerous physical changes, took it upon herself to ensure her husband would have meals prepared in her absence. At a time when the wife needs support not only for herself but also for her unborn child, it is disheartening to see that her husband's long working hours pose a greater challenge than her nine-month pregnancy. 

Japan's challenging work culture, defined by long hours and high stress, frequently provides little time for domestic responsibilities, which partially explains why the wife felt obligated to prepare meals ahead of time. However, it raises concerns about the long-term sustainability and fairness of such expectations for women, especially during physically demanding times such as pregnancy.

This imbalance not only highlights the incapacity of men to fulfill their domestic responsibilities but also exposes the shortcomings of workplace policies that fail to adequately support fathers in balancing work and family duties.


Public Reaction and Social Media Outcry

The reaction to this story was swift and polarised. Many social media users criticised the husband, accusing him of being overly dependent on his wife and incapable of managing basic household chores like cooking. Criticisms extended to the wife as well, with some arguing that she was coddling her husband and treating him like a child.

One user commented, What kind of husband allows his heavily pregnant wife to prepare a month’s worth of dinners? Does he usually do nothing at home? Isn’t it just spoiling him?” 

Another expressed pity for the woman, stating, "How pitiful she is—she's been pregnant for nine months and has a vegetative husband."

A third added, "This Japanese woman is bizarre. She is pregnant and acting as her husband's maid. How did her husband eat before he married?"   

“Is your husband a junior school kid? Can he not prepare his own meals?”  someone questioned.


Several online observers expressed frustration, claiming that such "dutiful wives" contribute to a culture that breeds immature, domestically incapable men.

Conversely, some appreciated the woman's actions, viewing them as an expression of love and care. Some defended her, arguing that her efforts should not be misconstrued as subservience but rather as a personal choice made out of concern for her husband's well-being.

Interestingly, this debate is not confined to Japan. A similar sentiment was observed in China, where social media users shared personal experiences about the domestic capabilities of men in their own families. One Chinese netizen recounted how her father survived on simple meals like steamed buns and noodles while her mother was away, highlighting a regional pattern of men struggling with domestic tasks in the absence of their wives, "Isn’t it the same in all East Asian countries? Men really do not last long without their wives’ care. If we had returned a few months later, we might have found only a mummy at home."

The Argument for Change

The incident has sparked a broader debate on the need to redefine gender roles in the household. Advocates for gender equality claim that men should be encouraged and expected to participate more actively in domestic responsibilities, which would not only relieve women's burdens but also build a more balanced and equitable partnership.

One proposed solution is to incorporate domestic skills training into educational systems, ensuring that both boys and girls grow up with the ability to manage household tasks independently, thereby dismantling traditional gender norms, which often place disproportionate domestic expectations on women.


Furthermore, addressing the root causes of such household disparities may necessitate substantial workplace reforms. Policies that promote work-life balance, such as suitable working hours and parental leave for both genders, might translate to a more equitable distribution of domestic duties.

Views expressed by the author are their own

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