An interview with a male employee who took childcare leave
We interviewed male employees who took parental leave during the three-month period from February to April 2021 about the status of their leave and their thoughts while on parental leave.
Many employees at Cocone are either raising children or are expected to do so in the future. In addition to introducing “free time for childcare*” and other systems that enable employees to properly balance work and childcare, we have also encouraged male employees to take childcare leave (three male employees have taken childcare leave to date).
Click here for related article: “You can do it right, Dad. What is Cocone’s System for Men to Raise Children Properly?”
There is only one reason why Cocone offers a full range of so-called “benefits.
The company’s mission is to ensure that each and every one of its members, who spend much of their lives at the company, leads a better life and maintains good health as a prerequisite for a better life.
Of course, we would be more than happy if, as our members lead healthy and fulfilling lives, they can grow in their own ways in the company, which will lead to better services, and if we can grow together as a company. I hope that such members and the company can contribute to our customers and the world.
Mr. Tsutsui, Facility & IT Support Part Leader, General Affairs Team, Human Resources Support Office
Q) What kind of work do you do?
We manage facility management such as office relocations, renovations, and expansions, as well as IT support operations.
The responsibility of this position is to create a comfortable environment for all Cocone members so that they can concentrate on their respective tasks.
Last year (2020), we relocated our office from Roppongi to our current location in Sangenjaya, and we are currently in the process of actively hiring personnel, so there are many things we need to do and would like to do.
Q) How did you come to take childcare leave?
From the beginning, as I listened to friends and colleagues around me who had experienced childbirth, I knew that when I myself had a child, I wanted to take childcare leave.
When I joined Cocone, I also wanted to have children, and I had heard that the company had a variety of support systems in place to help me, including parental leave.
Q) At what point did you take childcare leave?
It is three months after my son was born.
She was born a week ahead of her due date in November 2020, and the day after delivery we found out that she needed to be transferred to a university hospital for tests and follow-up care in the NICU.
The OB/GYN hospital where I gave birth was responding to a new type of coronavirus, and visiting hours were after 3:00 p.m. I was at work in the morning and learned of the “transfer to the NICU” over the phone from my wife.
I vaguely remember that the word “NICU” felt very heavy and my wife and I both cried on the phone.
Q) You had a difficult time with the Corona disaster.
The NICU was also limited to only one visitor due to corona support, so the couple could only see their son by taking turns going there.
After taking a picture of the father and son together immediately after the birth, the next time the three of us saw each other was on November 27, when my son was discharged from the hospital.
After being discharged from the hospital, while still undergoing regular checkups, the 100th day was also celebrated in late February, and we were able to visit the shrine and wean the baby at the first time of weaning.
By that time, he was 60 cm tall and weighed 6,080 grams, and now the three of us, father and son, are sleeping together in a river.
Q) How did you spend your time during your parental leave?
I wake up alone around 6:00 a.m., eat breakfast first, and then my wife wakes up with my son around 7:00 a.m.
After waking up, we would repeat the daily rotation of “diaper change, milk, and sleep,” but we were constantly amazed and amazed at how one diaper change would result in another poop, and in the blink of an eye, the clothes that had been so tight turned out to be just the right size for the child.
In between, I would go shopping, take walks in the stroller or in a baby carrier, or watch a movie with my wife when my son slept in one piece.
Sometimes my son’s warmth would lull me to sleep and we would nap together.
I often bathe them, and we have been bathing together since they graduated from ablution.
At night, when they go to bed around 10 to 11 p.m., they sleep until 7 a.m. the next morning without crying at night.
Q) Did you care about your job while you were on parental leave?
Just prior to the start of my parental leave, a relatively large project was underway to create two project areas within the company and build a gym area.
Because of the status of the plan, which was finalized and approved just before the start of my maternity leave, I was completely absent during the actual construction period.
Since I was originally in charge of managing the project, I felt bad and concerned about putting a burden on everyone on the team.
Although I had to make some adjustments to the start of my maternity leave (I took it a month later than planned), I was still encouraged by those around me to take it, saying that it would give the next level of meaning to the men in management taking it.
From the second month of my maternity leave, I worked remotely once a week, performing tasks that could be done remotely, while also attending regular meetings and having information shared with me.
Q) Was there a burden when you returned to work?
I was able to return to work without feeling like an “Urashima Taro” because I had received information shared remotely and the members around me were all warm and welcoming.
If I may say so, during my maternity leave, I did not leave the house except for walks around the neighborhood or when I went to the children’s hospital, so when I was remote once a week, my back was very tense. When I am at work, I move around for projects and take the stairs back and forth for meetings, but again, at home, I have less range of motion, and I realized that I would not get enough exercise if I only worked at my desk. It was less mentally taxing, but I think it put a lot of strain on my body (in terms of remote work rather than maternity leave).
〜The gym and massage room are also available at Coconnex.
Q) Have you ever felt that you had to take a childcare leave?
We had a good time!
I am happy to be able to witness with my wife each moment of growth, such as when my son begins to say “ah” and “ooo” or grab his own hand.
Even though we were raising a child together, I could feel how hard it was because my arms, back, and knees ached from carrying the child in my arms and other parts of my body.
Although it was only for a short period of time, my wife was hospitalized during my maternity leave, and I am very glad that I was able to take the leave.
After spending some time alone with my son, I realized once again how difficult it is to raise a child by myself.
I think it is very helpful to have the experience of the difficulties of time spent raising a child alone as a basis for future child-rearing, and also to have the same experience to share the same roles and awareness with my wife. Above all, it was a real blessing to be able to witness the moments of daily growth.
If there are any male employees who are unsure about taking parental leave, it may be a common complaint, but I would urge them to take it because it is time that cannot be replaced by anything else.
As manager of the general affairs team, I would do my best to help create an environment where any man who wants to take maternity leave can do so!
In the past, we have provided testimonials from male employees who have taken parental leave or used childcare free time.
Published on February 19, 2021 in “I can do it right, Dad. What is the system of Cocone where men can also properly raise their children?“
Cocone hopes that this type of system will become a standard for future companies and workplaces around the world, not because it is a trend or because it will enhance the corporate image.
Cocone will continue to strive to grow as a company and contribute to the world by making the lives of the members who work with us richer and healthier.
※This article is machine translated.