Japanese women have often been described as strongly committed to the role of housewife and mother. But many of these "good wives and wise mothers" are now postponing marriage and bearing fewer children than ever before. To better understand this phenomenon, this article explores Japanese women's perspectives and experiences of marriage, parenting, and family life. Findings from the author's recent longitudinal study suggest that women are more satisfied with their family life if they have realistic expectations for their own behavior, are supported by their husbands, and have the opportunity to engage in meaningful employment. These results suggest a need for changes in the structure of the workplace and the education system to provide women with the opportunity to find a fulfilling balance of work and family life.