I am not going to say that Germans are, in comparison to many other countries, extremely lucky in this regard. However, I don't think people realize that there's also a cost to this, and I don't mean higher taxes.
A summary of the German situation: German mothers get 6 weeks before and 8 weeks after the due date off at full pay, which is partly paid for by health insurance and the rest by the employer. In the three years following that, German parents can either have one parent take 12 months of parental leave or split 14 months between them, provided that each partner takes 2 months or more. This time is paid at 65% of the former income or 1800€ a month, whatever is lower, out of social security. After that, parents can take unpaid leave without losing their job for the rest of the kid's first three years. The goal seems to be to also further both parent's involvement in raising the child.
Sounds good? Well, let's see what happens in practice, among heterosexual couples having a biological child:
1) only one quarter of fathers take any kind of paid leave; almost all mothers do
2) only two percent of fathers take off more than the two months required to get 14 months in total
3) even less than that take advantage of the unpaid time off, while over a quarter of mothers do
4) while I don't have stats on this, almost all of these two months of parental leave are taken at the same time as the other parent takes it, so there's no staying home alone with the kid involved - where I am, this time is often openly called a "holiday", a time when the man can take care of things that need to be taken care of around the house while the woman continues watching after the child most of the day. Or the time is used for actual vacations.
5) there is practically no child care for children under 12 months in age. If both parents want to work before the 14 months of 8 weeks maternal leave + 12 months parental leave are up, the women are usually called "Rabenmutter" a term for mothers who basically abandon their children
6) same goes for any mother that goes back to work full-time after having a child. It is socially expected that the man works full time while the woman cuts down to 20 to 30 hours after parental leave
7) staying at home after the child is 2 or 3 is seen as mooching, though
So while we have more options here, what's socially acceptable for mothers is a very narrow range: have child, take maternal and 12 months of parental leave, maybe some months of unpaid leave, then work part time until the child is at least 6 years old. Anything else, you are either a cruel parent or a drain on society. This is, of course, then used to explain why it's okay to pay women less: they will of course leave work for over a year at one point and only return to work part time.
Oh, and if the father takes more time off or starts working part time or anything, the mother is an evil, demanding feminazi and the father is a push-over.