Oct 13, 2018
My daughter just turned five, and I've spent the five and a half years since I quit my semi-full-time employment doing a number of jobs, mostly raising the kid. I'm also the chief provider of food and clean clothes and dishes in the household, the one who searches for bargains and mends things. I do some of the work of a stay-at-home mom, and I'm also an English teacher with a growing number of private students. Together, the cooking, cleaning, mending, writing, and teaching seems to fill the hours between my daughter getting on and off the school bus almost completely, sometimes with overlap.
My schedule in a nut shell. The blue bits are classes.
With all of this work, we can afford food and some small extras, with my husband's job paying for most of the bills.
Who wouldn't want more money, right? If I had my old teaching job back, I would be in Sendai 5 days a week, making a lot more than what my husband brings home. We would be able to afford extra extra things like private school for the kid, exotic vacations, proper retirement plans and so much more.
I know other people have had this dilemma, too, and taken into account the cost of childcare, which is something my husband has not factored in at all. In his mind, we will work and my daughter will be raised by my in-laws, who are currently quite busy taking care of other members of the family.
Beyond the money, there is an even greater factor involved here. I want to raise my kid. I want time with her, especially now. The formative years are crucial, and I can't tell you how many times I was relieved to understand what she was referencing when I would have only thought her talking gibberish had I not watched the same cartoon with her. Right now, she is adorable and constantly changing. If I don't get to know her now, I never will.
No amount of money in the world can make up for missing my kid's whole childhood, and I fear that is exactly what a full-time eikaiwa job would mean for me at this point. The jobs I have the experience for that are lucrative enough for me to bother with require afternoon and evening shifts as well as Saturdays. This means I would only see my kid on Sundays and my in-laws would have to help every time she catches a cold at school, because I wouldn't be able to call in sick for every sniffle. Most importantly though, I would lose the connection we currently have through shared bonding time. Her English would disintegrate, my patience would burn up at work, and the little time we had together would never be enough in quality or quantity.
This means my in-laws would get a granddaughter-turned-daughter as I become a distant relation to my own flesh and blood.
So I am not doing it. I am continuing with my current jobs and pushing to edit novels and clean my house before anything else happens to throw us into chaos.
The life I have now is exhausting and messy. I don't always know what I am doing or why, but there is a comfort to it. It is my life. I control if and when I see what students. So long as I have options, and this is the one I am taking.
A working mom/writer/teacher, Jessica explores her surroundings in Miyagi-ken and Tohoku, enjoying the fun, quirky, and family friendly options the area has to offer.
Spending time with your children and create unforgettable memory is something that money cannot buy.
@KevinC I totally agree. I also feel there is no amount of money that can make up for missing your kid's whole childhood. Only seeing them over breakfast and having them passed out before you get home makes it really hard to bond.