Mar 1, 2018
It is bloody impossible for me to work in Japan right now. Not that I don't want to, but all of my options seem worse than not having any spending money.
But how can someone be worse off working and making money?
Anyone with children would know the situation instantly. Childcare is the most expensive thing just up there with a family's rent money. I don't know the prices in the States. I have never raised a child in the U.S. I do know that childcare is not cheap though, and that can probably be said about any country. I wouldn't want to be underpaying anyone who has to watch over the livelihood of my kids though. But the hefty price in Japan makes working for me out of the question. Maybe if I had only one child then we could make it work.
But that isn’t the only thing holding me back. Being a mom in Japan is a full-time job. It is almost expected for mothers to be "stay at home housewives." The other day, we had a parents meeting to decide who would do the annual school obligations like handing out paperwork at events or giving the morning greetings to the children. To this American, these obligations seem so unnecessary, but they are to be done by the parents. Thing is, not enough volunteers were available, so as with everything here, it would be decided by janken (rock, paper, scissors) who would get a duty and who was to be let off the hook until the next year. But there is little consideration for those mothers that work. Not every mother was even at the meeting because they were at work and couldn't even make it. Someone else filled in for their chance at getting the privilege (sarcasm) of waking up extra early in the morning to greet students as they walk into school. And if they happened to be chosen, I'm not sure what would happen. When I showed concern because I had been seriously considering taking on a fulltime job at the time, the other mothers furrowed their brows in sympathy but ultimately responded with, "Well, can't you just go into work late?" The social norm in Japan is just for the mother to take time off. It is the same for when my girls have only half days at school, which is at least once a month and often several times when graduation is approaching.
Which brings us back to the childcare expenses keeping me at home and not going back to work. It is cheaper for me to not be going to work, at least until my youngest enters kindergarten. Until then, I'll continue my full-time job of taking care of my family.
American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too
I totally agree! I've only got the one right now and she is in kindergarten, but working full-time is just not an option for us. As it is, I had to cancel all my private lessons for a week when she caught a cold last month. Even just keeping a few students or a part-time job can be really challenging with a little one. I also don't know how much it would cost in the states, but I've heard child care is more plentiful and less expensive there. It doesn't help much though.