'I'm reluctant to give up my career to raise my child'

The Japan News via AsiaOne
Wednesday, Feb 1, 2017

"Dear Troubleshooter" is a relationship advice column that appears in The Japan News, a publication that is part of the Asia News Network.

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female pharmacist in my 30s. I live with my husband and child. I can’t decide whether to leave my job to raise my preschooler child.

My child goes to a nursery school, and I work shorter hours than my colleagues to do the housework and raise my child, as my husband works long hours and our parents live far away.

My child will be forced to leave the nursery at the end of March. After thinking very carefully, I decided to send my child to a kindergarten for the next school year beginning in April, although its childcare time is much shorter, because I want to have more time with my child. I’ve also been impressed with the kindergarten’s education policy.

I’m considering leaving my job. At the same time, I’m scared of giving up the career that I’ve been building for years. I’m worried my hard work up until now may come to nothing. I can narrowly manage to continue working if I hire a babysitter or use similar services after kindergarten hours. For this reason, I feel very reluctant to leave work.

I understand I want too much if I am to work, do housework and raise my child all perfectly. How can I resolve this matter?

H, Saitama Prefecture

Dear Ms. H:

Your child will be forced to leave the nursery at the end of March. Do you mean the nursery only accepts children up to 2 years old and you are now facing the so-called “barrier to 3-year-old children,” as many other mothers are?

Anyway, you’ve already decided to send your child to a kindergarten, so let’s bring this matter to an end and think about your job matter next. You had better not jump to conclusions. It’s wise for you to continue considering the matter when you can’t make up your mind.

In this case, you should not force yourself to work, do housework and raise your child all perfectly. There’s no way mothers can do all these things perfectly only on their own. It just exhausts you. In addition, children should have the experience of being warmly watched and loved not only by their parents, but also various other people when they are growing up.

I recommend you hire a babysitter or use childcare support programs in your neighborhood after kindergarten hours for the time being. Through trial and error, you will probably be able to find the best solution. You can seriously consider leaving work when you feel there’s no way out other than this.

I have one more thing to tell you. Even if your partner can’t be involved in raising your child because of work, he should not neglect your concerns. Ask him to share this burden and look for a good solution with you.

Masami Ohinata, professor