Here
and
Now

kuchikomi

Honey, do you mind going back to work?

241 Comments

Bills, bills, bills. The squeeze comes from all directions: costs for the kids' schooling; mortgage on the house; medical costs. To make matters worse, company salaries have been cut, and summer and winter bonuses have been slashed or eliminated altogether.

What to do? For many middle-aged wage salarymen, reports Nikkan Gendai (July 29), it means swallowing pride and asking their wives to take part-time work.

"'Didn't you tell me you knew how to operate a cash register at a supermarket?' my husband asked me," says a certain Mrs Yoshino (a pseudonym). "'You're pulling my leg, right?' I told him."

But her 46-year-old husband, who's employed in the IT sector, was serious.

Earlier this year, her husband's father had required extended hospitalization, and after his discharge, more outlays had been needed to modify his house so that it would be "barrier free."

"So I'd really be grateful if you'd take a part-time job," he told her. Their child's entrance examinations for high school were coming up, and he didn't want to pinch pennies on schooling costs.

Previously, every six months the couple would discuss how to budget his twice-yearly bonus. Five years ago, the current situation would have been unthinkable. But then two years ago came the "Lehman Shock," and his employer, to avoid personnel layoffs, first halted payment of the summer and winter bonuses and then began cutting salaries. His annual income fell by 3 million yen.

Last winter the couple tallied up what they were paying for the family car -- a German import. With taxes, insurance, parking costs, gasoline, etc, the figure exceeded 400,000 yen. But if they were to get rid of it, the neighbors would almost certainly start gossiping. So it's still in the garage, but seldom gets driven.

"The generation of former OLs who married and became housewives during the Bubble Economy are extremely status conscious," explains Atsuko Okano, a marriage counselor. "To them, there's nothing more humiliating than having to go out and work part time."

It seems an old adage that goes "Kane no kireme ga en no kireme" (When the money runs out, then so does the marriage) may indeed be true.

Another salaryman, a Mr Yanagida, age 45, was harangued by his mother-in-law when she found out that her daughter had begun working part time in a coffee shop.

His wife had taken the job after his employer had halted bonus payments, on the condition that "I won't have to work around here, so the people we know won't see me." So four days a week from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. she took the train three stops further away from the city. Her monthly take-home pay was around 70,000 yen, but her mother demanded she quit. "How can you look your child in the eye?" asked the mother.

Mr Yanagida cut back on his own pocket money, but eventually found himself digging into savings so that his wife would have her own spending money -- most of which went to buying DVDs of weepy Korean dramas. And all the while, expenses keep mounting -- for their child's education, for looking after his aging parents, and so on.

Be as it may, many married women willingly and wholeheartedly do hold down jobs and contribute to their family's support. The aforementioned Mrs Yanagida ought to swallow her pride and emulate them, Nikkan Gendai concludes.

© Japan Today

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

241 Comments
Login to comment

Sounds like these guys didn't put much thought into who they were choosing for their life partners. Can't get rid of the beemer because the neighbors would gossip?

Fools.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

yes, so sad - just for appearace sake.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

A bunch of sad-acts who deserve eachother. Quite how it is 'cool' to be seen driving around the concrete hell hole that is Japan, is quite beyond me. I guess it is all they have, so they have to cling on to something, right?

Idiots.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

“The generation of former OLs who married and became housewives during the Bubble Economy are extremely status conscious,” explains Atsuko Okano, a marriage counselor. “To them, there’s nothing more humiliating than having to go out and work part time.”

The Bubble Economy finished 20 years ago. Hardly realistic attitude in this economic climate.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The Bubble Economy finished 20 years ago. Hardly realistic attitude in this economic climate.

Unfortunately there are still many J-women like that, especially those who grew up watching their mothers just being housewives and nothing else. Trend seems to change a bit in bigger cities but not as much as people would like to think.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Mr Yanagida cut back on his own pocket money, but eventually found himself digging into savings so that his wife would have her own spending money—most of which went to buying DVDs of weepy Korean dramas. That selfish b"#$%.

The missus works partime from the beginning even though I wanted to work for both of us, my salary just didnt cut it. But still we barely make ends meet, now im thinking she should also get a fulltime position because if I search for a job the salaries EVERYWHERE are around 180.000 / 200.000 . Especially the IT business has got it very very tough.

Me thinks the IT bosses are scamming employees out of their money tbh.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Tamarama - Some still believe they would have won the war if the US hadn't cheated with Nukes. So nope its hardly surprising.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

the neighbors would almost certainly start gossiping.

And there is the reason most women will or won't do something. Heaven forbid the cows in town start chatting.

These guys should have thought long and hard about whom they were marrying. Thing is, they know there is a problem and offering a solution. Yet some of these wives still don't get it. Not surprising though, is it? I have hope the next generation will be different. They'll have to be - they won't have any money if they aren't!

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The couple with the BMW that is bleeding them dry remind me of a phrase I read somewhere, "We spend too much money that's not ours, on things we don't need to impress people we don't even like."

Who gives a monkey's posterior what others think? If you're going to be a slave to expensive toys and other people's impressions, you deserve to be in financial trouble.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Wouldn't say these people chose poorly in their partners. How can you when an entire generation has been spoiled on a bubble economy. I notice though in more conservative societies people are least likely to adapt to new situations because of the perception that things always stay the same. Which isn't true. Japan is in a different scenario, and part of Japan's economic woes stems from the fact that the people and culture really hasn't chanced much since the bubble burst. In fact this kind of stagnation isn't normal, and is setting Japan back socially by 30 years. This is the same in the US too. Still an issue for a house wife to hold down a job? Some women do not want to cut their expenses? To be honest this is an generational issue where there seems to be a lot of selfish ass individuals. The Baby Boomers in the US are no different in this respect, but at the same time when someone's mother is harassing them because they work to keep their family afloat is that mother going to financial support her daughter that has probably two mouths to feed, and a husband that is overworked and about to be underpaid with lots of bills to pay to keep their head above water? This is how the poor stay poor, and the middle class becomes poor, and how those that stay middle class or earn more wealth tend to do so because they're more flexible with their finances. They know those korean dramas aren't necessary, they know that BMW in their garage is now a liability and that they live in a country with awesome mass transit (in the US I would say keep the BMW because it has a long life span which is needed because you'll spend less time and money on repairs but this is Japan people!! cars are luxuries). I think Japanese society for being so conservative is not very flexible, and it isn't going to allow people to make things work for them. So part of the problem here is materialism and consumerism, but another part I see is systemic after living in Japan for awhile you tend to notice how certain things are done really do not need to be done that way. A single mother should be able to have a career, and a married couple with children should be able to do what is necessary to support their children and themselves without their parents nagging them on how its all wrong. Their parents lived in a different time period. I am glad the older generation in the US somewhat understands this. They get onto people in their 20s for not being married, not owning a home with a large mortgage, and not having company loyalty. They forget that times have changed, and company loyalty is shit they don't reciprocate thus don't deserve it, gen y isn't getting married as often because they're educated enough to know they are not financially set, same with why they do not own a house at a young age. financial stability for this generation will have to wait until they hit their 30s and some of them their 40s. I saw transformers and Wiky gets a job in the mailroom after having a degree from Yale? Doesn't make sense. I would've took it and moved to Singapore work in banking and make $$$$$$. Gone are the days where you start in the mailroom and work your way up. That doesn't exist anymore. We understand this in western countries, but I don't think its understood in Japan, and seeing that it is an OECD country the society as a whole needs to get its priority in order. But you know what it is the same for western countries too.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Blah, my J-fiance is a penny pincher, does not wastefully spend. His current job (which is still not a prestigious position) nets him about 700,000 a month and he says that I don't have to work if I don't want to (when we marry and I move there).

As a woman, I'd be ashamed of myself if I didn't go to work. Then again, I'm westernized and I've been brought up by my dad to believe that I should fully support myself and that I shouldn't have to have a husband support me. When I finally move with my fiance, I am going to work full-time. I want to spend MY money.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

“The generation of former OLs who married and became housewives during the Bubble Economy are extremely status conscious,”

hahaha, tough ole tiddys. I hope they feel really embarrassed having to wear uniqlo.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

As for 'going back to work' I know a lot who never went to work in the first place. With no skills or experience it's probably best to go for that supermarket job.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

many married women willingly and wholeheartedly do hold down jobs and contribute to their family’s support.

But it's more fun to slag off the few who don't pull their weight and pretend they represent a whole country/generation.

0 ( +5 / -6 )

Delita, you sound like me - my husband said I don't "have" to work but I would go insane not working.

Cleo, we get it. Thing is, how many women in Japan make a living wage?? Not many.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

True. Last visit to Japan, on the days I went out, the malls were swarming with women. Swarming. Any men I saw were college-aged or those in business suits. It sounds fun spending hubby's money, but I'd feel restricted - I mean, what if he dictates to you how you can use that money? No thanks. I will earn my keep and spend my keep as I wish.

I'm currently a school teacher here in the USA (hope that helps me find a job in Japan easier) and I can't imagine life without my job.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

My mum went back to work because she bored around the house. You would never catch her sitting around watching Korean DVDs. I was unemployed for 2 months once. I had enough to get by but boy was I bored. Yeah work sucks but I go stir crazy with nothing to do. Dont know how these ladies stay sane in the house all day, with all those nasty neighbours casting judgement too...

1 ( +5 / -4 )

They go shopping and to cafes. My husband had a day off a few weeks ago and we went to a cafe. He was shocked at a) how loud the women were b) how badly behaved the kids were c) how rude the women were d) that he had to admit I had a good reason to dislike the lunching crowd because I had complained about it but he had never actually seen it first hand. Blew him away.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

I used to have a weekday off from my job. When i went outside my apartment to get my bike you wouldn't believe it. A big bunch of young to middle aged housewives. Standing around talking crap about their kids or whatever. No wonder kids in Japan have no skills. Their mothers do everyting for them, they have NO chance to learn how to even fry and egg!

There's nothing wrong with working at Hoka-ben, Mc Donald's, the supermarket etc. I respect those women above others. Those useless housewives standing around were often compairing their kids and what juku they went to or their latest test scores. Whatever! There are no jobs for them anyway.

My wife went back to work within a few months of each of our two children (now teens). We and she never took a handout from anyone. Stand on your own two feet. Work for a living and then you can look your children in the eye with pride.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

@OsakaT

Didn't occur to you ever that those "useless housewives" had probably been up at five in the morning, making bentos ans breakfast for their kids and husbands, before washing up all the breakfast things, hanging out the laundry, doing the vacuuming, airing the futons, picking up the younger kids from kindergarten,going shopping for dinner, folding and putting away the laundry, watering the little patch of grass and flowers that passes for a "garden" here, cooking dinner and washing up afterwards, getting the kids ready for bed while the husband drinks beer in front of the TV (if he's made it home yet) before finally collapsing into bed themselves.

And that's just a normal day; there's also clothes to be mended, kids to be driven to piano lessons or swimming classes, toilets to clean, sick kids to be taken to hospital and nursed and meetings with teachers

Me, I'd rather be out at work than going through this day after day year after year.

Why begrudge them having a chat with others in the same situation?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

lucabrasi - sorry, but your post is ignorant of the fact that these women MAKE this kind of work for themselves! My wife does all this and still holds a full-time job as a Nursing Manager, and it makes me angry when I see ''housewives'' declare themselves as hard-working! In my opinion they are nothing more than work-shy, greedy, opinionated, LAZY, image-conscious, know-it-alls!

Actually, my wife no longer feels the need to wake up at 5:30am and do the washing, cooking or cleaning! I help out around the house, as should every husband, and my wife is grateful for the assistance. My wife also wanted to quit working and stay home all day - I said that was fine, if she wanted a divorce! There's no reason for a wife NOT to go to work and contribute money to the household! Anyone who says anything else is full of it!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

My wife went back to work within a few months of each of our two children (now teens). We and she never took a handout from anyone. Stand on your own two feet. Work for a living and then you can look your children in the eye with pride.

If the kids were in any kind of public daycare then you were being subsidised out of the public purse. It might not have felt like it, because you still have to pay; but you don't pay enough to reasonably cover the cost of raising a child. So in that sense, you did receive a handout. Kind of like standing on your own two feet, but with a pretty sturdy crutch. Now that's fine, I'm all in favour of children being guaranteed a similar kind of care whether they're at home with a parent or in hoikuen. But you can also look your children in the eye with pride when you can tell them that you didn't leave them with some paid substitute while you were busy pursuing a career.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

tmarie - I agree with your husband! I went to a coffee shop last week on my day off and it was full of these types of housewives! And yes, they were very loud (one of them literally yelling across the table at her friend and smacking her hands together as she spurted out "So-so-so!"). Talking loudly with food in their mouth was the worse though! YUK! Kids running around without a thought for their own safety or those of other people in the place. And likewise, the mothers did absolutely nothing to stop them! Blew me away enough to never want to do it again!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I understand why women with young children don`t work because it can be very hard to find good quality daycare, and when you do sometimes the costs of it can outweigh the benefits gained by working. But women with older children in a situation where the husband needs help with the finances have no excuse.

It is also difficult depending on the number of children you have - one is quite easy to manage with a full time job, but when you get to two and certainly 3+, it becomes much more difficult. If you have a good husband that is willing to help with household stuff it makes all the difference but a lot of Japanese men are not willing to help out.

I totally agree though, that some women are masters at making themselves look busy whilst actually doing very little. I know women who can turn a 10 minute supermarket trip into an hour plus, an hour of housework into a 4 hour marathon and a meal that would take a normal person 15 minutes to whip up takes them 2 hours.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

@ Cleo; my kids were both 10 and 12 when we moved here and they went straight to international schools. But my post was more about "why J women don't go back to work after their kids are a reasonable age". My wife was an exception because she's a business professional. Those "useless housrwives" I saw, mainly had kids who were quite old, but while they're under 10, yeah, it's fair to stay home, but get a part-time job at least, if you NEED to.

I wouldn't work either if I were rich, but the article was about women who don't want to work when the family need money.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@ lucabrasi (ha, love the name). Yeah, I know keeping house is a big job, but if the whole family get into it, it's pretty breezy. If the family needs money and the wife can go back to work and contribute, then she should. If they don't, they're lazy, selfish, narrowminded know it alls!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

OsakaT - 10 and 12 is a far cry from the 'a few months' you first mentioned - a completely different story. Babies and toddlers are not the same as school-aged kids.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

@Osaka

Well, yeah, if the family really need the money, you're right, of course. Though I'd like to hear stevecpfc's doubtless robust opinion.... :)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What about the women like my wife who are 24/7 unpaid carers for a family member? Maybe she is bone idle for not getting a job.

A husbands responsibility is to provide for his family. If his salary is not enough get another job or 2 other jobs, i've done it before when i was younger and money was tight. If there is a child of a very young age, it is a no brainer, mother stays at home and cares for the child. Many studies have shown that benefits the child, none say it is better for the child. For childless couples or with grown children the woman can also work to provide extar money for the family, After the husband has deducted a suitable amount from her pay packet she will have extra money for going out with friends and shopping, so she feels the work has been worthwhile.

Someone pointed out that in the West women are expected to work which is terribly sad. It used to be that the man would work hatd and provide for the family while the wife looked after the family and kept the house spotless. The poor salaries men are paid these days also mean our society has forced women to feel they must work. here is a reason men cannot have a baby and that is becaue neture intended them to be providers.

-14 ( +5 / -19 )

Osakat; Yeah get the whole famliy doing the wifes chores and duties, taht is the kind of woman i would call lazy.

-11 ( +5 / -16 )

@steve

Speak of the devil.... : )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

steve@CPFC

A husbands responsibility is to provide for his family. If his salary is not enough get another job or 2 other jobs, i've done it before when i was younger and money was tight.

Wow l thought l had been sent back to the 50's there for a minute. "A husbands responsibility" well Steve what if the wife is in a better paying job than the husband. My wife and l have had this discussion many times and have agreed after taking maternity leave it will be who ever has the lower paying job that gives up work for the short term if need be to look after the kids. Your mentality of husbands responsibilities went out of fashion years ago. Time to catch up with the times im afraid.

For childless couples or with grown children the woman can also work to provide extar money for the family, After the husband has deducted a suitable amount from her pay packet she will have extra money for going out with friends and shopping, so she feels the work has been worthwhile.

This statement is sooooo funny. I cant believe people actually think this way. WOW thats scary. What is wrong with the husband and with putting their money together and after paying all their expenses then spending the couples money. All it takes is a bit of communication after all a marriage is a partnership isnt it. Or do you prefer your women barefoot, chained to the sink and relying on you for there money?

Someone pointed out that in the West women are expected to work which is terribly sad. It used to be that the man would work hatd and provide for the family while the wife looked after the family and kept the house spotless.

Thats hilarious, let me see in my marriage l am currently the stay at home one who keeps the house spotless and looks after everything. Why because my wife has the opportunity to further her career so l gave up mine for a couple of years so she could do this. Its called a partnership Steve thats what marriage is about doing whats best for both parties not living by some outdated archaic rules.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

sspidapig; Of course marriage is a partnership and with the partnership comes duties. The women has the responsibility to be at home for the children at least until they attend school.

You don't mention if you have children or are single which also changes the situation. My post is about the average family, of course not all families are teh same,w e have single parents etc. Inmy marriage my wife has access to all family money but i was referring to women who may not have worked for a long time or even before. Suddenly having all this money in their hands will get their little heads spinning and due to excitement silly purchases will likely be made. The husband has to deduct some for family matters and put in the family pot and advise the wife how to spend properly and not in a wastefull manner.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

steve@CPFC

sspidapig; Of course marriage is a partnership and with the partnership comes duties. The women has the responsibility to be at home for the children at least until they attend school.

This is my point Steve. Maybe in the dark ages it was the wife's responsibility to be at home, this day and age it isnt necessarily the wife role it could equally be the husbands role. That is my point women can have a career and a very good one and still have a successful career. Its all about partnership not "oh your the woman you stay at home".

The husband has to deduct some for family matters and put in the family pot and advise the wife how to spend properly and not in a wastefull manner.

Steve one thing to say to this. Its 2011 not 1950 get with the times my friend.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Spidapog; it seems you have falling victim to the lies spread by modern media to fall in line with trendy thinking by a few numbskull elite fraudsters. So i live in the dark ages by making sure i am prepared to work all hours to ensure my family are provided for. Is not going out to bars and wasting family money from the dark ages. I would argue that it is progressive. My family knows i work hard for all and i never squander our money,

The point i made about advising the wife about having extra money is indeed a very valid point. It is the same as if ones child starts work for the first time the father needs to educate them about sensible spending and not being wastefull. This is for their own benefit and self esteem.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Steve - you really are hilarious! I particularly love this bit:

Suddenly having all this money in their hands will get their little heads spinning and due to excitement silly purchases will likely be made. The husband has to deduct some for family matters and put in the family pot and advise the wife how to spend properly and not in a wastefull manner.

When we first got married my husbands finances were in a terrible state and he was spending money on all sorts of rubbish he didnt need. I was in a far better position financially than he was and I was the one who straightened us out. It makes me roll on the floor laughing to think where we would be now if he had "advised" me and helped me with my "little spinning head"!!! Truly - its a great image!

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

The type of people in this blurb really need to re-think their lives, its part of what needs to happen when I blurt the ole Japan needs to re-invent itself, so do a lot of the people.

Reading this reminded me of another reason why its good to be gaijin in Japan, you DONT have to give a rats, about what the neighbours think! Man I cud buy new cars but I always buy used as there are so many great used cars to be had, & bank the difference, no brainer!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Spidapig24; You as amny other on JT start being rude and defensive due to my progressive views which equates really to the truth hurts.

Yoe mentioned in an earlier post "why should we as a family struggle" then deny you would, please make up your mind old boy. I never compared women to disabled men i asked if perhaps you were disabled. I am not putting women down at all. I look after and support my wife and family 100% at all times. If my wife wants something that isn't in our budgety plans, i put in extra hours, perhaps work on an intended day off and make the money myslef. Why? because i am a real man who cares and provides for his family. I not only work every daybut also do at least 50% of the housework, also help care for MIL, make sure my wife had a break from beinbg a 24 hour carer.

Women have more drive and stamina, yeah, neglecting their kids to make money by sending tehm off in the care of strangers.

I don't just say women have duties, it is also men and as a man i do my duties to my family at all times, i make mistakes of course that i learn from but i take my marriage responsibilies seriously and that comes before anything else in my life.,

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Seriously Steve, its well known that females tend to be the more responsible spenders. In poor countries, aid workers have just up and stopped handing anything to men. They give it all to the women and let them divy it up. Its the only way to ensure the children get fed rather than have it all traded for booze and cigarettes.

Anyway, a better question that asking the wife to work would be to ask the boss to pay a decent salary so she does not have to.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

steve@CPFC

Yoe mentioned in an earlier post "why should we as a family struggle" then deny you would, please make up your mind old boy.

That Steve was rhetorical l was giving an example of a family where the woman earns more than the man. Why should they struggle by working longer hours and missing out on home life when the person who earns more could stay working. Get it!

I never compared women to disabled men i asked if perhaps you were disabled.

LOL thats funny Steve l am not disabled if you must know l held a very good job that paid 6 figures (AU money). My wife also holds a job that earns similar money but have other benefits (i.e. car and petrol). So in that respect it would be madness to sacrifice the better role for the sake of an archaic belief.

because i am a real man who cares and provides for his family. I not only work every daybut also do at least 50% of the housework, also help care for MIL, make sure my wife had a break from beinbg a 24 hour carer.

GOLF CLAP for you. So l guess l am less of a man because l gave up my job so my wife could progress with hers and l guess lm a lesser man because l do 95% of the housework and shopping and what you would consider womens duties. Steve your not a man your a chauvinist.

Women have more drive and stamina, yeah, neglecting their kids to make money by sending tehm off in the care of strangers.

Again why cant the man look after the kids they are capable you realise. But l guess you prefer your women subservient right?

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Spidapig24; Calm down dear. You are getting it all wrong. Women are not sunbstandard, they are different. we are born physically and mentally different. Why can't you earn more than your wife and provide for your family? It is a simple enough question. You cherry pick little comments i make and try to put that forward as my total views on men and women.

I beleive that men shoudl take on their shoulders the full responsibility of providing for their family financially, health permitting. If this involves working in two or three jobs, all well and good. I keep that responsibility and also support family members in helping at home and caring for members. That responsibility also involves commitments to all family members at all times including young and old members in Japan and in the UK. I uprooted to Japan for a lower standard of living to help care for my MIL, how is that chauvinistic and arrogant? I put my money where my mouth is and take respinsibility for bill, health and providing so my family can always be secure and BTW my whole family in Jpaan aprt from me is female. Chauvinist? no, different than many maybe. I have no complaints from family.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Spidapig24; If you feel your lifestyle works for you, all well and good. we disagree on family responsibilites which does not mean i look down on women. Maybe i think of them in what soem precieve as "old fashioned" but i take responsibilities seriously. I don't run around ruling the house like a modern day Hitler. I We make family decisions together and as the only male i rarely get my way. I don't call you a wimp or nancy boy because you stay at home. I disagree with your ideals but that is life, all are differnet. I nevers aid there is anything wrong with doing housework, i do myself as my wife is so busy.

Of course the man can look after the kids it is not illegal, but on the whole women do the job better as they are natural carers. Irespect others views, though i may strongly disagree with them at times. I suggest getting less emotional and perhaps you will write more considered posts. It's only a website nobody is forcing you to change yoyr life.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

steve@CPFC

Calm down dear. You are getting it all wrong.

2 things Stevie, dont tell me to calm down after calling me rude and dont call me dear. I aint your dear!

Why can't you earn more than your wife and provide for your family? It is a simple enough question.

Well let me see, maybe because the field l work in pays less, maybe because her field pays more. Maybe because she spent years at university and years studying while working to get into the field she is in. Maybe because her company pays women and men equal pay for the position and dont pay based on gender.

You cherry pick little comments i make and try to put that forward as my total views on men and women.

Right back at you.

I beleive that men shoudl take on their shoulders the full responsibility of providing for their family financially, health permitting. If this involves working in two or three jobs, all well and good.

Steve thats where you and l differ. I believe marriage is a partnership and both parties should do all they can to provide for their family. If that means the wife works and the man looks after the kids because it makes financial sense then so be it. What is better a family that is together or a family where the man is never home because he works 2 jobs to make the income.

At the end of the day you have your approach we have ours whatever makes you comfortable. But to ask people if they are disabled because there wife earns more that sir is rude and disgusting

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

My marriage is a partnership. We take are roles seriously and are very busy and family orientated. My wife does not think i look down on her at all. Her father was the type that expected dinner to be made a certain time and tea on demand. Because i think differnetly does not mean i treat my wife like a servant.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Spidapig24 and Steve@CFPC, you two continue to snipe at each other. Please do not address each other more on this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

steve: " If there is a child of a very young age, it is a no brainer, mother stays at home and cares for the child."

Lest they become killers like Ichihashi, eh, Steve? Seriously, this is not the 1950's anymore, and it's no more a man's job to 'take care of his family' than it is a woman's. It's a 50-50 partnership, in which if need be the man should stay home and take care of the kids while the woman works, if she has the better job and one MUST stay home. Ideally, if one wants to stay home (regardless of gender) and it's economically feasible, they can. Likewise, if both want to work and it's okay, then they both should. It would be next to impossible for your average 'salary-man' to take on the second and third job you so idly suggest they should, and probably most companies forbid 'moonlighting' anyway.

Moderator: Ichihashi???? Incredible that you would refer to him on this thread.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

steve: "Of course the man can look after the kids it is not illegal..."

Are you in a time machine?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

steve@CPFC writes: "A husbands responsibility is to provide for his family. If his salary is not enough get another job or 2 other jobs"

You often write that you espouse "progressive views." What is so progressive about turning the clock back a few decades? What is so progressive about trying to prevent a woman from having a career if that is what she wants to do?

If a woman happened to make a much better salary than her partner, what would be so wrong with having her provide the major source of income while the partner takes care of children -- if there are any?

2 ( +5 / -3 )

yabits; It is the mans responsibility of course. It is progressive to turn the clock back to goto a period of time when we had saferbetter educated socities. Also of cours ea living wage is something society has let us down on, but that is another matter.

Of course a woman can have a career but why should society have to pay for a massive time away from work, her employer has to get expensive temp staff and she goes back to her job and my taxed pay for daycare to enable her to make money!!! I would suggest that a woamn who wants a career wait until after having children or don't have any. This does not apply to men as they are unable to give birth.

If the man wants to perform the unnatural task of bringing up the children whiel the wife turns away from her maturnal instinct for maonetary reasons it is up to them.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

steve: "My marriage is a partnership. We take are roles seriously and are very busy and family orientated."

Women who work are no less 'family oriented', nor is a man who decides to stay home if it's economically feasible. The idea that a woman should stay home until the children are of school age is not only old-fashioned, it can be very harmful, not to mention sexist.

Look, if either spouse wants to stay home and it's economically feasible, I say all the power to them. If both want to work then I say all the power to them then as well -- you cannot deny someone the right to work because you think they should be at home with an apron on.

And another thing, I'm sorry but it's not possible for many people to take on more than the one job they have -- not only would it be impossible for your average 'salary-man', but many companies put it in their contract that its staff cannot 'moonlight' with a second and third job.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

smityhinjapan; How can it be harmfull and sexist for a woman to stay at home until a child goes to school? There have been many studies on this and i have provided links numerous times. In none have there proved to any benefits or women working but many proved children have worse social skills , emotional problems and perform worse at schoo. Now, these are averages not every kid ok.

I agree that emplyment rules are bad, something i have mentioned before. Why is it so hard in this day and age for a hardworking and to earn enough to provide a decent standard of living for his family. Society is at blame, for allowing businesses to make poor work conditions and pay poor slaaries with low job security. My main gripe is with modern society. Here is one thing that should be considered. In the UK the average working mother of a child from age 0-5 csts the taxpayer more in subsidise daycare than single mothers get in benefits. Makes you think, or if it doesn't open those eyes.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

steve: "How can it be harmfull and sexist for a woman to stay at home until a child goes to school?"

I never said it was harmful or sexist for a woman to do so. In fact, I said if she wants to, both partners agree, and it's economically sound then all the power to her. What I said was that the idea or statement that a woman SHOULD stay home until a child is of schooling age can be harmful and is sexist.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

smithinjapan; How can it be harmfull and sexits when studie have proved that children do better if their mothers stay at home until school age? Surely the point of having a child is to give the child the best start. we hear a lot about womens rights but how about the childs. How about their right to a decent start in life.

-6 ( +6 / -12 )

steve: "Surely the point of having a child is to give the child the best start."

How is it a good start if they have no food to eat nor house to live in because of lack of funds? and before you fall back on the 'papa should take on two or three jobs' remember that that is not always, if ever, realistic or plausible.

"How can it be harmfull and sexits when studie have proved that children do better if their mothers stay at home until school age?"

Sorry, steve, you can't argue your way out of this one; if a man says women should stay home and care for the children it is sexist, plain and simple. That kind of mind frame is harmful, on a personal level to women and a societal level, any way you slice it.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

a way to remedy this is to have another wave of young people to move back out to the rural areas. taking work as farmers, and other jobs you can find outside of metropolis. the 20-30 year olds of japan need to have 2-3 children per family. the gov't needs to give incentive for people to leave tokyo, osaka, yokohama and move to the north to rebuild and undo our shrinking, aging population.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

sunhawk: You're absolutely correct, but there are a number of problems: 1) you cannot force young people to go out to the boonies. 2) the government is not interested in incentives that will cost them money, hence you have politicians saying "women are baby-making machines" or, "it's the responsibility of women to have children", and all the while they get rid of tax-cuts for families (ie. the government is not only NOT giving incentive, they are taking it away). 3) It's too late; Japan is screwed. They are soon going to increase taxes to pay for their negligence in various fields, and that will be even less incentive to have kids. Who in their right mind would have children in this nation given the costs, unless they are rich beforehand??

There ARE ways to give incentive to people to move to rural areas, but the government does not seem interested. Regardless, and in relation to the thread, wouldn't moving to the boonies to rebuild require both parents make sacrifices and work hard?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Completely agree with Steve. Those who think that women should work, shame on you. It has always been the man's responsibility to provide for the family. The change where women are supposed to work came only about 40 years ago, compare that to the thousands of year before when it wasn't that way. Families are heathier and happier with the woman staying at home. Save on the useless gadgets and buy some food. Nobody has it that bad here in Japan that they have to go hungry.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Great post Foxie. sad thing is most are so brainwashed into so called "modern" ideas that they cannot see anything wrong with them even when evidence is produced.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

As unreal as the article sounds, there really are a lot of women in Japan who have loads of time on their hands to learn English, play tennis, learn Ikebana, go to concerts, go to Korea for shopping and seeing the locations where the dramas are made, and who are happiest when their husbands are away - and of course they get together with their friends and complain about how hard life is. Not all women here are like that, just like not all men stay out drinking most nights. But there are enough of them to make the article realistic.

Or maybe I just know too many of those types? And the younger ones, who want to become like that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Having said that, they're all nice women. They just don't realize how easy their lives are.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Actually foxie, the idea of a husband going out to work and the woman staying at home has only evolved since the industrial revolution. Before that, the husband and his family were farming labourers or craftsfolk, all working together, day in and day out. There were no 9-5 jobs before cities were developed about 200 years ago. The idea that the husband goes out to work and wife stays home is still relatively modern and basically unheard of any many rural parts of the world.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

This housewife thing is old! Women in this country need to work just like men instead of marrying a salary man and being nicely set for life. But that again, the workplace is very bias against women so who can blame them for wanting to getting married early. It's the only way they can have some security.

I'm sick of all the mama tomo's hanging around in packs everywhere, having nice lunch's and afternoon teas while the husband works his ehmm.. off at the office.

Both partners need to work when possible. Than again this is Japan and things are different here especially in the work place, women will always be treated differently from men. No equal opportunity.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

DentShop; Guess all those heavily pregnat women werer toiling in the fields and what about babies were they left in the mud huts while mummy worked? In fact in Greek and Roman times it was mostly considered that the man was the breadwinner, nothing new there. The fact that it was considered the norm in later history was that it was seen as an advancement in society that women no longer had to work hard while they had small children. The man could provide on his own in most cases even if life was much poorer than now. Our socities grew richer this way with safer and richer lives. This started going downhill with trndy new ideas such as a womans working rights being put ahead of a childs rights to its mothers care. This and other "new" ideas began the downfall of our societies. We have seen in the last 40 years, higher crime, poorer educational levels, bigger gap between rich and poor and many more being treated for mental health problems.

Stop messing with nature, let mum do her natural job and dad do his. Make society better again.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Foxie is right except that it doesnt have to be the woman. Just one parent should work and the other maintain the home and manage the offspring. Plenty of ways to cut expenses. No none has to go hungry here.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

They just don't realize how easy their lives are. Yeah I always get to that point, and then I wonder if it isnt a competitive society streak. And I have no idea why they dont take that competitiveness into the bedroom. Like dont they like their husbands? If I had the time and energy of some, I have a huge list of 'Things to Do in the Bedroom with my Beloved". Im sure no style of condom would hold-up to the play! I dont think it is a Japanese thing either.

But about monies. I agreee with Steve too. Even Nicky's little chuckle doesnt sway me. Monies and how they are handled do vary for gender roles. Women are more likely to run their monies, well, like women. Men are more likely to run their monies on how much they think they can work and earn. therefore women will cross their t's, and especially if they have kids, versus men who will be strategic. I think women can be strategic too, but in a marriage, the man is better to lead, as Steve says, and as the term no brainer suggests, women give birth to children. If the man hasnt the strategy of the woman, then the woman needs to wait for the man to get that strategy, and realize that you probably chose your husband for other good qualities. What might work for Spida, is not what I would call ideal family situation, or that normal, and in fact would probably suggest, or ask about living in your own-Australia-country, to really test the theory of what Spida is suggesting.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

DentShop is right. If you look on the old census registers from the 19th century, in very many cases under 'Occupation' the wife gives her occupation as 'farmer's wife' or 'weaver's wife' or whatever. It wasn't simply a description of her husband's occupation, it was an indication of what it was that kept her occupied for much of her time.

Insisting that women 'should' stay at home is nearly as unhelpful as saying that women 'should' put their kids in the care of someone else and go out to work. Every family does what they decide is right for them. What gets up my nose is when people claim that a woman can hold down a full-time job and raise her kids, so a woman who stays at home to look after her kids is somehow doing less. The full-time working mother isn't doing more than her stay-at-home sister; she can only be in one place at a time. She's paying someone else to look after her kids.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Cleo; What you jst posted is true about 19th century but we have of coursed progressed haven't we? There was a time when the man was the breadwinner in most cases and in teh type of area i grew up in it mostly remained that way until the late 70's or so. With new technology and improvements in life then why suddenly do both man and wife have to work?

Nobody insists they stay at home, that would be illegal. Why does a grown woman have the right to be a working mother when the child is denied full time parental attention. Womens lib is outdated, has destroyed many families and made millions of latchkey kids.

Mums, when you get old and frail and cannot look after yourself any longer, little Johhny or Jane may well remember you weren't there for them when they were shipped off into the care of others on a daily basis when little. Not being there for your infant when you could is teaching them money comes first. Treat as you wish to be treated!! How many will remember my post in the future in an senior care home alone?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Guess all those heavily pregnat women werer toiling in the fields

Yep, if they had to. Still do now in many parts of the world.

what about babies were they left in the mud huts while mummy worked?

Older relatives and daughters dude. Besides, they dont catch a train to work in the third-world, most of their life is spent fairly close to home. Babies go along for the ride if someone isnt at home to help out.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Assuming this is an actual trend, and not just a few isolated cases, this could possibly be one of the saddest articles about Japan I've ever read, and gives little hope for the country addressing and overcoming its many serious issues. Women and their mothers berating hard-working salarymen because they became victims of two developments beyond their control -- Lehman Brothers and the Tohoku/Fukushima disaster -- is about as cold and unintelligent as I can imagine. Maybe Japanese society is as superficial as I had feared all along.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

DentShop; Oh, so looked after by family not shipped out to care homes run for profit subsidised by taxpayers with potential abusers. Thnk about what i am saying. A

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Women always worked in the past. They were the gatherers or the farmers. Men went out on the hunt, as they are larger and feel the need to kill animals. Women only stopped working when mechanized farming came about. Even today in your rural farm communities in Japan and other countries, you do not see women hanging out at the local tea shop and chatting. They are busy working.

So, Steve, you are very wrong. Woman have always worked and should. They provide just as much through work as the man does.

Peace Children.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Thnk about what i am saying.

I never disagreed with you, in fact I think modern society would be a much nicer place if there were more women at home for their children and older relatives.

I wanted to point out that working husband and stay home mum is a relatively new idea and is a result of us living in the suburbs and working for companies rather than ourselves.

Try not to be so precious. This website is not the place for intelligent news or discussion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

JapanGal; Don't believe all you read about primitive farming, gather hunting times. Yes great example Jpaan where i see old women of 80 hunched backed taking 2 hours to do a bit of work in a rice fireld that would take a younger man five minutes. In these rurla areas such as where i live, they actually do very littel work, just takes them so long as they should have retired but the men in the suits say rice growing is their duty.

Women are special as are children. They should be treated as such. The most important human is the new born who needs guidance and 24/7 parental care, preferably by mother. There is a reason women give birth and not men, not hard to figure out what that means.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

There is a reason women give birth and not men, not hard to figure out what that means.

Because men do not have a uterus.

All the men and women working the farms around me are very efficient for the size of the plots they farm. Their sons left for the dream of the big city thinking it would be easy. They are weak, polish their nails, and wear make-up.

Obviously they were raised wrong and do not follow any Confucius/ Shintoist/ Buddhist concepts of revering the parents.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

its the reality of the western world for some time. in order for economic growth to be maintained and standards of living to remain the same, both parents in the household have had to work. Leading to decreased children, aging population, increase in divorce. people are working harder just to stay where they are. if you asked a typical Tokyoite couple in their 20s if they would trade living in the city and working enough just to get by with some savings, for going out to say Aomori and having a better life where 1 parent can work and they can have a nice house, and 2 or more kids. they probably wouldn't take it. too many people since the bubble look down on anywhere outside of the large cities. the best thing for japan is to get the young out of the city and to the miyagi and fukushima prefectures.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

why can't people post SHORT comments?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

sunhawk, exactly my thoughts. This whole thing about liviing in the city is pure pride. Brag to everybody how well you are doing at the office and let everybody see it, especially your neighbors. You don't need an I-phone and a BMW in the countryside. You don't need to buy all those things on credit and cause credit crunches worldwide. If everybody wants a piece of a cake, then there aren't enough pieces for everybody and one must take cuts. That's what is happening at the job market. People have to learn how to restrain themselves again to make a better world. People have forgotten how life was after/during WW2. Eat healthy meals at home and save millions in medical costs.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

How about a bit of factual education. Children placed in daycare by working mothers perfrom worse at school have more social problems and have higher criminal convictions.

Quality licensed day care allow for children to grow up with the ability to share, socialize and work together. Do not have to show stats on that. It is a given.

Those that are just mothered to death at home, become the Otaku of society and go to maid cafes in Akiba.

I provide facts and figures to back up my points

I do not see the facts and figures. Please post a link. Thanks

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

JapanGal; Posted quite a few before on similar topic. Asked Working mums who were frothing at the mouth and bashing me to provide similar eveidence that daycare and working mums bebefit children, there were none as there are none.

2 People supervising 30 kids as often happens in Japan is poor. A child needs constant attention and supervision,if that is too hard, don't become a parent.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Well, I have not been here on this site for very long, so would love to see your evidence. I have searched and cannot find it.

All the day care places near me have 1 adult per 6 children in general. I questioned them and asked them about numbers. All very similar. The children looked happy, and got along well. Of course there were occasional fights, but that prepares you for the real world.

I have visited Japanese special education classes too. They are wonderful. Usually one on one attention with certified teachers. I was quite impressed as they do not have all that waste of time paper work to do as they have to do by law in America.

At some point, you might want to take a day off, and go check out your local day care facilities. Once you see them, you will agree that they are fantastic, and that more are needed.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

japanGal; Supervisor to child ratio is around 10 to 1 on average in Japan. Let us not forget that these are profit driven places with often unskilled supervision. These places should be a last rseort not an easy option for women who put careers and monetary things ahead of their childs welfare. Of course father must support at all times and once you are ffther no more nights out drinking and staying away from home. Money that was wasted is spent on the family. Learn to live in this way and enjoy life without sily luxuries. The cost of living need not be so high as Foxie stated. If a father cannot support his family nin this manner and live a fullfilled life then he must be a simpleton.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

The long-term study for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, based on over 1,200 young people,

Only 1200 youngsters? That is a such a small number that the study would be called moot.

No other good information in that flawed study. Plus Japan and America are not England.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

All this while raising kids at the same time (and even find time to cook and clean when they come home) !!! Amazing, right?

It's a physical impossibility to raise kids and 'go up in space, be CEO's of fortune five-hundreds, head international associations and even rule entire countries' at the same time. While SuperMum is doing all those amazing things, someone else is looking after the kids.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

cleo; you amke good points and it is not just the exagerations and seemingly huge egos that we see but something that goesd against what they say the love. That is equality. It is fine to ridicule men as they do me, laugh at them and feel superior to them. They feel the need to put down which is usually a sign of either insecurity or ignorance. If i made similar remarks to a woman or women in general i would be branded a bigot, sexits, chauvanist and more. Equality seems not enough, but power and belitteling of men is fine whereas they treat men as inferior. It is a growing trend amongst some professional and workiing mothers to act and think like this towards men. They fail to see what hypocrits they are.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Get rid of the BMW you don't need it in a country with an awesome transportation system, that is if you live in a large metro area. 400,000 yen a month on a car is absurd! Yes lots of people in Japan are still in the bubble economy, especially housewives in their 40's and 50's with children in high school and college. Husbands are getting beat up by some of the wives that are too centered on themselves. That saying "Kane no kireme ga en no kireme" is so true in Japan for many couples. Women look at you like you are one big money bucket, especially those that come from really good families where the dad worked 70 plus hours a week and the mom had lunch with her girlfriends six days a week with shopping to boot. It's just like the rich bitch that all of a sudden needs to clean up her own house. Someone said "That's why I didn't marry a Japanese" well it depends on the person so anywhere in the world you can have this experience. i'm not going to put this all on people in Japan, I've lived there and I've seen the life. I've also seen the difference between being there in the 90's and now. Sadly many women in relationships in Japan really only see the money in a man. They will go through the stages, good school, good college, work for two years until they are about 23 and then get married. Most of the dramas you see in Japan are of young women on the job looking for a relationship. There is so much talent wasted in Japan because many college educated women are home doing nothing to help the society grow unless they have children, then they are contributing a lot because they attend all the children's activities. This is what happens in a homogeneous society. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying it doesn't allow for much creativity when crisis occurs. People tend to stick to their old ways and very rarely think outside the box. I'm hearing that many couples are getting divorced in Japan too--as the money goes away. So my advice to all of those people having financial woes in Japan is don't worry about what the neighbors think, I know this is hard because I once lived in a small town in Japan and believe me you don't need a phone to know what's going on around you, but you have your life and it's yours and you decide what you need to do to survive. And really get rid of the beamer because after the warranty expires, its going to cost you a lot to keep it going anyway.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Re above, I don't think that 400,000yen for the car was per month, unless it was in a permanant idoringu stoppu.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@oikawa. Let's hope not. Because if it really is tha's an aweful lot of money. I just thought it was real because when I had a small Porsche it was running me about 150,000 a month with all the gas, insurance, and payments. So it really depends on what type of car you have. A big BMW can run that much a month in Japan.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I don't think that 400,000yen for the car was per month, unless it was in a permanant idoringu stoppu.

Stoppu za idoringu! Come on, we need posters, media. It's about time AKB___ got on board. They are the only ones who can stop the idling now.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ayler - nice one.

Tony - you were paying 150,000 a month??! Jesus. Were you the Japan Top Gear rep? Petrol is cheap in Japan too, cmpared to the UK anyway.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Most of these women that stay home are looking for free ride. What a lazy society for women in Japan. In general Japanese women and housewives are just more vain or concerned about their own appearance. They put a ton of effort into trying to look "cool" or "stylish". A lot of the people you see really don't possess much natural beauty; it's all made up. If you see the before and after make-up pictures in those beauty mags it really makes you wonder how many hours it took for some dog-looking girl to get to that Barbie doll stage. These women spend on digital perming/wigs, fake eyelashes, circle lenses, bajillion pounds of make-up, eye puchi, operations to shave down cheek bones to make the face look thinner or for double eyelids/to make the eyes bigger, etc. that aren't uncommon with the girls you see in Japan, it's hard to think it's really all that amazing they come out looking like dolls. I figure anyone could achieve the same result if they went through all of that. The difference being most people in other countries have better things to do with their lives than to spend hours and money achieving something that's pretty much like putting on a daily costume. These women and housewives should get serious and look for job cleaning toilets. Maybe they can't even do that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

“So I’d really be grateful if you’d take a part-time job,” he told her. Their child’s entrance examinations for high school were coming up, and he didn’t want to pinch pennies on schooling costs.

This is an interesting statement. Until recently, you had to pay tuition for private HS here. But Local HS were free except for little costs. I hope his daughter is going to try to get into a public school. Will save him and his wife a lot of money.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I hope his daughter is going to try to get into a public school. Will save him and his wife a lot of money.

And of course you know that you get to apply for only one public HS and if you fail that there is no alternative, for very many people, but to go private. Bright kids can (sometimes) get scholarships. Most can't. Education in Japan costs.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I don't know what to say, I first started working baito when I was 16, graduated from both senior H.S. and University and started working full-time, then I had my first child, took a maternity leave(1 year), then went back to work again after my first baby was old enough to be in Daycare, and I did the same thing on baby #2 and #3, but now that I'm pregnant with baby #4 (hopefully LAST!!) I'm gonna take a "longer" maternity leave until this baby is at least 3 years old, although I may stay home until she goes to elementary. I'm doing this not only because of my kids but because I've been working 15 years years ago and its time for me to take a nice long break. Father of my kids is a 12-hour shift factory engineer in Texas Instruments (JapanBranch) and he loves his job like you wouldn't believe it. He's been there since he was 22 years old (He's 38 now) . I wish I had that kind of job, lol. But I'm in much need of a break and want to spend quality time with all my children. Does that make me a horrendous mother? I think not. I like helping my husband as much as I can, because if he can spend 12 hours+ working his ass for us, why can't I? I worked 6~7 hours shifts so its not like I spent the whole day outside. But after this "last maternity leave" I can't stand the idea of just being at home 24-7...I would die if I didn't do something to contribute to the family. At least having a 4-hour baito would keep me in good spirits. I'm still 30 and a long way to go. It's not time for me to retire from working yet. I'm an active person and I enjoy being in motion, is that wrong? I don't think working mothers are awful as some posters suggest here. There's a big difference between working reasonable hours and working a 12+ hour shift and therefore having almost zero time to spend with the children.... I'm for do what you feel like but maintain a healthy balance between work and child-rearing. Work can be rewarding in many ways, but being with your children is priceless. I try to keep the balance.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Bluewitch; If your husband has been working for 16 years at the same company he msut be getting a reasonable salary. Children look up to their mother more than anyone else in the youngest years. "I can't stand the idea of being home24-7" you say, so is going to work what you want and are you placing that above your childs needs. I know it is a hard choice for mothers and modern society tries to make them work to push wages down to exploit the workers further. You may be surprised how well you can live by economising and by not working you need not just stay at home. There are lotsof cheap and free things to do that children love and so do parents if they give it a go. Teach them about nature, naming flowers and trees. They learn a lot more from mother who loves them than from day care staff.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Children look up to their mother more than anyone else in the youngest years. "I can't stand the idea of being home24-7" you say, so is going to work what you want and are you placing that above your childs needs.

Steve, I get your point. The thing is that none of my children stayed at daycare for more than 6 hours in a day, 7 rarely. Most of the time, I would work light shifts from 9 am and go pick up my children by 3pm. Now, if I was working from 7am till 7pm..hmm..a little too much when you have young babies I think. I wouldn't want to spend half of my day working and having strangers looking after my offspring for so "long". No, I wouldn't want that. Period. So I tried to work light hours and at the same time spend most of my day with them. But staying at home day after day would have been a little hard on me. I needed something to keep me active and at the same time "productive". I sort of envy my husband's jobin that American company(great benefits)...lol But I refuse to work 12+ hour shift a day, because I need and must take care of my children, period. So at least, let me have a part-time few days a week. Whoops, I forgot to mention that, I did NOT work everyday, ok? I worked about 4 days a week normally 6 hours. I still don't think that's utterly damaging on children. But I need this break so I will take a very long leave this time. and by long I mean until this new baby goes to Elementary, probably. Don't worry about me teaching them the flowers, trees and nature, I take them everywhere with me, and I mean EVERYWHERE. I'm an outdoors person. There is a very popular animal farm named "ポティロンの森" (Potillon Forrest) here in Ibaraki and I take them there very often. I love seeing them playing with the goats and bunnies. I like touching the animals too. They have this milk cream yogurt so tasty. Anyway, I take my children with me all the time. I don't like having them at home all day everyday. Especially on summer when the house is unbearable. What does it takes to be a bad mom? or a good one? I grew up with working parents and I don't resent them at all, because they literally broke their backs working for me so I could have the chance to study abroad and have an education. I owe my parents everything I am.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There are few women that has 3-4 babies in Japan. They are exception and I know this is a hard work. However, most have none or one baby and they have plenty of time for themselves. They should help the family with part time work. For most Japanese, the marriage in Japan is not much more than a man giving almost all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. Most Japanese women certainly consider money as more important than love or sex, which I find very saddening. Men have an obsessive care about their job and status but most do not make enough money. In 95% of cases in Japan, the woman gets the exclusive charge of the children. It only seems natural as the father often don't really care about them. He comes back late from work and drink beer and rarely take part in their education. He doesn't care very much. That's the mother's role to care for them. This has to change.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sfjp330

For most Japanese, the marriage in Japan is not much more than a man giving almost all his salary to a woman to make children and take care of them. Most Japanese women certainly consider money as more important than love or sex, which I find very saddening.

I understand that statement from the bottom of my heart, and associate 95% of my neighbors and people I know with it. Work work work, all the salary for the wife, beer in front of the TV, etc. Not in my house though!!! First, I do not like anything that has to do with managing money, finances whatever. My husband manages the family money. I'm not good at math so, no thank you. I have my own savings account and rarely spend more than 1,000 yen on myself when I go out, I rather spend money on my children. I am not a fan of expensive fashion of name brands as I find them annoying and a complete waste of money. I'm more into buying good food and have my kitchen stocked for the whole month. I buy almost everything in family-size packs, and buy the drink by boxes, oh I'm a maniac about that, LOL!! I have like 5 or 6 different drinks for the enjoyment of husband and kids. I do not watch TV (surprised?) but instead rent dvd's that we all can watch together. My husband does not sit in front of the TV drinking beer (surprised?) He spends the rest of the night with the children until they go to sleep. Then I go to the fridge and bring him "his beer" (he doesn't drink more than one) and my drink and go back to our bedroom and if the timing is right....well, use your imagination!! I know for certain we are not your typical japanese family. We have too many "different" habits and customs. We are definitely NOT ordinary. and yes, how many ignorant people thinks that I'm a fool because I don't demand my husband's salary or that I keep sleeping with him after having our children...I've been told that I'm going against tradition and that makes me weird, well guess what? I don't care what these "old hags" say to me, I don't like math and I love intimacy, so what? Please do NOT think all japanese women are まぐろ ok? perhaps the majority but not all. we are a marriage in their 30's so we should live life to the fullest, especially when we have 3 children and one baking in the oven, soon to be born anytime now. I don't want to be like everybody else. I respect many aspects of my culture, but inside my house, I do what I want. and this is what I want.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Steve, your opinion is just that. Stop trying to pass it off as fact. The 10 to 1 ratio you are pulling out of thin air to support your opinion is not true. Japan Gal is correct. 6 to 1 is the ratio and in most cases a bit high. This is for pre-schools and kindergartens NOT Primary schools. Also children do NOT require constant attention. Supervision, yes. Attention- no. Children, even small ones are capable of entertaining themselves and being autonomous in a safe environment. A happy mother working (if that makes her happy) is way more important to a child than a miserable one staying at home.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

In my early years in Japan, dating often led to conversations where the cute, interesting girl laid out her plans to be a stay at home wife. Kids or not. Her expectation of success and having "made it" in her life was to have a husband who supported her, while she played Molly, or maybe Maki, home maker.

Now despite the presence of television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the internet and common sense understanding of what is going on the world, many women are still clinging to this notion. Despite dropping salaries, rising unemployment, inflation and increasing job insecurities, many of the OLs and housewives I know in Japan still expect things to be the same. They expect the nice flat, car, expensive clothing and goods, nice school for the kids and all this on a diminished financial foundation.

Well ladies, I don't want to be rude but.... What are you thinking. Wake up its 2011 and we live in the real world, not some silly fantacy land where every girl gets to be Cinderella.

Smart families work together to provide. Wife and Husband both understand that job uncertainty means that having two jobs in the family means double the potential stability. They understand that compromises have to be made for the greater welfare of the family. Money has to be saved. Status has to take second seat to practicality. And above all, team work between wife and husband means the difference between a successful marriage and a failed one.

So forgive me if my sympathies for Cinderella, Snow White and the rest of the princesses is absent. But if you have kids, family and extended family to care for, you had better stop dreaming and get to work to make sure that things don't get worst. Because 2011-2012 promise to bring more problems, not less and you may have to swap out time with the girls in Omotesando drinking coffee for a job. , more reality girls.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

One more note. Most people I know around the world were raised by working mothers. Despite that fact we are all well adjusted, successful, loving and intelligent human beings. It is a myth that this cannot work for Japanese women too.

You can and will find balance to raise a family, work and take care of what needs to be done to support a family in the modern world.

Fear of the myth is all that is standing in the way.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

oh kaptainkichigai get off the slutty picture, Japan gal hasnt provided any evidence yet either-too bad she/he missed Steve's links before. Blue witch-why do you say this is your last?? You say you only do light shifts-you should take a lesson from the granmas talking in the hatakes. There is a lot of young women around having a family. I often see the men, and they look young-younger than the women in image. It is in essence when you get to the 3-4-5 child mark that economics will push you both, and priorities will be contemplated. Issues arise. Blue witch would set an example that says, you-know-the-mind-numbing-activities-that-you-do-with-kids, well they are only possible if you do them out of the house spending cash for entertainment, rather than thinking of how to do that yourself. Or to live with the what-is stimulating-for-a-a-child-but boring-for-a-adult, activities. Movies can be a a good break from them sort of activities-you can not watch the movie yourself though. You know like the ones where you teach your 3yo how to throw and catch a ball, when probably 90% of the time your chasing the runa way ball rather than playing catch. Or like colouring in with a 2yo where youve designed every flippin page; or the 2yo finishes the picture within 5 minutes, and what are you supposed to do with the next 55minutes.....need anymore samples?!?! And Japan gal this age kid is not ready for the socializing you are suggesting-get 2 2yo who both want a red crayon and you better have 2!!! Japan gal conveniently gets that part mixed up. But what it seems to me that Japan gal is pointing fingers at, and which would blend with Steves argument, is that women ought to not work their husbands work but tend to their child. Deal with the occassional boredom, or find stimulating activities, or mix them up do some housework and if need be take a nap at times. If your husband is the candlestick maker, let HIM make the candles, even if you can see that the design would be better with a pretty pink colour, let HIM work that out when he sees how nicely you use the candle and show it off to the world and your kids.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Oh and about this article- Honey do you mind going back to work? Honey do you mind having another child? Is how Id answer-if the answer to the first one is yes then the second question gets a yes, and if the first question is answered with a no, then the second question gets a no. There! that should deal with this silly article.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

tkoind2: Your thoughts are good.

@illsayit: Have you taken psychology 101 yet? Human beings start socializing from day one out of the womb.

Yes I have dealt with two children wanting crayon number 1.

Watch and learn, is handi, and breaking the crayon in two when they fight for it is another...or distraction to circumvent the battle works. I do it in the board room all the time...my men respect me.

Please go visit your local day care centers and please read what is written and not what you perceive to feel was penned.

@BluWitch: Would love to meet you some day. You seem to really be trying hard and so young. But age is nothing. Thumbs to you. Wish we could post private messages.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@illsayit

WTF are you criticizing how I raise my children? Do you think I have never colored pages using crayons with them before? what makes you think I've never play catch ball with them? Wow...I'm 30, not 15!! I have 4(almost) kids, not 1! I have plenty of experience spending time and playing games with them. I do not boring stuff with my kids. I was very talented in Art when I was a child, I still am. You think I waste money in outdoors activities everyday? and if I do? So what? I would do anything to see my children smiling and enjoying life. It's not like I can spend the whole day out, you know? I would get exhausted. I go out, spend a few hours and that's it, I'm back home again. I do not go to Disneyland, I go to animal farms instead? does that make me a terrible mom? I guess NOT. About the movies I rent, what makes you think they are boring?? They didn't think "Pirates of the Caribbean" was boring! I like Johnny Depp. =) So please, let's not think ahead of ourselves and judge people without knowing them, because talking is easy but doing what it needs to be done? Can you?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

illsayit, I do not understand your post. BlueWitch is saying that that this child is going to be her last (number 4, hardly a why stop now? number), and that she intends to take an extended maternity leave to care for the child until it is three years old or maybe till it starts school. Then she wants to go back to work. Isn't she incorporating the best of both sides of the argument, ie concentrated quality time with her baby plus work when it becomes feasible? Sounds great to me. A happy, stimulated mother makes a happy, stimulated child. Heck, it makes a happy, stimulated family. Go, Bluewitch!

What are these so-called 'mind-numbing-activities-that-you-do-with-kids' ? Playing with tinies, watching their daily progression as they gradually become more and more physically and mentally coordinated is absolutely fascinating. I wouldn't have missed it for the world with mine. If you approach it as doing what-is stimulating-for-a-child-but boring-for-a-adult it won't work, because the adult's boredom will rub off on the child. If a parent finds any kind of play with the child boring, the child may be better off in daycare for some hours where it will get at least a bit of adult/peer stimulation. Why do you have to design every flippin' page of the colouring book? Buy a batch of 100 yen ones off the market, or download colouring pictures off the Internet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@JapanGal

Life is too short and precious to be fooling around, especially when you have 4 young children to take care of. I consider myself lucky to have a husband that not only works hard everyday but he helps me around the house because he likes to, not because I tell him to do so. He loves spending time with his children and even talking to the one inside my belly. He is a very special human being and I love him very much. He deserves so many good things in this life, I hope he lives longer than I because if he goes first, I might go crazy...you know? And yes, I wish there was private messaging in this forum so we could keep in touch. =)

@cleo

Thank you dear, not everyone thinks like we do. Some people just assume things without really knowing. He probably thought that I was expecting 1 baby and that's it. Well, I have 3 more and it is a bit difficult for me to keep procreating. First one was natural but second was c-section, so the third was a very risky "VBAC" and this one is proving to be risky as well. I am trying to my best to give birth naturally this time too, but if something happens (uterine rupture, etc) then I might end up having a c-section again.. I wish I could give him 5 or 6 instead of 4...but I have to take my health into consideration. I don't want to die in childbirth, that would ruin everything, right? we both think 4 is more than enough...seriously. We are not rich people after all. There is always food on the table but we have to maintain the balance. So when this baby is old enough to go to school, then I'll go back to work, but at the same time, make sure I work light shifts(4~6 hours) so I can spend most of the day with my children. I need that little time to miss my children and to keep myself active and productive. =)

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Hey!, can't we all just get along.

The fact of the matter is, if your family doesn't need extra money, then there's no need for the mother to go back (or start ) work.

If the husband earns enough and the arrangement is good between the couple, well all fine and good. The problem only arises when the family need money and the mother doesn't want to go back to work and leave their kids in the good care of carers. Even when the family need extra money. According to the article also because the neighbors would think less of them. Those "useless housewives" are the real pogs of society.

Basically, if you need the money get yourself off to a p/t job. If not, don't. Support your husband and enjoy time with your kids That's some OOOOOOSSSAAAAKKKAAA!!! wisdom for ya!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Bluewitch, you have no need to explain to anyone except Mr Bluewitch (Bluewizard?) how many or few children you are going to have, or when, or why. Get plenty of rest and a modicum of exercise so you're in tip-top condition for D-Day!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How about this for a different perspective. What not let people decide what they want to do. If a couple are happy for one of them to not work and stay at home and cook or do whatever they want let them. I wouldn't mind marrying a rich chick and concentrating on hobbies. And not everyone will have kids either. All depends on whether the couple are happy with the arrangement.

BUT - if the income drops and even though you have time and skills you don't work to stop the family from going bankrupt, then the working spouse has my sympathy.

Osaka - just read your post. Good wisdom.

But here is my ideal economic plan for society...

Woman stays home in the early years of childhood (if she can afford it - and most could if they lived within their means), then later as she gets more free time she can go back to work (if she needs/wants) or do part-time work, or stay at home and look after the house, do volunteer work in the community, be a great mother-wife.

Then little kids would have their mothers when they are young, there would be less guilt, and there would be less young people and men(fathers) out of work.

An old system, but it seemed to work back in the day.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

When monies are tight, first thing to go should be the net. All the hours on the net could be used as quality time with the kids, working, or looking for work. :-)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I asked why stop now, because I was wondering if it was economic....

Oh and for the plusses of raising your children, in case you suspected it was all boring; like when your 3yo learns to skoot the skooter, and his play knows no bounds(unlike a boardroom-where you may want to discuss that buying 2 sets of crayons is in fact quite the strategic mindset of economics, and maybe you didnt realize that any business of minding children that age demands that there is a set for each child).....and you are his only partner for the day, and you find your right leg gets so numb, that you learn to use your left leg, and your 3yo is still playing at skooting, and you think those aerobic ladies would not be able to keep up (and you discreetly wonder how you can numb your husbands legs), and you get to see the wonders of your 3yo and a skooter. Or after colouring in for years, your now 5yo brings to you her colouring book, so carefully coloured you start to contemplate the word art. And when she adds, there is only 2 pages left, and you know that will be a days worth, and you wonder at how 3 years ago when there was 2 pages left and the rest was scribble upon scribble you wouldve easily tossed it, and you realize how far youve come and accomplished as a mother. Or what about when your 2 yo lies down on her stomache in the middle of the kitchen floor(half-clean) and is engrossed in 'reading' a book that she cant possibly read, but because youve read it a zillion times(probably couldnt finish it the first million times cause itd be whipped out of your hands....)and she is grasping the straws of learning.... No Japan gal, you dont get it. Thats okay. Did you know they had a special on StarWars on tv today-the primary aged kids knew it. And bluewitch settle down-enjoy your last stages of pregnancy-I know I am:)You really do only need to discuss it wth Mr bluewitch, my point was being said for I was wondering if there was a ideology of economics or otherwise(like population) that makes you even state your affairs here. Be warned, Japan Gal would certainly tempt you that way (probably not meaning to though).....Yasukuni tries to be fair but the argument always arises when, as I said earlier, the numbers get to probably somewhere where youre at now, 3-4-5, maybe 6. After that, you start to see how Japan gal and co, want to understand, but dont really.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And bluewitch settle down-enjoy your last stages of pregnancy-I know I am:)You really do only need to discuss it wth Mr bluewitch, my point was being said for I was wondering if there was a ideology of economics or otherwise(like population) that makes you even state your affairs here.

Settle down? I come here because I enjoy sharing and expressing myself with the fellow posters. Isn't that the way you feel? Why coming to a forum and pretend to be someone I'm not? I rather share my real life experiences and get some feedback though its not always a positive feedback, unfortunately. If I was a fugitive in hiding or a nutjob terrorist, but I'm just your normal married woman next door. Nothing to be ashamed of, especially in a Forum. Life is too short to be afraid of what others might say about me, I say: LIVE and LET LIVE!! Live to the fullest~

...and by the way, I'm almost 37 weeks now so...the stages are pretty much over. This oven is about to go OFF~ lol I'm glad to hear about your pregnancy. Congratulations on your baby!! =)

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nothing to be ashamed of, especially in a Forum. Life is too short to be afraid of what others might say about me, I say: LIVE and LET LIVE!! Live to the fullest~

Hear hear. BW Im "Miamum" but something has gone wrong with my ID so Im signing in through facebook! But Im with you - a little work, lots of kid time, a little study time - the balance suits us fine, we are all happy, so why change? Good luck for d-day!

Sorry illsayit but the idea of my husband being in charge of our finances still has me rolling! I told him about it and he was laughing too. Hes the first to admit he is useless with money! But as you say, I didnt marry him for his budgetary skills ;)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's more concerned about his neighbours comments about his car than his child's education and wifes lifestyle... his salary was dropped by 3 million yen... boohoo I know so many people's that would love a salary of 3 million yen a year!

Seriously cry me a river this guy has his own ego to blame.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hear hear. BW Im "Miamum" but something has gone wrong with my ID so Im signing in through facebook! But Im with you - a little work, lots of kid time, a little study time - the balance suits us fine, we are all happy, so why change? Good luck for d-day!

Hey Miamum, I was missing you so much already~~ ^_^ Don't worry about that, it happened to me before, lol..the downside is that it keeps you logging with your real name, LOL Just change the password (if possible) on your JT username and check the box that says "Remember Login" and make sure to check that your JT ID is logged on everytime you post in the forum. You know, just in case. The FB username logging can be quite annoying, so I know. =) Thank you for wishing me luck, I'll do my best to bring in a nice "golden" bun in time, instead of letting her "toast" inside this run-down oven...lol

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Many women here, especially the generation in their forties and up, are really spoiled and old-fashioned. They think everything should be handed to them without any effort on their part, on the sheer virtue that they are females and thus everything should just be given to them by a male (either father or husband). It's really annoying.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Many women here, especially the generation in their forties and up, are really spoiled and old-fashioned. They think everything should be handed to them without any effort on their part, on the sheer virtue that they are females and thus everything should just be given to them by a male (either father or husband). It's really annoying.

The bubble generation, they grew up when Japan was swimming in cash and expect their family life to be like their mothers had it growing up.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The bubble generation, they grew up when Japan was swimming in cash and expect their family life to be like their mothers had it growing up.

Is that right? What are you basing this on, you know nothing of Japan-- if you were competent enough to get a job in your own country then I'd tell you to go back, but alas, you can stay, you can attack without basis the dear people of Japan of whom you rely-- f###ing English teachers.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

One what? One lay? One huband? One wife? ....Yawn..... I admit Im spoiled-I get to watch over my kids. But not spoiled like the women in this article, or some people who comment here, and wish they could lie about the time. Breakfast done here today, clothes hung out, not gonna do much cleaning today excpet the screens-use the hose in this hot weather, and play with the kids in the water. Surfing? Now thats an idea, could be fun!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

WHISKEYSOUR CHALLENGE

How many hours does an average Japanese housewife stay at a coffee shop once a day ?

give me your answer by 12noon

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have one child Blue. It is a challenge and fun. Enjoy!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The way things are now more women are returning to work out of nessassity.Once the children are cared for safely I dont see a problem.To help provide for our family my husband worked days whilst I had an evening job.The mortgage had to be paid and all other household and education costs met .It was tough at times but the whole family helped out with chores. Now all of our offspring are grownups, and our daughters are not afraid to work in order to provide the best they can for thier own families.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

How many hours does an average Japanese housewife stay at a coffee shop once a day ?

I have NEVER, in my 11 years of marriage, been to a coffee shop with my children to meet other "home wives"....

That would be to go against my own code of morale. I do not like that kind of "japanese" custom. It's ridiculous and a complete waste of time and money. besides, what would I sit down with old hags listening to their senseless gossips for hours on end? YUCK~

and one more thing, I can't stand the way their kids run wild all over the place like savages...My children, on the other hand, behave in a different manner. If this people let their kids behave like that outdoors, I can't imagine what their houses look like inside. So Thank you but NO thank you.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How many hours does an average Japanese housewife stay at a coffee shop once a day ?

I would say something between 1 and 2 hours. On the other hand, how many OL do you see going to the office with a latte in their hands? Then consider that for the price of 1 latte, you could cook lunch for 3.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

My daughter and grandchildren are resident in Japan and except for a coffeestop when the shopping is completed which would be a brief respite between work and home chores, I would say her busy schedule does not allow them to linger.I take it Whisky sour that you are male, how long and often do you dwell in coffee shops and bars. Bluewitch will you please inform at what age does a n old hag, my age, your mothers or your grandmothers age?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BlueWitch; Mothers usually prefer to have coffee mornings in each others home, they take turns. I think it is part of womens make up to enjoy chatting. I would have thought that part of the pleasure of coffee mornings was for the host mother to awake at 4.30 am, bake various cakes and make delicous rounds of sandwiches.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Bluewitch will you please inform at what age does a n old hag, my age, your mothers or your grandmothers age?

Hahahaha, The "old hags" I was referring to are the ones that live in my area, the snakes that are always gossiping and backstabbing people with their disgusting comments. Those "old hags" are the majority in their 30's or early 40's... I'm 30 by the way....my mother is 55 and my grandma is DEAD. Never met her. Age isn't a factor to me, how people behave does. If you come to me with good intentions and good faith, you're welcome in my house and in my life, but if you come to me to gossip about the next door person or to brag about your new "Louis Vuitton" bag, then you're just and old hag, period. I don't need such people in my life. I'm not into bashing people's images, fashion trends, expensive cars, make fun of others...etc. Does that makes me less "japanese" than others?? guess NOT.

Live and let LIVE~~~

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Now all of our offspring are grownups, and our daughters are not afraid to work in order to provide the best they can for thier own families.

Neither are mine, they'll know what to do when the time comes. I grew up watching both of my parents work their "asses" for us to have an education. They raised us in a decent lifestyle and taught us morale and values. We were never rich, but we always had food on our table and we made it to school. I own them everything I am.

Children learn from their parents. There's no doubt about that.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

BlueWitch; Mothers usually prefer to have coffee mornings in each others home, they take turns. I think it is part of womens make up to enjoy chatting. I would have thought that part of the pleasure of coffee mornings was for the host mother to awake at 4.30 am, bake various cakes and make delicous rounds of sandwiches

Then I was born an ALIEN instead of a woman. I do not like house-hopping and I do not wake up at 4:30, because it is not on my MAKE UP. I wake up when my husband wakes up which it is around 6am, and because I move fast in the kitchen, there is NO need to waste my precious sleeping time by waking up and walk around the house like a zombie. Besides, those who don't sleep well tend to age very quickly. I usually go to sleep by midnight (husband goes by 11pm) so I have enough time to rest and wake up full of energy. I don't want to force myself to wake up at 4am or 5am when its NOT necessary . My children wake up at 7am, so why in the world would I make them breakfast at 5am?? Husband likes his breakfast warm, just like me. He has never asked me to wake up at 4am nor 5am. It's just not our style. and I am not into copying people's styles. I have my own and I'll do what I want.

If you like to wake up like the chickens at 4am then that's YOUR problem. DO NOT expect other people to act like you do. OK? I hope you do.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I would have thought that part of the pleasure of coffee mornings was for the host mother to awake at 4.30 am, bake various cakes and make delicous rounds of sandwiches

and by the way, there is no way I would want to wake up @ 4:30am so I can "bake" cakes to strangers... I'm just not like that. Having people in my house at those hours?? Especially when I'm still wearing my pajama and enjoying having my husband sleeping next to me?? How can I trade my privacy for "hours of chatting eating baked cakes with a bunch of loud women"?? NO SIR!!! This is NOT the 1950's OK????

You keep those "mothers" for you and your wife, keep them in your house, don't send them to mine. Here I'm busy enough. =)

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thanks BlueWitch for clearing that up,you have good parents and yes they brought you up well, my regards Chris

1 ( +1 / -0 )

For many middle-aged wage salarymen, reports Nikkan Gendai (July 29), it means swallowing pride and asking their wives to take part-time work.

When my husband asked me to go back to work it was hard for his pride, but he swallowed it and since I have been working again, he has become happy that I make money and that I am not around as much. I guess it is nice to not have me "always around". This has been a bit hard for me to swallow, but every day I choke on it, and it becomes routine after awhile. I guess what I want to say to you out there, is don't give up swallowing!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I like your style and energy. Keep a good diary, and when you are eager to work after the kids get bigger, put up a resume and apply to a foreign run company such as mine. You have it! Believe me! Shalom

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@Ihavegreatlegs

I like your style and energy. Keep a good diary, and when you are eager to work after the kids get bigger, put up a resume and apply to a foreign run company such as mine. You have it! Believe me! Shalom

(if you were referring to me, Thank You, if not then, my bad) I would LOVE to, my husband works for the American company Texas Instruments since he was 22 and the benefits are really amazing. Nothing like your typical Japanese company with all the restrictions and BS. I mentioned before that I would like to work there with him but the shifts are usually 12 hours so it would consume most of the time I spend with my children which is why I prefer to stick to "light shifts"....at least 6 hours. But that is because I still have young children, once they go to J.H.S. I'd be more than delighted to go FULL TIME 8+ hours~ Now I'm on maternity leave so I'm home the whole day, trying to get a little rest, Delivery Day is just around the corner.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

While I have some sympathy with some of what Steve is saying, I read demographics scholars who claim that the full time housewife is a recent invention that existed for a period in the twentieth century. In times before that women and men in Japan worked together in agriculture and the family business, often leaving child rearing to other family members particularly grand parents. People were simply not wealthy enough to allow women to take care of children for all that pre-school time. The below is a quote from a paper by Prof. OCHIAI Emiko of Kyoto University.

"There is the commonly held view that modernisation results in the increased participation by women in the public sphere but as recent research in the field of women’s studies have demonstrated, this view is in opposition to the facts which show that modernisation has led to the establishment of clear gender roles whereby “Women have become housewives specializing in housework and men have support the family finances through the pursuit of salaried work”.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@sfjp330 I'm married to a Japanese woman and what you say does not hold truth for many women in Japan. I wasn't trying to turn this into a "Women in Japan" thing but it looks like that's what has happened with this. From what I see in my wife and her family the women take good care of the family and many of them have jobs. They know how to balance their life too. It really just depends on the family background and where they are from. If a person is from a large metro area in Japan where the commute is long they don't spend much time at home and they pick up some nasty habits from friends they hang out with on the street so family values go right out the window. But if they are from the rest of Japan, they are a lot closer to their family and they pick up good family value and they tend to be more responsible. Now I'm saying this is true for all those living in large metro areas, but it's just hard for them to spend quality time with their family and thus they tend to fall into themselves more. As for a lot of women in Japan taking hours to put on make up, that's not the case with many. And saying that Japanese women aren't naturally beautiful isn't fair either. I know that my wife is naturally beautiful and doesn't wear much make up and a lot of her friends are the same way too, even though they are in their 20s. Personally I think there are beautiful women all over the world and I think Japanese women are very beautiful, those you see spending money on their looks, like anyone else in their situation, just lack self confidence and they don't really know how naturally beautiful they really are. So you need to experience being with a real, intelligent, and kind woman in Japan and you'll never think that way again.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mothers usually prefer to have coffee mornings in each others home, they take turns.

You really have to have free time on your hands to have coffee mornings. In my neighborhood it's once every few months, at 3 or 4 pm, after all the house work is done.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Hi akin, perhaps Isogashijin would be a better user ID! :-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now I'm NOT saying this is true for all those living in large metro areas is what I meant to say. Really though life is very different in Tokyo and Sapporo or Osaka and Niigata. In Niigata, a car town, fathers are home by 5 or 6 whereas in Tokyo they are home by midnight or 11 if they are lucky and the children are asleep by then. So that makes a huge difference in how people in Japan are raised. I think many people in the west only see Japan through the eyes of Hollywood, a place that's losing it's creativity and has had every race but white look like animals, servants and bad guys in their movies. Also whenever someone from Japan visits here I always here someone say "Are you from Tokyo?" Do us all a favor and ask someone from Japan where they are from first, don't just assume they are all from Tokyo. Japan has many great cities and places to live--even Fukushima! Fukushima is a beautiful place! And the people are very friendly! Anyway moms in Japan for the most part don't have time for all the bull they have families to take care of and they really need to remember to spend time for themselves too.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Women make your houses tidy, look after your families , cook and bake food to die for and do not get fancy trendy ideas in your head from the gutter press. your kids need you, care for them 24/7/ If you have no kids or husband of course it is different.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@steve.

Not sure who are married to but most guys nowadays are way better at cleaning and cooking than their GF/Wife's. Maybe you didn't get the memo but times have changed.

I did way more cooking and cleaning than my wife ever did as she totally sucked at it. Similar for middle-europe where there are many house-husbands now for decades.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it'sME; my wife has always kept evrything spotless and clears up my mess with little moeaning at most times. She has done it wonderfully for 21 years and puts up so well with my messy ways.

Oh 'l amour what's a boy in love supposed to do?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@steve,

21yrs is a long time, but all is good if both parties are happy and satisfied.

My wife would have never cleaned my mess and neither would I have expected her to do it, ditto for child. You make it, You clean it , was the way I was raised.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

it'sME; but i do most meals, gardening., brining in the dosh, looking after her huge amount of pets and sometimes her mummy.

I was raised with bad taste wallpapers and shagpile carpets.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's a special love affair and there's magic in the air.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

"she's got the abilty she's got the facilities, She's a secretary in the daytime, A smile for boss and she's doung fine.. Marc Almond 1981.

Women you can do better than this. A clean home makes a happy wife, an absent mother makes a naughty child.

The womans and mans roles are clearly defined. The wman must do eecerything to make sure his family does well and his chiildren have every chance to progress to any career. The wife has many duties, even more important than PTA, baking and dusting. She also must ensure the child comes home to a clean house and is welcomed on arrirval by her. The woman who is working to fund luxury clothes and night out with "the girls" is letting the family down.

Women let us make it clear!!! Family and cleanliness before designer clothes, fancy coffees and paid work.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

okay Steve, but could you have perky sandwiches and a crispy salad, for Im not baking in this weather-i will get fresh bread from UncleBears bakery though. or if youd prefer something Jpanesey, I dont mind ducking out to get a 250yen bento from naritaya, we could add a watermelon or blueberries-or both. i just need time to go pick the berries, and it would be fun to play with the watermelon with the kids first (like why do they float in the water? and blindfold ourselves and whack it open game)....or do you want to leave it up to me-stating a preference would let me know you better :) Here here! to modern women! (or is it hear hear.....bother)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tony BerryAug. 10, 2011 - 01:10PM JST. I'm married to a Japanese woman and what you say does not hold truth for many women in Japan. I wasn't trying to turn this into a "Women in Japan" thing but it looks like that's what has happened with this. From what I see in my wife and her family the women take good care of the family and many of them have jobs. They know how to balance their life too.

Some do well in taking care of the family. In Japan, I believe the system has collective entitiy. Even though the peception of Japan has changed drastically, still, the Japanese women are part of traditional singular system that changes very slowly. Compare to west, Japan society is still difficult for women to speak her mind, regardless of right or wrong, and doesn't matter how smart you are. In order to survive in Japan, for those women that have to work has to follow strict double standard corporate rules. Women have less options compare to west in terms of salary, promotion, and being equal to men. How many Japanese women's career continues with independent thinking? Not many. If you look at happy marriage in Japan, only one out of seven have respectful and caring marriage and you're lucky to be one of them. It's not easy to have a lasting good marriage in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

All readers back on topic please.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The deeper topic of this story is the economy. It won't be just selling the car and getting a second job that is so "humiliating". There will be no choice to do anything you can to get food. Japan is in a precarious situation more than other countries like USA or China because they import 60% of their food. The stock market crash you have seen in the past week is the markets pricing in more than a recession. Some money managers described it as a rolling depression. Its only a matter of time before the following occur

1)European union breaks apart and the rich countries have to defend themselves (first their banks) from the poor ones 2)US dollar's value collapses more and more until it is not better than a post WW2 German Mark 3)World wide inflation occurs and commodities (necessities) such as fuel and food become too expensive to afford

The ministry of agriculture in Japan released a video soon after the crash in 2008 because they realized the same terrifying truth. If something destabilizes the world economy enough for Japan not to get their food imports then it will be 100,000x worse than 3/11.

References see MAFF;s (ministry of agriculture&fishiers) youtube video > youtube[dot]com/watch?v=ok3ykR2GHCc&feature=relmfu

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mark BradleyAug. 11, 2011 - 08:00AM JST. Japan is in a precarious situation more than other countries like USA or China because they import 60% of their food.

It's not the problem of imports. The problem is Japan cannot export to make profit. Japan's main problem is the strong yen. The exchange rate is 76-77 yen per dollar. The longer the strong yen stays below 80 yen level, there will be more cost cutting and possible accelation of offshore manufacturing in places like Vietnam and other parts of Southeast Asia.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I havent checked your link-but I just cant beleive it. Japan is so fertile, and there isnt any hangup/esthetic rules about gardening on your balcony or in your garden. Admittedly there is some watstheword....covering up of vets and animal industry, but easily broken down, should the need arise. Also Japan has a lot of waste food. So just tightening the belts. But I do think there is some topic of Japanese women having a collective entity/mindset. I do find Japanese women are very patriotic in their thinking and takes a lot to get past the sentence that always starts with " japanese way is....." As if, yk, their crap must smell different to the rest of the world. And interestingly of recent I have found that up till this point in time, the people that were always so 'patriotic', like the ladies in kimono, have had a change in attitude and seem to be opening up more to gaijins. Probably they finally sense a acceptance of their lifestyle, and so attitudes can go further than 'what we wear'. It is the ones that always seemd so accepting of foreign attitudes that I now find too patriotic and have a set collective mindset. this dribbles into their family life too. Like standards of cleanliness and how much men are supposed to be supportive, or, an openness to different styles, yet not open to discipline. Or say an openness to foreign-ness, yet a collective opinion about that foreign-ness. Maybe it's just what I perceive, but say for instance about birthing, there is an obvious foreignness about the collective standard, and a real closed attitude to what was normal in Japan once.......sigh .......I get the idea that for a foreign male of J wife, if his mates wives arent doing something that he would want to do, then he wont be doing it either. My J husband is a lot less rigid, and flexible. i also think this problem stems from generational families. Like when granmas look after the children. I think the wives should take responsibility. Lean on granparents sometimes, but where the situation is where the elder woman runs the situation the new mother/ daughter-in-law/position gets devalued and tends to loose their self identity. It also doesnt allow for adapting to the times, or create a very good relationship with the children, unless the mother can be forceful to the granmother. Which in a lot of cases may occur in one area of the household but not in all. Husbands males will tend to be respectful of the elderly before being manly about their wife in these situations......imo.Too long......

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In this country, having a Mercedes Benz = "Winning"

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

First of all, going to work is probably easier then spending all day, every day with little kids (no more naps). I spend both weekend days with my kids and i am exhausted.

and, let's not pretend these fools are working to 10 PM everynight. They could go home at 6 but do not because:

they took 10 smoke breaks, feel asleep at their deskl, etc. during the day and did not get their work done. wasted hours in meetings don't want to go home early

In this bad econcomy business is less. so, a lot of guys are going home earlier. then, there is the other set of guys that pretend to work when everyone knows they don't have that much.

in any case, my wife is a housewife. If we cannot continue to afford it i like for her to be at home to take care of the kids (ages 5 and 1) if she wants. however, when the kids get older then i bet she will get some type of part time job so she doesn't go crazy.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In this country, having a Mercedes Benz = "Winning

This is just an example of generational collectiveness-Ive seen a mercedes for 8grand recently-ok it was second hand but still......

No whatever is the collective mindset-which can really be said for anywhere-but in Jpan is particularly strong because of theology that surrounds the community-more recently you could say the electric cars are wahat is termed as winning. If its living in a mansion, with a view (of the city of course), thats the winner. That has changed recently since the earthquake apparently the new winner is being at ground level.....if its sending your kids to youchien, or sending your kids to juku, then thats it. Because everyone knows that the enlightened of us would only suggest what is best for us.....That means if you have carpet your choice of colours is limited to what the enlightened determine is the winner.....rambling too much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

here is a reason men cannot have a baby and that is becaue neture intended them to be providers.

For real??? Back to the samurai era?

but her mother demanded she quit. "How can you look your child in the eye?" asked the mother

Yes. I mean, how could you? How could you look your children in the eyes and tell them that when times are difficult, you might have to do some sacrifices to stay on the road. That is just crazy.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing I have seen,for the most part, is that Japanese women who are married to foreigners know that it is tougher financially unless he gets a massive payand are willing to put in the effort. Whether it is thru love or putting eggs in that gaijin basket...I don't know.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I forced my wife to get a part-time job, but refuses to tell or show me the exact location. Soon, I'll be making good money again and wonder if she'll try to quit.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

octopussy; I am not surprised she does not tell you if her forced her to do something unnatural for her. many women are programmed by modern media and society in thinking they must work to pay for expensive bags and clothes. Women naturally love being at home and making the family happy. They love seeing the kitchen sparkle after some elbow grease, it gives them satisfaction and makes them smile. Working women seem to on the most part to be quite unhappy with life, blaming other sections of society for their unhappiness. I guess the pressure that modern society burdens on their pretty heads is too high. No wonder women that stay at home feel happier , the family is more content and their children fare better (on average) in life.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I wonder what do I GAIN from staying all day everyday home, besides aging, getting obsolete and bored... That's NOT the way I was raised. Both of my parents worked and never ever neglected us. My mother worked half of what my father work and she would usually be home before we came back from school. She didn't work 8 or 12 hours but she worked enough to make ends meet. She helped my father in everything she could and she made an excellent job with all her children, None of us resent her for that. I grew up seeing her as my role model. I have 3 children, soon to be 4 and I had taken my maternity leaves seriously and this time, the last one, I'll be taking a very long one until this baby goes to elementary, not only because I want but because I can...and I want to rest since I've been working since I was 16. Yes I went to S.H.S. and University and I always kept a part time no matter what. I wasn't born RICH, I was born middle class with responsibilities. I knew what I had to do in order to survive and succeed in Life.

The Last thing I want is having a "man" telling me what is my place or what I can do or not do. The Edo period is way over and here in Japan, women are NOT second class citizens anymore, you can drive, work and go to school. This is NOT Saudi Arabia. Everything is optional. You decide.

I've been homemaker and part-timer/full-timer since I got married. No one forced me to do it. I chose and I like it. I had never any problems raising my full-pack of children. I have never felt that I couldn't do it. I always had a loving and devoted husband helping me around whenever he could. I would never ever force him to do anything either. He works 12+ hours a day for me and my children. I am equally devoted and loyal to this man. But he does not order me what do to or what to say or where to go. I would have never stay married to a dictator. We are both equal in nature and we both love our children. Yet my home is always spotless because I was born a cleaning maniac, not because someone forces me to. Dinner is always ready because I'm a kitchen freak, yet no one forces me to. and in my bedroom, I am a Queen, because I was born that way, and no one FORCES me to. See now?

There is NO way I want a man in my life telling me, barking, forcing things on me. I was born alone, not tagged to a man. Every human being have the right to choose and decide by themselves. This is our free will.

Besides, who wants to be with someone that still belittles, undermines and degrades others because of their gender?? At 10 months of pregnancy, since you seem to know so much about a "woman's nature", do you think that the best way to deliver a child into this world would be laying flat on the back and high knees?? I mean since you seem such an expert and all..... (笑)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Way to go BlueWitch

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Quite amusing this, while women here disgaree at points, they become all chummy after a while as human (female) instinct kicks in and and it's hugs and smiles all round. The need to be aprt of teh group is the strongest instinct even for "indewpendent" , "career" women.

Bluewitch; I guess whn you talk about a dictator you refer to the type of dead beat man that teh article refers to. the type who lacks the ability and effort to eran a decent wage and forces his wife to work. Yes, you are right, whey should a woamn work ? By reading soem posts though seems some women don't want to be treated well by their hard working husands and would prefer to neglect their families and homes for the sake of earning some coins. Whjy becaus eit is their "right", as dictated by society that needs more workers to increases GDP for the rich while at the same time living standards fall for the masses. Children and other family memebers have rights too, such as a motehr there to care for them at all times when young.

What right does a man have to force his wife to work because he has not gained enough mental and physiacl ability to provide for his family. It is not hard to earn decent money provided you work hard and adapt to changes, don't blame others for bad things and remain confident. If i can look after my family after leaving school at 16 with poor skills who can't? I even came to Japan and managed to start a business within 1 month of arrival without any cash help from anyone. If i can do that why are so many peopel who went to "Uni" working as lowly English teachers with poor salaries.

Men, work hard be responsible, look after your family and if you ahve money worries, try harder.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Steve I think you are just trying to wind the women up, if that is so you are certainly attaining a reaction. My daughter in Japan is what you catagarise as a lowly English teacher, she would consider it a vocation. For all teachers I would have the utmost respect for it is with access to the education system that our young improve their prospects their hopes and their dreams.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Thumbs up to you Christina. Support your daughter. Lots of good business here/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It seems that i get bashed,mocked , ganged up on by a few working mums here because i believe my duty is to put my family first. I will work all hours God gives to provide for them so they can be happy and have some nice things in life. Because i think it is mans responsibility to do this i am called names ands wives like my wife are called lazy and other horrible names, not withstanding the fact we are 24 /7 carers for her mum. My wife does the majority of course. Apparantely this way of life is the dark ages and i am a Victorian father etc... maybe we should stick mum in a home and i go on the dole while my wife works.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Regardless of the story of that particular couple, times are bad, and economic survival might require a restructuring of old habits, with both sexes contributing to work to get enough money. There's nothing wrong with that, it's not a sin. All the contrary, if Japan moves in this direction, maybe its economy starts to improve? Imagine all that workforce and productivity. Other societies/cultures do it, and they are still alive, surviving, with healthy babies, most people being nice humans still.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Takahiro; when a boy grows up he is a man. When he gets married he has duties and responsibilities. It is not hard to live these days if you are a sensible person. Live within your means, work hard, and the rest falls into place. I know that a man may becoem ill mentally or physically that stops him perform his duties, but i am talking about the average case.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Readers, please stay on topic and refrain from posting personal information about yourselves. Instead, focus your comments on what is in the story and not at or about each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

ihavegreatlegs, I chose my name in a time of utter turmoil just to give myself a laugh. With elderly in-laws and parents there is little 'hima'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

steve: "Live within your means, work hard, and the rest falls into place."

That goes for both genders, Steve, bottom line. Not just a 'boy growing up to be a man', but a girl growing up to be a woman also. There is no place for sexist thoughts like a woman working is wrong in this day and age, nor that a man can stay home and take care of the children.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It seems that i get bashed,mocked , ganged up on by a few working mums here because i believe my duty is to put my family first.

Steve - I actually have huge RESPECT your dedication to your family and your loyalty and determination to provide for them. These are all extremely admirable and -sad to say - rare qualities these days. What people I think get upset about is that you try to tell everybody else they should be doing the same thing. We are not all lucky enough to be married to decent men like you. What about men who cheat on their wives? Belittle them? Make them feel they are nothing? Expect them to wait on them hand and foot when they have been up all night already with a sick child.

Should these women sit at home and just take it, a slave to their husbands whims? Or should they go and find something that makes them feel good about themselves. Believe it or not, not all women get a kick out of a sparkling kitchen after a bit of elbow grease, and I cant remember the last time I had a coffee morning. I certainly cant remember the last time I had my nails done or filled my pretty little head (thanks, by the way!) with thoughts of shopping!

I beg to differ with you (with all due respect) and say that many working women I know are very happy. Some are not. Many stay at home Mothers I know are also very happy. But some are not. I have vast experience of both through various daycares and kindergartens, professionally and personally. On balance, I have to say IME the part-time working Mums seem happiest. BUT - they are doing what works for them.

What we do works for us with all our individual circumstances. It sounds as if what you are doing works for you. I think many people are pretty much on the same page here - we all care about society and the effect parenting has on children, we just have different approaches to it, thats all. I completely agree with many people that the idea of being a Mother and working 16 hours a day just like you did before you had children is not a good one IF it can be avoided. But again, for some people, it cant. I know of one case where the Mother works like this, and the Father stays at home. Two of the happiest little girls (aged 7 and 3) you could ever meet, and their Father is wonderful (and very proud of himself because he has lost 18kgs but thats a side issue!) I don`t see him as a lesser man at all - quite the opposite in fact. He is Japanese, and I have huge admiration for him - being able to go against what society dictates he "should" do to raise his lovely girls.

BTW - I am "Miamum" but my ID has gone a bit weird so I am logging in through facebook, thats why you dont know me!

The women here of course have a big "hug-in" when we are all on the same page but being a working woman does not make you independent of needing group support. This is why support groups exist for ALL kinds of people.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Nicky,

This is why support groups exist for ALL kinds of people.

Thank you for such a lovely post, it is a breath of fresh air to hear that men and women can exchange roles and support each other without being labeled in the shackles of historic gender identities that don't always apply in modern times. Some women are better at making money than their husbands, and some dads can light up a neighborhood by playing with the kids. Thank you for affirming this.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@soundandthefury: thank you for your thank you!

Every reasonable person here seems to have the same goal in mind: a happy family and healthy well-balanced children. Our methods differ but our end goals are the same. Everyone seems to be making their choices to the best of their abilities and circumstances. If at the end of the day someone produces kids that are happy, respectful, kind-hearted, well-balanced and dont go on the rampage looting and burning out cars and beating up people - thats good enough for me!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@Steve@CPFC, I know you think you're doing the best for yourself and your family, and that's wonderful. But please, please don't tell other people what to do. Each couple should evaluate what works best for their situation and their family, period. You sound a bit like a nightmare mother-in-law from a TV drama in your assertions about the roles of men and women, and your tendency to lump women together as some sort of different breed of creature with predictable behavior patterns does truly sound like a throwback to the 1950's.

Quite amusing this, while women here disgaree at points, they become all chummy after a while as human (female) instinct kicks in and and it's hugs and smiles all round. The need to be aprt of teh group is the strongest instinct even for "indewpendent" , "career" women.

Unless you're creating a new term out of "indewpendent", the fact that you're even adding quotes around 'independent' and 'career' at all when talking about working women shows that you don't even really believe these terms are correct. As an independent, working woman, I find your assertions that women's finances need to be supervised by their husbands, that they are mentally different from men and that they should enjoy waking up before the dawn to bake sweets to be consumed over idle gossip with the neighborhood ladies to be almost absurd.

These sorts of attitudes breed the ideas that women are not fit for the workplace (why, do we naturally suffer from a dearth of intelligence required for a job in business, finance or technology?), that they should not receive equal pay or consideration for promotions because men are supposed to be the primary breadwinners (equal work should result in equal pay and equal potential for gain), and that they should quit work for good to have children. This seems to describe the glass ceiling that women worldwide but especially in Japan have struggled to overcome for some time.

As young, overindulged men start to drop out from or never enter the workforce (looking at you, otaku), or decide they'd rather open nail salons than become engineers or doctors, it seems there'd be a logical gap in employment that can be filled by smart, ambitious women. I realize that may not be what the article is talking about, since the issue at hand are those who've already been absent from the workforce for some time and may or may not have many relevant job skills, but I feel the need to address these attitudes since they contribute to the difficulty of Japan to catch up to other nations when it comes to equality in the workforce.

I am not saying there is anything wrong with taking time off to have children. BlueWitch seems to have achieved an excellent work-life balance that will benefit her children and her husband, while keeping her happy as well. All in all, that is what is most important.

If Japan truly wants to succeed in the next generation, men AND women need to focus on hard work and raise their children to think ambitiously, not to just pass the next test to get into the next school, so once you've gotten into college you don't have to do anything in life.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Nicky Washida; I am not actually referring to you about women bashing me and calling me something i am not. I understand what you mean about deadbeat men and the types that don't support their families, that is why i stress how much responsibility men have, It sickens me to see men out drinking when the should be at home then complain about lack of cash.

Men, if you want to marry and have a family you cannot have your cake and eat it, It is wrong to force your wife to work if she does not want to, Cut down your expenses and allow your wives to care for the family.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Steve

And I am not trying to be impolite, but as you have a lot of advice, or philosophy of sorts about the roles of men and women in the house and in society, then I think practical questions should be raised to test the validity of your wisdom. The first being: have you ever met anyone who values your ideas? That is to say, can your mode of thinking be applied in today's society?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

soundandthefury; Yes hundreds of millions live life the way i think it should be. I know of quite a few personally and they have solid familiy units. Children from traditional families who are brought up by a stay at home mother on average perform better at school, have less emotional problmes and are in better health. These facts have been backed up by long term independent studies. i hve provided links to some of these studies before.

Because it is the trend for society to insist women should also work , does not mean it is for the best. It is a myth that society needs both parenst working, PC nonsense. Since Women where pressured to work by society about 40 years ago in first world countries te following have risen; Violent crimes, divorces, gap between rich and poor, childhood mental illness, elderly in care homes and many other things.

Don't buy into the myth, these trends forced onto society as norms are breaking up our society. Parents, keep the family unit close. Fathers, wok hard and ensure you provide well. Mothers look after your home and family and they will look after you well in old age.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Children from traditional families who are brought up by a stay at home mother on average perform better at school, have less emotional problmes and are in better health.

Could have been brought up by a man with the same results.

Since Women where pressured to work by society about 40 years ago in first world countries te following have risen; Violent crimes, divorces, gap between rich and poor, childhood mental illness, elderly in care homes and many other things.

The link is not necessarily between women working and social ills.

these trends forced onto society as norms are breaking up our society.

What is more likely breaking up your society is your decreasing role as colonialists; not having the income from sucking on other countries in the world in the same way you did before is depleting your economic resources.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

soundandthefury; Children of stay at home mothers oerform better than those with stay at home families on average, non PC but true.

You say the link is not between working motehrs, but that was a large part of the break down of the family unit, thus it is alarge reaosn. It is not the mothers fault but societies.

I ma not a colonist. My income is derived from hard honest work without any exploitation. In fact in the West there is more exploitation of countries using almost slave labour in Africa and Asia, there is no relation. My society, what exactly is my? That includes no colonists like theJapaneseAustralians,and the Swiss. Better to deal with facts than speculation. May make one unpopular but it is well worth it to get the message across.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@soundandthefury

Steve might have a point though.

If both parents are working themselves to death, who is taking care of the kids? You might say, they split the child rearing duty, but work is draining, stressful and "distracting", the kids will still be getting less from such an arrangement than say having a dedicated parent taking care of them.

The benefit to having women work in the industries is increase in productivity as there are more hands to do work, but I wonder if it's worth the cost.

It's also a self perpetuating system. Having more available labour drives wages down, a family having a solo bread winner won't be able to "paid the bills" resulting in the other spouse having to take a job too to make ends meet.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Steve might have a point though.

Steve has a number of points, and who is going to disagree that having a stable family unit produces better results. But Steve likes to go a step further and seems to maintain that women should stay at home and the man should work. I don't care about the PC debate about this, but there is a practical point and that is to say that women often make better workers than men, and men can be great care givers. So it is arbitrary as to who does what. In fact, two married men could provide the same stable family unit that makes for happy children.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Agree with soundandthefury.

Europe has shown that once a woman is past the breast-feeding stage, there is no difference if the father or mother stays at home. Plenty of stay-at-home dads, etc and they are doing a sterling job raising the kiddies.

Granted a stay-at-home parent is preferable till they go into pre-school/kindergarten(common in central europe), etc.

But there is NO evidence that a mother is a better carer than the father once the needed female functions are over. To word it crudely.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

soundandthefury; I am basing my points on what is the best for the family especially the children in the majority of families. There are exception like you say two men, or single parents. I am trying to expose the myth that a mother working is better for the child and instead of women feeling it is their duty to neter the workforce it should be the duty to be there for the child especially in its youngest years.

There is a reason women have the children and not men as they are born carers and have the maternal instinct. Nature is not PC, it is a fact.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ soundandthefury

I don't care about the PC debate about this, but there is a practical point and that is to say that women often make better workers than men, and men can be great care givers. So it is arbitrary as to who does what.

No objections to men staying at home.[1]

But that said, society as a whole might not take it too well. Women still (partially) judge men on their earning capability.

[1]Whether women is more suited to it than men is another debate. Women do tend to have been eyesight and instincts when it come to judging the "state" of another human being while men have better spatial vision and sense.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

instead of women feeling it is their duty to neter the workforce it should be the duty to be there for the child especially in its youngest years.

I dont think actually that many women do feel it is their "duty" in some way. I know I didnt. I am working part time because I know I am the type of person that will spiral down into a depression if I am entirely at home with the children and doing nothing else. That wouldnt be good for any of us. I have the highest respect for stay at home Mothers because I actually cant do it. If that makes me a terrible person, it is just something I will have to live with, but the indications so far are that my kids are doing fine.

Other women I know who are working Mothers are working because they have invested a lot of time and energy in their careers (doctors, teachers and lawyers, some nurses I know, for example) and want to be able to keep a "foot in the door" of their profession, so to speak. Most I know are working reduced hours. Then I know a few women here and back in the UK who have a stay at home Dad arrangement. For example, one who is a successful graphic designer, whose husband worked in a warehouse. He earned a fraction of her salary, with little career prospects and it made no sense for her to give up work, especially given that she was happy to continue.

Then of course there are women as Steve says, who feel they have to work because their husbands dont earn enough to support them. I think it is very difficult given the hours many men have to work here in Japan to expect them to be able to take a second or third job, and also I think "Daddy-time" is important for stability.

My impression of children who do better at school and are more settled is that they come from STABLE families, and whether or not both parents are working has little to do with it, as long as they are GOOD parents. It is no good being a stay at home Mum if you are a bad one!

It is a fact that the majority of children not doing well at school are from backgrounds with trouble at home - often absent fathers, multiple "fathers", single Mothers on benefits, no stability, and so on. I got this first hand from a primary school headteacher with 40 years experience. The rise in families such as these has happened alongside the rise in working Mothers - so can this also not be a cause of the societal issues we are all concerned about?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Niky Washidea; You are correct aout the broken families but not always with motehsr on benefits. It is not common knowledge but in the UK at least a single woman will not be made to work for her benefits. The only reason i can see for this is that for these women who woudl mostly be in poor paid jobs is money. It costs more in tax credits and day care payemnts to the Government than if they are on benefits. This is mostly due to the low minimum rate of pay and the fact that the women lack skills.

In many countries a single mother seems to be rewarded for having a child especially when young. They get free accomadation and nio strings benefits until the child is at school leaving age. They are also places at the top of the social housing list, We should not just blame these mums but also the system that encourages this.

Obviously i prefer children growing up with both parents but that is not always the case. I would say society encourages more kids as they mean more consumers, that is also why they want woking mums as they are also consumers. Society is essentially being run by big businesse for a few decades now. They lobby governements for policies in the ir favour and money talks.Families are suffering because of this. Women's lib was in fact a greta thing for big business. More consumers, more poroducts bought, and a massive day care system with many staff with dubious backgrounds and motives.

Of course a parent should be at home and whether mother or father is preferable to both working The home is the heartbeat of the family not a hotel. Of course all families are different with different abilities but it has been shown that mum at home is best for the family and the child.

I cannot understand why any man would want his wife to work while he stays at home with kids. Maybe he has a sexual identity crisis or has depression. I certianly would not wish to be a kept man.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I certianly would not wish to be a kept man.

OK steve, so far have agreed with you about small children needing a parent (not necessarily the mother) providing a stable environment at home, but that statement of yours should give you a clue as to why so many women object to being stay-at-home mums. You think a man staying at home and doing all the things a sahm does is a 'kept man'. Maybe some women object to being seen as a 'kept woman'?

Personally I think that a sahm earns her keep and then some, and when the kids were little and I had no income I didn't feel like and was never treated as a 'kept woman'. If it's insulting for a man, it's equally insulting for a woman. if you want to persuade women to stay home to look after their kids, you need to get rid of that insulting tone.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Cleo.

Well said and you started seeing him for what he is. Like I said above where is the evidence that a man can't be as good a carer as a women once her physical requirements(Breast feeding, etc) are done.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

where is the evidence that a man can't be as good a carer as a women once her physical requirements(Breast feeding, etc) are done.

Granted some men can be better carers than some women, just as some women can have more muscles than some men (to take another gender-oriented stereotype). But on the whole yer average woman makes a better carer than yer average man. I understand that some mothers need to work to help out (or provide) the family income, but it would have taken a team of wild horses to drag me away from my babies and into an office where I could exchange my labour for gelt while someone else was getting all the pleasure of raising my kids - and being paid for it! For me, it's a no-brainer. Kids grow up soon enough - enjoy them while you can.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Cleo; I have said before that it is a fact that men and women are different in many ways,whether is be physical hormonal whatever. This is a decision made by anture not me. Why can women give birth and feed their children naturally? Simple, that is one of the things they were made for. Because of this i find the man should be responsible for some parts of parenting and the woman others. The woman is not kept Cleo, you are out of order. The reason the man provides is because he does not have to take time off for childrearing and looking after the family in most cases. Would i expect my wife to go through a pregnancy, then work whilst i remain at home no!! I think it is the mans duty to provide. It work well for my family and my wife is happy with that. I also NEVE said Kept man was insulting , i said i wouldn't want to beone. Please don't change the meanings of my posts even slightly as otehrs look at your post and their perception changes my original post even further.

It's mE; Your last post while offensive strikes me as i have it a nerve,a nd this may be down to your lack pof reading my posts properly and selectively cherry picking parts that fit your mindset/agenda. I would imagine that you conceeding that men cannot do teh physiacl part like breastfeeding shows that i am correct. I have never said a man cannot be as good a carer, i am carefull to put "on average" or similar in my posts. Some take this too personally, while i am expect to take insults and abuse on the chin.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Women and Men should have the personal choice weather it is to go to Work or stop at home spend half an hour cleaning and an hour cooking its a fair deal why not both work shifts and make life more comfortable and not to struggle on one wage ..it works in shifts he works days one week she stays with kids the same week in the daytime then she goes work evenings and he stays at home then the following week change rolls lots of families do this in the uk and it works lots of places here now are 24 hours so time for work and play is good and flexible ..no man or woman is suppurier in my eyes they are all equals and have a human rite ..

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Sorry cleo.

But got to ask when and where is the proof that the female/mother is the better suited carer.

Where is the evidence both in human and animal history. If you do some research you might get a surprise as would Steve.

Both your arguments ring hollow, just got to say that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I also NEVE said Kept man was insulting , i said i wouldn't want to beone.

And why wouldn't you want to be a kept man, steve? Not because you find the idea insulting/demeaning/beneath you? Believe me, it's equally insulting/demeaning/beneath women.

Why can women give birth and feed their children naturally?

So a woman who was unable to give birth or feed a baby naturally is somehow less of a mother? Lots of women with the best will in the world find themselves unable to breastfeed. If getting pregnant, carrying a child to term and giving birth naturally were all so easy, scientists and doctors wouldn't be putting so much effort into obstetric care - helping women get pregnant through hormone treatment, in vitro fertilisation etc., preventing miscarriages, and carrying out caesarian sections. Just as every pregnancy is different, every family's circumstances are different and every couple needs to do what works best for them. For me, what was best was basically what you support, but I stayed home and looked after my babies because I wanted to and could afford to, not because I felt I 'ought' to.

why not both work shifts

Not all jobs work like that, Ricky.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

cleo; My idea of a fathers role is to provide not child care. I am not saying that it is beneath me or insulting, i think men and women have certain roles. I have said before that being a mother and brining up the children is the worlds most important job.

Refarding women whoi cannot give birth, youa re being ludicorous, That is the exception bnot thenorm and i ahve repeatedly said ia m talking about the average, ie usual. I have never said that mean every person.

I do find quite insulting the fact that you consider me to think that i think that way about women at home and also that way about women who cannot give birth, when i have never put down the job women do and how important it is. Even when i say about men not doing their roles properly and how i think women should be treated well i am bashed and other meanings are inferred.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

it'SME; Evidence is out there if you look, I provide many links before about these matters that are often dismissed by those with no wish to see. When people say women are better carers it does not mean that a man couldnot be the worlds best.

It is like saying putting a woman in a male pro football team, she may have greater skills but is physically less strong than many men, so tmost can perform better than her, Same as childcare, women are natural carers and have a maternal instinct and that is a fact. Men can love and bring up children perfectly but on the whoel women dop the job better than men, especially in first 3 years.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

got to ask when and where is the proof that the female/mother is the better suited carer.

There is no proof that that I know of that in every case the mother is a better carer than the father, or even a better carer than a paid professional. But it seems to be true that hormone levels (high estrogen levels against a background of low progesterone levels) during and after childbirth trigger what is commonly called the maternal instinct. This report - http://www.flyfishingdevon.co.uk/salmon/year2/psy221maternal_behaviour/maternal_behaviour.htm - describes some rather revolting experiments done on rats to illustrate the effect of hormonal changes and sensitisation on the maternal behaviour of rats. It also points out that maternal behaviour can be induced in male rats and virgin females.

Now of course people are not rats and the results of experiments done on rats cannot necessarily be applied to people (which is why the whole idea of animal experiments is loathsome as well as being a waste of time, money and resources, but that's OT here), but it would seem to indicate that there is some foundation to the idea that on the whole women are better suited to motherhood than men are. In our modern society though, with hormones in our food and in the environment, who knows how mucked up we are. At least a woman who doesn't look after her kids properly is still enough of an aberration to make the news.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It'sME; I ajve never said men are inferior at childcare. I thought i made that perfectly clear in my last post.

Ignoring my links are fine, I even produced one that was a thirty year study in UK that was dismissed out of hand by many within minutes of posting it, I would not expect anything less from some on this site.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Both parents are responcible for the children and how thier children progress we got to school to learn and prepare We leave school to learn a trade its possible for both parents to work to provide .If something happend to one then at least the other can complete by carrying on to provide .This staying home is a thing of the past parents with kids in shcool are now been put under pressure to work as well anyway...The kids lose out on higher education because one parent works while the other is a homemaker Its great steve if you earn £1000 a week but what would happen if you lost your job or you had an accident then who would step in ..or would you live of compensation and dissability and still expect your wife to cook clean and keep the kids happy .. and struggle on ends meat ..im proud of my mum she's worked most her life and my dad stayed home and got us ready for school

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Steve, like I said I like data that is verified via multiple studies from as many sources as can be.

As for me.

I don't know what my wife went through during her pregnancy. both physical and emotional, I was only a spectator(with associated problems and worries) and trying to give support when I could. Neither did she understand what I went through mentally, etc.

But I became a father the first time I held that little bundle of humanity and I am talking more than physical here, it flipped major switches inside me and changed me forever. Now that is something that NO mother can understand same way I can't understand pregnancy.

Now I can't say which feelings are stronger nor which will turn a human into a better carer. Who can truly?

You, me, cleo, etc?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ricky; I place mysslf as responsible for providing for my family. I don't expect her to do all the work in the home. I work from home, so i am here anyway and i can cook better (except baking). I f anything happened to me i have a business set up thet someone could be employed to run so i need not worry too much if i conked out right away as far as money goes. I have stated in previous posts that i mean for the average family and sometimes due to illness or disibility roles may have to change.

In the Uk more women are staying at home caring for small children than in 1999. Higher education will hardly cost at all for unmeployed of low earners. It's good you are proud of your mum and i am not knocking her. More i am knocking society and men that expect women to work when kids are small. I also think the higher education fees/loans put off families and make women feel they need to work/

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Basically what I am saying for most women it is a gradual process but becoming a parent for most males is like being whacked with a sledge-hammer.

People can disagree and I don't care either way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it'sMe; there is not a bhuge amount of data on these matters, which is a shame. I think these subjects are non PC these days rather similar in the way that figures on crime by race in the West are considered taboo by many.

There have been very few largescale studies about working fathers as it is only recognised as a recently new phenomena. Society expected that other members of the family would care for the children for the father, This was of course before we starting living far away from our places of birth. In recent history inter racial marriages have gone from almost a taboo to an accepted norm as has fathers staying at home.

There have been lots of studies that knock singel parents unfairly i would say as they are always lumped together with unemployed single mothers.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Steve on a final note from me not everyone can can everyone can afford to do ..i take my hat of to you for what you have accomplished well done...took me ages to scroll down here :)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Ricky; Thanks. I have been lucky that my hard work has paid off. My work has been one that has not had too much affect from the global recession. A few lucky breaks now and then always help of course.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ Steve What if you did not have a business and no savings bet you would be saying something completely different thing You say one thing and mean another did LBG educate you about women too . My team are all f/m i work with and if you came into my office and said what you have said here you would be facing a lawsuit under the SDA Sexual Discrimination Act

How many women do you employ Steve and what do they do for you. How many have children and a husband at home More working mums now than in the 70s 80s and 90s your still living in the past Mr ..Women like men are equals and in a survey it showed they use more of their brains than us men ..We have women in our armed forces fighting for the rights for the countries less fortunate were women have no rites .I bet you would not say half the things you have said here in a conference ..you'd be ripped apart in Liverpool ..You need to come back to the UK i dont know how long you've been away but there has been big changes ..

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stan; I worked here since i left school. I came from a poor family in social housing. Well, i do not work where you are and i do not break any laws with my views or behaviour including in business.

I have never said women should not be paid or treated equally and protected by laws to ensure equality. I stated that i belive It is the mans responsibility to provide financially for his family as long as he is unable due to a mental or pjysical disability. I would say most countries aremed forces are fighting for their own countries interests, not for anyone elses rights, but that is anotehr matter.

I suggest reading my posts a bit more thoroughly. I have stated many times that it is best for teh woman to stay at home and look after the family especially when the children are very young. I have never said that women should be treated differnetly under the law and have different employment rights than men.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Steve;

If the man wants to perform the unnatural task of bringing up the children whiel the wife turns away from her maturnal instinct for maonetary reasons it is up to them.

Unnatural? For reasons I will not go into here I have done exactly this, and let me tell you it's a heck of a lot harder than any single job that I ever had before in my life, and I am a former Marine Corp grunt! Done correctly, or should I say with love and caring, which encompasses all areas of raising a child, it was the most rewarding job I ever had.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I have ahd to look after a 3 year old child for 2 months a few years back. I know what it is like, that is why i say mothers looking after small children and a house are the hardest working in society and the most important. I was more tired and slept better than ever after i did my full time caring stint. I see what i takes for a mother, taht is why i think we shoudl support them. Day care is no substitute for what they get at home which is love from the family.

it is unnatural when the child is very young, but can be done.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

"I know I didnt. I am working part time because I know I am the type of person that will spiral down into a depression if I am entirely at home with the children and doing nothing else. That wouldnt be good for any of us"

I would say it is talk like this plus the 'it's ancient thinking/in shackles' type comments that I would add a Steve attitude to the opposing gender. Try harder. How can you say you will be depressed? How can you be bored? Cant you figure out some entertainment (or possibly stimulus would sound better educated) for yourself your kids or your family? They really mustnt need people with brains for work these-a-days. Give me the ancient times any day of the week!-And Nicky, if thats your personal case that you would get depressed, then Id suggest you keep it personal. Or are you suggesting that it is depressing? I heard you when you said you respect women who are mothers, but I dont hear you applying that to yourself.

This whole natural and maternal and equal and fair talk give me the bejeebers. You know bend over take a look at your gentials, and see exactly how different the genders are. When you can explain how they are the same, any of the arguments referring to equal, may be of use.....Im sure Ill be waiting a long time. Giving equal respect for differnt types I can understand; but saying what is obviously not equal, is. And I would recommend a maths 101 lesson.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I dont think actually that many women do feel it is their "duty" in some way. I know I didnt. I am working part time because I know I am the type of person that will spiral down into a depression if I am entirely at home with the children and doing nothing else. That wouldnt be good for any of us. I have the highest respect for stay at home Mothers because I actually cant do it. If that makes me a terrible person, it is just something I will have to live with, but the indications so far are that my kids are doing fine.

It is your "duty", you brought them into this world, I suggest you damn hell make the effort to take care of them.

Hard or not, you should do it. Nothing else to do at home, then find something.

Other women I know who are working Mothers are working because they have invested a lot of time and energy in their careers (doctors, teachers and lawyers, some nurses I know, for example) and want to be able to keep a "foot in the door" of their profession, so to speak. Most I know are working reduced hours. Then I know a few women here and back in the UK who have a stay at home Dad arrangement. For example, one who is a successful graphic designer, whose husband worked in a warehouse. He earned a fraction of her salary, with little career prospects and it made no sense for her to give up work, especially given that she was happy to continue.

If you put your career over your kids, I would have to say you are one screwed up person. You should have chosen to not have kids in the first place.

Sorry if I sound bitter here. My parents divorced, my father was a useless bum, my mother worked full time to bring up me and my sister.

But neither of them were really there for us when growing up, with my mother being too tired and burned out from work to help handle our "growing up" issues, and as I mentioned my father was a bum. Me and my sister basically wondered through life blind as bats bumping into walls. And my god did I bump into a lot of walls.

My mother didn't have much of a choice, that I understand, but growing up like that nonetheless severely impacted lives of my sister and myself to this day.

If you have a choice and placed priority of your career over your kids, you shouldn't have had kids in the first place.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

it is unnatural when the child is very young, but can be done.

You sound like you are talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time. On one hand you say it's "unnatural" and on the other," it can be done".

You know what? You are not as progressive and tolerant of people as you think you are. Your comments on this and other topics on this board come across as being sexist and intolerant of women who deserve the independence do make their own choices in their lives and not put them into boxes where you can control them.

Women have just as much right to work as their husbands, and there is nothing wrong with asking one's wife to work to help support your own family. Not everyone makes 5,000,000 yen per year to live on. I have seen plenty of families where the mother doesn't work where the children turn out to be spoiled brats and one's where both parents work and have well adjusted wonderful children. (There are exceptions to every case)

One can not blame the guys either as I see it for their choices in spouses. Situations change, and any woman (or man for that matter) worth her(him)self will change and adapt as well, as the need arises. One can never foresee what the future will bring.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

yubaru; Of course unnatural things can be done. You have made decisions on my values and views based on your views and not the facts, If you read my posts in entirety you would see i have never said once taht women shoudl be controlled. In fact i put teh same or more family responsibility on teh mans shoulders as the womans. I never said woman have no right to work, i have never said women should not have equal rights or pay. i have stated that families on average do better with mother staying at home and the father working.

Strange that i don't get called names for saying the man has a duty to his family but when i say the womens duties it is sexist and intolerant. Once you become married and then children you change how you liev your life, you make your family your number one priority and that goes for men and women.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Am I lucky that I married someone who would never degrade/belittle/demean me for being a woman? In a 10 year marriage with 3 children and one baking in the oven (10 months) I couldn't ask for more I think. It's so sad that some people still insist to place women and men in certain specific roles because of their gender.

I'm very sure that if I was to die in childbirth, my husband would be excellent and completely competent to take care of our 4 children. I have no doubt about it. Him having no uterus/ovaries doesn't make him unqualified to do so.

I have great respect and admiration for him as a man, but I would never think less of him because he can't give birth. Men, like women, can take care and love their children, provide and protect them if necessary.

Have you ever ask yourselves how many MALE species of the great animal kingdom take care of their offspring?? too many to count. There are many species that once the female gives birth or her eggs are fertilized, the Male take over and protect the offspring. There are no evidence that suggests only females can take care of their offspring.

What I'm trying to say is that I can never degrade a man over no having natural maternal instincts or a uterus. Hormonal or not, Both genders are completely capable of loving, providing and protecting children.

Interesting enough, I don't consider myself the head of the house, I don't even handle our economy as I'm a failure when it comes to math. That's doesn't mean either that if something breaks down, I would rely on him only. No, when things break at home, if physically possible, I'm always more than happy to repair them.

I know what I can and what I can NOT do. I don't pretend to be wonder woman, know-it-all need-no-help type of person. When it comes to move heavy furniture and such, I ask my husband if he can lend me a hand. After all I'm just human, I'm not made of steel or iron. When I need help, I ask for it.

In one of my posts, I said that I've been working since I was 16, all the way through HighSchool and University. When I got married and have my first 3 children, I took 1 year maternity leave. Then I switched from Full-time to Part-time not because money or convenience, but because I am a mother and I don't wanna miss a whole day without my babies. I want to be there as much as I can. I was there when they first started walking and I was there when they first started talking and so on. The reason I kept my Part-time was because we are not living in the bubble economy anymore and we are NOT rich, we have a big family. I want to show support to my husband even though he has never asked me to do it. I know he has a very good job with good pay and benefits, but still, he's only human and I know how much he works his ass off so we can have a fridge stocked with food. I know how hard is to work 12+ hour shifts (daytime shift/night shift) changing every week. How much I miss him when he's working at night and how painful is to wake up without him next to me. But by working, even if its only 4 hours, I can share my feelings and feel good about it. Believe me, there is NOTHING wrong to have a part-time job in the mornings and come back home early enough to spend the rest of the day with your children. Also, I do NOT work 5 days a week. My light shifts were usually 4 hours and 3~4 days a week. I do NOT think I was harming my children in any way. do you know my children's ages?? 1st. 10 years, 2nd. 6 years, 3rd. 3 years and now this one inside of me, 10 months. I am now in my last maternity leave and this time will be for 6 years. I need a rest for myself as well. Once the youngest one goes to elementary, I'll go back to work Part-time. But once the youngest goes to J.H.S. I'll probably switch to Full-time again, no more than 8 hour shift though. There was a time when I worked 12~14 hours a day in a Pharmaceutical Company, but that was before having my first baby.

The fact of the matter is, if you feel you need to work, do it, but try to keep the balance, if you can. I know I'm a mother by heart and there is nothing more precious to me than to spend all the time I can with my children. But having a little something to do on the side, is a very good way to keep me active and motivated. I am not advocating to people to give up their time with your children so you can go to work. I'm putting my life as an example, telling you how I maintain my balance and spend most of the time with my children.

24-7 Stay at home mothers have my respect. However, we are not all the same or have the same economic backgrounds. You simply can't expect to put all women into the same category. Not all women are made to stay home 24 hours a day, some women like me, need a little break to refill that so much needed energy.

At 30 years old, I have learned how to appreciate life more, love my children, and be devoted to my husband. I don't think my cooking is the best in the world but because I love cooking I never give up. I am lucky to have someone who also enjoys cooking every now and then and yes, he can cook way better than I do. LOL

I would never degrade/belittle my husband because he has a penis and can't give birth. He loves his children and would do anything for them, if I was to die in an accident or something like that. I trust him and I believe in him.

Let's not categorize people because of their genders, shall we? Let's NOT impose roles to people because of their genitals. We are not living in the Edo period anymore. This is the year 2011. It would be highly "UNNATURAL" for me to say that he wouldn't be good enough with my children just because he doesn't have my female hormones. Both men and women are completely capable of protecting their offspring. period.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

BlueWitch; The facts are that men and women are different. The facts are that nature imposes roles, that is whywomen give birth and on teh whole men are stronger and physically larger. There are roles that have worked out best for families in teh past and today. there are studies that prove that. Of course men can care for children, i have done on my own and run a business before.

There is nothing wrong with having roles within the family as they provide stability and security.Flexibility is also needed as life has many surprises.Having a role does not mean you are not an equal within teh family or in society.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

@Steve

So nature impose roles in women and men, men spew their seed and women spread and give birth. Great roles indeed! lol

So if my loving husband was to die, say accident at work, so because nature gave me an specific role.... and if it was up to you, I would have never had any skill from working, nor school education probably...so if he was to die, with no education or skills, what am I suppose to do? Apply for government benefits?

I mean, women are better homemakers, therefore learning some skills would be totally overrated, no?

what would a 30 year old widow with 4 children would do?? social welfare for life?

wow Steve, you need to think a little bit more ahead, ok? The all-providing MALE may NOT always be there.. you know?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

BlueWitch; I have said this in previous posts. If the situation occurs where a parent has the job of bringing up a child on their own the governemnt should step in. I am all for paying extra taxes to allow single parents the oportunity to bring up their children without poverty and to ensure they can cope with the pressure.

I think you are making assumptions now, of course all children shoudl have education provided free by teh government. Why would you feel the need to work of you can live ok? Surely your kids needs come before you wish to work? I would say the same to a amn in this situation as awell.

There are plenty of jobs for those with a lack of skills. I don't really know eher you are coming from with this, you are now going into make beleive scenarios. Yes nature did assign you a role. If you want to have children or not is up to you if you want to work you can. What is the problem?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I think there are roles for men and women. I think this idea is progressive for the norm of today. I have worked jobs since 12yo until I had my first child. I chose to stay home, my husband didnt dictate to me. I did this for many reasons. Unlike our Japanese wife counterparts there is not the family in close vicinity, I chose to put in the effort and be with my husband and I chose the role of being a mother. Quit calling me a stay at home.

And bluewitch I totally recommend you quit writing here and go find a matsuri you can dance in circles, heaving the kids along, as Im sure it will do better for you and getting that pregnancy moving, than sitting and writing out talk about death and widowed parents with four kids. Which is exactly what Im going to go do now.......Good luck!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Steve

Stop putting words in my mouth, I have never stated I wish to work before taking care of my kids needs. You know very well, I am NOT working right now and besides, when I did work, it was basically 4 hours a day, 3~4 days a week. and that according to you is STILL harmful on them. I feel sorry for those who think mother's nature role must be 24-7 at home, and that's it. If I wanted to stay at home 24 hours a day, I would have never had kids, never. This is my homeland and there is nothing wrong with mothers with part-time jobs. Japan is packed with them. The 24-7 stay at home Mom is not very popular nowadays. Even those who are, usually have a very busy evening going to Language class, cooking class, music class or tea ceremony class (like myself!) Those who don't even have a part-time, usually have other stuff that keeps them busy. and for hours!!! I told you before, both of my parents worked when I was little, I grew up in a happy home, I was never neglected or forgotten because my mother was there when I needed her, and she didn't work the long hours my father did. I do NOT intend in any way to put work over my children. and for the mere 4 hours I did work until recently, I wouldn't call that a real "job". So DO NOT categorize me as someone who puts work before children, because that is NOT my case, get it?

If you are looking for someone who will stay inside your house the whole day, every day..it's your choice, but be sure that person agrees with your choice. I chose to stay home 20 of my 24 hours. It was my choice, no one forced me. =)

@illsayit

thank you for your advice, but at 38 weeks, apparently I'm not ready to go into labor yet, I wake up at 4 or 5 am and take 30 minute walks but nothing, I did go to my local matsuri, but couldn't stay long as some drunks were fighting and many people were pushing me around, hitting my huge belly, and husband was getting very annoyed and angry at that. If you think that being in such a crowded place will help me go into labor, try it yourself first, then you can tell me. I'd be delighted to hear your experience. But for now, I'm here enjoying the little break I have, done with my home chores and dinner is ready. Husband is out with the children buying supplies. I wanted to join him but he advised me to stay, take a break and rest, but I really don't because I can't stop myself from walking in circles around the house. I try laying down but can't get a "shuteye"? I'm huge like a whale. Being here in the net typing this is just a luxury for me, once they come back, I'll shut it off and go back to what I adore the most, them!! (^.^) and later when I get another little break, I'll come back and reply to you all, if possible. ^_~

0 ( +1 / -1 )

BlueWitch; I have bever said that a woman should be at home 24/7. Do you actually read any of my posts? The child in tehe arly years should have a parent there 24/7, preferrably the mother. You are being far too personal, as i am not writing about you and your upbringing. I never said children with working parents cannot be happy or do well.

I would never ask my wife to stay in 24/7 and never have, in fact she is out for teh day with her friend while i am at home looking after the family. I think you are getting a little confused with what i am saying and meaning.

I never said you would put work before your kids. i said "surely your kids needs come before your wish to work" You were in paid employment for four hours and day,yet you do not consider that a job. I think you are getting rather confused.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@Steve

Allow me to quote myself:

I do NOT intend in any way to put work over my children. and for the mere 4 hours I did work until recently, I wouldn't call that a real "job"

The fact of the matter is that I never meant to say "part-time jobs are NOT REAL jobs, but in my case, the truth is..my husband who works as an engineer in a semi-conductor factory for 12 sometimes 14 hours a day, I have the right to literally "degrade" myself by saying: you know what? My job is nothing compared to his. He works really hard, I feel bad that I can't work as hard as he does. I wish I could but I want, need and must take care of his children and ensure they are well taken care of, fed, the house cleaned and dinner ready once he gets home. Because that's the way I feel, and that's what makes me really happy. I LOVE him and I LOVE his children even more and I may not be the most beautiful or smarter woman in the world but heck, I try to keep my family together at all costs. And because the economy is not like in the 90's anymore, I did feel I needed to show a little support and contribute in something, even though I was never asked to. So please, understand, that what I did until now, wasn't evil or harmful enough as to believe that I preferred to work over taking care of my children, because that was never the case, I was home most of the day and yet I managed to keep that part-time as long as I could. I still feel that I am one of the lucky ones, because it breaks my heart to know there are loving parents who can't spend long time with their kids because of economical reasons. And I understand them and they have my respect. We are all different under different circumstances.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are plenty of jobs for those with a lack of skills

What working at Lawson? To feed and properly take care of a family? You have got to be joking.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yubaru; Yes, working at one of those places you can live on the wages. There are times when some of us have to be very frugal and it is surprising how little one can live on. I am sure after 10-12 years of education though most have some skills that can be put to good use. There are widows pensions etc in most countries to compensate for loss, they don't provide much but to help.

BTW, i could easily look after my family working 40 hours a week at Lawson,Few luxuries, but family could eat well enough and children would not go without essentials. It is all about the ability and effort to adapt and not get down when circumstances change.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

BTW, i could easily look after my family working 40 hours a week at Lawson,Few luxuries, but family could eat well enough and children would not go without essentials.

First off to work 40 hours a week at Lawson's you'd have to be hired as full-time staff so the pay would be different than if you were an hourly waged employee. And let's say you were hourly waged, how can you sit here with a straight face and tell everyone that you can raise a family of 4 on part time wages from Lawsons?

(Slapping self upside the head as the light goes off....) Ahh I get it now, you are living at home with the parents so you have no rent, utilities, or any overhead to speak of and your pay is for food alone.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru; Ok if you waish to disagree, how about a couple of 20 hours a week jobs? Actually the pay is not differnet for starters.

I left school at 16 and home at 17 and never had a handout, worked 3 jobs at times. If you read my posts would you think i live at home? You can support a family of 4 on 100,000Yen a month in Japan. maybe you don't know how to do it, but i do and maybe that is why i can run my own business instead of joining the rat race.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Have to agree with Yubaru.

Lest assume an hourly pay of 1.200Yen x 40hrs/week.

Don't come to much and you haven't paid taxes, pension, health-insurance's yet, after that deduct rent(property tax if your place is paid off), utilities, school-fees, clothing, etc, etc.

Sorry, there won't be much left after those stoppages for good food, any form of entertainment, whatever. Most likely if you work at Lawson you will have get onto Social Welfare/Dole to make up the differences.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It7SME; Sorry you are wrong; If you think you get hammered for normal rates of pension,taxes and health insurance as normal you are wrong . On that wage you can live in Japan and so what if the governemnt decides you can go on welfare. If something bad happens that is what it is there for. You can feed a family of 4 for less than 4,000 Yen a week even in Japan. What defines healthy or nourishing food. Lived that kind of life to build up cash to start second business and even in Japan it can be done on 100,000Yen a month. Learn how to be frugal but not mean. Don't stretch your resources, take out loans or have a large mortgage.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Oh, I am sure it can be done.

But, IMO, you are no longer the great provider. 4.000yen/week for 4 is possible but I wouldn't call it either healthy/balanced diet nor that they will be satisfied with the food selection for an extended period of time.

Just my view.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If a single parent was earning that amount wand had four kids they will not be paying into the pension scheme for starters., but contributions will be made by teh governemnt, If kids are brought up correctly they will not be asking for things all the time. The value of money is taught to children at five years old and then how to manage money whne they are 16.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

it'sME; Of course it is for the short term and i am only giving that figure to show what can be done.Asingle mother of 4 children would be able to spean 10-12 thousand yen a week. When i said that amount i was referring to someone else who said you could not live on low wages. You can, but in relative terms you will not be in poverty.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I still think your outlook is way too optimistic, as I know single parents that are on welfare and also know how tough it is to get approved(can't own a car, tv over 20", etc). Most likely you will need to move into a 6 tatami(1K) or similar apartment(depending on family size).

Yes, once you are on social welfare your water-bill, school-fees/lunch(not clothing, excursions, etc) are covered. As for pension payments they are simply suspended(ditto for low-income earners) but you need to pay them back later if you want to get a pension here.

Like I said I can be done but won't be easy nor pleasure-able, and that will impact your off-spring in a big way. Seen the outlays that are needed for JHR/SHR?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sorry, JHS/SHS.

Still awake since yesterday as I had many conference calls scheduled with clients. Tired now but no rest for the wicked. ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh that's a good idea-compare to a single parent; thatll up the wages for one person, enough so that one man working in a family can provide for a wife and kids. Unless we go back to the argument of comparing to two parents where they both work.....I think it is doable working at Lawsons, providing flexibility in attitude is there. Like bluewitch argues about crowded matsuri's, and that only indicates to me that lifestyle is set and based in a costly city environment.(we regularly attend matsuris as we are part of the set-up, most are not crowded; theyre localized) And another thing is that at this point in time Japan is not short on jobs available-provided you are flexible. Schooling also as I often talk with Japanese people about, is not set in one way of achieving an education, so you are basing school costs on a preset idea of how lifestyle including that of education ought to be obtained.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

it'SME; I am not saying it is a desirable way to live your whole life. It can be done and you can have pension payments made by teh government and not pay them later. One of my Japanese family members has that deu to health reasons. The pension at the end is not so big but it is there. Schools are not so expensive and there is help for parents on a low income. Japan makes claiming for welfare slow and labourious, probabky to try and deter those from doing so. Most countries will look after families in a more considerate and better way.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Wait one? Steve you are the one proclaiming that people can do it on a part time job at Lawsons, but now you are advocating they take welfare as well to survive. Something doesnt jive there. You can't have it both ways you know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru; You mentioned a parent with 4 kids. If they do not make a certain amount they pays less in certian thing such as council tax. They can have their pension payments on hold or the minimum paid by the government. You can get what is called welfare from teh government while on alow wage with dependents.

Welfare is not always in direct handouts. Let me tell you something now, subsidied day care for working mothers is also a form of welfare. Hope this info helps.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I like that welfare is a difficult to obtain-admittedly it wont stop the ones who want to bludge the system, but at least it makes them stand out to the authorities. Which is good for the kids, because the ones bludging here in Japan are the ones that really dont always deserve the handout and tend to use their kids. They are also the ones that dont really be responsible about their kids. I was once asked by the kochosensei if I wanted subsidizing for the bus. I was infuriated. I had been driving my kids to school and any complaints by pta mothers about where I dropped my kids off was countered by it is my right to drive, there is no drop off area, and the area that I did drop off was not school zoned-I know I rang the authorities and checked-but the pta ladies wanted to rule it 'their' way and would always hassle me about dropping my kids off there(it was the only place that was available to drop off). So the kochosensei asked about subsidizing for the bus, and hinted to me that the Phillipino snack ladies who lived right in front of the school received subsidizing for whatever reason-maybe they had no money/maybe they should try a different job. The assumption really peeved me, the fact that I had explained many times why we dont catch the bus had been ignored also peeved me off, and the fact that when I made a suggestion for a drop off zone was ignored also annoyed me(did I mention that there was a pta parking area right near there that we werent allowed to drive into because it was ptarolleye). The worse part about it all is that none of the Japanese ladies who also dropped off in the same area were approached by the pta or the kochosensei. So I think this situation draws light to racism. But for me the biggest thing I learnt was that I do not want to be grouped with the welfare lot. So I think making it hard to obtain is a good thing, it wont deter some, but it will make their personal effort obvious. Like how 'their'(actually some of the kids arent even their own) kids are always running around the streets unattended, dangerously riding their bikes, and so forth. Having said that, some are quite harmless in their efforts, but their obviousness of receiving welfare, helps authorities, teachers, see where help is needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

oh thats phillipino and Thai-sorry

0 ( +0 / -0 )

about pension payments-yes you can put them on hold/not pay. That is a choice that I think should be available. If you think you can handle yourself in old age, then why is it necessary to make payments? I think that part of the wrlfare system too in Japn is a good idea. We are not all the same, you know. And I think recent events highlight that you dont have to trust the govt with your yen, and that option being allowed by the govt shows me that the J govt is quite reasonable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@BlueWitch I was reading your post on many different topics. Now I read them more than JT news.. lol...!!! So impressed with the energy and style of writing. I prefer keeping a diary. I m sure you will enjoy reading then one day (may be with your grand children :)). If u publish, readers also will enjoy reading it. :)

About the topic, what u r decided to do is right. Take a long vacation after your 4th baby, your little sweeties will enjoy their time.. :) I am sure a working mother can still love her children (My mom is also working).

Wishing best of health to you and your baby underway... :)

Note: Consider the suggestion about diary... :)

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@JKats

@BlueWitch I was reading your post on many different topics. Now I read them more than JT news.. lol...!!! So impressed with the energy and style of writing. I prefer keeping a diary. I m sure you will enjoy reading then one day (may be with your grand children :)). If u publish, readers also will enjoy reading it. :)

About the topic, what u r decided to do is right. Take a long vacation after your 4th baby, your little sweeties will enjoy their time.. :) I am sure a working mother can still love her children (My mom is also working).

Wishing best of health to you and your baby underway... :)

Note: Consider the suggestion about diary... :)

Thank you for replying to my posts. It's really lovely to have someone so kind and sincere in this forum. I'm using the little power I have left, since this baby is literally sucking all my life-force and draining my energy. lol I never had such a uncomfortable/painful/exhausting pregnancy before. This one is my last one, I promise!

The long vacation is so much needed. Everybody needs a break in their lives. It's part of keeping the balance. Life is precious, because you only live once. We have to live everyday to the fullest. Never give up. I'm blessed with my husband and children, I have way more than I can ask for. I will definitely try to keep a diary as well, to keep track of what I post though, so I don't get lost. Husband likes reading my posts when I'm not around and I know he totally rolls on the floor laughing. He says my way of expressing myself is everything but ordinary. He told me before that if I was in China, I would be thrown in jail long time ago, if you know what I mean. lol

I wish you a very healthy and long life with your beloved ones. You are truly a sweetheart. Bless you.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Interesting discussion - my daughter was born in Hong Kong & people were horrified that I stayed at home - what a waste of my education! Often neighbours would ask "Who takes care of your baby?" and I'd say "Me!" - they didn't get it. Everyone but me has a "Foreign Domestic Helper" aka a (usually Filipino) maid, who will work 6 days a week, all the hours you can squeeze out of her, for about US$400/month, plus room & board - of course not everyone abides by the law on this, horrible exploitation stories abound. But I & a couple of other Europeans were considered very odd - Chinese thought I ought to be getting back to work (maternity leave is 10 weeks in HK), and sorry to say that most western women just thought I ought to have someone helping with the housework.

We were not on an expat package so for us to shell out that kind of money & pay for her dorm room would have meant my going back to work - I waited a long time to have a child so I didn't want to hand her over to a stranger...

Years ago, a friend I grew up with asked her mum to look after her kids full time, (unpaid of course) so she could go back to work. Her mum said no, because a) she wanted to enjoy her retirement and b) she didn't think they needed the money - mum had worked in a dept. store when her kids were older, but not till then. In the meantime, they didn't have a car (never mind 2 or a fancy German one) or trips abroad twice a year etc. I think for many of us it's a question of are you working to maintain a certain lifestyle, or to put food on the table? If you're keeping a fancy car in the garage, you damn well better be able to pay for it & if that means you both work, so be it!

I have to agree with those who said look after babies is boring- it can be quite soul destroying if you don't have a support network & even when my daughter was tiny I had some work from home & was able to do some freelance stuff around my husband's weird shifts, to keep my brain going. Now she's older I've kept those jobs going & worked in various schools so I can be home when she is - so there's food on the table AND nice holidays etc. It's all about cutting your cloth etc.

@BlueWitch- I love reading your posts, I'm new to these forums but you've got me hooked! All the best with the next baby!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites