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Friday, May 09, 2014
What made you decide to be a SAHM, WAHM, working mom, etc?
I’d classify myself as a Stay At Home Husband, if I had to pick one. I don’t think I really am, since I have a part-time job. But maybe I am, in a sense. I usually don’t have to work until after 5pm, and then it is often less than five days a week.
There are many reasons for my choice. The biggest is that it’s difficult for foreigners to find jobs, even if they speak Japanese fluently. If they don’t speak like a native, their options are even more limited. Most foreigners here are either with the military or teachers. I was in the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme (JET Programme). After five years, it was mandatory that I leave the program. My job options were severely limited after that.
I took a couple of months off, then got a job. I promised my wife I’d work, even if it was limited. I wasn’t going to depend on her income. Finding a full-time job was almost impossible. As an aspiring (struggling?) writer, I also wanted some time to devote to my craft. Part-time work was the best. My job allows me to write during the day and work in the evenings.
Teachers in Japan work a lot. My wife often works 12-14 hour days. I feel the least I can do is take part of the household burden off her. I help clean, keep the house organized, vacuum, do the laundry, and the dishes. I did the cooking for a while, but Yoko and I have such very different tastes that it is just easier for her to cook dinner for us after work. But she has told me she appreciates all the little stuff I do to help run the house.
The arrangement has been good so far, giving me enough time to be a writer while also being a SAHH.