I’m a Teacher in My Late 30s, Unsure Whether to Have a Third Child

The Japan News

Dear Troubleshooter:

I’m a female schoolteacher in my late 30s. I have a husband and two children. I debate whether I should have one more child.

I began work as an elementary school teacher upon graduation from university. I married in my 20s, gave birth to my children and returned to the workplace.

As raising my children and working was difficult to balance, I quit the job after a year.

After both my children entered elementary school, I resumed work as a part-time teacher at another elementary school. As I wanted to work more, I took a teaching employment exam this year, and I was hired.

However, as I’m still of reproductive age and my new job provides more household finances, I began wanting to have another child.

But I feel it may be irresponsible of me to take maternity leave from work after being newly hired.

The school is constantly short of staff, and I assume my workload will increase in the future.

I also feel sufficiently happy with the two children I already have. I feel it may be overambitious of me to pursue both having a third child and keeping my job.

C, Kanagawa Prefecture

Dear Ms. C:

You wish to have one more child while continuing to work as a teacher in a manner that you can be satisfied with.

Have you checked what kind of assistance will be necessary and how much you will need to budget to realize this?

When you have a serious desire to do something, I believe that you need to clarify the practical conditions necessary for realizing that desire and prepare your circumstances to fulfill the conditions.

Now, you are in a situation in which you can work without spending all day taking care of your children. In addition, you have a bigger budget after getting a new job. Thus, I think, you began to want to have another child.

It is essential for you to confirm how heavy your work burden will be as a responsible employee, and build relationships with your husband, two children and colleagues in your current workplace in preparation for raising your next child.

It is also necessary to clearly know the working conditions in your workplace.

Isn’t it best that you go forward to realize your desire while quickly preparing the necessary circumstances?

I think the teaching profession imposes not only physical but also mental burdens, and both are heavy.

I hope you can build good relationships with your family members and colleagues, and maintain a happy family life.

Junko Umihara, psychiatrist