Mother – work-life balance
My mother returned to work at the kindergarten after each birth. She was popular among the children, and my sister and I grew up to meet people who were in my mother’s class, and they’d all tell us how much they liked my mother. We felt proud of our mother and loved her even more whenever we heard the compliments.
But we rarely spent time together. In the morning, my mother got up at 5:30 am, did laundry, mopped the floor, packed bento boxes for my father and herself, ate breakfast, got ready, and left the house at 8 am. In the evening, she returned at 6 pm and immediately started cooking dinner. My grandparents sat for dinner first so they could go to bed early. My mother urged my sister and me to eat with them because she couldn’t sit down yet as she had to keep cooking for the next day’s bento. She often ate dinner alone, and when she finished, she washed the dishes with her hands. My father came home at around 8 pm, and she served him dinner and drinks. She took a bath and finally relaxed by 9 pm, but then my father wanted her to bring him a cup of sake or a glass of whiskey water while he watched TV. My sister and I took a bath with our grandmother, did our homework by ourselves, watched TV together before we went to our rooms at 9:30 pm.