Conohana-san of the Month September edition (Part 2)
In ‘Conohana-san of the Month’, we discuss the experiences of senior researchers who have successfully managed to balance their research/work with life events such as childbirth, childcare and family care.
This interview introducing the “backseat players” of the University of Yamanashi is continued from the part 1.
We asked about the “work-life balance” of two married university clerks over a lunch♪
She joined the Students Support Division at the Faculty of Education and Human Science of the University of Yamanashi, as a general staff member in September, 2007.
Was transferred to the Planning and Assessment Division, the University of Yamanashi in April, 2008.
Took a maternity/postpartum leave and childcare leave using the system from late September, 2011 to late March, 2011.
Returned to her job at Planning and Assessment Division in April, 2013.
Was assigned to the Student Affairs Department Administration Office / the Student Affairs Group in April, 2014.
・・・Now she lives with her husband and her 2-year old son.
After graduating from university, she entered a company in Yamanashi prefecture.
She left work as she married.
After engaging in homemaking for one year, she wanted to return to work.
In April, 2014, she was employed as a general staff member at the General Affairs / Public Relations Department of University of Yamanashi.
・・・Now she lives with her husband.
In the last interview, we asked about the contents of their works and how they used the maternity and the childcare leaves. This time we ask about how they manage their household chores on weekdays, how they spend their holidays, and refresh themselves♪
Q: You must get tired from work. Do you do housework after that, and childcare, too?
H&Y: Of course! I cook supper! My family waits patiently for it. (lol)
Ha-ha, I thought so. (I do it, too! (｀･ω･´)cool!)
Q: What kind of dishes do you cook on your busy weekdays? Do you have a good idea to prepare meals shortly?
H: I often cook eggs because my son loves them. The stir-fry dishes can be cooked in a short time, too. When I have more time, I cook “shin stew in soy sauce”, which is my specialty!
Y: I prepare some make-ahead dishes on weekends, and stock them in the freezer. It’s convenient. On weekdays I just defrost them, or make a new dish with the thawed stock. Well, this dish is not for a frozen storage, but I often cook “nikujaga” (meat and potato cooked in soy sauce). My repertoire is still small so I want to develop it♪
That “shin stew” sounds delicious. Give me the recipe at some time, will you?♪ “Frozen storage” is helpful for saving time. I too utilize them in various foods.
Q: So you cook, and do you share other housework with your husband?
H: Cooking seems rather difficult for my husband, but he does the dishes, and dries laundry. He comes back home tired sometimes, but he sticks to it. (lol)
Y: My husband is not good at cooking, too, but he is cooperative in almost all household chores.
Some data shows that even between working couples, women tend to have charge of housework, maybe it depends on their time of coming-home, but your husbands have a sense of equality, and that’s great. They cannot be indifferent when their wives are working hard＾＾♪ A partner’s understanding for your hard work is most encouraging, isn’t it?♪
Q: Do you have something to do for a switch from “work” to “home”, or a source of refreshment?
Hisae-san’s must-have item
In the card case on the front is the university’s ID♪
Yuka-san’s must-have item
This Teddy Bear keychain is her souvenir from her trip to England!
Both of you like relaxing type of diversions♪ Whatever it is, we need such switch to be refreshed, don’t we? It gives your work more energy!
Q: How do you spend your holidays?
H: I usually go to a park or a library with my family. We also go to Fujikawa Craft Park often because it is my son’s favorite place. At library I read out for him a picture book of automobiles which is all the rage now.
Y: I would go out with my husband on holidays. We don’t make special plans to travel further, we just go out at our pleasure. My husband drives a car most of the time, so it’s very relaxing(lol). Being with my family or friends I can be carefree with is my best refreshment♪
Wow, I can imagine how you enjoy your holidays! I also go to Fujikawa Craft Park sometimes!
It is also nice to go out at your pleasure! You still enjoy dating (o´艸`o)
Q: I have asked many questions, and this is the last one. Are you satisfied with your present life style?
H: It is tough, but I manage to make it fulfilling (lol). I’m thankful to my family and people around us for their generous cooperation. Childcare and nursing care are the problems that many people confront, so after I get over this period of childcare, I want to be in the position to support such people based on my experience.
Y: To be honest, I sometimes feel sorry for my husband for his helping me with household chores. But I really feel that our attention to each other makes our daily life fulfilled, so I make myself to express my feeling of thanks for him very often.
From this interview, I realized that both of you are successfully making a work-life balance, based on the understanding and help from your families and people around you.
We hope to support such women who keep on engaging in their work after marriage and childbirth.
Thank you, two of you! Let’s have a lunch together again♪