[LETTERS to the editor]Working mothers, don’t quit

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[LETTERS to the editor]Working mothers, don’t quit

Nowadays, it is absolutely essential to be in a double-income family.

My family is no exception.

Before I got married, I taught at a middle school. Then I got married and had a baby. I took several months off in order to take care of my baby, then started to work again. Right after I came back to work last March, I was transferred to a high school that is very close to my house. But as a high school teacher, I have to go to work early in the morning at 7 a.m. and stay until 10 p.m.

I originally planned to hire a babysitter. This could have been an ideal solution for me if I had worked in a middle school. But as a high school teacher, it’s unthinkable for my husband and me to have a babysitter take care of our son all day long. So I asked my in-laws to look after my son on weekdays. Now I’m very satisfied with the way my parents-in-law raise my baby. Their dedication to their grandson is undeniable.

But my mother-in-law wants me to temporarily retire and take care of my baby on my own. She thinks it’s only natural because my husband’s salary could support us. But I can’t do what she wants. It seems that people around me blame me for my apparent lack of motherhood.

Do I have to quit my job right now? Am I selfish to insist on continuing my teaching career? I don’t think so. And from now on, I will stop feeling guilty and never make myself a distressed working mom. As a working mother, I can absolutely contribute to my child’s development. Personally I think that as I present a good self-image to my son, he will naturally develop to be better adjusted. Now, it’s time for me to feel comfortable with my decision.

Park Hyun-mi, an English teacher in Suwon

*e-mail to eopinion@joongang.co.kr or via fax to 82-2-751-9219
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