DVDs and Driving from the Backseat

I have reached that annoying stage where all I can think about is when I’m going to give birth.  It’s annoying.  So I’m trying to think of other things, but firstly to just say that it seems that things are on the move, so to speak.  BH contractions are getting stronger, bowel is ahem, a bit more active, things are starting to release themselves in a pluggy sense, and my back hurts.

Now on to other things…

This Saturday, while I was bathing the children, Y went to take the DVDs back to the rental shop.  He picked up two more while he was there.  His choices were: Total Disaster and Kill List.  Now I like disaster films, call me weird, I think I’m weird too.  There was a time (just after the earthquake), when I couldn’t watch them though, since that’s a bit how life felt when the quake struck.  It all got a little bit too close to home.

The problem with disaster films is that there are only a few good ones.  The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, Armageddon (hmm…not so keen on that one),  Dante’s Inferno, etc.  And there are a whole load of crap ones.  Total Disaster is one of the crap ones.  I say that, but to be fair, we both fell asleep after half an hour of it, and I’m guessing that seeing as the DVD has been put in the entrance, that Y isn’t really interested in watching anymore of it.

So last night, we sat down to watch Kill List.  I was dubious, and although I DID used to be a horror fan, I’m not so good with them since I had children, and also when I’m pregnant.  Must be a wanting to believe I’m not bringing a child into a world where people can make up scary stuff like that/scary stuff like that might actually happen.  Anyway, I asked Y,

“what is it, is it a horror?”

“no, I don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know?  Didn’t you read the back?”

“Not really, I think it’s like a thriller.  It won a lot of awards.”

My husband is a big believer in reviews and awards.  It MUST be good if it won awards.  I am still dubious.  When it comes on though, and it turns out to be British, I’m quite pleased.  But it looks a bit arty, and I can’t actually hear it all that well, despite the volume being turned up high.  It’s a bit mumbly.  So while we’re watching it, there’s a scene where one man wants to drive his car drunk.  Suddenly Y pauses it and states that he often has a dream where he’s driving his car, but he’s sitting in the backseat and it’s really hard to reach the steering wheel.  Co-incidentally, I have had this same dream quite often, so I decide to Google it.  It turns out to be hard to find something that relates to actually driving in the backseat as opposed to being either a backseat driver or just sitting in the backseat of a car.  But as driving apparently signifies control in our life and we don’t really have control driving from the back, it means that we are struggling to regain control in our lives.  Sounds about right.  And then I come across something that says it means financial control.  Ugh.

So this is a trigger to start Y off on his bi-annual worry about money.  These discussions always begin with him worrying, me reassuring him and being calm, and end with me being stressed out and him being reassured.  This time was no exception.  Apparently, he thought (God knows where he gets these ideas from) that I was not interested in ever working again and being a full-time housewife and mother forever.  That I wasn’t interested in teaching or in learning Japanese so that I could get a job that wasn’t teaching.  He also thought that I didn’t want to commit to life in Japan because I wasn’t interested in getting a job or improving my Japanese, and that I planned to go back to the U.K. at some point.


So I don’t know what he thought of our marriage, our two soon to be three children, and the fact that we bought a house together here.  Seems to be a commitment, right?  And for the record, I am terrible at self-study.  I like to study, but I NEED a teacher, otherwise there are just so many other fun things to do.  I don’t learn by reading very well either, I’m much better with verbal and kinetic based learning.  I’ve looked for teachers.  I went to the free lessons at the community centre for two hours a week for a few months, but to be honest, they weren’t really very helpful for me as they moved really slowly, despite there only being the two of us in our group.  Plus I was all sicky and fed up, so I quit.  Then I found a private teacher who would come to my house, but it was a man, and I don’t really like the idea of that, plus he charged 4000 yen an hour, and I’d need at least once a week, so finding an extra 16,000 a month isn’t a priority for me over the essentials (like eating…).  Y doesn’t seem to think about this.  He thinks we have money all over the place.  We have two children at kindergarten which costs 48,000 a month, a mortgage, food, bills, etc., in the grand scheme of things (although I think learning Japanese is important), it’s just not possible.

As for me working, I’m more than willing to work, teaching or otherwise, but obviously not right now, and I am determined not to get a full-time job while the children are young.  I don’t want them to be latch key kids.  I’m not afraid of hard work, but taking care of the house, the children and having a full-time job here is just not something I’m willing to do.  Plus English teaching isn’t usually a 9-5 job, and I really don’t know of many ALTs, who work from around 8:30-4p.m. in their late 30s…

So my response to his worries were that things would get better.  The children will grow, primary school won’t cost us as much, and I will try and get more private teaching work when all of the children are at school/kindergarten.  He’s always in such a hurry for me to get working, although he claims there is “no pressure”.  I’m not one for having children and putting them into hoikuen when they’re 3 months old.  It’s fine for mothers who are, but for me, I don’t see the point.  H and L both started youchien at 2 years old (I certainly felt a bit bullied into it by Y with L, since it’s much easier to look after one child at home than two), but this time, I’m not keen on her to start until she is 3 or even 4 years old.  Both H and L only really settled at youchien from the age of 3, and L still claims to hate it, but I can see a much more settled little boy now.  It all depends on how she and I cope of course, but definitely not before the age of 3 this time.  It’s such a short time that the children are young and I want to be there for them, and enjoy them too!

He worries that the children won’t be able to go to private high school…I realise how different our childhoods were.  I won’t say he was spoilt, but both of his parents worked full-time and they paid out everything for education.  He just doesn’t seem to understand that when we don’t have the money, we can’t do that.  He says he used to resent me using money for flying back to the U.K. once every two years with the children.  I tell him that’s a necessity.  I don’t moan about living here, but I have a lot of family in the U.K., and once every two years is already a compromise.  I tell him that I’m doing the budget as best as I can and that he should stop saying, “let’s buy this/that/the other” just because he wants it. He has that mentality, whereas I’m more like, “we can’t afford it, even if we want it, let’s do without.”  I say that he can’t complain about the finances when he does stuff like that.  I tell him that I bought the last lot of baby stuff with my Amazon voucher that I got for my birthday, because we couldn’t really afford it, but it would make life easier, and I didn’t really need anything for myself.  Then he tells me if things get REALLY bad that I can half his pocket money.  After that revealing that he has a new bank account and has 70,000 yen in it from his pocket money that is apparently a pittance (I get no pocket money, by the way)…oh, and that he has to give me 4000 yen because he bought new virtual cards on an iPhone app that he’s addicted to and he paid for it with the credit card.  ARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

So he starts to feel better having divulged this information, and I feel like crap and am highly annoyed by his contradictory behaviour.

Finally, after this mammoth discussion that goes on for about an hour and a half, we start watching the film again.  And God, it’s horrendous.  It’s weird enough, and deadly violent, but the ending is waaaaaaaaaay more than disturbing.  I’m really angry because I just don’t get it, and we ended up staying awake way later than I wanted to because of the bloody money talk.

I don’t remember what I dreamt about last night, but if it were driving from the backseat, then it wouldn’t have been in my car, but in a double decker bus on the top floor right at the back.


2 thoughts on “DVDs and Driving from the Backseat

  1. WWW on the things happening. Sounds like it’s close Laura. WOOHOO. Dead excited. Also wanted to say we share a lot of similar views about the kids/ work thing… I too don’t see the point in having a kid and putting them in creche at 3 months old. I too don’t want to work full time and raise kids manage a house etc while they are young. I think life is hard enough here where we don’t have family /friends to support us (not to mention were we struggle with langugage and culture often etc), why bring on extra stress and pressure. As I said on FB I do think we are all supermums already no need to be martyrs on top of that.

  2. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really grateful that we can just about manage to have me as a full-time Mum and housewife right now. It would probably be much harder and much less acceptable back home. But yes, I do really think that if you CAN manage it, it works out best for everyone. And I am not a martyr…well, most of the time anyway 😉

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