• Niiza, Saitama

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My father-in-law is now dead, and my mother-in-law is over 80, while my children are between 5 and 12. This is what happens when two generations start their family at age 35. When my father-in-law was in hospital for three years, my husband, as a dutiful son, went to visit him every weekend. If he didn’t want to go, his mother made him go. Meanwhile, I was raising my children alone, and it didn’t matter if I was ill.

I might be just unlucky, or silly, to have so many children in the first place, but I would like to say it takes a village to raise even just one child. Unfortunately, I don’t have that village. I never regret having these children, but in February and March, when all the children had the measles and three were seriously ill, I worked 24 hours a day for 25 days. My husband helped when he was home. Sometimes we both sat spoon-feeding a child and missed our own dinner.

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