Long time listener of the podcasts but not been here for a while. Apologies for only calling in when I need something :(
Long story short, I'd like some advice as I'm having a tough time thinking straight and need to calm down.
- I'm 39, live in Japan and have worked for the same company for 10+ years. Generally happy until now.
- My 41 yr old wife is pregnant and due to give birth in September (around the 20th or so).
- The company has told me they want to transfer me about 250 miles away from either July or October.
The company and I had been talking it over for a few months, during which time they twice said I could say no to the transfer. After much discussion with my wife I eventually declined the opportunity last month. The ability to say no changed yesterday.
I have two options in terms of the transfer
- I can go alone, and visit my family 3 times a month or so for 2 yrs until I might transfer back (I have a 3 1/2 yr old too)
- Take my family with me
Option 2 would mean my wife quitting her job, either finding a new place to give birth (not super easy in Japan) or moving 10 days or so after the birth, and losing the support network she has here (family & friends etc). We know basically no-one where they want to send us.
It would be likely to cost us money for the move as we'd need to cancel the contract we signed with the clinic for the birth. The company should cover actual costs of moving (should).
I'm the main breadwinner and my wife's job is not a deal-breaker but the birth thing is huge. I can't see any way moving 10 days after a baby is born can work well; my wife will be out of commission and we'll have zero support in the new city. (And that assumes the baby is born on its due date, our first was 9 days late.)
Moving in July means we'd need to cancel a lot of her work this month to visit the area, find a place to live and a place to give birth. This is assuming my wife doesn't hit the roof (not told her about the company's change of heart yet, will do so tonight). The place she gives birth is extremely important to her and with her being 41, a place she feels comfortable with is a must. We might be able to find one she likes in the new city but I'm not loving 'might'.
The nuclear option is to tell the company I want to take 3 or 6 months paternity leave, which I could force through. This being Japan, I would kiss goodbye to any kind of career in this company (which is possibly not a bad thing).
I suggested January as a possibility but they are insisting on July or October.
So to summarise, I want to set my hair on fire.
Any advice? Am I overreacting? Should I force the paternity leave through? Should I suck it up until I can find a new job?