September 24, 2017

Working Mom, Childcare Daddy

Starring: Hong Eun-hee, Park Gun-hyung, Oh Jung-yeon, Han Ji-sang, Shin Eun-jung, and Gong Jung-hwan

Episodes: 120

Running Time: 30 min

Airing: Mon-Fri 7:35 pm

Replay: Mon-Fri 6:30 am

Synopsis

In Korea, many married couples have dual incomes while raising kids. Affluent couples have the luxury of hiring nannies and pricey SAT consultants for their college-bound children while poor and lower middle class families with kids have to juggle childcare responsibilities while balancing work. In a society where young married couples are encouraged to have children without any provincial or government support for families with kids, working Korean couples are grappling with the issue of childcare. This TV series illustrates these issues and asks viewers what choice they would make for the sake of their children.

Starring

Lee Mi-so – Played by Hong Eun-hee

Even when she was abandoned by her mother at the age of 5, when she has been raising her first kid without much help from her husband for 9 years, and when she got betrayed by her coworker Ye-eun, Mi-so would just recover instantly and keep trudging along. She has an infectious smile. Now she is facing economic issues of having tight money after getting pregnant with her second child. She has a mortgage and monthly rent to pay and therefore hiring a nanny is out of the question. The lack of daycare centers in her neighborhood make it impossible for her to keep working. She was ready to risk losing her job for asking for maternity leave a second time but then her husband volunteered to take paternity leave instead.

Kim Jae-min – Played by Park Gun-hyung

He is totally devoted to his wife and daughter. Although he is a caring husband, he is bad at cooking and housekeeping. He volunteered to take paternity leave from work with the belief that he could quickly learn how to cook and clean the house somehow. But the reality was different – he was totally unprepared to care for both his 8-year-old daughter and new baby. He finds newfound respect for housewives and the housewives in his neighborhoods treats him like some exotic species. Just as he was on the brink of falling into depression, Il-mok, a fellow stay-at-home dad came to his rescue.

Joo Ye-eun – Played by Oh Jung-yeon

Achieving success through hard work no longer applies in life for Ye-eun. For the lower middle class folks, there are many things they must avoid in navigating through life and they must kowtow to those who are above them while being a taskmaster to those below them. Even when coworkers speak behind their backs, people in the middle class just have to endure the abuse. Her university lecturer husband, Il-mok, earns a miniscule salary which is not enough to raise their son. So she decides to betray her colleague Mi-so, so her boss Mr. Oh will have her back and she’ll get ahead in her career. Everything was going as planned but then her husband loses his lecturer job and decides that he will become a stay-at-home dad.

Cha Il-mok –  Played by Han Ji-sang

He lost his job as a university lecturer and so he treads gently around his wife, Ye-eun. Just the sound of Ye-eun’s yawning will send him into a state of fear. After befriending his neighbor Jae-min, he teaches him how to cook and do the housekeeping. This makes him realizes that he is quite good in being a stay-at-home dad. He starts writing a blog again and shares tips and how-to courses on housekeeping and cooking to female audiences. He tries to keep his blog a secret from his wife but she finds out about it.

Yoon Jung-hyun – Played by Shin Eun-jung

She was in love with her high school sweetheart Jae-min, but she married Hyuk-gi who came from a rich family. Hyuk-gi judges people on which college they went to so naturally his wife’s state college degree does not meet his standards. Jung-hyun endures humiliating treatment from her husband for the sake of their daughter, whom she has a strained relationship with. So Jung-hyun starts writing a blog to show that she is just as smart as any other mothers. Her blog takes off and she has 30,000 subscribers but she does not tell her family about it. She’s afraid that her husband would demand a divorce if he knew about her blog.

Park Hyuk-gi – Played by Gong Jung-hwan

Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he is a well-known gynecologist in the district. Although he cannot move to Gangnam because of the location of his clinic, he will spend lavishly on making sure that his daughter gets the best private tutoring. He is happy with his wife’s housekeeping, family background and her looks but there is one thing that bothers him and that’s his wife’s state college degree. He judges everybody based on which college they graduated from. He later finds out that a disgruntled nurse at his clinic switched his baby with another baby in the nursery.