Woman Quits Her Job to Become ‘Full-Time Daughter’ Paid by Her Parents

A 40-year-old woman’s decision to quit her job and become a ‘full-time daughter’ in the employment of her own parents has sparked controversy in China.

Last year, after 15 years of working for a news agency, 40-year-old Nianan quit her job. She had to be on-call virtually 24 hours a day and was constantly under tremendous stress. Luckily, her parents came up with a better employment offer if she just quit the job that made her so miserable. “Why don’t you just quit your job? We’ll take care of you financially,” the woman’s parents said, promising to pay her 4,000 yuan ($570) per month if she just came and lived with them. That obviously meant no more housing costs, and saving massively on food and various household items, as the parents would take care of such expenses. So Nianan quit her job and became a ‘full-time daughter’.

After a year in her parents’ employment, Nianan describes her profession as one “filled with love”. She spends her days accompanying her mother and father when they go grocery shopping, she cooks dinner with them every evening, drives them around when they need to, and even has an hour to dance with them every day.

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Nianan says that she is also responsible for managing the electronics around the house, and for planning one or two family trips every month. As blissful as this routine may seem, the 40-year-old woman says that she still sometimes feels “the desire to make more money”. Luckily, her parents have nothing against that, if it’s what she wants.

“If you find a more suitable job, you can go for it,” Nianan’s parents told her. “If you don’t want to work, just stay at home and spend time with us.”

Nianan told the South China Morning Post that her monthly salary is paid out of her parents’ monthly pension of around 100,000 yuan ($15,000).

This unusual arrangement sparked a heated online debate in China this week, with some people criticizing the 40-year-old woman for living off of her parents, and others claiming that it was solely their business as a family.

Photo: Viki Mohamad/Unsplash

“Clearly, it is simply relying on one’s parents, known as ken lao in Chinese, which translates into ‘eat the old’, yet they insist on labeling it as being a ‘full-time daughter’,” one person commented.

“If both the parents and their children are genuinely happy, why not embrace it? In the future, the young labor force will hold a higher value. If some people consider it ken lao, or relying on parents, then why not exchange children to take care of the elderly in each others’ families?” someone else asked.

China’s notorious “996” culture – working from 9am to 9pm six days a week – has been causing many to suffer from burnout, severe depression, and worse, and is responsible for the “laying down” youth movement in which young people simply stop working entirely to lead a simpler, more relaxing life.

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