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View Poll Results: When were you ready for a baby ?

48. You may not vote on this poll
  • < 20

    1 2.08%
  • 21 - 25

    3 6.25%
  • 26 - 30

    11 22.92%
  • 31 - 35

    22 45.83%
  • 36 - 40

    4 8.33%
  • 41 +

    2 4.17%
  • Old enough !

    3 6.25%
  • Still deciding...

    2 4.17%
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How old were you when you were ready for a baby ?

  1. #17
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    I think way too much fuss is made over labor. After all, it's finite. Even if it's an extremely long labor, it's no more than a day or two out of your life. And with medical technology, you can choose to go the natural route, or to have pain relief, or a C-section.
    When I was pregnant, I was brainwashed by all the fussing over labor. My whole neo-natal class focused on something that -- at the end of the day -- was just a short hospital stay.
    The big committment is actually raising the kids. The first two months of breastfeeding were a million times harder than labor.
    It's fine if people don't want kids. Your other reasons -- wanting to stay out late, not liking noisy kids -- seem to be about lifestyle and are more legit.
    Two of my girlfriends never wanted kids. They devote themselves to work, travel, hobbies, friends, and are extremely happy.
    But I've never heard of someone who, deep inside, really wanted kids, but was just put off by something that lasts several hours!

    Last edited by Gracey; 06-12-2012 at 11:19 PM.
    thanka2 likes this.

  2. #18
    Gracey is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Cuppatea -- Honestly, if your main concerns are going out at night, doing what you want when you want, sleeping in, etc. and you put these pursuits above caring for your child, then maybe you shouldn't have them.
    There's no rule that everyone has to be a parent.
    It's sad when I see kids born just because their parents were under social pressure, but who aren't really wanted and are just treated like a nuisance.

    I just met a mom-to-be who was already planning on sending her baby away to be cared for by someone else. So (and I know you're joking) but there are people who treat their kids like animals who have to be kenneled.
    My Chinese ayi just told me of "hospitals" in China where rich people send their infants for those difficult first months, even though they're perfectly healthy. They basically grow up in fancier versions of orphanages.
    A less crazy version is the rich Hong Kong tai tai who has a houseful of servants, who's barely ever lifted her own baby.
    Which makes me ask -- why have kids to being with?

    BTW, you seem to have a rather odd view that parenthood = loser.
    I'm a full-time working mom. I eat at nice restaurants. I have a beloved cat, a social life, an active working life, and am very independent.
    And as the baby gets older, she will integrate even more into my life. I hope that, someday, she will be my eating / shopping / travelling buddy.
    Of course I've made some adjustments. I deliberately don't have our helper come in the mornings so I can spend a good three hours with my daughter before I work at noon. I do this because it's my great joy. I schedule more lunches now than dinner because I really like catching my baby before her bedtime. But, again, this is not because it's an obligation -- it's because I love it. If I really wanted to stay out, I could, esp. with the childcare situation in HK.

    The tone of your message is slightly resentful. The idea of having a baby doesn't seem to make you happy (maybe it does, and it just doesn't come across in a brief message). But if your only concern is that you're "supposed to" feel a certain way, that doesn't seem reason enough to bring a life into this world, and be responsible for 18+ years.

    Last edited by Gracey; 06-12-2012 at 11:36 PM.

  3. #19
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    By the way, I didn't mean the above message to sound harsh. It just seems like, if you're so conflicted, think carefully about what you really want, instead of doing what you think you "should" do.
    Personally, I love kids. I always did. For various personal, relationship and medical reasons, I had to wait until my 30s to have a child.
    But my non-mommy girlfriend just decided to go off for a yoga retreat with no notice! I'm happy that she's happy.
    We're all different.

  4. #20
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung

    yes, think carefully about it, but also know that when/if it happens to you, your whole perspective MAY change.

    yes, hubby and i can and do go out for dinner just the two of us, but more often than not, we enjoy taking the kids with us.

    it's taken a while, but i can sleep in again. my 5 & 7 year olds can get up, make their own breakfast, brush their own teeth, have their own showers, dress themselves and keep themselves occupied and quite happy until 10-11am on a Sunday, if mummy's really tired. they WILL come up and ask permission to do certain things, but then they go back downstairs on their own.

    it's not like you're giving up these things forever, is it?

    cuppatea likes this.

  5. #21
    cuppatea is offline Registered User
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    Jun 2011
    Park Island

    Gracey - I wasn't being resentful and never said being a parent means being a loser... you've really over analyzed what I've wrote into pure negativity when really it was just a passing cloud of worry that I needed to get out there and off my chest.
    I think it was an obvious joke when I asked whether there are kennels for babies, I would of thought the face with a smiley tongue out signified that.
    And seriously, mentioning rich people who put their kids in fancy orphanages, what has that got to do with anything I wrote? I find it quite insulting that you are mentioning these types of parents in the same breath of your analysis of my character.

    I visit this forum to learn about child related matters in HK, and I wrote my post for reassurance, I definitely don't come here to be judged and criticized.

  6. #22
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    Cuppeatea -- I'm sorry if you understood my comment or were offended.
    Of course you were joking about kennels! I actually said so in my comment. (And, uh, obviously.) I didn't say you personally were some crazy mainland Chinese sending her baby off -- I was making a general point about someone who doesn't want kids, but who has them anyway because of societal pressure.

    I can't possibly analyze your character since I don't know you -- just a brief comment you left on some board. But if you go to a site filled with mostly dedicated, hard-working parents, and your comment is all about how you don't want to go through labor or give up your dinners and late mornings -- what did you expect? People are going to respond honestly. I wouldn't take it personally.

    Sometimes, these complex difficult decisions are actually quite simple. In the end, there are really just two options
    * If you love children and are willing to spend the time and effort to raise them, then have children.
    * If you're unsure about children, and are unwilling to make the changes to your lifestyle, then don't have them.
    It's a personal choice, and there's no right or wrong. I don't think anyone here would "judge or criticize" you if you took a deep look at your priorities and decided which was best for you.

    But, yeah -- the first few months, you do go out for fewer nice dinners, etc, because you have this lovable and infuriating little creature at home who needs you. Especially if you're breastfeeding, which is better for your child, but limiting for mom.
    But that time passes soon. And, especially with affordable Hong Kong childcare, you can pretty quickly return to your social life.

    Last edited by Gracey; 06-13-2012 at 10:00 AM.

  7. #23
    thanka2 is offline Registered User
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    May 2009

    Just going back reading through this thread is very interesting for me.

    All I can say is that having kids really does change a person. Sometimes I grieve for my childless days but those moments of grief are quite fleeting because my life is too full to focus on them.

    I didn't plan to have kids. I really, really had my mind set on not having children at all. It wasn't my plan to get pregnant and have a child before I was 25-years-old. And it was really hard...the first three years (including the nine months of pregnancy) were not cheery and fun memories that I look back on. Mostly it was a lot of suffering. I did feel isolated here in Hong Kong (as I still often do) because my family (my mom, sister etc.) is not here. I did have a rough labor and recovery the first time around--the labor itself was 43 hours but the recovery was a solid few months because of what happened to me. Breastfeeding was a total nightmare for 6 solid months. I had post-partum depression for at least 18 months maybe 2 years. I really did suffer. My body was never the same and whatever hope I had of a "normal" social life went bye-bye after my son was born. Basically, it was no longer about me but about my son (and now my daughter because we were just "that crazy" that we decided to have a second child).

    But, I really can't imagine my life without my children. Sure, it might be more adventurous as I could just pack up with my husband and go like we used to. It would certainly be more carefree as I wouldn't be consumed with making the right decisions for my kids so that they can have a good life and future. But, I'm sure I would be a much more selfish person. I think parenthood has been good for my soul. :)

    So, yes, for me, having a child was life-shattering. I felt like a completely broken person after my son was born but there's something refreshing in that too. The whole experience has brought me face-to-face with the real, ugly me. And that has been cleansing in a way.

    One thing I wanted to say is that those kids you see running around, screaming uncontrollably--1) Sometimes kids are like that but if you're doing your job right as a parent those moments should only be brief--what you witnessed is possibly not a true reflection of what life is like most of the time for that mother 2) You can choose how you parent your children and that will affect their behavior. If you don't want your children to be wild, noisy and out-of-control...parent them differently. That's the beauty of it. You will rarely see my son wild, noisy and out-of-control. It does happen, but like I's brief and it's healthy for kids (and adults sometimes too ;) )

    So, no new advice to give actually except that from my perspective, I'm glad I'm a "young parent" rather than an older parent. I have a friend who got married when he was 18-years-old and had his first child when he was 20-years-old. He said it was a rough time at first because he was really a kid and then he had to grow up and become a parent right away. But, he also talks about the positives for his and his wife's marriage and also the prospect of being "empty nesters" much sooner than all of his peers. He and his wife have been married for 14 years. Everything has it's pluses and negatives. We have a principle in our family that we don't make fear-based decisions. It's fine to be fearful about something but we've decided that we simply won't make decisions--especially major life-decisions out of fear. Deal with your fear and then you can more reasonably see if you're ready to have children.

    “Many women have described their experiences of childbirth as being associated with a
    spiritual uplifting, the power of which they have never previously been aware …
    To such a woman childbirth is a monument of joy within her memory.
    She turns to it in thought to seek again an ecstasy which passed too soon.”

    ~ Grantly Dick-Read (Childbirth Without Fear)

    Mother of Two
    JMW, boy, born November 29, 2007, 9:43 pm, USA
    MJW, girl, born March 17, 2011, 4:14 pm, HK

  8. #24
    Gracey is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2009
    Hong Kong

    I agree, Thanka. Parenthood has been good for my soul.
    Not that I was a selfish person before. But being a parent forces you to put always someone else first.
    While we still enjoy ourselves -- that desire to constantly go out, fly off to vacation, diminishes once you have the child in your arms, and you know you're responsible for this tiny person.
    It's true that it's tough. But after 10 months, I can basically shrug off my labor (like you, mine was 40+ hours), which seems like so little compared to the joy I have now. Same goes for the breastfeeding, which felt like hell the first two months, but which don't seem to be such a big deal looking back.
    If you love kids and are willing to sacrifice for them, they're great.

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