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Do Mommy Wars exist in Hong Kong?

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    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Do Mommy Wars exist in Hong Kong?

    According to Elisabeth Badinter its mostly a North American phenomena.
    She makes some interesting arguments:
    http://life.nationalpost.com/2012/05...in-mommy-wars/

    An older article:
    http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/04...odern-mothers/

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    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Among my local friends and family members, I haven't observed any of this type of behavior. Parenting styles are quite homogenous since most families come from similar teachings and family values in Hong Kong. When it comes to breastfeeding or 'natural styles' of parenting (since it's discussed in the articles you linked), I find that there is a huge misconception among local women in Hong Kong about the practice, but when I mention the fact that I exclusively breastfed and am still breastfeeding, I've never gotten a nose turned up at me. People are more curious than anything and I'm more than happy to expel any type of misconceptions in a polite way.

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    charade is offline Registered User
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    As an expat in HK, I find I have an easier time than my sister living in the US does or I would have had in my home country. I do see two different groups of thought when it comes to pregnancy and early child-rearing in Hong Kong - the Chinese way and the Western way but being an expat one can very conveniently wiggle between the two. Thus, I chose to carry on breastfeeding as much as possible (only lasted four months alas) but now that I'm tapering off, it helps that the Chinese here are not obsessed with breastfeeding so I don't get the judgement or guilt-trips that people I know in the US have faced. I also think that because there are expats from different countries here, all the different viewpoints (and judgements) offset each other.
    smglobal and burrcl like this.

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    smglobal is offline Registered User
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    I agree on the points on BFing from commentators, but I think the main point of the article was addressing a slightly different, albeit, related issue - the working mom vs. the stay-at-home mom.

    My view of HK vs. North America is that in HK there seem to be a lot more stay-at-home moms in the expat community. I think this is probably because these women are trailing spouses? I do see competition and badmouthing across both groups, but it seems to be stemming from someplace different, which is that working is less about financial need and more about choice. I think in North America and maybe among locals in HK, moms might choose to work, but many times they need the dual income, so there is no 'choice' to debate. I wonder too if some of the negativity is because people who are trailing spouses sometimes gave up professional careers and their sacrifice is not appreciated. I have heard criticisms about moms trying to keep busy by starting businesses that are potentially not profitable (photography, cake baking, party planning) from other working moms, saying those aren't 'real' careers. I've also heard criticisms of stay at home moms who are perceived as spoiled because they can afford to shop as a hobby and vacation in private villas in Europe and Southeast Asia, have drivers, etc.

    When I was in North America I think there was a lot less competition. As diverse as HK is, the expat community seems fairly uniform, because most people work in some sort of finance or finance-related job. Therefore how much you make, how much you spend, what your work title is, where you vacation, etc, becomes a big focus. It's unfortunate, but that's my observation.

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    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by smglobal View Post
    I have heard criticisms about moms trying to keep busy by starting businesses that are potentially not profitable (photography, cake baking, party planning) from other working moms, saying those aren't 'real' careers. I've also heard criticisms of stay at home moms who are perceived as spoiled because they can afford to shop as a hobby and vacation in private villas in Europe and Southeast Asia, have drivers, etc.
    I've read criticisms about SAHM having one or more helpers on the forum... specially when the SAHM come to rant about their helpers not taking good care of the kids.....

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    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by smglobal View Post
    I've also heard criticisms of stay at home moms who are perceived as spoiled because they can afford to shop as a hobby and vacation in private villas in Europe and Southeast Asia, have drivers, etc.
    That's straight up jealousy and not really related to parenting choices. If that's the case, then you could say this is common among the 'Tai Tais' of Hong Kong in general.

    It's a sad thing that women should chastise each other just because of another woman's choice to work or not work. It doesn't make either any less of a mother.
    Last edited by evgreen; 05-24-2012 at 11:57 AM.
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    smglobal is offline Registered User
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    I think Evgreen you make a good point - how much one can afford shouldn't necessarily be related to parenting choices. But it definitely is one of the things I hear nonetheless when moms badmouth each other; basically that if you are 'spoiled' yourself and choose to be at home rather than work, you are doing so as part of some larger commentary on the value of materialism and will impart those values on your kids. And to clarify, these definitely aren't my views, just those I've heard. I heard that one when I was asking other moms about international schools vs. ESF. Some of the moms were telling me how if we went to international schools we would expose our kids to other kids who have a poor value system, and the above comments were made. Maybe another issue is that there is a pretty big gap between the have and have-nots here in HK.

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    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    i've grown up with other kids at international schools in hong kong who are driven around by chauffeurs and have bodyguards and what not. i may not be in agreement with some of these luxuries (nor did i have these growing up), but on the other hand, these kids are groomed to inherit a different type of life all together. it's only a matter of whether or not these luxuries are taken for granted and this falls solely on the values which the parents teach, so i agree with you here, smglobal.

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