HOMETOWN / WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW? Peterborough (UK) / Living in Beijing
NUMBER OF CHILDREN One
FAVORITE CHILD if applicable* (we’re joking*) A sleeping one
DAY JOB Looking after a very active 11 month old, I am also a volunteer co-coordinator for INN Beijing and help run a baby play group.
RELATIONSHIP STATUS Married
HOW DO YOU COMBINE WORK AND FAMILY?
The benefit of being in Beijing is we can afford for me to stay at home and look after our baby.
I think if we still lived in the UK, having a baby may not have been an easy option – finance and support-wise. Most people rely upon parents etc., for childcare or you spend most of your income on childcare. Drawbacks are Daddy is now working very long hours and he doesn’t see Will during the week and it seems sometimes I am a single parent.
HOW HAS PARENTING AFFECTED YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
We are both much more tired now and have not been out together without the baby since he was born. I think it is safe to say it has brought us closer and further apart at the same time. It makes me proud to see what a great father he is.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPOUSE’S STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?
Weakness – After a few minor accidents I can see now he has no idea of first aid, he has told me not to put ice on our baby’s head, once, when he bumped it, as it would make his brain cold. This sounds to me like Chinese advice.
Strengths, hubby is much calmer than me in emergencies.
WHO ELSE PROVIDES CHILDCARE FOR YOUR CHILDREN?
No other childcare. Childcare is cheap in China, but they have different ways – and I don’t feel ready yet to leave him with someone I don’t know. Although I really could do with some time in the gym!
WHAT IS YOUR WORST PARENTING MOMENT?
Staying inside with baby Will for days on end when the pollution levels are too high – very miserable for both of us ☹ Also when Will fell out of his car seat and bumped his head at 7 months, his first accident. Turned me into a nervous wreck, especially with a Chinese audience – monitoring my mothering skills – bad laowai.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST PARENTING MOMENT?
Teaching Will new things and then watching him practicing them for days – like blowing raspberries – a very important skill. ☺