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Leaving HK for the kids...

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  1. #101

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    I don't understand why things have to be one way or other. Childcare is not the same for everyone, it's a series of choices depending on the situation and values held. Nowadays, some people want everything, career, kids, time to play so that often require paid help but it's a choice. It's also not necessarily true that your career takes a massive hit if you take time off, it really depends on your field. Almost all of my close friends(male and female) have taken some kind of parental leave(all professionals)and all have done well and have held or now holding senior positions.

    I also had a good friend that was a single professional working parent with two kids and she managed incredibly well with very minimal support. Her kids were very independent helping with the cooking, cleaning and other household chores and she got them involved in competitive sports which was a form of childcare. Basically, everyone adapts to their situation and do what they have to do to make it work.

    If people prefer to stay in HK to have domestic helper and a certain kind of lifestyle that they may not have elsewhere, it's also a perfectly valid choice and I see nothing wrong with it. There are advantages and disadvantages with every choice and I don't see why others should make judgment on choices they don't have to make.

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  2. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms:
    So when school ends at 2 and work ends at 6, where are the kids?

    Paid childcare or family help.
    We'd have lunch at school, then do our homework under supervision and then go out and play until 17:00 or so. Not sure the UK has something like that. Kinda like day school.

  3. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgoodkat:
    We'd have lunch at school, then do our homework under supervision and then go out and play until 17:00 or so. Not sure the UK has something like that. Kinda like day school.
    Schools normally finish between 3 and 4, then there might be a sports club or something and some schools have homework clubs.

  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrgoodkat:
    We'd have lunch at school, then do our homework under supervision and then go out and play until 17:00 or so. Not sure the UK has something like that. Kinda like day school.
    When I was in school they weren’t free and were closed during school holidays.

    Before I was a parent when I worked in the City of London, I used to see parents sprinting from their desks to the nearby nursery which closed at 7 pm. Then they had their commutes home, bath and wind down for baby etc. I don’t know which after school clubs are open that late for school aged children, those normally finish around 5.

    My colleagues in NY and London are much more vocal about not wanting to go back to the office full-time post pandemic. You can understand why when you consider the challenges they face if they are parents.
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  5. #105

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    For every situation, it's not hard to find examples that fit a particular narrative. It doesn't mean it has to be the only one. Is it harder or easier to raise 2-3 kids as working parents than it was when there were 6. 8 or even 10 kids with stay at home mothers? At the end of the day, people make the bed they are sleeping in so you whatever choices are made, there will be challenges. I won't judge people's choices nor do I have much patience for complaints about perceived hardships from choices that were made.


  6. #106

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    Bit late to this conversation due to time zones but as a parent of 2, a secondary school teacher and having a wife who was a very hard working headteacher in primary school I feel I have a good experience of what kids do in the UK.

    Of course it varies based.on where you live and income levels but most parents will use a.variety of family help (grandparents) Childminders, more.formal day care and some nannies at younger ages. As children get older (9-11) they will become more independent.

    Many mums will take time off, maternity leave, part time work, (and more rarely Dads).

    Many people do not live anywhere near Grandparents so that route is not always available. Moving to.a.different part of the country to work is quite common

    Personally I dropped my kids off at a local childminder on the way to work and picked them up on the way home until they were about 9 or 10. After that they looked after themselves.

    We had friends who had a nanny but they were both very we'll off dentists. They had option to have the mum part time or take a career break but chose not to.

    I look back at the period of kids growing up and wonder how we did it. Shopping. cooking, cleaning, working, It was not easy but it worked and the kids.grew.up happy and wel adjusted. I could not imagine having a helper living in full time.

    Last edited by Pauljoecoe; 26-11-2020 at 04:53 PM.
    hullexile, TaD_LaLa, Kiz and 1 others like this.

  7. #107

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    @Elegiaque - Your post is by far one of the most reasonable positions on this thread. And good food for thought in focusing on how we can support others beyond parenting.

    As a mother of 2 kids for whom I remain forever grateful, one in Uni and the other in Secondary, all options are on the table with regards to childcare options, lifestyle choices and which countries offer the best balance.

    Not having kids wasn't an option for me from either a cultural perspective or desire. Always knew I would have a few of my own. Also enjoyed part time fostering. Perhaps adoption might be on the cards at a later date.

    To be fair it's only quite recently that I see the choice to not have kids as an option. And it is a choice I respect.

    No one should be made to justify what family configuration option they choose. It is entirely up to you and your circumstances.

    Having raised my kids in the USA, UK, Hong Kong and now Singapore, with a combination of daycare, family support, au pairs, career breaks, after school programs, nannies and helpers depending on the country and their ages, I see benefits and constraints in all of these choices.

    The USA however was by far the most challenging and not somewhere I would choose again with young kids.

    In a nutshell, do what works best for you.

    If you choose to have kids make the choices that work best for you and your family knowing that children are adaptible and resilient. There is no one way to parent so feel no guilt in leveraging all the support resources you need.

    And if parenting isn't for you, that's valid too.





    Quote Originally Posted by Elegiaque:
    Adopting, fostering, helping take care of needy in the community (homeless, elderly, victims), helping environmental causes, adopting/fostering homeless animals.

    I have a memory visiting one of my best friends with her baby twins and her 6 year old, sitting out in a plaza, everyone walking around with their "new" humans, while there was a blind homeless man sitting in a corner petting his dog unable to do basic tasks. It left quite an impression on me that we keep bringing more people into the world while not taking care of those all around us.

    It may not be for everyone, and I know there are some people who really are keen and "destined" to become parents and will in fact be damn good parents. But I also see some, including some friends, who have had kids and turns out parenting isn't really their cup of tea.

    At the same time, especially coming from rich developed countries, we have opportunities to pursue intellectually challenging and fulfilling things and careers and may not have the "free time" needed to do both. Biodiversity around the world is plummeting, we know we're running out of resources while we trash the planet, we're hardly leaving any wild space for other living beings... so, I think radically rethinking biological children is important.

    If I get to become an aunt I look forward and hope I'll be welcomed as an "adjunct parent" to help (for as long as there is no vomiting!).

    Anyway, thank goodness children are pretty resilient. With grandparents, siblings, nannies, alone, friends, they cope and develop and see these situations we fret over with innocence! As long as they're provided with their needs and love and sheltered from harm...

    I'll note this argument seems to be between male posters and female posters and possible UK/EU vs American... coming from incredibly different perspectives. No point in trying to agree as those are very different perspectives...

    And with all due respect, @hullinexile and @TheBrit I take it you are financially independent.

  8. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    That makes no sense really. I lived in the UK, then HK, then the Philippines, then the UK, now the Philippines. For me the best way to live is to consider the grass to be greener wherever you are (well except when I lived in Slough, nowhere is worse than that)
    You just proved my point come to think of it, my comment made perfect sense, there is no pefect "place", is there?

  9. #109

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coolboy:
    You just proved my point come to think of it, my comment made perfect sense, there is no pefect "place", is there?
    No there isn't you are correct, but that wasn't your point.
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  10. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    No there isn't you are correct, but that wasn't your point.
    No, you just don't want to acknowledge the validity of my point (which I see quite a few agree with me), the same old usual issue on geoexpat.

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