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Leaving HK for the kids...

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  1. #81

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms:
    Sorry it just really riles me that any suggestion that life can be challenging in the West is responded to with “spoiled brats who can’t wipe their own arses.”

    Look at divorce rates, depression, childhood anxiety, addiction, obesity etc rates. People are not all living happy perfect lives over there. There are so many social stresses - long commutes, less vacation time (in the US at least), social isolation.

    No country is perfect but not having a helper is really not the primary reason former expats (or born and raised HKers) face challenges moving with children to the West.

    The lack of acknowledgement of that seems really out of touch to me and doesn’t match with the experiences my friends - 30-somethings with young kids in US and UK - are having. Having to move in with their parents because housing + childcare costs were impossible to keep up with. Having only one child when they wanted 2 or 3 because of cost. These are not privileged pampered problems.
    This is precisely the reason that many young adults (like my own child) are choosing not to have children. People who haven't lived in the US don't understand the crazy long commute that even the average person has, coupled with the crazy cost of childcare and the crazy cost of housing in areas with decent-paying jobs. And the fact that you generally need to live in a pricier neighborhood if you want anything less than horrendous public schooling for you child...

    The lack of vacation/paid time off, even for childbirth, it's completely nuts. So a lot of Millennials are giving it a miss and I really can't blame them...

  2. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms:

    No country is perfect but not having a helper is really not the primary reason former expats (or born and raised HKers) face challenges moving with children to the West.
    Which is why I challenged the poster so you are agreeing with me.

    Not once did I say things were easier or better in the west. In fact I clearly stated raising kids without a helper requires hard work and sacrifice. So you are arguing with me over something I never said.

  3. #83

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiz:
    So what do they do with their 18 month old when they are both at work and their grandparents aren't around and they don't have paid childcare of any kind? Are these really 2 working parents?
    They take a combination of career breaks, flexible working hours, do some working from home, playdates, day sharing with neighbours. Where take is a will, there is a way. It might astonish those living in HK that the vast majority of the world gets by without helpers.
    Skyhook and Jaz Paul like this.

  4. #84

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit:
    They take a combination of career breaks, flexible working hours, do some working from home, playdates, day sharing with neighbours. Where take is a will, there is a way. It might astonish those living in HK that the vast majority of the world gets by without helpers.
    I think you are delusional. Career breaks? Sharing with neighbours for free lol yeah that is super common place. You really think this is more normal than daycare? Daycare is what happens. Not helpers, daycare.
    merchantms and TaD_LaLa like this.

  5. #85

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiz:
    I think you are delusional. Career breaks? Sharing with neighbours for free lol yeah that is super common place. You really think this is more normal than daycare? Daycare is what happens. Not helpers, daycare.
    You don't think mothers and fathers take maternity leave/paternity leave/child care leave/career break to look after young children in the EU? I suggest it is you who is delusional.

  6. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by MABinPengChau:
    This is precisely the reason that many young adults (like my own child) are choosing not to have children. People who haven't lived in the US don't understand the crazy long commute that even the average person has, coupled with the crazy cost of childcare and the crazy cost of housing in areas with decent-paying jobs. And the fact that you generally need to live in a pricier neighborhood if you want anything less than horrendous public schooling for you child...

    The lack of vacation/paid time off, even for childbirth, it's completely nuts. So a lot of Millennials are giving it a miss and I really can't blame them...
    Not so bad in the UK thankfully. Paid maternity leave, a lot more vacation days, a lot more flexibility, typically much shorter commutes, etc.
    TheBrit and MABinPengChau like this.

  7. #87

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaD_LaLa:
    What scenarios did you have in mind?
    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.
    Last edited by Elegiaque; 26-11-2020 at 12:13 PM.

  8. #88

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    Quote Originally Posted by hullexile:
    Not so bad in the UK thankfully. Paid maternity leave, a lot more vacation days, a lot more flexibility, typically much shorter commutes, etc.
    Vast difference between EU/UK and the US.

    Which is why my niece is raising her baby daughter in Sweden, she knows the advantages she has over returning to the US...
    hullexile likes this.

  9. #89

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiz:
    I think you are delusional. Career breaks? Sharing with neighbours for free lol yeah that is super common place. You really think this is more normal than daycare? Daycare is what happens. Not helpers, daycare.
    He is delusional. For working parents the reality is normally:

    Kids 0-4 paid childcare or family help
    Kids 4-12 afterschool paid childcare or family help
    Kids 12+ left alone

    Or one parent leaves the workforce and it’s usually not a “career break” it’s a permanent departure or massive setback, normally for the woman.

    I do not know a single person for whom “helpful neighbor” is a reliable childcare option.
    Kiz, Flapster, gataloca and 1 others like this.

  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms:
    He is delusional. For working parents the reality is normally:

    Kids 0-4 paid childcare or family help
    Kids 4-12 afterschool paid childcare or family help
    Kids 12+ left alone

    Or one parent leaves the workforce and it’s usually not a “career break” it’s a permanent departure or massive setback, normally for the woman.

    I do not know a single person for whom “helpful neighbor” is a reliable childcare option.
    I don't think you have ever been to the UK?

    Only children 12+ left alone? I was coming home alone at 7 years old. My daughter - in a much bigger and busier city - comes home by herself at 8 years old. What planet are you living on that 11 year old children need childcare after school? Maybe in the US where they are at risk of getting shot, I don't know? But certainly not in most countries.
    Skyhook and abehan like this.

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