Monday, December 22, 2014

Where is my freedom?

My post and photos about this year's Christmas Party aren't ready yet. Instead, I bring you more social Chinese media fun!

I came across another gem about parenting on WeChat. This one comes in the form of a comic which makes it doubly fun. It paints being a mom in a pretty dismal light, though I will not waiver in my stance that I find taking care of children, even caring for a tiny baby, isn't so bad. This holds especially true in China, where many women have the help of an army of people (at least compared to American moms) such as their own parents, in-laws, nannies, and maybe their husbands. I think Chinese moms may feel like they have no place to complain, as most American moms do. I suppose this type of comic provides a little humor and relief for some.

I thought I'd loosely translate part of the comic into English. The WeChat post is titled After giving birth, do you become your child's slave? And the comic is drawn by Zhang Xiaoyu (张小玉).

1. All along I've been the kind of person to live life to the fullest. . .
“Seeing loads of different performances.”
“Enjoying new experiences.”
“Partying with friends.”
“Snapchating delicious meals.”
“Enjoying the moment instead of saving money.”

2. . . . until the day I had a kid.
(name of a Chinese song about parents' love and showing filial piety)
“Eh? My freedom. . . where has it gone?”

3. Before I could come and go as I pleased, playing happily. . .
“It's all about me!”
“It's all about me!”
“It's all about meeeeee!”

4. . . . now, every time I want to go out I have to plan for ages.
“Arrange a baby-sitter.”
“Shit. Milk is leaking.”
“Need to tidy up the diapers.”
“I'm gonna be late! Kill me! Kill me now!”

5. Even though going out means the possibilities are endless, I'm constantly restless because I'm worried about my baby. . .
“I can't sit still!!!”

6. . . . so then, I can't have a good time. I'm always the first person to leave the party.
“First to go.”
“See you guys next time! Next time!”
“Being a mom is truly miserable,” say her friends (or are they ghosts?).

7. Returning home, each time I vehemently admonish myself.
“Honey, I'm so sorry.”
“Maybe I really shouldn't have my own life.”

Some parents may struggle with a sense of lost freedom having having a baby, but I think most people have gone through a time when they felt their life was not their own—maybe after taking a difficult new job, caring for a sick relative, or suffering through an intense semester at school. Have you ever gone through a period in your life or had something happen during which you felt like you lost your freedom?

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