Knowing how to juggle becomes an important life skill

By Xu Lin ( China Daily ) Updated: 2017-03-18 07:26:33

Every lunchtime during the week Wu Xiaoling has to rush home, pedaling her bicycle madly for 15 minutes, so she can feed her 9-month-old son. That done, she cycles back to work and has no time even for that Chinese specialty the quick desktop nap.

She is delighted that her second child is also a boy, which means her 6-year-old son's clothes and toys can be handed down to his brother.

During her latest pregnancy, Wu says, she underwent more medical examinations than she did during her first pregnancy, anxious about herself and her son, and felt much more tired in the first month of confinement after giving birth to the second son.

Wu, 36, who works in a government institution in Beijing, says: "It's much more stressful physically and mentally looking after kids than it was 20 or 30 years ago. For safety's sake you really do have to watch them around the clock. For example, there are many more electrical appliances and power points around the home than there used to be."

She recalls that when she was 5 or so she would play with other children in the neighborhood, but she is worried about letting her son have the free rein she did because these days there are far more cars and a lot more strangers about.

In all, raising a baby is more complicated and time-consuming than it used to be, and the duties involved in that huge task need to be delegated out to members of the family, she says.

Her mother and mother-in-law take turns staying at her place looking after the children and cooking. She buys all the ingredients for cooking on her way home and then plays with her sons. Her husband does household chores such as washing dishes and doing the laundry, and takes the elder son to piano and fencing lessons three or four times a week.

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