It’s Mom’s birthday today and she sure looks great for turning 62! Kind of feel bad that with all that’s going on, we didn’t really plan on any celebration – to get around the feeding schedule is a huge task already, I am so glad that Nora has been so kind taking Mom out every Saturday. She sent her beautiful flowers and took her out for dinner 🙂 No wonder Mom loves Nora, she’s been so kind to her, and treated her like her own mother. I have to make up for it in Shanghai!
A lot of phone calls today to tie up the loose end, closing a few bank accounts, going through the mail, all these little things require so much time and that’s what we don’t have! Babies have been pretty fussy lately, they would cry and cry and cry after each feeding, once we pick them up they stop crying, and really enjoy looking around with their eyes wide open. I think they are getting very curious to learn about the world around them. I have to commend Michael for being such a great dad, he usually does the tandem soothing after the tandem feeding. He’s definitely got the patience of gold and would soothe the babies for hours, taking one out for a walk, laying down with them, or rocking them in the Lay-Z-Boy sometimes holding both! I feel very lucky to have a companion like him, and I feel very spoiled that Mom and him are around, so I haven’t really fed the boys on my own yet, they always send the babies to me! They have worked just as hard as I did. Mom takes care of the cooking and laundry and sometimes watches both babies, which is really tough, while Michael and I can go out for a short break or run some errands.
I always feel that culturally it is very different how kids are raised, when I compare China vs. the US, even till today, there’s very few daycare places in Shanghai, most parents raise their infants at home, now that for most of the couples, both have to go to work but it is almost universal that the grandparents will become the caregivers during the day. And they really see it as a privilege. I actually don’t agree with having grandparents watching the kids, they deserve their freedom after many years of work. But I do think it is important to be with the kids in the early years, especially before age of 3. I just can’t see myself sending my kids to daycare, even though I understand why people do it – it is ridiculous how expensive it is to raise kids these days, anywhere. However, in our society, let’s say, a couple like us, raising twins using formula (going back to work definitely makes breastfeeding less of an attainable goal) will cost $400 minimum, and about $1600 for daycare – a monthly $2,000 after-tax spending already! Plus the more important factor -being with the kids. This is the reason we kind of miss the model in the old days, moms taking care of the babies and if there’s breastfeeding problems, there’s always a wet nurse in the community to help.