I am really enjoying these Special Guest Thursdays which will stop for the time being in a week or two.
Today I am happy to introduce Bronwyn from Journeys of the Fabulist. She is currently in Singapore which is in the same time zone as China making her one of very few bloggers I know in South East Asia.
Bronwyn is sharing her thoughts and ideas on postpartum “traditions” in this area and where she is from. It is quite near and dear to my heart as I had 3 babies in China and observes friends having babies here as well and what happens in the first month after birth.
We have rituals for these things. Your neighbour has a baby, you turn up with a casserole. Your neighbour eats the casserole, because she is so desperate for prep-free food that she will even eat your casseroles. When you collect the dish, you stop to vacuum the hallway, entertain her toddler, or hold the baby so she can shower for once. Everyone wins. Everyone’s happy.
Then you move countries and you don’t know what to do any more.
One of the things that throws me off-kilter about Singapore is the change of new-baby rituals. There’s no need for casseroles, because a maid or confinement nanny does the shopping and the cooking. Or you’ll order from a confinement food service/the local hawker centre.
And between grandparents, nannies, maids, a typical schedule of children’s enrichment classes, and some controversy surrounding the necessity of showering, it sometimes feels as if there’s not much left to do.
And this is all great news for new parents, of course. I don’t want to make it sound like The Help is handling things while mum goes to lunch with the girls. Mum is concentrating on resting, breastfeeding and recovering – that should be enough for anybody. There’s no shame in hiring an extra pair of hands or having Grandma around – a newborn will keep everyone busy, especially when Dad works long hours and travels often.
I just do wonder where I can fit in sometimes.
Which is why I’m glad to be writing this post. In the first place, I love being able to deliver the online equivalent of a casserole, especially since my blog posts are better than my cooking, from which you can draw your own conclusions about my cooking. But also, I thought you might be able to give me some novel ideas on what to do, when everything seems to be taken care of.
What do people do for new parents where you live? As a new parent, is there anything you’d like people to do for you?