Recently a staff of mine just gave birth. The baby is now barely one month old, and take a guess to what I had just found out?
The mother (a Malaysian born Chinese, aged mid30s) does not keep the baby with her or look after the baby at home. In fact, the baby was sent to a babysitter where she will be looked after for 5 days a week, and only returns home during the weekends! The mother has to pay the babysitter a fee of RM900/month. The mother does not keep the baby at home.
This is not the first time I have heard this.
Three years ago, when I was at university in Queensland, a high-school friend of mine, RinNa, (a chinese, 26 years old then) had come with her two children (were both barely five years old) and family to the university to attend her brother's graduation convocation. The high school friend told me that her parents look after the children, and the children only come home during the weekends!
I was appalled when I first heard it, and had mulled over it for a while.
What is even more shocking is recently, I had found out the same happened to my brother & I when we were young. My brother and I had different babysitters though. Never would it have crossed my mind of this ever occurring to me.
My mother commented that a lot of parents needed to work to survive (and this was over 30 years ago in Kuala Lumpur), so it was even a practice then, that newborn babies were sent to be looked after by a babysitter and would live with the babysitter for up to as much as three years before going home to live with their parents.
However, a lot of the parents would come to visit their babies every day, like what my colleague now does. They do miss seeing their babies, but are just unable to find the time to look after them. As a result, the babysitters would normally develop a very close bond with the babies taken care of, (not that I would remember anything now....!).
What is my perspective on this?
I had always thought that if parents wanted to bring their children out into the world, they should foot the responsibility, and be willing to look after their children and not handing the job to someone else.
However, the reality of the situation is that the cost of living sometimes can't be borned by one person alone (and in most asian families, that is the father). What I meant by stating of the cost of living encompasses but is not limited to just monthly repayments for the house, the car, petrol, electricity, as well as groceries and other social activities.
As I am neither married, nor have any children, I will reserve my comments on this controversial matter till much later. ^^