Mummy Eliz is a member of http://groups.yahoo.com/group/asiaparents/.
The group is for Expectant Parents, New Parents, and most importantly Experienced Parents (whether 1 mth or 10 yrs!) to share their problems & their "tried tested" experiences.
Topics for discussion can range from Pregnancy, Preparing for Parenthood, Breastfeeding, Childcare and Parenting in general.
With more than 2000 members, more than 100 messages are exchanged on a daily basis.
With only half an hour online time each day, Mummy Eliz tends to take mental snapshots of the messages with speed reading techniques, and then process the information afterwards.
Some thought-provoking exchanges that stay on in the mind for a long time afterwards are as follows:
On raising of a child
"Reading "Raising Babies" by Steve Biddulph, the research shows that babies thrive best on one-on-one care with a loving and responsive caregiver. In normal circumstances, this would be the mother since a mother is hormonally wired to mother and to respond and to nurture, the optimal combination to grow a baby's brains and to build strong confident secure characters.
But here, today, this role has largely been subsumed by maids/childcare centers. Tellingly, the headlines these days have given us inkling - more children being depressed, more children seen at IMH etc. Some time ago, there was a study conducted here in Singapore that showed the link between early institution care and a higher incidence of childhood mental illness i.e. anxiety, depression, stress etc. Why? Is it the changing social landscape? Are their needs being met? What are their needs? Who is meeting them? Sure, we can lay the blame at the door of the education system, peer pressure etc.
And while these may be trigger points, they may not necessarily be the root cause.
Maybe, just like we have a protocol for optimum infant feeding, (i.e. number 1 is direct breastfeeding for baby, #2 is baby takes mom's ebm, #3 is donor ebm and #4 is formula), we should have a similar protocol in baby and child care at home, where the optimum should be #1 care by mother, #2 care by member of extended family, #3 care by babysitter/maid and #4 institution care i.e. infant care, childcare centers etc.
Ref the issue of 'no choice', well, I think everyone has a choice.
It’s a question of how much we're prepared to work at it, to sacrifice to make it work, etc. And usually, it always boils down to the financials. Money/Self Needs vs. Baby/Child's Needs. It sounds like such a crude choice, but often, when distilled right down to the essence, this is often what it is.
It is not up to any of us to say what choice is right or what choice is wrong or to cast aspersions on women who make different choices.
There is no 'better' or 'worse' decision. The grass always looks more attractive on the other side of the fence. We just make our own informed choices, do the best we can - whether we work full-time and farm out baby to maid/childcare or give up a job to stay home with a child or any other balancing act we can creatively think of. "