Working mum in China

After coming back from a month spent with family in the UK, we are now back in China – this time, Beijing. And I haven’t written a single blog post since!

And why might that be? Because 36 hours and two almost completely sleepless nights after being back, I became a working mum, i.e. a mum who also has a full time job. So I literally cannot find the time to sit down at my computer and write, despite the daily inspiration when out and about and walking to and from work.

Fortunately baby Z’s 奶奶 nainai has moved with us to Beijing and is taking care of childcare in the week. So life isn’t as tiring as it has been. In fact, it’s really quite good. As I’ve written before, my MiL is pretty typical of her generation, she is amazing at housework and cooking, doesn’t like to accept help with it, and doesn’t seem to like resting. As soon as I get home from work and spend time with the little one, she’s in the kitchen preparing dinner for us 4. Whilst we eat our dinner slowly, she eats in 5 minutes and then is buzzing around washing the pans. I’ve barely done two loads of laundry since I arrived in Beijing because she does it during the day when the baby naps. It’s ace!

I’ve never had a full time 阿姨 ayi but I think this is probably better! We don’t have to pay her* and she works from morning till night. In fact it seems if she had her way she’d look after the baby through the night too, although I don’t feel comfortable with that.

I guess the downside is, she’s always here. Even when I’m looking after baby Z. Even when I want to cook. Even when I don’t feel like eating dinner. Even when I want R to look after the baby whilst I go to the gym. Our arrangement has its downsides but there is no need to dwell on them.

I know we’re very lucky to have her, and she won’t be available forever, so it’s great baby Z can spend time with her while she is here. And I get to go to work and talk about grown-up things for 8 hours a day, which is doing me a lot of good.

* We give her money to spend every month though, and pay for all her travel back and forth and are planning a large 红包 for her birthday/Christmas/next Spring Festival.



8 thoughts on “Working mum in China

  1. Oh, an in-house grandma! Amazing. Lucky you. When my MIL visits, she expects to be waited on by her daughter-in-law. Can you imagine waiting on Nai Nai while taking care of a baby and working? Yeah, neither can I. Luckily, she’s 3,000 miles a way mostly. 🙂


    • I can’t imagine that, but i have heard about that kind of MiL. I actually don’t know how my MiL will cope if we take her for a visit to the UK. She won’t be able to clean, won’t need to cook, and will be required to sit around drinking tea…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We will have my Mother-in-law with us again this summer for three months as we are just too busy with our own business and can’t take care of Nathan all the time. Usually our son spends half day with my parents as he won’t be able to go to Kindergarten until late summer. Oh well, lets see how I will manage this time those three months with my crazy MIL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It can be nice to have the in-laws around and help out. Personally, I prefer living close to them but not in the same apartment (that would mean a lack of personal space which both hubby and I don’t like too much), but I guess that would be much harder to arrange in Beijing with high living costs and such. I think it’s great for our son too to spend so much time with his grandparents. We made a deal with MIL that she won’t clean our apartment. She definitely would do that on top of taking care of our son during the day.


    • Yes, I would prefer if she didn’t live with us, but close by. We did discuss it briefly, as she suggested she live in a dormitory (!) which I wouldn’t feel good about. It’s only for a couple of years though.

      It sounds like you’ve got a good arrangement up in Siping 🙂


  4. It is a good arrangement so you can go out and work! But I can definitely see the downsides too. Anyway, let’s look on the bright side 😛


  5. Pingback: 2017 Blogs by Western Women Who Love Chinese Men | Speaking of China

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