Parents hold off thoughts of having second child
Although China had in October lifted its family-planning policy, not all parents are keen to have a second child, especially those who have learned to cherish the lifestyles they have come to adopt as a result of that 36-year-long restriction.
Hu Jiacong, the manager of a trading company and a mother to a five-year-old girl, said that she is currently happy with having to raise just one child, having managed to achieve the optimal balance between work and family life.
Hu and her husband used to be restricted to just one child as neither of them were the only child in their families. The couple isn’t planning to have a second child despite the change in policies, but they have recently received pressure from their parents to do so.
“Although one benefit is that my daughter will have someone to play and grow with, it also means that I will have no time to work and travel around as I would need to take care of both of them,” said Hu, who is in her 30s.
“It’s not that we cannot afford another kid financially, but it is a huge challenge for us, mentally and physically, and we don’t think we’re able to handle it.”
According to the National Health and Family Planning Commission, there are about 140 million women in the fertile age bracket who already have one child, and 50 million of them are eligible to have a second child.
Hu added that even if she eventually changed her mind to have a second child, she would not give up her job and end up being a mother obsessed with her children and their upbringing.
“I did once consider having a second child as I grew up as the elder sister in the family so I know how an older sibling can provide love and care to the younger one, but on the other hand, I don’t want to be a housewife like my mom and give up my own life,” said Hu, who hails from Hangzhou, Zhejiang province.
“Hiring enough nannies to take care of them in the daytime and squeezing time to spend with them is currently the only solution should I choose to have a second child. I will still insist on having my annual travel plans and hanging out with friends.”
deputy director of the Institute of Population and Development Studies at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, said that the new policy will likely lead to a surge in new births within the next one or two decades. He believes that although certain parents may not be eager to have a second child now, they could change their minds once the government unveils more favorable measures to help families.