A worth­while trade-off for love

China Daily (Canada) - - HOLIDAY -

34, English teacher in Nanyang, He­nan prov­ince

I de­cided to have a sec­ond child after be­ing en­cour­aged to do so by Zi­hang, my older son.

He of­ten asked me why his class­mates in kinder­garten had a brother or sis­ter but he didn’t. Bothmy hus­band and I are the only chil­dren in our fam­i­lies, so we could un­der­stand Zi­hang’s lone­li­ness and need for com­pany in child­hood.

Al­though I know how hard it can be to raise a child dur­ing the first three years, we de­cided to have a sec­ond child and give Zi­hang new and dif­fer­ent child­hood mem­o­ries.

Our sec­ond child was born in De­cem­ber. After that, I moved into a con­fine­ment ser­vice cen­ter, andmy older son lived with his grand­par­ents.

Dur­ing the first month there, he came to visit me sev­eral times. I could sense his ex­cite­ment about hav­ing a sib­ling. He would keep ask­ing where his brother was, and share his joy and pride with strangers in the hos­pi­tal.

Mean­while, I could also see him change day by day, al­though it is very sub­tle. There seems to be a grow­ing sense of re­spon­si­bil­ity in him.

I chose to stay at the con­fine­ment ser­vice cen­ter be­cause I needed a quiet en­vi­ron­ment to re­cover. There are many moth­ers hav­ing a sec­ond child, and the old­est is about 40.

The ser­vice costs about 20,000 yuan ($2,900), and our qual­ity of life has also been af­fected be­cause we had a sec­ond child. How­ever, I feel fine about that, be­cause it is a trade-off. As long as our chil­dren grow up happy and healthily, my hus­band and I will be happy.

Zhu Mian spoke with Qi Xin.

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