I wrote another small essay about raising children in China, specifically about mixed-blood babies and how they are treated here and what they can expect.
Chinese grandmas swarm over any cute baby they see, but they tend to ignore Chinese babies in favor of mixed blood or all-foreign babies. There is a love and curiosity for the exotic blonde/black/brown boy and there is also some beliefs that foreign babies are stronger and that mixed blood babies are smarter than your average Chinese baby.
I often hear Chinese people tell me that they are physically weak and unable to do many of the things that foreigners can do and this is especially common when referring to babies. Chinese believe that a mixed blood baby will be smarter, stronger and more resilient than a pure Chinese baby.
Another social thing that I have always admired but always from afar is the role of grandparents in a child’s life. In China, most children are raised by their grandparents these days. Parents see their kids on the weekends or at night. This isn’t always the case, but it is definitely a very common situation.
Regardless of whether or not the grandparents are the primary caregivers, they are for sure all up in the home. It is very very common to see grandparents walking around with the parents and the kids and it is pretty common to have grandma move in to help out.
This goes back to the belief that Chinese people are weaker. When I tell Chinese girls (ie my wife) that my mom raised two boys by her self they are flabbergasted. They cant possibly imagine a situation in which there are no grandparents, no nanny or maid and just mommy … alone … with two babies. Seems horrible to them and there is no doubt that it is probably one of the most stressful things a family can do (raise two punks) but everybody in the West seems able to make do without grandparents and nannies, why not the Chinese?