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January 22nd, 2010 — ,
One of the most popular posts on this blog is since apparently many people search Google about Asian parents. Now that I am an Asian parent I thought it is time to revisit what I wrote and what I think I would do differently from the typical Asian parents.
First of all, my parents still want me to get a masters degree and they actually offered to pay for it. It is very generous, but I think I will pass for now. If I wanted a master’s degree I can pay for it myself, and I would have done it a long time ago. I think Asian parents do give their children too much financial support and I would not be supporting my child if he were 27 and had a family already. He should be independent by then. There are too many Asian parents that I know who are supporting their adult children financially, and I will not do that to any of my kids. I really think that this endless financial support stunts children’s ability to be independent adults. Although I only have a college degree, I think my parents are proud that I am independent and don’t need their support. They often tell me stories of other people’s children who are still living off the bank of mom and dad. They are also happy to be grandparents, and being Asian, now they are bragging to their friends that they are the first to be grandparents while their friends brag about their kids’ advanced degrees.
Next, I would let my kid choose whatever career he wanted as long as it’s not criminal. As long as he could survive on his own and is happy then it is fine. I don’t really see a point in comparing my kid to others. When I told my mom that she just kept on saying that I have to tell my kid to aim high and that if I don’t do that my son would accomplish even less than what I did. I have no idea what she means because I am a pretty well compensated engineer. In fact, I make more money than my mom now even though she has a masters degree, but that’s a whole other gripe she has. I guess what she means is that I don’t have an advanced degree, and that I should tell my kid to aim “high”. The truth is, many of the most successful people in the world do not have advanced degrees, and if my kid doesn’t want an advanced degree but have a passion or talent that works for him, then that is great, too. If you get an advanced degree just for “face”, then it is pretty useless. One thing I will try to teach my kid is that he has to work hard for whatever he wants, because his parents will not be around forever and inherent talent can only go so far.
Ultimately, I want my son to be happy, healthy, and independent. He doesn’t need to be an engineer or have a PhD, but if he wants to do those things it is fine, too. I will love him and raise him the best way I know how, but I will not support him once he is an adult. We will see how he turns out in twenty years or so.
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January 15th, 2010 — ,
My baby just turned three months old this week and I have been back at work for about a week and a half. I am using the rest of my 6 weeks of paid family leave one to two days per week so I will be working only 4 days a week until October of this year. These are my thoughts about returning to work so far.
I have to admit that I was really glad to be back at work after three months of being at home with the baby. I do love my baby very much, but having time to think and interact with adults other than my husband has been refreshing. I enjoyed the serenity of my cube, and it was nice to see my coworkers again in the new year. On the other hand, it felt quite strange to be back because there were a lot of new faces. It seems like the company did reasonably well for 2009 despite the recession so I am glad that my job is at least fairly secure.
I am fortunate to be at a company with fairly flexible hours and I could do most of my work through telecommuting. My workplace sort of had a mini baby boom in the past year and a half, and seven boys including mine were born within 15 months. One baby was actually born a day before mine. I think I was the last one to have a baby, but I’m not sure if anyone else is pregnant now. With this many babies I guess I don’t feel so weird about being a young parent at work. I did read this story in the Wall Street Journal , because that is pretty much what happened here at work, and it seems that my company is still doing fine.
I am also thankful that we have a good friend taking care of our baby for two to three days a week. I think I am getting used to packing up the baby and all his stuff to our friend’s house now and I am getting skinnier from all the extra exercise. She lives pretty close to my workplace so I could get there fairly quickly if I am needed. I do feel a little guilty about outsourcing childcare to someone else, but at this point we both need to work. Hopefully working now gives us more time to spend with the kid a bit later when he is around ten. We are hoping to retire before he is a teenager so that we could still travel together.
I am having fun being a mom, and I think my hubby enjoys parenthood, too. I think we have gotten over the toughest few months and we are getting used to the routine. The hubby is getting plenty of sleep at night and I am getting used to feeding the baby a couple times in bed. I am , and my baby is doing extremely well on breast milk. He has gained 3 lbs a month since the end of October and is now over 13lbs. By feeding him breast milk I estimate I already saved several hundred dollars on formula. I also lost more than 25 pounds and the hubby definitely appreciates that.
Anyway, time seems to be passing extremely quickly now with this baby, and I have not blogged as frequently because a lot of the time I am just thinking of what to do the next day. Basically I need to be organized about what I want to write and write them whenever I have free time, and that is getting rare these days.
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January 3rd, 2010 — , , ,
It is sobering to realize that it is now 2010. It seems not too long ago we were celebrating the first graduates of the new millennium, and now it has been almost ten years. For many of us, the 2000s is a decade that we would probably like to forget as it was fraught with natural and manmade disasters. I think becoming a young adult in the last decade has made me more skeptical, vigilant, and perhaps a little more conservative as I witnessed first hand what uncontrolled excess can do to people and the world. Anyway, here is my outlook for the 2010s.
I think for many people this is a decade to rebuild what has been lost in the recent past. Of course, I don’t think the economic recovery is anywhere near complete, yet. There is still a lot of unemployment and the government is still beating the dead horse of loan modifications and refusing to let the foreclosures naturally roll out. Nevertheless, many folks are getting on with their lives and I personally know many that have become more conservative with their money. Several friends are also looking to take the opportunity of the dip in housing prices to buy a home, but unfortunately housing prices are still artificially high right now in the Bay Area. However, I don’t think the prices of these homes and other materials will rise very much in the next five to six years since people are being more conservative with their money, and the sheen of homeownership has faded a bit.
There are talks of hyperinflation, but I doubt it is going to happen in this decade because inflation only happens when there is more money chasing a limited amount of goods. What is happening now is that people are buying less, and the amount of products that are being manufactured is not really decreasing. The factories of China, Vietnam, and Costa Rica are still pumping out tons of cheap goods headed for the shores of America, and it seems that these shoes and knickknacks are only getting cheaper. I doubt that is going to change in this decade, so it is a good time to buy something that will last for a long time while prices are still somewhat depressed. Once the next bubble happens and people forget what happened in the 2000s, then prices on everything will rise again. However, that is also hard to imagine because wages have been stagnant for the entire 2000s. Prices will only rise when people actually have more money in their pockets. Now that the housing ATMs have dried up, people will need to find a new source of “money” to spend. I’m not quite sure what that is yet.
Personally, this decade is definitely a new stage in my life since I am now a mom. So far everything has been going smoothly, but a child goes through a lot of changes in the first ten years of his life, and I am looking forward to seeing
it. In a few years I will also turn 30, and maybe then I won’t feel so much like a kid anymore. I guess my attitude towards this new decade is a bit of cautious optimism. The best thing I could do is make the best of what I have been given.
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