Overcoming the Challenges of Parenting Outsourcing in Asia

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Background

Female labor participation stays as highest ever in Asia as many embrace workplace for inspiring lifestyle; satisfying and stretching work has become a psychological necessity. More than ever, we are defined by what we do and Asian ladies had moved up the social mobility with incredible pace in the past couple of decades and both man and women have access to unprecedented equal opportunities although the pace of women’s rise— and man’s relative stagnant had been nothing short of spectacular, with more job opportunities created with the remarkable economic progress among Asian countries, women flooded the labor market.

Ironically, this had created another classical problem of falling infertility within the country. Increasing number of productive and prime age women and men chose to remain single or having a much smaller family size giving in to the demanding challenges of modern parenting. From macroscopic perspectives, the population demography trends of generic growth are of paramount significant to the local authorities to remain competitive in the long run. Man powers are precious raw materials if manage well.

Therefore radical reforms are needed on boosting the birthrates aimed at spurring domestic consumption and taxable employment as the driver of economic growth otherwise allowing influx of much-needed foreign labors risks upsetting local resident voters as they inevitably see microscopic threats of competition for limited jobs, housing and basic infrastructure. The initiative reflects Government’s determination to curtail the momentum of aging population through a formidable mobilization of social resources to make parenting a desirable and feasible ways of life through full fledged of measures; from maternity care of up to 4 months and attractive income tax rebates and options of taking extended 6 to 12 months of unpaid maternity leave, however,  majority of career women impose self-restraints of taking advantages of them due to the misplaced fears of losing out on the competitive edges to their peers during their absent from work place.

Indeed, many working mothers claim workplace intimidation over extended maternity leave where colleagues need to cover the duties during her absence unwillingly or bosses need to go through the hassles of reshuffling manpower to fill the 4 month or longer voids. On the other hand, working Asian man hasn’t been much help in parenting unlike their peers in Scandinavian where man also are expected to shouldered on the burdens as primary care giver taking extensive paternity leaves as its socially encouraged and mandated and subsidized by the state with preference in strong social justice.

As a result, many desperate parents had turned to the most cost-effective outsourcing channels available to care for their young children; hiring a live in domestic maid usually young to middle age women from relative poorer Asian countries who also leave their own children back home to someone else’s care. However, from time to time, there are reported cases of domestic helpers and employers being investigated for abuses; physical, sexual, monetary and so on within the household, stoking parents fears although it’s extremely rare statistically speaking.

This led us to the primary discussion of this article; How to maximize the benefits of parenting outsourcing while minimizing the downsides, what fundamental jobs should be kept in housed? will the relationship with children be strained?  What are the bottom lines? The 3 or 4 years old inevitable grow more attach to the primary care takers and one had to be prepared and put in extraordinary efforts to strengthen the bonding. In other words, be realistic and know what to be expected and take ownership on key essential elements while prepared to make compromises on other area.

In the book of “How to balance the values of your life” quoted e.g. Dell increasingly outsource their computer assembly works to Asus until they ended up losing their main core advantages not unlike parents giving up the opportunities for character shaping, values instilling of their own off-springs to third party, the children could ended up growing up strikingly resembling and bear our own last name but within, a stranger nonetheless. One had to be like Apple, aggressively retaining the core design features in US’s headquarter which commands high premium and outsource the mundane, razor-thin 3 to 4% margin and labor intensive assembly works to China.

Myths of Parenting

Hardware is everything?

Inspiring working Asian couple often place higher priority in financial achievement as a safeguard for their children’s future prospects and overlooked the opportunities to also groom them with right sets of values. It’s often related to insecurities and the fears of losing out. Children needs strong role models within the families and their first idols are usually their parents. Money like any resources needed good common sense for proper management. Instead of leaving a good legacy on values, principles and excellence to their next generation, Asian loves leaving their wealth to their children but too much of wealth often turns out to be a cursing rather than blessing.

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching youRobert Fulghum

Quality triumph over Quantity?

Having double income are critical to remain competitive and enjoying decent lifestyles for all and many highly educated and productive men and women rather earn an income then undertaking the perceived low value added jobs of chasing after the young crying and demanding children, prioritizing qualities over quantity. They overlooked the fact that’s a healthy childhood includes stages where one develops love and security, build attachment, learnt of disciplinary, exercise self-discipline and practice self-learning. The best time to construct emotional attachments are actually during the seemingly monotonous and highly physical and emotional exhaustive chores of exchanging diapers, making infant formula, toilet training, feeding, playing, cuddling, pacifying screaming infants, sleepless nights nursing a high fevers and so on.

How come I do most of the job?

Increasing family disputes in Asia expose a growing rift between the parent over who should assume more commitment and who to sacrifice their careers over parenting. Although the man had significantly contributed in managing the household chores as compared to their dads in the 50, 60s, women still spend twice as much time (used to be x 7 time more) and this had resulted in strong resentment between modern couples. In fact, modern Asian fathers had been involving and engaging the joys of fatherhood never experienced before due to constraint of circumstance and remarkable improvement on living standard, it’s a blessing in disguise man now spend considerable more time with their children. Asia had a long way to go to have Scandinavian’s unbiased, generous and robust paternity system. However, things are getting better over time.

“The way you work is the way you live”–unknown

Not my cup of tea?

Extended maternity leaves give opportunities for mothers to explore the possibility of assuming full-time home maker. One common myth for newly minted mother going through the tedious and laborious chores of providing to the infant ended up opting back to workplace as preferred choice as they found out child rearing are not their calling and strength. As a matter of fact, nobody are born natural care giver but whether one is willing to accept the responsibility going through the challenges , understanding one’s shortcoming and weakness and make the commitment to assume the new roles, complimenting with the spouse to manage the family. There is no short cut here, one had to go through the rite of passage.

How to overcome the challenges of parenting outsourcing?

Therefore, the idea is to have a full-time home maker, man or women to provide for the children as its rather laborious, physical, financial and emotional demanding job but very rewarding in the long run but however, realistic speaking, majority couple works and the good news are one still can overcome the challenges of parenting and  bring up decent children; it’s the management of outsourcing with realistic expectation and claiming ownership of character and personality shaping of the children.

“Ohana” means family. Family means nobody gets left behind or—Unknown

Be realistic as trade-off are normal and get engaged for trust building.  

One must acknowledge Children take after the care takers in the formative years. Talk and behave like the maids or grandpa, exhibiting undesired eating habits and parents should cater allowance for this and accept the facts and focus on relationship building rather than excessive correcting their styles which changes from time to time.

Mutual trusts are important as building blocks. Parent despite outsourcing their children to enrichment and tuition classes still can participate and interact with them. Eg. How does the tuition go, do you understand better now?  Compromises are inevitable, however one should exceptionally treasure the remaining relationship left with the children after they had been outsourced for care taking and skill development. Father and Mother are being admired and worshiped by children and being physically and emotional present at most of the time had it’s own rewards.

Family: Father and Mother I Love You–unknown

Assume Full Responsibility

Correct perspectives had to be in placed when one couple decided to become parents as their relative carefree career and family life will be altered with different expectations and inspirations forever. For example, are dads prepared to live up to true fatherhood? Is everyone ready to live a simpler lifestyle now with heavier commitment? The challenging works of disciplinary, tutoring and complimenting children had to be done by parent themselves avoiding taking the easier way out of leaving them to grandparents, tuition centers, kindergarten, live in maids. These resources are here to compliment not taking over the ownership of parenting; Think of yourself like Apple, a product owner with key design features kept in-house, rather than like Dell going taking the easier way out and lose its competitive advantages over time.

Summary

The myth of outsourcing parenting chores needed to be weighted with opportunity cost, sometimes it just didn’t make sense financially for both parent with young children to work full time, as its takes money to earn a salary; expenses such as transportation, clothing, meals, entertainment and so on, the take home pays often ended up barely enough to cover the third-party care providers. Parenting is not simply about providing the best materialistic comforts for the children, but about fulfilling something larger than ourselves, leaving a decent legacy behind with our next generations with the right core values. Therefore, couples having the same values on parenting are of paramount importance to have common goals established as he rise of divorces cases underscores the challenges faced by married man and women in shaping its common vision for the future of their children. Children who are well taken cared off emotionally and physically understood they are being loved unconditionally with minimum anxiety level and it became easier for parenting and grooming in their later years.

 “Now we‘re just memories for our children” – Cooper, Interstellar

Therefore, while parenting outsourcing becomes indispensable for couple with children to cope in modern Asian communities and one must understand its pros and cons and willing to accept some form of compromises and prioritize on what’s are the bottom lines; relationship, characters and key values had to be retained in housed no matter what. And over the long-term, man need to adapt to a changed work and family environment in which the management of the household and children development efficiency primary  fall onto the women are no longer unquestioned priorities

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