Monday, October 28, 2013

A spare and a carer

In the 60s, a young woman got married and soon after that, she was happy to learn that she was expecting a child for she would be looked down upon if she was barren. After 9 months, she was disappointed when she gave birth to a baby girl for as a Chinese, she was expected to bear a son to carry on the family's name. Never mind, she told herself, I will have another child and she did, the very next year.

She was fortunate that her next child was a son, the much needed child. With her main responsibility fulfilled, she concentrated fully on her job as a clerk, letting her mother-in-law take care of both her children. She was satisfied with her life.

After 6 years, her mother-in-law took her aside and told her sternly to have another child. One boy was not enough. There must be a spare. And being the dutiful daughter-in-law that she was, she conceived again and was lucky to give birth to a baby boy. Now my family is complete, she thought and she turned her attention back to her job, now as the chief clerk in the same company that she has worked for since she left school.

Another 9 years went by and this time it was her own mother who asked her to have another child. It had to be a girl, to take care of her during her old age for daughters take better care of mothers than sons, she was told. Being an obedient daughter, she conceived again and her prayers were answered, a baby girl was born and she resumed working, still as a chief clerk.

The day finally came when she retired as chief clerk after working in the same company for 35 years. For a few years after that she enjoyed herself by travelling around the world a bit.

Then her body failed her and she took to her bed. Her first child has her own family and children so she was too busy to take care of her. Her second child gave her two grandsons to carry on the family name but only visits once a year.

Lucky for her that she listened to her elders because although her two younger children were married but they chose to remain child free so the youngest daughter cooked for her and visited her as much as she could and her younger "spare" son moved back to live with her to look after her full time.

Now who would have thought that having a spare and a designated-to-be-her-old-age-carer baby girl would work out so well. Neither did she. She just had them to keep the two old ladies from pestering her. But in the end, it really did work out well. She was really pleased.

29 comments:

  1. Hi Mun, having more kids can be "beneficial" in a way.. :)

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    1. Pity the children to be born to be a spare and a companion.

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  2. sometimes we can't count on our very own kids..

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    1. Very true because they have their own lives to live too. I don't agree on parents putting this kind of expectation on their children.

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  3. Replies
    1. But what if the spare also want their own life?

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    2. Asian concept of filial and taking care of parents is good but in some way I think western way of planning retirement is better.

      Once the kids moved out the parents live and be free to gonon with their lives. And when they are too old thry moved to a retirement home ehere they enjoy the compsny of their peer and nursing care. Then again its just a rosy scenario la. Not many can afford good retirement home

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    3. Ahem ahem....this story is good la. Can consider to submit this to short story writing competition. :)

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    4. Thank you Small Kucing. I agree with you that Western retirement planning is much better.

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  4. Like the story but i am too exhausted to have more kids, 2 girls and i am ready to throw my hats in

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    1. Nowadays having 2 children is the norm.

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  5. Nowadays expenses is so high, can't count on our own kids, it's best if one can be independant on their own...

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    1. Very true. Best plan for our own retirement. Children have their own high bills to pay.

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  6. Wow.... I read this at 2am last night after Little Miss kicked up a storm (she's turning into a real night squirmer in her sleep, like the bro), and................... Very thought provoking and I really loved it. The writing of the story, I mean. Hope you will tell me privately at least where inspiration came from.

    As for my response to it, my first knee-jerk reaction was ".................. really?" When I read your comments I was more "Ah. Got it." And yes it at least affirms what I knew of you.

    I feel I owe you my most honest response so here it is:
    I hate the sense of entitlement. The only ones who should have it are the children who cannot choose to have parents (whereas parents can choose to have children). I have at least a few close friends who wanted so very badly to have children - simply because they wanted to have children, not because of the "spare" and the "old age carer" etc stuff - and it was not easy to have them. It was really, really hard for those who were barren. Some, very nice and loving people still are and have passed the point of being able to have children at all. The mother in this story seems to have conceived easily - and then those are her motives. So that would probably be one reason I was especially riled over the sense of entitlement - portrayed very well in your post, I must say. Very awesome writing!

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    1. Thank you Aileen for your compliments and for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

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  7. Nice post!

    some just choose to be free and unmarried. But they live happily too. Of course you must always have a positive attitude and mindset in life then you automatically will be happy. :)

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  8. Thanks Rose. Yes a positive mindset isimportant.

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  9. Enjoyed while reading your post.

    How much kids we have is not a problem, kids must realize the importance of parents at their older age and take care of them.

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    1. Unfortunately some children live far away from their parents and could not take care of old parents.

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  10. I have two boys, and I am happy. :D

    mymomsbest.us

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    1. Glad to know that you are happy. :D

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  11. I like reading what you have written here, It is indeed true.

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  12. I like reading what you have written here, It is indeed true.

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  13. What a meaningful story. Makes me think a lot, cuz I only have one son. No luck...miscarried in August. :(

    http://cleffairy.com

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    1. I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage.

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  14. Very interesting read. I guess it's always good to listen to mothers' advises! :) hm...come to think of it, I don't really have any "spares"! LOL....but the truth is, I can't really afford to have spares. :P

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  15. 2 boys now and to have another 2, I'll end up in TR. Tanjung Rambutan....hahahaha

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