fredag 19. november 2021

For Chinese Men, Starting a Family Now Comes at a Price

On May 22, 2019, my wife gave birth to our son. It was my first child, and while I had been looking forward to and preparing for his arrival for a long time, all the responsibilities of new fatherhood still caught me off guard. Before I became a father, I regularly watched sports, went to the movies and hit the gym — all while pulling double duty teaching and researching at my university. That changed after my son was born; suddenly my days revolved around feeding, changing diapers, burping, and putting the baby to sleep, not to mention caring for my wife and trying to shield her from conflicts with our parents over the proper way to raise a child.

Having a child massively changed my life in ways I never expected. I was struck, then, when some of my friends in academia texted me their congratulations, not just on my son’s birth, but for how my new status as a father would certainly be a boon to my career. My teaching and research, they assured me, were about to reach new heights.