Being in China is just different all around. Our cultures are just opposites sometimes. However, I feel that being in Shenzhen, which is a very modern city, has masked some of the true Chinese culture in some areas. But one area of their culture that is still alive and well here is in regards to BABIES. Wow. Everyone, down to the homeless lady on the corner or our security guards at our apartment, has something to say to me. This is a list of some of the more common things I've been told. And they don't come as polite suggestions--
First of all, for me:
I should NOT be outside before one month after delivery.
I shouldn't shower for one month.
I shouldn't stand up for one month.
I shouldn't sit down for one month.
I shouldn't be walking around.
I should be home sleeping.
I shouldn't drink Coke.
I shouldn't hold my baby.
I shouldn't be outside in the wind.
I shouldn't drink cold water.
I shouldn't drink cold coffee.
I shouldn't take care of the baby since I don't have experience. My mom or Ryan's mom needs to come and take care of him.
And, for little Rylan:
He shouldn't be outside until he's a month old. (this one is huge!!)
He shouldn't be in the wind.
He is too cold. (It's 100 degrees here)
He needs a blanket.
I need an umbrella to shield him from the sun.
His head needs to be faced up when he is lying down.
I need to hold him so he is lying down, not straight up on me.
It's too hot for him outside. But at the same time, he's too cold.
Imagine being told each of these things about ten times each every time you go outside. I feel like my security guard looks at me with contempt now because I haven't listened to him.
Now, I'm not sharing this to complain about being here....If we had to do it over again, I would still be pregnant, deliver, and have a newborn here in China. I'm simply sharing it to point out that this is one of the most obvious clashes of culture that I've personally experienced here in Shenzhen. China is great, and the people are well-meaning, but we just raise our little ones differently!