I can’t believe I’m writing this — my article was just published in The Wall Street Journal!
It’s titled “Married Without Children in China: Dealing With the Pressure in a Baby-Centric Country” and is featured in the WSJ Expat blog. Here’s an excerpt:
When I stepped into our muggy kitchen the other night to start dinner, I never guessed my husband, Jun, a native of the Hangzhou, China, region where we live, would turn up the unbearable summer heat with one simple statement.
“The other day, my aunt asked me when we’re going to have a baby.”
Suddenly, I felt my blood pressure rising like steam from the sizzling wok before me. “Why are you telling me this?” I snapped back.
“I just want to prepare you, so you’ll have a thicker skin. My relatives are all waiting for us to have a child.”
I let out an exasperated sigh. “As if I needed another reminder.”
In China, “Are you married?” and “Do you have children?” can be the equivalent of asking, “How are you?” An American who met my husband while working at an Internet company in China, I never cared what his family said about us when we lived in the U.S. – oceans and time zones away. But since we moved back to China in 2013, I have gradually collected all these “reminders” until they accumulated painfully in my mind.
Read the full piece at The Wall Street Journal. And as always, if you love it, share it!