I love learning new things and I am constantly aware of how many cultural traditions I am clueless about. So when I have the chance to learn about someone’s culture or heritage that is different than mine own I am excited and try to embrace it.
As many of you know Chris and I are going to become grandparents for the first time later this month. Micah and Wendy are expecting a baby boy and we are over the top excited about that event as you can imagine. While we are a little unsure of when we will actually be able to see and hold him (stupid Covid-19) we are keeping positive .
Having a Chinese daughter in law is a pretty amazing thing. We have learned a lot about the culture and I feel like I am learning more every day. Obviously I have a lot to learn. One thing that I am now reading all about is the idea of “Sitting the Month” (zuo yue zi) which is a traditional Chinese occurrence when a baby is born. It is a month of “confinement”.
Wendy and her mom will be doing a version of this and I am not sure how modified it will be but I think it is a pretty amazing idea. The main idea is to take care of the new mom by having her mom stay a month. Basically the new mom is urged to just stay in her pajamas while her mom takes care of her. The mother is in charge of preparing nourishing meals consisting of broths and soups full of nourishment that will encourage milk production, keeping her daughter warm to ward off any chills or cold and just basically being a presence in the home to help with that first month.
The traditional way encourages no bathing for a month, drinking nothing cold, and eating no fruit in a effort to restore balance to the body. I am not sure how strictly my daughter in law and her mother will follow these traditions but I am loving learning a bit more about it. Honestly, it sounds really difficult and I don’t think I would be very good at it.
It is interesting how everyone approaches parenthood differently. While having a mom come to stay for awhile once the baby arrives is quite common in our own culture it was not something Chris and I really wanted. I think we wanted to start our own little family on our own without what I perceived then as an intrusion. Add to this the fact that we were surrounded by a fabulously supportive Navy community at the time of Micah’s arrival and we had all the support that we needed. But kudos to anyone who can have all the support that they need during the first weeks of bringing baby home.
So tell me – what would your ideal situation be once baby is born? If you had a special tradition I would love to read all about it. Remember to leave me a comment and Comment for a Cause for our recipient this month – Emergency Covid- 19 Combat Service.
If you want to read a little more about this practice I have included links to several articles below. Feel free to click on the links to go directly to those articles.