Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The class divide

I went to post natal yoga yesterday. I have dispensed with the mother and baby yoga classes for the time being because not only does Eve seem to hate them, but flinging her around will do no favours for us both in terms of her reflux so I have ditched them.

Thankfully, I can convert the classes I had paid for to the mothers only class so popped along yesterday. It was really good - not only some much needed time to focus on me away from Eve - since she was born I have only spent about 12 hours away from her, less than 2 hours per week - but it also targeted all the bits of my body that are weaker and need help after the pregnancy and I came out calmer and stronger.

The class is a mixed bag, of expats and Chinese, Americans, Brits and Hong Kongers. It did, however, reveal to me that there seem to be two types of mothers in Hong Kong.

The first are those who, and I know I am being uncharitable here, seem to have made being a wife and mother their role in life but don't really do much of the latter. You can tell who they are because their helpers/nannies are always there to meet them after the mother and baby yoga class and whisk the child away, and they are perfectly manicured, pedicured, made up and with great hair (memo to me: I badly need a hair cut). They wear coordinating, branded yoga gear. Their discussions revolve around which classes they are taking their babies to, when they are next going home, and whether to fly economy or business with their baby. (On that last point, don't misunderstand me, I have every intention of taking Eve home posh class and annoying everyone there).

The second group, of which I count myself one, look exhausted and ungroomed. Hair, if brushed at all is scraped back into an untidy bun, nails have seen better days, and our clothes don't really match. Our discussions revolve around sleep, vomit, and what new little trick or giggle our baby has done since we last met.

I was trying to figure out why there is such a big difference between the two groups, and it seems to come down to the mothers who are going back to work (or have twins, which is the same thing in my book) and those who aren't. It's as if those of us who are going back to work are trying to cram in as much hands-on baby time as we can before we leave our little ones to someone else. Of course if you aren't going back to work, or not for the next year or so, then you have much more time to enjoy your child and are therefore happier to leave him or her to the care of someone else.

It also might be something to do with a certain breed of expat wives who make a career out of being perfectly turned out and well rounded at all times. But if I get started on that I will sound like a complete bitch

1 comment:

LottieP said...

Oh go on, do get started on that, it will be funny. ;-)