Since I got married, people keep asking me the same questions. Usually; “When are you going to have children?“, “Are you going to give up work?” and “Why don’t you let your husband support you?“. These questions come from people back home and friends in Hong Kong. A lot of my married friends have told me that they get asked the same questions. I find it quite interesting, because surely people don’t need to be married to have children. I’m surprised that it becomes normal to ask this now I am married.
In Hong Kong, traditionally the husband would go to work and the wife would stay at home. Things are different now and often both partners will work. In the UK I feel it is similar, my parents worked and stayed at home at different times. I am so lucky because they were always there for me and often found ways to work from home so now we are a very close family. In my own marriage, I wouldn’t expect my Hubby to pay for me, and I’m sure he would feel awkward if I paid for everything. We have quite a nice balance at this moment.
A friend of mine is moving to the Middle East in a few months. She is moving due to her husband’s job. I know she will miss her job, but for her, this move is the right decision. I respect it and am excited for her (she is literally moving into a palace). However, I will keep working. I feel like women have to choose. If you are married, should you suddenly become more domesticated? Or if you go for after work drinks are you somehow neglecting your husband. I went for dinner with a local friend this week, and she asked, “When do you need to get home to cook for your husband?”.
My husband is an educated man. I’m sure he can order himself a pizza. I don’t know if this attitude extends outside of Hong Kong. I don’t want to generalise and say it is a Hong Kongese ideal, this is just what I have witnessed. Just because I am married, doesn’t mean I can’t have a life. If I socialise more, I don’t think it will affect my marriage. Similarly, just because I am married, it doesn’t mean that I will not perform as well in my job. If our situation changed one of us may need to rely on the other but for now I am happy to share our expenses and go to work.
In Hong Kong, particularly in the media, it seems that it’s encouraged for women to rely solely on the man (See TVB’s Tiger Mum Blues). There is a term “Gong Loy” (Kong Girl), to refer to this kind of woman. In Britain, this is surely frowned upon, and the term gold-digger or rinser may be used. However, I do believe you should find a partner who can support themselves and support you emotionally. For me, it’s not really about money as I have supported myself since leaving home. I know that not everyone has that choice, however.
I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of staying at home with children. I have always thought that it is something that I want to do or can do. As I have grown up and moved overseas, I may not have that luxury. Both of our families are overseas, and we have less family support that I would like, so at the moment I am not seriously considering having children. Of course it’s in the back of my mind, but it’s not a priority just because I happen to be married. I feel that because I am married people seem to think my own life is over. Of course I want a family, but I also want to study more, travel and maintain my fitness. That may seem selfish but I just want to enjoy being married for a while.
I don’t condemn people who get married and have children shortly after, I think that’s great. At the moment, it’s just not for me. Let me know what you think, and if you encountered this line of questioning!
Thanks for reading!