I can probably make a list of 1000 things that make being a parent in this part of the world a little more of a challenge and… boring? However, I have condensed the list to my top six reasons.
- Lack of professional health care system: As a mother every time my little one is not well I stress so much before taking him to the hospital or a doctor. There have been nights where his father and I have been to three different hospitals only to come home with no result. You can never trust the hospitals, doctors and the treatment you receive. I even question the medication he is given because simply put- there is no care (or hygiene). In fact, the entire journey of bringing a child into this world is made a nightmare because of the health care system (from your first appointments to the gynecologists where you are being examined in the presence of three other strange patients in the room with you, to the time you husband is not allowed to come in when you give birth to the actual birth process where you are treated like…. a piece of metal).
- Horrible childcares: Sorry, I could not have put it in any betters terms. I am one of those mothers who resigned from a job I loved and put my career life on pause only because there isn’t a single childcare that I can put my child in with my mind at peace. My friends have all told me stories of what-so-called the ‘best’ private childcares here (where you happen to pay half of your salary) there are no professionally trained staff, and your child is always ill, beaten by other kids, or not fed well. The alternative is to fill your home with surveillance cameras and get a maid from Bangladesh to look after your baby while you work.
- Difficulty of … going for a walk: I remember we invested in a good pram when baby was born, thinking for the next few years I will always be out and about, and hence needed something durable. I think till now I have only used the pram three or four times. If you go for a walk the chances are there is no path for you to go on and with the reckless driving, you would have to think twice before you put your baby on the roads of this city. It’s crazy! Have you tried crossing from one side of Gulan Street to the other, in order to get into Park Sami Abul Rahman? Well, don’t try it!
- Lack of places to visit: There have been many days where I just wonder where I can go with my three month old. Literally, I brainstorm the places in my head, and then cross them out one by one. Try sitting at a café or the food court in family mall; Forget SIDS your baby will die of the oxygen he or she will breathe in as a result of people smoking. Because lets face it, even an adult’s respiratory system can’t it.
- Lack of classes and activities for mothers: There are no public parent groups, activities, classes, or trainings. Not for mothers, not for fathers and definitely nothing for baby. I would love to go somewhere to teach baby to swim, play games, activities etc. It concerns me where he will play and how he will enjoy his time when he is a little older too. I can’t even think of a nice library to take him to borrow, or even buy, children’s books.
- Lack of support: There is no support in terms of a mother’s group, or even breastfeeding helplines. Sometimes you just need the guidance of someone professional to help you in the beginning when you start to look after your newborn. Often you need appropriate advice or even helplines you can call to ask about where you to do the vaccinations, how to process baby’s legal documents etc.