Year of Dragon to bring baby boom

Mian Ho - Executive Chief Editor, iMoney Magazine

[中文] [Jul 2012 - The Journalist] This is the Year of the Dragon. More than 100,000 babies are expected to be born in Hong Kong. Many journalists become parents, too, but not necessarily because they want "Dragon Babies”. Its only a matter of coincidence.
Mian Ho(left) has two sons, Yik
Tong (3.5 year old) and Yik Hung (8
months old, right).

Four years ago I was pregnant with my first baby and that surprised many of my friends. Maybe journalists are well known for not setting up families.

I worked in Ming Pao for nearly 10 years, reporting the dark side of society. However, a few years ago I start working in a financial magazine and had more control over my work schedule. I got married and decided to have a baby.

Burce Lui, Principal Reporter of Cable TV News

Is it possible to be managing one's work and organizing a family at the same time? Let's see what other journalist parents have to say.

When I interviewed Bruce Lui his daughter was just three weeks old. Her name “Yin-yu" means a lady with talent, strength and virtue. “I hope she will follow the right path and have a sense of responsibility towards society,” said Lui.

Bruce Lui's children Yin-yu.
Two years earlier Lui's first child, a son, was born. “Luckily, my boss made things easier for me. In the past I was stationed in Beijing most of the time, but now I only stay there for two months each year.'

However, with two children, he thinks he needs to devote more time to his family. He will teach in Baptist University from this September and be a freelance special correspondent for Cable TV.

But he promises he will be a full time journalist once more when his children enter primary school. “I was born to be a journalist. Mainland China needs to progress and this depends on the hard work of Chinese people.'

Cheung Man-kit, Reporter of Apple Daily

'Nobody knew Apple Daily offered its employees a three-day post-natal leave!' said Cheung Man-kit, the first daddy-to-be at Apple Daily.

Cheung is the first reporter to apply for
post-natal leave inApple Daily
He was struggling over whether to build the family. “We have been handling too much sad news! When you find a young man suddenly committing suicide you will just not be keen to have children. However, children are lovely too. So we just let it be.”

Not too surprising, His first child is expected in August.

It will not be easy though, “Journalists don't sleep until 2 am, so I can feed my baby at mid-night. But we normally do not get up before 10 am too. But now I've decided to get up earlier, though it's going to be tough.”

But he has reminded himself not to become a monster parent, “I have heard of parents looking for schools for their children even before they were born! They want to send their children to elite schools.”

He thinks journalists are more rational but he seems to have doubts, asking me before hanging up: “It’s okay to send them to an ordinary school, isn't it?

Lisa Hui, Principal Reporter of Cable TV News
“When I watched the news, I really wanted to
take my 10 day old baby to the vigil! ” Lisa Hui said.

Hui's husband Law Chun-bong works for Phoenix TV News. They have recently got
their “Dragon Girl”.

She covers the June fourth candle vigil every year but this year she had to give it a miss as she had just given birth. “When I watched the news, I really wanted to take my 10 day old baby to the vigil!'

She said in her team there were two mothers, one decided to quit her job and become a full time parent while the other stayed on, but insists on going home on time to take care of her children.

“'For me, I will just see how it goes,” Hui said.

Lau Chung-yeung, deputy chief editor of Ming Pao

In the past 18 years Lau had been working more than 12 hours a day. However, he would like to make a change to welcome his little son, who was born in May this year.

Lau's wife, Gloria, is also working long hours every day at Ming Pao. Lau believes he has to make some adjustments. “No matter what time I start work I knock off late, so I am going to start work a bit later.”

A hard working boss decides to relax a bit. Maybe this is a good news for his colleagues?

Chan Hoi-yan, Assignment Editor of now TV News.

Chan Hoi-yan with husband Ivan Yau
and their two children.
Chan's elder son is three years old. She was in a hurry for a second child. “I will turn 35 in November, too old to be pregnant again.”

While others think the long working hours for a journalist is not good for parenting, Chan thinks the opposite. “Flexible working hours are perfect for me!” she said.

Her bosses made it work. While she was pregnant, she was allowed to write and edit stories at home. After the birth of her son she was allowed to extract breast milk in a room or an editing room during working hours. She was also permitted to send her son to school before showing up at the office. “Irregular working hours has its good side, too. So I have never thought of switching to another career!”

Table: Baby Boom in 2010, the Year of Dragon
Year          Number of Baby Born
2006          65,232
2007          70,445
2008          78,786
2009          82,953
2010          88,232
2011          95,387
2012          101,700#

Source: Immigration Department
#: Immigration Department projections
The last time when more than 100,000 babies born in Hong Kong was 1965


Mian Ho(left) has two sons, Yik Tong (3.5 year old) and Yik Hung (8 months old, right).

Cheung is the first reporter to apply for post-natal leave in Apple Daily.

Bruce Lui's children Yin-kwan and Yin-yu.

Chan Hoi-yan with husband Ivan Yau and their two children.