I am generally a quiet and reserved person, preferring moments of solitude more than anything else. So, it has never crossed my mind, nor Meow’s to have more than two children. However, since having my first, I am struck with the thought of managing a more boisterous household, one where it might be difficult to find the kind of peace and quiet I crave. Let me share why.
Having at most two children was not a difficult decision for us. Meow who hailed from China saw the detrimental effects of the one child policy on the character development of the single child. Two, was necessary to provide companionship and to encourage a more wholesome character development. The decision to have a third child was firstly to try our luck at having a girl and secondly, as both Meow and I have two other siblings each, it didn’t seem all that much to have another one join the family.
I envisioned the world in which my children will grow up in to make up of small nuclear families. I wanted to give them something more – the gift of kinship and togetherness. Of course, you can argue that you can provide that with just two kids, but there is always strength in numbers. My hope is that they will meet up regularly with their siblings and family in future and make beautiful memories as a family.
It has never crossed my mind that I might not provide enough financially for them. It is not that I don’t plan ahead. On the contrary, I am quite the strategist in the household. However, my blue collar dad and humble secretary mum raised the three of us up with no issue of not being able to meet our needs . In fact, we still went for yearly holidays, of course it was to neighbouring countries back then. But I didn’t felt less privileged nor shortchanged as a result of having more mouths to feed.
I applaud the government’s efforts to stem up efforts to raise the birth rate in Singapore. Perhaps many felt that the one time payout is not enough and will certainly not entice couples to have children. I do agree that a one time cash outlay is definitely not going to encourage the barren to reproduce. Ultimately, I think it is the state of mind that we need to correct. To let people see the benefits of having a family. And this doesn’t stop at just your family. It is necessary to view the society as a whole as a family, so that you feel you belong here.
To those who plan to have more but restricted in resources, more efforts need to be in place to provide consistent support. The move to heavily subsidize childcare was a great one, which I hope the government can extend to more households in future. We generally need support in the children’s early years, before they enter primary school, where infant and childcare fees, not to mention medical bills are exorbitant. A yearly payout for children before the age of seven would be great to help offset some of these costs.
So, with all these in place, would I consider a fourth? Meow and I are quite certain we want to stop at three now. Personally, I am quite fearful of having more as age is catching up. I do not wish to have any more kids beyond 35. We will maintain status quo for now. Perhaps, when we are game enough ……..
Image credit: Google
Are you like us too?