Yes. It takes a whole lot of time, commitment and some finance to have babies and raise children. Perhaps for some, it takes a whole village to raise a family!
|Image extracted from http://www.straitstimes.com/breaking-news/singapore/story/bigger-baby-bonus-and-medisave-grants-under-marriage-and-parenthood-me|
Having children is ultimately, a very personal decision between man and wife. When I got married at 25, having children were not in my cards. Somehow, after a year or two living together in our tiny 3 room flat, there was a need to complete our marriage - have a baby! There was no "reward" to entice us in making the decision to have a child. Isn't it supposed to be a natural want when you decide to be married?
I don't remember it being a difficult decision to make with my husband to have a child. We've always had the mindset of "crossing the bridge when we get to it". We took challenges in our stride and thankfully, we have been able to cross the many hurdles that we faced together to raise our family.
|My daughter came along in 2002. We "enjoyed" the very first baby bonus scheme given by the government. Minimal, if compared to what is given to the younger families these days.|
There's no denial that it will be tough on the financial aspects in the beginning with another mouth to feed. However, isn't raising a family about sacrifices? Fortunate are those that are/will be born with a silver spoon. For the middle income family, there will be a need to compromise on our lifestyle. We've always had to think twice (if not 4 times!) between a want and a need. We've stayed positive throughout our parenting journey and knowing that things would only get better (thinking worst would not help), it keeps us moving on with our lives.
All in all, I feel that baby bonuses and increased paternity leave (yay for the daddies - no doubt!) are only temporal. It should not be a factor for couples to plan on having more babies because we are not looking at having "short term kids"!
It would be really great though, if the government would broaden their focus on all families with children below 16 years of age - on the rising costs of education and health. I think this would be more useful and beneficial for all of us than a one time cash outlay.
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