Friday, January 25, 2013

Letter to my girl #8 | Born Out of Love, Not Incentives

Dear Lil Pumpkin,

There's a lot of talk now over the government's increased Baby Bonus and perks to encourage people to marry and have more kids. Singapore has a low birthrate - one of the banes of being a developed country and a backfire of one of the government's past campaign to Stop at Two {which I'm sure you will learn more about in school}.

There was a Baby Bonus available before you were born as well. I really am not sure of the details although I think there was S$4,000 plus some other benefits. Mummy wasn't in Singapore then anyway. And another reason I didn't care much was because this isn't why you were conceived and born.

You were born out of love, my darling, not because of some government incentives. 

And I thought I should just state that in case there were doubts. Daddy and I grew up in caring homes and beautiful families. We may not have been the richest, but we were rich with love for all in the family. After Daddy and I got married, we knew that wanted our love to grow and bring more happiness to others {like your grandparents}, so we had you. You completed our marriage and lives, Lil Pumpkin :)

Mummy appreciates the government's effort and help through the bigger Baby Bonus and care package. Bringing up a child is expensive, and every little amount helps. However, monetary help is only temporary, and should not be the reason to push you to have kids of your own. If anything, there should also be more bold investment in areas of family development, pro-family facilities, quality childcare and society's lifestyle values as a whole.

The money will never be enough, and for you to sustain the lifelong commitment of having a kid.... the push must come from somewhere else. And I hope it comes from you living in a happy family, seeing how joyful Mummy and Daddy are as parents, and wanting that for yourself.

Love always, Mummy

Details for the latest revisions to the Marriage and Parenthood package announced on Monday, 21 Jan 2013 can be found here. For non-parents wondering why some of us really love having kids, do check out what other parents around Singapore are saying in my weekly Joys of Parenting blog series.




Aroha @ Colours of Sunset said...

They do that in Australia too. Then the govt complains that people spend the money on TVs, holidays, everything except the baby! Then don't do it? Spend the money elsewhere? There are far too many babies who ARE born for the incentives - usually to young naiive mothers who actually think that's a lot of money but don't realise that would be gone in just weeks!

Tara@HandMeMySanity said...

This is a beautiful post. Unfortunately, Baby Bonuses often lead to people having babies for all the wrong reasons. In my area, so many young girls are having kids on their own purely because of the benefits it gives them.

Always reinforce that your babies were brought into this world purely for love. It is such a precious and important thing to know.

Nathan said...

Wonderful post! Something we should all tell our kids. While the Australian baby bonus has lead some people to making poor decisions, I have no doubt that there are many people that have benefitted from the scheme, after they have made the choice to share their love with another little person.

Cathy said...

Great post although I hope the majority of parents would be like you - having children out of love and because they want to x

Anonymous said...

Yes, well some people do need the money to push them over the edge.

Ai Sakura said...

Aroha: good intentions but definitely a pity when the money is used for the wrong purposes..

Tara: I think it's important for her to know too :) thanks for sharing your insights!

Nathan: yes, there is no denying that Baby Bonus will help those that are in it for the right reasons, but it shouldn't be the only reason.

Anon: Agree it will help in their decision-making, but hopefully they realise it is a lifelong commitment and that money isn't going to last a lifetime.

SengkangBabies said...

I have friends who treat kids as "liability" , loss of financial\time freedom :(

Between, I do not agree the stop-at-two policy is the main culprit for low-birthrate.

Our lifestyles, and more expectations have Upgraded.

cheers, Andy (SengkangBabieS)

~Summer~ said...

This is so sweet, Ai. How i wish everyone feels so too. Apparently the love for kids is not strong enough in our nation. Glad at least we think alike!

Emily said...

A very sweet post - I want to write a similar letter to my third born. However it will be slightly different, because he was a surprise child, eg not expected, but is now adored and much loved. But maybe I shouldn't, and hopefully by the time he is old enough I will have accepted the fact that we have 3 children not the 2 we planned for. I hope this doesn't sound callous, it's just the way it is. xxx

Theresa Mahoney said...

I'm kind of shocked that someone would be encouraged to have a baby for $4000. Um, that 4 grand will be what I need and then some just to feed, clothe and house that baby. I really don't get these incentives.

Then I wonder about if this increases child abuse and neglect. Having the children for money, then later not being able to support them because that $4000 didn't last very long.

Frankly, those incentives are irresponsible to me.

Susan said...

Am in total agreement that the decision to bring a child to this world should be purely motivated out of love. Love between the couple to want to continue their legacy through their child and a love that will continue and flow in their child's life.

Grace said...

I love your little phrase of saying how you aren't the richest parents but you're rich in love and happiness for Lil' Pumpkin.
And yes, money is only temporary.
It's a shame that those driven by a baby bonus don't realise that.

Anonymous said...

I love that post and totally agree. I can't imagine how baby bonus can boost birthcount but apparently it does so who am I to judge.

Veronica @ Mixed Gems said...

I recall the days my parents were penalied living in Singapore with four of us. Interesting how times change as does social policy/social engineering. We've got the baby bonus here too in Oz. It's a fascinating phenomenon.