Wrote this post in my FB notes on 17 Jan 2014.
I have these thoughts after I saw Get Real’s photo.
Sometimes it is true that you have more when you have less (children).
It’s what you want in life. As long as it is a happy family. That’s what they thought.
For me, it’s what I want for my children.
I can sacrifice to have less. Less bags, less watches, less clothes, less accessories, less facials, less massages… Just cut down on my own spending.
But, I would not want less for my children, if possible. I want to give them the best nutrition, best education, best training and a comfortable lifestyle. I don’t want having a shelter but having them squeeze together. I don’t want bringing them taking bus and worry that one of them does not get on the bus.
Having a comfortable lifestyle can be happy too. But, earning less than $3k a month with a non working wife and 5 children may not be happy. Yes. Happy as a family. But what about the times when couples quarrel over money? Are the children having adequate nutrition?
Is S$900 a month really sufficient for a family of 7? What about the couple’s aging parents? Anyone taking care of them?
What if your child is interested in photography and wants a $2k DSLR camera? How can you afford that?
What if your child is good at playing piano and hopes to have one for home practice? How can you afford one?
What if your child has talent in ballet and needs to be sent to a good school for training? How can you afford this?
Children may not understand and may keep asking you for it as others can have it, why can’t they?
Some couples do not want children as they do not want to compromise on their luxurious lifestyle and they go on holidays, drive a superb car and live in a condominium and buy properties.
Some couples have 1 child as they want to lead a good lifestyle and bring their child for holidays, drive a luxury car, live in a condominium and still buy properties.
Some couples stop at 2 as they have fulfilled their Singaporean duty and they lead a comfortable lifestyle and bring their children for holidays and drive a MPV.
Some couples go for 3 as they want another one and still live comfortably.
Some have 4 children but that’s normally the maximum.
Some may have more but they are normally doctors or businessman.
Many would have disagree with me. Yes, It’s what you want in life and how you live it. Yes, it’s still possible to survive and live simply. Yes, there are many examples of happy families with low income but big family.
Are they really happy behind closed doors? Are they really happy when they are trying to make ends meet with $900 a month for a family of 7? $9k a month for a family of 7 will already kept many of us thinking.
As even if one earns $3k a month, he may be able to support a non working wife and 5 children with their basic needs and maybe a basic medishield plan. But can he afford a life and an endowment insurance policy for them? Can he afford a full coverage medical insurance policy for himself and his wife? I think medical insurance is very important when one is poor but many do not realise.
Do you really want more children?
I would want at least 2.
And I support to have more if you can afford.
But if you can’t, please use birth control.
If you can’t even afford to take care of all the needs of your family, can you still take care of your aging parents? If you can’t afford to save for your old age, who take care of you if your children can only afford to take care of their own families?
For the children, please think twice when you are asking your parents for big ticket items. A few thousands may not be a lot but it can means many proper meals or a decent insurance policy for you.
I’m not asking for a luxurious lifestyle but a comfortable one. Meaning not to worry about housing loan debt or electricity and water bills or any other bills. Having enough food, clothing and still have some for savings.
So, do you want to have more children?
I know there will definitely be people who disagree with me. Having more (I’m not referring to children) doesn’t mean you are happy. But insufficient can lead to unhappiness at times.
The parents may be happy, living simply and trying hard to make ends meet. But the children may not be happy. Sometimes, the children’s wish is so simple to many others but not the parents.
Be a responsible parent.