Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why they decided to have all six children

Letter published on 23rd March 2011

HERE is my take on coping with work and having children and related incentives. I am a mother who often works 12 hours a day. My job also requires me to travel frequently.

When we had our first three children, my husband and I did not employ a maid as we believed they should not grow up being served hand and foot.

We were overjoyed when the fourth arrived, even though our finances were tight and I had to take no-pay leave because paid maternity leave stopped at the third child then. What was more, we could not use Medisave to defray delivery expenses because access then was limited to three children as well.

The fifth came barely a year later and there was no baby bonus, nor could we use Medisave for the delivery costs.

Five years later, we welcomed our sixth baby. My parents disapproved of our decision to have all our children as it was clear that we were struggling financially. However, we refused to give up any one of our six. We preferred to have all of them than to have that extra holiday or more personal time.

My children do not have tuition or enrichment classes, yet two of them are local undergraduates.

For us, each child is a priceless gift. That is why we should stop seeking more incentives from the Government or blame social pressures for not providing the right environment. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own actions.