Make babies, not bags
While bags are nice, Singaporeans are beginning to see why babies are worth so much more!
Last year, the government has pushed almost eight hundred and sixty million dollars towards baby budgets, maternity benefits and child-care support. So if couples are being supported financially, why are statistics still showing a low figure of a 9.5% birth rate?
- A stronger emphasis on career – Singaporean women have shifted drastically from being homemakers to becoming extremely career driven individuals. They earn larger incomes and although they are very passionate and highly appreciated at their work place, these women are not interested to start a family. Young men as well are not keen on starting families and would rather invest their time and money elsewhere.
- An increase in living costs – Singapore is not the cheapest place to live. Everything from your basic necessities to luxury items cost more than they do in most other parts of Asia and the world. While the government is willing to support child-care, parents still need time to bond with their children. Earning enough to take care of a family however leaves them in jobs where free time is limited. Poovani Ezekiel, one of our readers, says parents need to be cautious when they are planning to have more than one child. “It’s not fair for the child to be labeled as ‘needy’ and ‘poor’”, she says.
- A craving for luxury goods – With reference to the last point, clearly status plays a part in society. It is no surprise that Singapore is a city where shopping is an addiction and luxury stores are everywhere. Individuals who are earning look at rewarding themselves with a new addition to their wardrobe or the latest gadget instead of saving for a family.
What we are really looking at –
The reasons above are definitely accurate as to why most modern young couples are reluctant to begin families, however when we conducted a poll today, most of the readers had hopes for or were on their way to producing extremely large families.
Some even had very large families already.
Danila-anuar Hatni-salleh says she wants eight children! She has two girls and three boys and would like to even the numbers out with four of each gender. “My husband insists that we stop at five”, says Danila. Lee Tieng Tieng, Mother of four says “I simply love children”. She claims she will have more if she can afford to.
Babies over Bags
Majority of the parents wanted or already have families of three. If three is the average number of children Singaporeans are looking to having, then the government can rest assured their birth rates and population will soon rise and there will be plenty of little feet running around.
Sure, luxury good and items, higher levels of expenditure and careers are all factors that can deter giving birth to a baby, but there are solutions for all of these. Many companies are looking to start flexi-systems of work where both parents will be able to spend time with their children.
This was implemented in England and there was a significant increase in their countries birth rate. There are problems with this system for individuals who travel and have to attend conferences, however for those who have standard office jobs, this could work well.
As for an increase in living expenses, the government is providing subsidies to parents, and if a certain amount is saved, starting a family is not so difficult. When it comes to luxury goods, this ties back to saving. No pair of shoes or fancy new car will give you the satisfaction you will get from having something you made with your partner. No bag is better than your own baby.
Source – The Straits Times (September 20th, 2011) -Nanny states don’t make babies, loving couples do