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Mrs Josephine Teo: “Don’t wait till it’s too late”

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"Ultimately it is a decision for you to make. But please remember, like it or not, your biological clock is ticking"

A letter to Singaporeans:

Senior Minister of State Josephine Teo shares the story of her family in a recent FB post. It's not just any other ordinary post, but within her story, lies a lesson. A lesson of family planning and realisation in which Singaporeans can benefit and learn from.

She reminisced about a conversation she had with her husband about 15 years ago, where they had spoken about how their lives revolved around their son, from the day he was born. It was during the time that she was expecting her twins as well, and both were excited, but expressed concerns over how they would be able to cope.

Mrs Teo also remembers telling her husband how satisfied they were with their lives prior to having kids and that they may never have “experienced the joys of parenthood” due to the different aspects of their lives being fulfilled. To put it simply, she says, “we did not need children to feel the fullness of life”.

They could have deferred parenthood as “it would have been easier to chase the next overseas posting or try and get a sponsorship for further studies”.

She then brings up the fact that in 2014, the median age for Singaporeans to have a first child was at 30.3 years, an age higher than the median of 29.2 years in 2004.

It is also mentioned that “the proportion of couples who have never had children by the time their wives are in their 40s has also risen from 7% to 11% from 2004 to 2014. Some are childless by choice, but we know from a past survey that around 96% of married couples intend to have kids”.

In the later part of the post, she writes about how she knew of a couple who got married in their late 20s, and thought that “time was on their side and that having a baby would be easy”. They had only managed to conceive after “five and a half years of marriage and hard work”.

“Housing & Development Board (HDB) is already helping young couples set up their homes early. Those planning to get married can buy a flat under the fiancé-fiancée scheme. Housing grants are available to offset some costs for both new and resale flats. Last August, we also raised the income ceiling for couples buying Build-To-Order Flats and Executive Condominiums by $2,000 each - to $12,000 and $14,000 respectively.”

Read the full post here.

Image credits: Facebook

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