The cub’s birthday celebrations are over and I can heave a big sigh of relief! Call me pantang (aka superstitious) but after our car accident last year before cub’s birthday celebration, I try to be more cautious and hardly mention about it in front of him this year.
Without emails to respond to and party preps to see to during lunch hour, I had time to read through the news while having lunch today. So we have a new lady MP from an opposition party! I am hardly surprised with the results. The demographics of Punggol East are mostly made up from people of my generation and of family units similar to mine.
The people around my age have accumulated sufficient life experience (I wouldn’t say a wealth of experience cos that probably describes my parents and grandparents more.) We have gone through the education system, the housing system and chalked up some many hours of taking public transport over the last two to three decades. Plus, I now have two kids which gives me some credit to comment on the enhanced incentives to encourage couples to have (more) kids too.
Well, I hate to be a wet blanket but those incentives are not going to make those figures jump. Seriously, the bonuses are really nothing much of an incentive. Hospital bills, infant/child care, milk powder and diapers – just the necessities will wipe these money out in no time!
A car may not be a necessity but have you tried bringing out a baby/toddler out taking the mrt or bus? The thought of having to jostle with peak hour crowds on my own is intimidating and overwhelming. Not to mention when I was pregnant or bringing the kid(s) out. I wouldn’t say it’s impossible ‘cos I’m sure there are parents out there who can do it but it’s extremely challenging to bring young kids, the things they require and a stroller out. Heck, just waiting to use the lift in malls is hard enough! I have NO IDEA why some people who are able-bodied, not carrying any heavy stuff, looking not as if he/she is going to faint would want to wait for the lift and not take the escalator for a couple of levels. Isn’t that much faster?!! This bugs me to no end.
Anyway, my point is..families with young kids or grandparents who may not be as mobile need cars! The transportation infrastructure is not friendly enough and the sky-high COE costs are not very helpful here.
Don’t get me started on the housing. Here I am, into my 7th year of marriage and after two kids, I’m waiting for my first place to be ready. It’s not a BTO because we didn’t have much luck with the balloting at places we wanted. Yes, you can say we’re picky but it’s a home we are talking about here. And it’s not cheap. Of course, I have to be picky!
The education system is great here but it’s getting too competitive. I hate to be one of those kiasu moms but all parents want the best for their kids! It’s a vicious cycle. We don’t know how to teach what’s being taught in school and have to send our kids to enrichment/tuition classes. In the end, we have to compromise on family bonding time.
I love Singapore and am proud to be a Singaporean. I like our efficiency and comparatively low crime rate. I may like the countries I travel to but I still prefer Singapore to be my home. There are however, real pressing issues to look into. We are lucky we have great family support to help us with the kids, transportation and housing woes. Otherwise, I would probably not have kids or just have one. Call me spoiled but raising and educating kids are really not easy!