Saturday, May 15, 2010

What are your reasons for having kids?

** "BIAS" is a special feature in my blog where I get to say whatever I want with scant regards for your feelings. I'm not politically correct in this feature, so go ahead, judge me."

I was talking to a few people about the cost of rearing a kid in Singapore. It dawned on me that there are so much responsibilities and duties, not to mention the financial cost, associated with bringing up a kid. That makes it strange because when I (casually) ask people why they want a kid, the most common answer is that it's the most natural thing to do. It's almost like no second thought is needed. Just snap your fingers, let's have a kid.

Not that it's not a valid reason, of course. It's just that if my kid is suffering in the world and he asks me why did I bring him here to suffer, I better have a proper explanation for it. I can't just say that it's the natural thing to do after getting married. Having said that, I think some people better not have kids, despite whatever the government is trying to promote here. Have a kid so as to have some months of paid leave? Have a kid to reduce your taxes? C'mon, it's not as simple as just a money problem, even though it can form a big part of the stress faced by parents.

It's not always so romantically happy in having a kid

I think the biggest problem is time and effort. Some people just do not want to spend the necessary time and effort to raise a kid. They just throw money at them, perhaps to replace their guilt or simply their lack of interest in having a kid in the first place. I might even think they regret the whole thing. Hey, if you are going to screw up your own life, don't screw up an innocent life.

Is my generation the selfish lot?  The generation who only cares about self-interest and throw away all the goodness of family life? I do not think so. I do not speak for others, but at least for me, I think I couldn't be more self-less. If I cannot make sure I can do my best to bring up a kid that will make the world a better place than without, I would rather not have a kid. If you went through the system while growing up and suffers through it, would you want your kids to go through the same routine? I have my reservations on that.

Having said so much, do I like kids? Yes, I do. Would I want children? Yes, I do. But it is not a light decision to make, nor will I make it a hasty one. No amount of tax rebates nor months of paid leave can push me to have a kid. Do you really want parents who would have more kids to have such incentives? If you can make the environment and social institutions more friendly towards parents, then perhaps it can push me and others to have more kids. Until then, I'm sorry, I really do not think all the campaign will work well. The pull factors are just simply not attractive enough.


As an afterthought, what about push factors? Pay triple the tax if there's no kid in the family? No buying of subsidized housing? When all the nice candies do not work, maybe the pushing and shoving just might. I hope I do not live long enough to see such acts here.


Createwealth8888 said...

What will you do if you accidentally make one?

qinzheng said...

personally i also share the same thoughts as you, and i really do not wish to have kids! y want to let them suffer the things that we have gone through?

Royston said...

Hey LP,

I think that thinking kids come to this world to suffer is just too negative...i'm sure we all have our fair share of problems and such. Kids today also face alot of stress and pressure. But, i'm sure amidst all these pressure, problems, etc...there are many kids who find pleasure and meaning in their lives.

As a young father myself, its satisfying to see your kid grow day by day...and learning new things everyday. Its by no means an easy task to take care of a child...and you'll just have to ask yourself if you can commit to such a responsibility. But i can assure you its a highly rewarding process if you do decide to commit one day. ;)

CreateWealth8888 said...

Do you need a family or you just need a life partner?

If both couple agree to be each other life partner instead of having a family, then there is no need to be legally married.

or be a married couple to get HDB grant?

AK71 said...

CW is right. Marriage is for the children. It gives them legitimacy.

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

What happens if I accidentally make one? If it's now, I would have kept it since I'm more or less ready for a kid. If it's when I'm much younger, I might have it aborted.

This is to reply AK and bro8888 - I do not think marriage is for the kids only. I want to give my wife legitimacy too. More importantly, I wanted to have the experience of holding a marriage with someone I love.

And yes, marriage is also for the hdb grant.

la papillion said...

Hi qinzheng and royston,

Hmm, I'm not THAT pessimistic. I'm just saying that having a kid needs to be thought out carefully. I would not want to have a kid where the sole reason is that it's natural.

I do want to experience parenthood. But until I'm sure I'm responsible enough and ready to commit, I would not do it.

And Royston, thanks for sharing your thoughts on your parenthood :) I believe you it's a rewarding process :)

CreateWealth8888 said...

There is not much time left to think over whether you want or not as age is catching up. Couple can't never be sure whether can produce baby or not.

la papillion said...

Hey bro8888,

Ya, I heard of that. But I would rather not have any than to rush through the decision. It's only fair for the kid.

I've to get used to each other's routine in a new home for 1-2 yrs first, then will try for a baby. If we're ready by then and we can't, then so be it. This way is better than have a baby first, then realise we can't handle it.

Dou said...

If everyone thinks of not having child. Humankind will be wiped in just less than 50 years.

To continue the survival of that a good enough reason to have kids? haha

Dun mind my crap!!!

CreateWealth8888 said...

You said: "If you went through the system while growing up and suffers through it, would you want your kids to go through the same routine? I have my reservations on that."

I believe the key point is that you felt too strongly that life is suffering and want to discontinue it. Sometime you wish that you rather not born into this world.

May be it is time for you to turn to teaching of Christ or Buddha to seek your answer to the meaning of suffering.

CreateWealth8888 said...

You said: "If you went through the system while growing up and suffers through it, would you want your kids to go through the same routine? I have my reservations on that."

I believe the key point is that you felt too strongly that life is suffering and want to discontinue it. Sometime you wish that you rather not born into this world.

May be it is time for you to turn to teaching of Christ or Buddha to seek your answer to the meaning of suffering.

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

Haha, while it seems I might sound suicidal and depressive in writing, the truth is that I'm very much pro-life :) Between jade and me, I think I'm the one who has to push for kids (she does not like them). It's true that sometimes I wonder why I'm born into this world but I am not a 'what-if' kind of person. I do live life as it is given to me and try to make the best out of it.

What I'm trying to convey in the post is that having children is a heavy responsibility and should not be treated lightly. I've seen people who treated it lightly and hence regretted since. I've seen people screwing up the lives of their children too. I do not want to be such parents. Hence, a great amount of thought and consideration has to be done before having a kid. Do I have the means to support them? More imptly, do I have the attitude, commitment and responsibility to take care of them?

Until I do, no way am I having a kid. The consequences is far to heavy to 'Just do it'.

mm said...


Nobody is EVER ready to be a father, or mother.

But everyone can be a father or mother. But it takes a special person to be a DAD or a MUM.

It took us 5 yrs to decide if we wanted to have one. Finally had one because of my mum. I must say its the single best decision we have ever made in both our lives.

The boy brings me joy everyday. Its like being a child again when you have kids. You grow with them and figure things out along the way together.

Its like seeing a "little you" again. Some1 you want to hold in your arms and cherish when they are young. Someone you can guide and transform into a responsible and kind child and adult when he/she grows up.

I must also add that having a kid really improved the bond between my wife and I, not that we weren't close before that. But having a kid takes it to a whole new level.

Of course there are screwed up parents, don't get me wrong. I also know of male relatives who screwed around after they had kids, resulting in the kid not having a father to grow up with. :(

The joy of having kids cannot ever be explained on text or to a person who don't have any, it can only be experienced. :)

I have a friend who has a MBA and double masters but has been sitting nicely at home taking care of her two princesses cos' she said that was the best decision for her.

Its never the money. Ppe. worry too much. If you want the vacation every year, the ten thousand types of crap tuition like I can read, I can math or whatever I also can, then it can get REALLY expensive.... But do kids really need those? Or are the parents throwing money to hide their insecurities?

Too much ramblings on a lazy Sunday evening.

Musicwhiz said...

I'll keep it simple. Have kids - they make a very great (and positive) difference to your life!

I agree with MM - it's not about the money. Having kids is more than just money - it's commitment and time; but comes packaged with joy and laughter, happiness and fun too!

Just my views.


la papillion said...

Hi mm and mw,

Thanks for sharing your experiences with fatherhood with me :) I think I must look at more positive examples..been seeing all the bad cases of parenthood lately, so maybe that's why I'm getting worried.

I guess I just have to trust that everything will turn out fine :)

Anonymous said...

Should the mentioned Push factors be implemented, sporeans might just migrate.

la papillion said...

Hi anonymous,

Those who can already migrated. There are always people who wish to migrate but cannot do so.

Mei said...

I know this is an old post but came across it and found it interesting.

I too, want to have kids but I am neither married or attached.

So, hmm.. what's my reasons? I would love to experience being a parent. But having said that, I'll only bring a child into the world after knowing I can provide sufficiently (in my own terms) for it.

The grants, tax incentive etc. are just perks coz the "costs" may just outweigh these freebies.

la papillion said...

Hi Mei,

Haha, I think it's every responsible parent to think of having a child only when he/she is ready emotionally and financially :) You are not alone!

Have you considered adoption? I know of a lecturer who is neither married nor attached, heterosexual, but prefers to have an adopted kid. She's not from singapore though, she's from France. She practically saved the baby from having a crueler life than if she had been born where she is.