There is a trend of couples going child-free, as Kirsten Han aptly put it.
Among my married friends, there are those with kids (like it or not), those who can’t even if they tried, and a small but growing group of those who deliberately choose not to have kids.
Singapore isn’t kind to the latter two groups. After listening to friends in the third group on why they chose a child-free life, this is a summary of what they shared:
Why bother having kids when a child-free life is much easier? You can even save hundreds of thousands of dollars per child to put in your travel or retirement fund.
It’s not easy wanting to have kids here when you witness the tough life your friends go through as clueless parents, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie as the gold standard to follow.
All those sleepless nights, dirty mornings, shit and piss everywhere, the horror at seeing your childcare and milk powder costs, and not to mention a harder time focusing on your career.
Then comes the stress of keeping up with the Lees and Tans, to go independent or public, tuition or enrichment class, ‘duhs’ and ‘whatevas’, teenage pregnancies, delinquencies and elopings.
You definitely shouldn’t have kids in Singapore if you hope it’ll save your marriage/relationship (chances are it’ll pull both of you apart), hate slobbery hyperactive monsters, love your monthly holidays and branded stuff, want to rise to the top with minimal distractions, and have the freedom to do whatever you like, whenever.
Who cares about the money the government throws at you? It can’t even pay beyond the first year of expenses, not to mention if you quit your job and stay at home, you lose your working mum perks.
It’s not financially worth it to have kids, and all that time you could have spent on yourself, goes towards preventing them from dying of malnutrition or teaching them not to be spoilt pampered brats.
There are so many reasons why it’s not worth it to have kids in Singapore, and I feel it really is an individual choice whether to have kids or not.
It can be difficult declaring a child-free life choice especially since having a child is like accomplishing the sixth C in Singapore (for the benefit of foreign readers, the other 5 Cs are car, cash, condominium, country club membership and credit card).
But the child-free movement is growing, to the chagrin of our family elders and government ministers.
Perhaps I’ll close off with a classic Chinese New Year comeback from a childless husband being grilled by kaypoh relatives.
Aunty: Ah Boy ah, you’ve been married so many years, when are you going to invite me to your firstborn’s baby shower?
Ah Boy: Aunty ah, you’ve been around so many years, when are you going to invite me to your funeral?