Wednesday, August 27, 2008 ;
On Aug 10, we watched the National Day Parade of Singapore over here in Tianjin. And the we also eagerly followed the National Day Rally Speech.
We also were glued to the TV when Tao Li swam, when Feng Tianwei fought so valiantly, and saw Li Jiawei's scribbled word in her palm as they played table tennis against the reigning China champs. We caught all the Olympic matches with Sporeans in them.
We shouted and cheered, even the kids.
We were so happy when they won the silver (team match), and felt the great pity when they lost (Tianwei and Jiawei's respective singles matches), because it was so so close. But we are proud of them.
The Baby Bonus, subsequently unveiled in the Rally brought cheers too. Although I do not get to benefit at all, being a SAHM and also having my kids earlier than this was announced, I have friends like Mary, who managed to get the incentives. Good for them!
What appeals to me most would be the 4 month paid maternity leave. Then comes the $6000 (correct me if i am wrong) in cash gift at the baby's birth.
Next comes the various leaves parents can take, that are all lengthened now. From the childcare leave, to paternal leave, to infantcare leave... those are very useful, since they are unrecorded and still paid, and on top of whatever leave you have.
The rest, huge tax reliefs, childcare subsidies and other helps are not so useful for me, although it'll help some others a lot.
Glad for those with bigger families, because now the baby bonus applies to the 5th child and more. Initially only up to the 4th child.
Ahh, if I had those when ds1 was born, that'd be really useful. He got nothing, being born before the campaign went into full force.
ds2 managed to qualify me for the 3 mth maternity leave and the co-savings account. Because of the govt saving dollar for dollar up to $6000, ds2, who was born at the right time, has a fat savings account. We put in $6000 at once, when he was born, so he has a cool $12k now. Some were used for ds1's preschool expenses, but there should still be lots in there to spare. IF they were studying in Spore that is. We can't use that here.
I found the posters that The Sunday Times (24 Aug) asked various advertising agencies to come up with, very interesting and witty. I like the Michael Phelps one best because it immediately attracts attention.
(i) by Ogilvy and Mather
"have more than 2 children" because "there is great potential in humans". Thomas Edison was the 7th child.
(ii) by DecisionOne
(iii) by Leo Burnett
they said they wanted a humorous take with double meaning.
(iv) The original poster in the 1970s encouraging couples to stop at 2 kids, whether girl or boy because Singapore was getting over populated then. The "not" is added in by the Sunday Times.
supposed to portray "three being a crowd" (no more space in the umbrella for another).
We were kids of the 70s.
Dh said his mom had a ligation after having him, so as to avoid paying $150 delivery fee for the 3rd child and beyond. And also to keep the priority privilege for school registration.
My parents were not affected. It was a coincidence that they had only me and my sis.
They did think of having more but didn't due to other personal reasons. In fact, by the 80s, Singapore realised the "Stop at 2" campaign was over-successful, so the campaign changed to "have 3, if you can afford it". And me and my sis were born in the late 70s to 1980.
(v) by Sunday Times' team
play on the words "bear it". the baby's smile is so adorable.
What do all these mean to us, personally?
We didn't have kids because of the incentives. But it was good to have. I guess we should just be thankful we are having kids now when the govt really needs them, so we get rewarded.
Imagine, my mil tells me about the time when she gave birth to dh's brother and sister. She had to take pills to stop breastmilk production just so she can quickly go back to work. She told me she felt they could have messed up her hormonal system and that was why she had breast cancer some years back. It is in remission now. She talked about the awful engorgement and the pain, but there was no choice. They only had 4 weeks maternity leave then. And she even went back to work earlier than that because they urgently needed her back. She worked in a hotel then.
Dh was much more fortunate. He was born when my mil had finally quit her job because it was just too difficult to raise the kids and work. Her job was very demanding then.
My mom had always been a SAHM, so she wasn't affected by the govt policies then.
For us, we wanted to have 4 kids before we had any. After having ds1, it was still agreed, 4 is good. After we had ds2 and then began this moving around... we are thinking 4 is too many. And as we are moving around, we are getting older. Kids require a lot of energy. I am tempted to try again.. I know children are God's blessing and I would still love the child if it were a boy again but I am just afraid I cannot cope if it is yet again a boy!
So, until I can get over the exhaustion of running, jumping and caring for these 2 boys, we'll not be taking further steps yet. Furthermore, we are in an unfamiliar land yet again and I do not know where and how I should deliver another baby here. Not having family here for additional support is also a disadvantage.
We'll see. If there are news, I will definitely post about it. :-)
rainbows every day, do not worry for the morrow