[Pic Credit: Google / blogcdn.com]
Because him and I are often guilty of ‘thinking too much’, we recently spoke about the issue of kids (in the future) despite not even getting our flat or signing wedding papers yet. Strangely enough, I had come to the conclusion that we would need half a million dollars before having a kid would be something I want to consider.
He was quick to pooh-pooh the idea of half a mil. If half a mil is a prerequisite, no one would have kids.
I guess I was just thinking about expensive pre-schools, costly after-school enrichment lessons, additional tuition, and the best and the finest ANYTHING that any kid can possibly want or have. And of course, the minimum of three holidays a year that I still want to enjoy. Oops.
Our government isn’t helping. Those ads at the MRT station about fertility and all are a tad insulting, and frankly, pressurizing. While I’m calculating how much it’ll cost to have a kid, I don’t like the idea of a government trying to help me estimate how many eggs I supposedly have left.
I had a nice catch-up session with a blogger pal on Wednesday and since she has a 7-year-old kid, I thought the question should be posed to her – “How much does it cost to have a kid?”
She said that for having a baby, and picking a private hospital instead of KK Hospital, it’d probably take slightly less than S$10,000 in Medisave and perhaps just S$400 out of pocket like she did. Her friends chose KK and they had to pay significantly less.
So, ok, I take back my words. Half a million dollars is not needed for having a kid.
I do want to ensure that the environment my kid is born into is a comfortable yet challenging one; he/she should have all the resources required to develop any innate abilities and ‘gifts’, yet not become overly ‘soft’ and needy.
If the kid has musical talent (which I don’t), I hope to get the best teacher and the best school for my kid. But I’d still want my kid to plan his/her own timetable, select the preferred classes, and work really, really hard at developing whatever talent there is.
As for mainstream education, I hope I don’t turn out to be like those parents who DEMAND that their child goes to the top schools (But every school a good school? What nonsense. We just agree publicly and laugh privately), scores top grades, and makes the family proud.
I know that this kid can easily say “I didn’t ask to be born. Why are you asking so much of me? Did I tell you to bring me to this earth?!”
Any parent who expects more of the child, beyond that he/she grows up happy and healthy, is ultimately being selfish.
There are some who expect their kids to be lawyers, doctors and accountants, just like everyone else in the family.
There are those who think that 98/100 is a horrible test score if another kid in the same class scored full marks.
There are also the lot who believe that they have their kid’s future all mapped out. What rubbish! You have your kid’s future all ruined if you force him/her into any particular career of YOUR choice!
I just want to ensure I still have a life after having a kid (if I do indeed have one).
Will I be able to do the same work I enjoy? Will I be able to get my 10 hours of beauty sleep on days when I really need it? Will he be willing to change the diapers, feed the kid, and bathe the baby when I’m just too tired to do any of these?
Will I be pressured into having a male child to take on someone’s surname? (In which case, I’d rather not have any kids and just declare myself not mummy material)
Sometimes I just think I’m not ready for kids. I like kids, don’t get me wrong. If someone else’s kid cries, poo-ed into a diaper or is just being disagreeable, I simply hand the bugger back to the mother. If I am THAT mother, oh no…
And he tends to say that I’ll be ready when it happens… or rather, I have no choice but to be ready even if I’m not. LOL.
Easy for men to say.
They are not the ones who have to decide whether it’s natural birth (which supposedly comes with intense pain) or a C-section (which leaves that scar).
Just do a google image search for caesarean scars and you’ll find images like these:
I don’t think I am ready to be cut open yet I think the C-section is the lesser of two evils when it comes to the level of pain involved. I cannot imagine a baby popping out down south – I’d probably feel like I’m being split into two.
So men who callously say that we’ll be ready when it happens deserve to be stabbed with a fork… multiple times. (I know you are reading this. Watch out, darling). Men just give of their sperm (which they likely wouldn’t miss anyway) BUT women?! Some women give up their careers, their personal lives, their hobbies, their beauty sleep, and more, just for the kid. Of course, there are stay-at-home dads (Bravo, gentlemen!) but they are still in the minority.
And my response to those who like to say “Oh, but a kid will bring you such joy, and complete your life, and the joys of motherhood are nothing like you have ever experienced”…
1) Do women usually look more tired or less tired after the birth of a child?
2) Do women generally have more or less confidence about their body and self-image before or after the birth of a child?
3) Do women tend to have more time for themselves before or after having a child?
4) Do women often experience more success at work before or after having a child?
5) Are stress levels higher before or after having a child?
I’m sure you know what I am driving at. ;)
I’m not so certain about a child “completing” my life or (future) marriage. I’ll be happy if it doesn’t wreck it. My life is ‘complete’ as it is.
So there is no straightforward Yes or No answer to whether I’ll have a kid in future (assuming we are both perfectly capable of producing offspring).
Baby? Maybe. Just maybe.