lundi, janvier 24, 2011

The birth rates

The latest statistics are out.

The birth rate of Singapore stands at 1.16, lowest in Singapore history.

The birth rate of France increases from the year before and stands at 2.02.

Read here
and here

I contributed to France in 2009 and 2010. If we were in Singapore, would I have 2 kids by now? This is a tough question. Singapore is indeed more competitive (leading to more work stress and less family time?) but my mum who is in Singapore is so readily to help take care of the kids. For sure, we would have 1 kid.

Some reasons cited by Singaporeans for not wanting kids or just having a kid are valid reasons for us too. Seb and I work, we have no family living near us, we can't afford a live-in maid (there's min wages in France and it's about 8€ per hour; go do your maths). To give our best to our kids, it is hard but possible for us; just like many other french parents out there. We have a nanny to take care of the 2 boys at home while we are at work. We organise our outings and time mangement according to the needs of our children. We are both very tired since a few months but we are satisfied as we are involved 100% in our kids' lives. We see them everyday. We feed them and put them to sleep ourselves. Baby A2 is sleeping thru' most nights. It will only get better.

For the mentality of Singaporeans to change, they should not look at child rearing as a chore. I said that because a few of my Singaporeans friends and relatives and even my mum commented that it must be really hard for me to take care of my young children alone without help. With so much consolation from them, I started to doubt my capability and felt stress up the first 2 weeks with my children alone. But soon, I realised that it was not that difficult at all. It was a joy doing nothing and just taking care of their needs, watching them play and pass the day happily. Housework can be done later when they sleep, nap. Having a dryer (I hate to hang clothes and over here, it is not allowed), dish washer ease my task. Having a hands-on father is an extra!

I am looking forward to spring so that I can bring the kids to the park more often. Toddler A1 has unlimited energy and baby A2 is starting to be curious to his surroundings.

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