The following is a comment left on TOC by one of our readers, Leong Loo Ping, on the new incentives for babies, in the article, “National Day Rally – some questions”. We highlight it here without edit.
We are excited over the baby incentives. In fact we were at Gleneagles Hospital on 18-08-08 as I was due with my 4th baby. We prayed hard that my baby would be delivered earlier so that we were not miss PM’s speech.
God’s Grace and my 4th baby was born at 5.18pm and I was back to the maternity ward at 7.30pm just on time to catch PM’s speech.
The improvement made were attractive but we were disappointed that the effective date will be 01-01-09 and there was nothing planned for the father.
However, we are delighted that the effective date was brought forward to 17-08-08 and our 4th baby is also able to receive the baby incentives. Many of our friends actually already joking that we are so “responsive” to Government calling for more babies. We actually loves children and not mind having 4 children.
Please help us to extend our appreciatin and thanks to the government.
Our feedback is that the government should grant the father some Paternity Leave or at least 1st 2 weeks from baby delivery date. The father plays a very important part during the 1st few weeks. Like my husband, he only has 2 days Paternity Leave which is not enough. During the 1st weeks, he needs to take care of me, the baby, my other 3 children which are at 6 yrs, 3yrs and 2 yrs. He needs to fetch them to child care, go to work, go marketing, come home and cook for me and the children. Despite we have a maid and my mom helping during daytime, we take care of all our children ourselves onces we are not working.
He also not only helping me to change baby’s diaper, he take turns to make milk and feed our baby during midnight with me, he bath the baby and the children too
Imagine how tire it is and need at least 2 weeks for the father to get himself pumped up before he gets back to work. Especially my husband is working in the construction site and not office kind of work.
As for the mother, I personnally think that its difficult to clear the balance 4 weeks. Even the employer not mind, we also feel uneasy to take the leave if the work schedule is busy. Like myself, when now I am taking my maternity leave, my work is to be covered by another manager, He himself already have many projects and got to take up mind. (I am a Project Manager with a residential developer). I can only take 10 weeks at moment as one of my project will be completing soon by Oct 08. The other 2 weeks will have to clear by Feb 09 which I am cracking my mind how to clear once we start our busy work schedule.
Anyway, we just wish to feedback our views. We still thankful for the Government’s incentives despite we having children not because of the baby incentives. The most attractive incentives to us are the baby bonus, CDA accounts which we are using for our children child care fees and the tax rebates which my husband and me are using to deduct our yearly income tax.