Why I Chose to Have a Baby

Today is St Valentine's Day so let's start the first reason with something nice.

My child is my personalised gift to my wife

I'm old but not that old. Many of my peers are still going through that lovey-dovey stage of their relationships. Some of them are trying to have kids, some intend to do so in the near future and some of plan not to have kids. 

I'll like to address the last group. If you love your spouse, have a child.

I could die prematurely at work, or through an illness. So could my spouse. So could anyone else or their spouse. A child is the best gift you can leave behind for a loved one. Not those photographs in facebook, not videos, not your expensively renovated love-nest. Not that stained smelly underwear.

Only your child could provide the comfort for the loss of a partner the way no material can.

What if I die too early?

The problem is money. If I die too early, my child will be a financial burden to my spouse. That is the reason why I refuse to indulge in luxury. I refuse to call that air-conditioner a need because it truly isn't. Neither is that car, iphone nor that hotel banquet, home renovation, posh furniture, luxury electronic goods and yearly overseas vacation.

The longer I live, the more confident I am leaving behind enough funds to ensure my child to continue to be a precious legacy gift to my spouse. Contrary to what is commonly believed, I feel that many young couples these days can afford at least 2 children if they are willing to sacrifice just a fraction of what their parents did for them. The next time you dine in that restaurant or attempt to make an order for that cup of KOI bubble tea, think over what you just read. Before that, stop for a minute to think about your parents' struggles. You know their stories best.

A Single Mum's grit

I could never understand why my elder sister refused to give up the custody of her child. She has been struggling in all fronts to keep things going in the face of the ex-husband's harassments. At one stage, she seemed like she had fallen into depression but she managed to pull it through.

The amazing strength that my niece gave her is phenomenal. 

Before this, I ruled out the possibility of having my own child but my sister's ordeal was an inspiration.

Grateful to be alive

I could have been dead even before I was born - a victim of the "Two is enough" campaign of Singapore. Obviously money was an issue back in those days just as in the present. My mum seriously considered aborting me to save some money from being fined upon my birth.

Yet these days, people talk about not just the affordability of raising a child, they talk about the returns of investment in having a child. Oh, but by not giving the best, you are bringing the child into the world to suffer. And you need money to give the best to a child don't you?

Money aside, sometime back two fellows were generous enough to give you life and not expecting anything in return. These folks gave you the best they could, not the best (how do you define that anyway?) If you are grateful enough, let someone else have the chance to be as grateful as you, one day in the future.

A child disciplines her father

I read an article somewhere about a research is done on tons of successful people and they found 'the common secret' behind these people - discipline. Not surprisingly, that stuck out like a sore thumb in my life. I have to admit discipline is one attribute I sorrowfully lack all my life. 

That's not to say I'm going to be a real successful person from now on. How do we define success anyway? Not important for now. We can agree a bit of discipline doesn't hurt. It should make me a better man.

Discipline is hard to instill in anyone at any stage of life and especially so at my age. A child as close to that magic potion as it could get. You can change your mind, sack a boss, dump that goldfish but you can't quit a child. 

Living life again

Have you been stuck in a puzzle or an RPG game at the same stage for weeks and found that when the breakthrough comes, it opens a huge gateway of possibilities and new places to explore? Just when you felt life is monotonous and you have seen it all, a first newborn truly humbles you.

You learn new things at breakneck speed. You forge (or could unfortunately, break) a teamwork with your spouse like never before. Everyday you watch how the baby struggles to control her physical components and learning worldly skills. Their eagerness to improve is contagious. You face work, and the world in another perspective.


By then you realise you are no longer energetic as before. Your body creaks and starts giving you problems in some way or another. You'll be happy to pass on the soul to a new generation while you erode slowly in that miserable shell. You care lesser about your appearance, well being and petty yearnings - experiencing some sort of strange sense of freedom although in reality you are constricted with more responsibilities.

No regrets

You can only experience it. Imagination and words do not work. 

When your infant wail and coo upon your hug
When you feel her helplessness and regard you as her everything
When she gives that unintentional smile
When she gives you that blank stare with her mouth forming an 'O'
When she defecates while you change her nappy just so coincidentally each time
When she finally sleeps peacefully

There are many more to come, many parents will be eager to share. 

Only when you experience these little things, will you realise true satisfaction does not come from work achievements or the accumulation of money. 

If you miss this part of life out, you are missing a big part of life. If living life is about fulfillment, isn't this the greatest return of investment you can do with money?


  1. This is so much better and convincing than all the rubbish MCYS had came out with all these years :)

    1. i dun mind if MCYS hires me leh. Can I be Foreign Talent also? :D

  2. Couldn't agree with you more! However, be mindful to spend enough alone time with your spouse too... my wife is complaining I'm loving and caring for my daughter more... hahah

    1. becos I'm a 24 'xiao'(sorry no have got chinese software) father?? hahah

    2. Thanks Peck, I'll keep that in mind

  3. heehee....i thought usually is husband complain that wife spend more time with child...:p

    ah pooh

  4. Well expressed, Nix!

    And compared to what I believe many of us including myself experience, you are spot on with your observations, including 'Liberation' and 'No regrets' at the end.

    1. Thanks Alan. Since you have gone thru these, I'm sure I am not experiencing wayward emotions about this then

  5. How come there isn't a "Like" button here? :P

    1. :P

      Cos if there is, people will ask for the dislike button

  6. At least there is a +1 button to click on!

  7. love it! especially from a dad's point of view. :) thank you for aptly putting this across. I could not have done it better

  8. Good to see you are lovin' it bro. I'm really happy for you and Jen.

    1. Thanks Pat. We are struggling a bit actually. trying our best..

  9. Dude, aircon in your ang mo country IS a kind of need! ie the reverse cycle type - help cushion cold & electricity bill shock for new arrivals....can proof this theory in abt 4 mths time...

    As for making babies...just do it la.... aiyo !

    1. Perth is COLD 3/4 of the time. We don't NEED aircon!!!!!

  10. This is a seriously good post!

  11. Suddenly I agree with you... No one had ever convinced me that being married and have child could bring in joy. You have got good points.

  12. Super like your post!

  13. Agreed, nothing ever prepares you for parenthood :)

    1. Ah claire: I've seen you around so many times but I don't know who are u. when are u going to introduce yourself?

  14. I'm sorry bro. I am a silent reader of your blog, I usually agree with your perspectives and other posts, but not this one. Sorry to be a damper, I contemplated very long before I decided to comment, because there are many happy parents everywhere.

    We love children, esp my hubs, but we plan not to have, not because so we can continue to indulge in luxury (we are not so well off btw). I have nothing against you and nothing here is personal. I do not condemn people who have children but I want to share my perspective.

    Many people find a sense of joy, fulfilment in having a child. I agree, but I feel this is more in the early years of a child's life? After that, you worry even when they are older, your child still has to slog, go through what we are now (work, dislike govt, think of migrating, fall sick, see loved ones die etc), for a few more decades. It is not that bad if the child is healthy, what if they are not even before they grow up? Seeing your child suffer is no fun.
    In exchange for that few years of joy to me, and having them go through what we go through for another few decades, I'd rather not give birth.

    Yes, I can try to give him/her the best life I can, but there are many things beyond my control. People will just say this is life what. But giving birth is actually a choice we can make.

    And if I had a child and one day, he/she asks me why did I give birth to him/her, I would not know what to say. So that I can experience motherhood? So that I can get a sense of joy? I did not plan to, he/she was an accident due to my lack of self-control? So that our country will not need so many migrant workers? Worse, because the govt tells me to and give me baby bonus? Until the day I can find a real good reason, the answer is no.

    Meanwhile the govt will hate people like me, because they have to import foreign labour to help them in the growth they are so obsessed about.

    1. I used to think the same way but I no longer do. After becoming a parent, I confirm i didn't make the wrong choice.

      Just a wonder, were you glad your parents gave birth to you or you blame them for bringing you to this world to suffer?

      There are too many IFs in your chain of thoughts. Not that I don't understand why, because as I mentioned I used to think the same way. You have every right not to have a child if you have reservations about it.

      Because if you have a child just for the sake of it while having reservations, you are going to relate every single difficulty or unhappiness towards your fears. It'll just morph into a self fulfilling prophecy.

      In fact, right now you are in a self fulfilling prophecy already - you will never have children. Agree?

    2. @Anonymous

      Wow... wow.... wow... oh my god... I cannot believe this post.

      ok.. I respect you have your own perspective.. but, my personal view is that your perspective is seriously flawed.

      Why? Your reason is that you cannot see the future, therefore you do not want to have children?!

      It's nothing to do with the government ... but really, you have to trust and believe in yourself. NOBODY is perfect - YOU WILL make mistakes along the way, but that should not be why you don't want to have children.

      I am not so eloquent like some of the others.. but I really think your view of WHY NOT TO HAVE CHILDREN is soooo wrong!

  15. As a fellow reader here, I can understand and respect the decision not to have children, especially since we're bringing them into the world of suffering we already inhabit.

    For myself, I just want to say that I finally do not fear the pain, since that is what life is about.
    I know I'm a dad and not a mom, a guy and not a lady, but I've had more than my fair share of feeling useless and futile.
    But there is also the sweet with the bitter.

    And I EXPECT our children to go through all that.
    I don't believe I exist to pamper them, and I cannot protect them from everything forever.

    I guess our mother brought up my younger brother and I to fend for ourselves.
    And as we learn to not say die, we have savoured every little victory which life has brought our way, amidst the countless little setbacks every day.
    And we ain't quittin' yet.

    So I would like my boys, our boys, to partake of this experience we call life, with all its good and bad.

    1. Let's put it this way. A female mosquito has a lifespan of 3 days but it set out to do what it has to do once it is ready - to reproduce.

      Having a child is just a basic biological procedure. We have put in too much thought in it.

      Just ask that female mosquito - since you know your kids will be slapped or gassed to death why do you still lay the eggs?

      Just kidding. Don't be so serious.

  16. We were the same as many couples in sg... why have a child?

    Now that we have been to the dark side, we've learnt there is no way to quantify it. Live hard, love harder. Having children is a step towards being a butterfly.

    A caveat though... to fully appreciate pure happiness, look after the children yourselves. No maids. In life, having an emotional stake in anything holds you back, especially material possession. Having a family is well worth it. Just remember that children will one day leave you, too. And you will be fine.