Teacher Parents Want Their Kids Out

Hi Nix,

My good friend, Connie, recommended your blog when I shared my plans of moving to Perth with my hubby and 4 kids in tow (5,3,2 yo and 8 mo). She was your secondary school friend I believe.

I want to say I have learnt a lot from your blog and looking at how you work so hard for your family is inspiring. My hubby and I are both teachers. We find ourselves caring for other people's children the whole day and have so little time and energy left for our own kids and that is just wrong. We have had it and are both hoping to clear our PR application and get to Perth.

Of course, we worry about bringing our 4 kids in tow for a better life, a more human life I hope. We both don't intend to teach if possible as we are afraid it will bring us back to square 1 as we know the teaching profession has a damn 'chao' reputation. Of coz we both will suffer a huge pay cut even if we do teach la but we just want to earn enough to make an honest living but have a good balanced life with our kids. I want out of the system here! My girl has spelling and 听写 @ K2 and my boy has Show-and-tell @ 2yo!!! I lagi stress! Are we dreaming to think that we will be able to spend more time with our kids there and have a more balanced life? Please tell me it is possible.

:) C

Sent from my iPhone

Hi C,

Please send my regards to good ól Connie, my fearsome class monitoress cum treasurer and accept my salutation of being a parent of four.

Unlike the emails I have been receiving, I don't know where to start on yours. The irony and contradictions in your message made me think. To be honest, after all these years of blogging, I find it increasingly harder to understand Singaporeans. After helping and experiencing different types of Singaporeans in existence, I am not really sure if I can interpret their words at face value anymore. That makes giving my 2 cents a lot trickier, because I am not sure who my audience really is. With you, I can emphatise on the part being a parent of 4. It is pure insanity, regardless where you are residing and what kind of societal pressure you are being subjected to.

A better life.

You know, if I were to open my life up like a book or subject myself to a 'live' reality show for Singaporeans to view, I suspect more than 80% of you will not think I am having a better life in Perth. Some 10% will give up a leg or two to be in my shoes. The last 10% have already made their applications, awaiting for good news with abated breath. Well you see, this journey is not for the weak heart. Since you have read the blog, you will know that we have to do practically everything here ourselves. Sometimes out of necessity, as it can be costly getting someone else to do it. Other times, we are actually motivated to learn something new, something useful and transferable. Regardless of the reason, it does show we have a little more time than our previous lifestyle in Singapore. However, if you think doing everything (the dirty stuff, warts and all) by yourself means a reduction of quality of life, then we are probably not on the same page. I will be hesitant to guarantee you a better life after you move.

It is worth continuing in your profession in Australia, if you ask me. However, you can choose to operate as a single income family until the kids are a little older and more independent. Most Centrelink benefits are out of reach to new migrants for the first 24 months except for family benefits. You get some financial help for each kid you have. You may want to read more about family tax benefits [link] and weigh things over. That is one option to achieve the 'balance' you are after. An option not available in Singapore.

How Singaporeans define things these days can be awfully diversified. Qualify of life, priorities, wealth, morals, values, etc. My friends who work as newborn photographers meet tens of parents everyday and shared with me the most shocking things about these new-age Singaporean parents, their thinking and parenting style. Hearing such things keeps me going, so that I will never need to return to Singapore to live among them.

For instance, a mother who claims double deck beds are dangerous for her kid. In Perth, kids climb rocks. Fucking big ones.

That will be the last thing a Singaporean mother will be thinking of. Because if her kid fall, they will be in poor condition to revise for their next 听写.

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