Another cab drove off

6 04 2010

Yet another encounter of a cab driving off, after seeing our family size.

3 adults, 2 toddlers and 1 baby in hand. That’s too many?!

Legally, the current family size is still ok. Obviously as the kids grow older, there’s no way we can fit all into one cab. So here’s the deal with the govt. campaign of encouraging people to have more kids. On one hand, they give parents tax rebates when you have more kids, a co-savings child development account (with a cap of course) depending on the birth order.

The other hand, we have logistics issues —

  • MRTs that do not always have lifts, so better practice that escalator technique with prams/strollers. Try pushing in 2 prams and manage the stares from other passengers.
  • Buses that aren’t really friendly to prams/strollers, plus the steps that you have to manage with prams in one hand, kid in the other.
  • And then, we come to taxis, who decide that there’s too many of us. Let’s not even try to be environmentally friendly with CNG cabs — NO boot space for 2 prams!

Buy a car?

Sure. Start with a 7-seater if we want to fit in 3 child seats. And no one else can travel with us.

The cost? Try 70K minimum, not sure about the cost for a used car.

This is on top of trying to save for the kids, managing the daily costs of diapers and milk + other costs/childcare costs.

I am happy with having 3 kids, but if the govt wants to encourage couples to have more kids, I think the dynamics of the society would need to change. We need to be more considerate to others, public transport would have to cater for people with various needs (with the handicapped). Slopes and wheelchair/pram friendly entrances and exits at MRT stations should be more inclusive (not just at selected exits, and with some exits being 50m apart, how do you expect the wheelchair bound people to push through the roads just to get to an entrance/exit to their destination?)

So much for public transport.

Think family

6 04 2009

Saw a TV ad last evening.

The setting was at a funeral. The wife was speaking to everyone and instead of talking about how good her husband was, she spoke about how he snored, imitating the sounds he made when asleep, sometimes waking himself up with his own snore. It was funny, and then, she told everyone, it’s the familiar snores that reminds her that he was still alive when his cancer got worse.

The thing that striked me the most was this phrase that she said to her children.

“I wish you will find someone as imperfectly perfect as your Dad.”

I teared hearing that phrase.

Some of us spend our lives, trying to find the perfect partner, perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, only to realise that there’s no perfection. Even if that one person manages to come across as perfect in the courtship days, when the honeymoon period is over, the imperfections or the very quirky bits that attracts become the qualities that irk the most.

A friend mention that there’s no such thing as a long term relationship because humans are not built that way. It is all about breeding, the survival of species. When the brood is completed, the relationship does not hold any more purpose, so the parties would move on.

But it is things like the ad that reminds one that relationships, especially marriage, is not just about breeding or producing the next generation. It is that, plus a whole lot more. Humankind are not animals, some of us may sow the seeds to produce the next generation, but it’s the bond and the family and a strong marriage that nurtures the very little person that is “produced”.

Appreciation of a person as he or she is, is often not the easiest to do. How do we look beyond the appearance, the perception of who we think the person is, versus who they really are, is at best, a skill we acquire with experience. Some of us are good at “sizing” up people, some of us truly see people as they are.

Whatever it is, the basis of family, I believe, is built on a strong marriage, which is backed up by a great partnership and love between 2 people. With this basis, a strong family unit can be built, and the children can benefit from the love and joy of this partnership and be the best that they can be.

I pray that the day where we build love upon love can become wide-spread, and more nuclus family can have a strong bond and love.

Family Wisdom from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari — Robin Sharm

19 10 2007

Just finished this book recently. The story follows through the character, Julian Mantle, the monk who sold his ferrari. Having learnt the lessons for the Sages in the mountains, he returns to share insights and teachings relating to the family and parenting. In this book, he shares these lessons with his sister, Catherine, a career woman whom, in the pursuit of success at the workplace, sacrifices her time with her kids and family. Through an near-death accident, she re-priorities, and with the help of Julian, learns more about the lessons.

Why this is a good read:

Robin Sharma uses an engaging and entertaining manner of writing, wrapping life’s lessons with the use of fictional characters that feel so real, as well as the use of quotes, teachings from books and other authors to bring the reader into the ideas that he wants to share.

Particularly for parents who strive to teach their kids well, the story relates how children learn best when parents lead by example. To teach our children, we need to practise those concepts and guide them through life.

Reading through each lesson, also known as mastery of family wisdom in the book, the story touches the heart in a simple manner.  I shed tears when reading some of the chapters in the book.