Aida Zabidi
Apparently Malaysians are encouraged to make more babies, according to the Malay Mail

Why encourage childbearing and big families when the people cannot provide? With the rising costs of living, parenting becomes a lot harder – between parents having to work longer hours, it becomes a lose-lose situation where there’s increasing costs to raise a child and reduced time that a family has to spend together. 

When you bring a life into this world, it is a responsibility of both parents – at least until the child is old enough to be independent. That’s a minimum of eighteen years of feeding, clothing and educating an extra mouth. A lot of people talk about rezeki, but rezeki implies that one has enough to provide – which means one should have already done that math. 

It is not fair to a child to have to eat substandard food because you have chosen to have many children in close proximity. It is not fair for a child to lack attention because both parents are too busy with work and other children. 

It is not fair to say that God, and the government will provide for the children while they are schooled. 

It is not fair when you have not planned ahead. 

I remember a story of men in their private quarters complaining about their wives. One was complaining about how his wife would constantly nag at him, and another man responded by telling his friend to ‘just get her pregnant. Then she’ll be sick and out of commission for nine months, and then too busy caring for the child.’ 

I admit my blood boiling when I first heard this story, and it still sickens me because I see this so often in practice. This conversation highlights the misogynist thinking that is pervasive among Malaysian men; where a woman is expected to carry and bear the child, and then go on to essentially parent the child while men provide. 

I believe having children is a shared effort between both parents, and that both parents have equal responsibility in raising the child.

There needs to be an emphasis on good planning, both from a financial and emotional scale for healthy families.

We should be encouraging the quality of life for our families, not quantity. 
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