A Government Baby Incentive

A little earlier today I was contacted by a journalist with the CBC who invited me to participate in a live call in show about whether or not a government incentive to have more children would affect the plateau in the baby boom we’re experiencing recently.

And as I sit and wait to be dialed in I ponder: what do we consider when deciding to have a child, be it our first or second/third/fourth.  Are we thinking about whether we can afford it? Whether we have the energy? How this will affect our career paths as women? And are we even thinking at all or simply doing it – all matter of pun intended.

Sitting here, 7 1/2 months pregnant I’m overcome with discomfort, hormones and fatigue that I hadn’t counted on experiencing at this time in my personal/professional life precisely because I didn’t think about it.  Instead, I happily surrendered to a lusty summer day with my husband while my little girls were in preschool (a fabulous perk of working from home with your spouse).  Now, preggers with our third child crushing my diaphragm and a near constant need to urinate I consider the cost, the energy, the humour, the painkillers associated to having another child as I excitedly and anxiously set about welcoming our new baby into the word.

So the question: should there be an incentive for people to have more children? Well, let’s see. Does the incentive facilitate a sustainable and healthy standard of life for people who wish to have children? If  so, I emphatically nod in the affirmative. On the other hand, is the purpose behind the incentive to entice people to have more children in order to bolster population size for the province given that women are now having 1.87 children and the impact of the rate of immigration is simply sustaining population growth from one generation to the next?  In which case, my answer is a resounding no.

Considering the output of money, time, energy and humour required to raise a child, all of which are exponentially increased with each child, the incentive ought to lie in resources, funds, and access for parents to be better equipped to create the life they need and want for their families.

How about this, Ye people who create government incentives:  Facilitate access to mom and tot social groups, co-ops, subsidize businesses servicing young families like activity centers, savings programs, childcare, hell even mini vans! Those suckers don’t come cheap.

Assist in making the maternity year that many of us enjoy with our children as engaged and connected as possible for the parent staying home and foster an environment that lends to parents having the families they yearn for – not to bolster population size as the MO, but so that children have the life their parent’s dream about. And so that none of us feels chocked by the costs – tangible and not – of having children.

I have no idea how I sound in the interview. It was live and took place a little over 20 min ago, but I will post it here tomorrow when it becomes available. No doubt I’ll be engaged, surprised and enthralled by your comments.

A.

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