During the last few days when we were homebound, I saw this commerical by ‘Heybaby.sg’. It was filled with innocent and happy faces of babies and children. There was also a corresponding Facebook account populating information about joys of parenthood and not to miss out planning a family whilst chasing your career. The website even summarized the pro-family initiatives by the government.
This campaign had definitely caught the eyes of current parents, evident from the list of mutual friends who had liked the campaign’s Facebook page.
What was the target audience for this campaign? If it was to encourage pro-creation among DINKs, I doubt the effectiveness of this campaign because they were probably unlikely to read any parenting magazines, blogs or follow such campaigns. It seemed to be attracting parents (existing customer pool), so was it an attempt to ask existing parents to have more children? Or was this campaign an attempt to collect more contents?
Prior to having my own child, I never thought I would become a mother. The rumoured tales of sleepless nights, noisy kids, high costs, stuffy lifestyle, lifetime commitment and battle for primary school registration (& even some enrichment centres) put me off. In fact, I wanted to stay young at heart, travel freely and spend weekends chilling out with cocktails, champagne and wine. A postcard shot of the latest Chanel bag would have captured my attention, instead of kids-related pictures, posters or photos.
It was only when my friend brought her 18-month old daughter to hang out with us at Dempsey one night, it struck me how well behaved she was. Her daughter debunked my stereotype that kids were whiny little beings that stepped on my heels, smeared their dirt and saliva on my precious bags and the sort who would roll on the floor to and fro.
That was 5 years ago. Now, as a mother to 2 sons, I realized how myopic and childish I was.
To be able to hold your own child in your arms, seeing his cute little features mirroring your own, the feeling was simply different. Loving your own child and watching him grow day by day was far more fulfilling than jet-setting, clinching that promotion or attaining that paper qualification. Parenthood had its infuriating days but thanks to retention of happy memories and how adorable their little faces were, it was still pleasant overall. As a friend had commented on Facebook, there was a reason why babies were born cute. It was their natural ‘defend and attack’ mechanism.
Cliché as it sounded, children evoked emotions and feelings that you never thought you could have before. Loving someone unconditionally had never been so easy.
We could demand for all kinds of support from the government, from the company, from the society, from everyone else, but the decision, the gratification and the joy would be yours alone. Let’s not talk about the stats of aging population, the low birth rates, let’s just focus on ourselves. Conduct a market research, do a cost-benefit analysis and you would see why most of us would feel that having children was worth the time and effort. Sometimes, you would really have to dive in and feel the difference.
Besides, parenthood wasn’t so frumpy after all.