To: Lee Hsien Loong,
I’m writing to you, not because I’m a single mother. I’m writing to you because i’m a Mother. I’m also trying hard not to be emotional while writing because i do personally know single moms who didn’t choose the path to be a single mom. I really can’t think of any Singaporean woman who goes out of her way to get a child if she didn’t think first of setting up a happy family.
But sometimes, things happen. Have you heard of pregnant women who find out their husbands-to-be are cheating on them? Or have you heard of a woman who ends up pregnant, but realises that the child shouldn’t be paying for her mistake even if the man decides to walk away? Ask any of these single moms, and you’ll find that no matter what the reason may be, they are being responsible human beings. They have chosen a path of insane sacrifice for the sake of an innocent child.
I’m sure there’s no dispute that being a mom in Singapore is really tough. Most of us work. We can’t help but work because the standard of living is getting higher. And I’m guessing that in principle, it is what our nation wants from us women…. because stay home mom don’t get much benefits, and the father’s who have to support stay-home mom don’t enjoy any benefits of a working mom, considering he’s got a lot more weight on his shoulders. So there. Policies are in place to make sure that women stay in the work force. In the past, the men go out to work, the women stay home. Now the women go to work as well as juggle to be a good mom. and it’s not easy. But we try.
Now imagine a mom who doesn’t have another half to help share the load. I’m not even saying that they deserve to get more because of their predicament. Because i’m sure that somewhere along the line, we all make our choices, and we have to live by them.
I’m challenging why single moms are penalised. A Mom is a Mom. And a mom should be a mom to her child, even when a father isn’t present. A working mom, whether single or married contribute to the same systems, and contribute to providing one headcount to our Nation. So why may i ask, should they be treated any differently?
I’m writing to appeal to you to make the right call, and treat all of us moms in Singapore the same. I quote my friend “In our Singapore, you are technically a single first before a mum. It isn’t the case of mum first, status secondary”.
Policies can be respected. But before that can happen, the policies must first respect the people they’re created for.