Wake up, send the kids to school, go to work, come home tired, repeat.
It does sound like the dream is dead the moment you have kids. Perhaps that is the reason why so many people in Singapore choose not to have children. The total fertility rate in Singapore is only at 1.16 births per woman in 2017.
People who have kids often lament....
Why can't I travel widely with my family?
I wish I had more time with my kids!
There is no work-life balance...
Is there really a way out of this rut? Can parents dream of the life they want to live with their family? Are there viable options to get out of the rat race? The answer is YES!
Here are 3 keys to unlock the life you dream of!
Reduce all financial commitments to the lowest possible level.
Many people start of wanting to buy the biggest house and get biggest mortgage loan possible. Others commit to a shiny new car with a loan. Far too many chalk up credit card debts for branded goods and luxury treats. These are the biggest mistakes you can make! Once you are tied down to these commitments, you NEED your job. It restricts your choices even if you want to make a career switch. In worse cases, you have no other choice but to stick with a job that works you round the clock.
Ever heard of minimalist/tiny living? There are many out there in the US, Canada, Britain and across Europe who live in the back of their van or caravan. These are families who value the experience of adventures, travelling and learning together more than a nice house or large storage filled with clothes they might not wear. The whole point is to shed the things we don't need and save up the resources for our dreams and desired lifestyle.
Although people in Singapore (laws forbid such living arrangements) and in Asia (safety concerns) may not get this option, it is still possible to live on a smaller property and buy less things we don't need.
A luxury watch or handbag could buy you an entire month of backpacking in Europe. 3 additional pair of shoes can get you the air-tickets to your next weekend getaway. A smaller house may mean being closer together and getting out there for more adventures/playtime together.
Alternative career choices
You don't need to quit immediately so that you can dream again. There are many ways to source income these days. With the growing E-commerce industry, you can start selling goods on Amazon, start your own Instagram shop, blog or even self-publish books. You need very little start-up costs for such businesses. It takes a lot of research, reading and trying to get it right. Once you are able to build an online income big enough to replace your salary, that gives you a choice on how you want to spend your time.
Working from home is a great option. You can choose from providing tuition or piano lessons, providing pedicure and manicure services etc...This will also allow you to care for your kids and save on childcare costs!
Do your research! Start small and build it up while you still have a job.
Uproot and go
People who migrate are not quitters. People who migrate are those who dream of a better life and have the courage as well as grit to achieve it. A society exists on consensus. It is wiser to find somewhere else you can live better than to change the collective decisions of an entire society. You can be moving to another state or country that gives you the work-life balance, the natural landscapes for adventures, the open spaces your children can grow up in. Moving can yield positive effects on your children if they fit into a school system that helps them grow and learn better.
The inertia is always the worst part. You will be surprised at how resilient the family is when you move with an open mind in search of that dream life.
You can achieve your dream life!
Vincent & Debra Kwan, Founders of Hiro & Jack and stay-at-home parents with the odd life.