Thursday, November 21, 2013

A blessed couple

About a month ago, a friend told us, with joy, that they are expecting a second child.
Several weeks later, he left me a message and called hubby with extreme excitement, that they are not expecting one, but twins!

We are happy for them, but on the other hand, I couldn’t help but wonder how are they going to handle, financially.

He just stopped working months ago, and is in the process to get an invalidity status.
She is babysitting a kid while taking care of her own two year-old.
Basically, their productive income may not exceed their rent.
And, the fact that they went through medical helps for the pregnancy, it was something planned.

Well, they are in France, he probably gets to enjoy unemployment allowance (if he was laid off).
They may get housing allowance and kid allowance too.
But, I’m not sure if these allowances are sufficient to support a family of three, soon five.

One weekend I invited them over for lunch.
And I noticed how well behaved their two year-old was. Better than my own daughter.
She tidied up the toys, she drunk plenty of water (she has not been introduced juices), she ate properly without throwing food on the floor, she obeyed her parents, there was no fussing or screaming…
And I saw the love expressing from the eyes of the parents.
At that moment, I’m glad that financial issues are not an obstacle for this couple to become parents, no matter how many they wish to have.
That’s the beauty to live in France, the privileges from a socialist system, I guess.

The same thing could rarely happened in Malaysia.
A couple who work part time  in the same case would hardly afford the medical helps for having a kid (except if they get helped from family).
A couple where one of them is unemployed would seldom dare to dream of a second child.
The unemployment help is at minima, so people won’t rely on it.
There is no housing nor child allowance.
So a couple with the same situation would most likely remain childless.

How two distinctive systems can influence the life of people living in it.

I would have to say that my friends are blessed, living in the right system, in their situation.

1 comment:

  1. I also feel very lucky I had Mark in Canada rather than, let's say, the US. I had just left a permanent position with benefits to freelance and I had no maternity leave, no private insurance, etc. BUT all my health care needs were covered by our provincial system and I was well taken care of. We also get a small allowance for Mark that covers basic baby needs.

    Twins are a challenge but I am sure they will find a way to manage!

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