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Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Kiasu Mother

Being a mum is already a gargantuan task in itself (as I'm finding out everyday) but being a mum in Singapore has its additional pitfalls. Mothers here have somewhat of a herd mentality or should I say a competitive streak.

Once you set foot into the realm of playgroups, childcare or even browse the infant literature section at Borders, you will no doubt find yourself bombarded with well-intentioned "advice" from other parents.

Since Alicia is half Australian, I was justifiably concerned that she did not end up being monolingual like most of her Aussie counterparts. After having conducted my due diligence, I found out that not many places in Singapore actually offer Mandarin classes/playgroups to children under 18 months (another sign of my increasing kiasuism), except
Julia Gabriel.

I guess they realize that they have a niche market as well as their fees are substantially above average and they require a minimum attendance of at least 3 times a week. So, succumbing to peer pressure and boredom at home (this was before starting work), Alicia now attends Mandarin playgroup 3 times a week and most of the time, looks like she's enjoying herself.

Not surprisingly, I now have other mums at the playgroup suggesting that I register Alicia in so-and-so nursery NOW as it has a long waiting list and will be very hard to get into. Hmm.....I sense that this is going to be a long term trend.....