I have a VERY unpopular stance on a very sticky issue and I need to vent. It’s my blog and I’ll vent if I want to.
We have two children. Putting aside the fact that we can’t handle more than them at this point because of their special needs, my husband lost his job in 2008 and has been “under-employed” since then with no benefits (no health insurance). We “make too much” for medicaid or other government help (food stamps, WIC), but don’t make enough to pay for our own health insurance.
So, we’re done having children. Unless by some change of fate, he gets a job with health insurance, our kids magically get potty trained and their behaviors take a massive turn for the better, and we can come up with $5000 or so for a fetal embryo transfer (we conceived the twins with IVF and will get pregnant next time if there is a next time with FET— we’ve got frosties in embryo “daycare”)—– the shop is closed.
I cannot count on two hands the number of people who have told me that if I quit working, we’ll qualify for medicaid, food stamps, WIC, and other free goodies. Why can’t I just sit back and let the benefits roll in? We’ve paid taxes in the past. We’re having a rough time now, and that’s what government help is for.
I cannot count on two hands the number of friends I have who are ON medicaid, food stamps, and WIC (some on section 8 too) who are continuing to have children. We’ve closed up shop, and they keep on reproducing.
I have one friend who is on section 8, medicaid, food stamps, and WIC. Not only does she plan to have more children soon, but she has a cleaning lady, and a cell phone with internet access, and a vacation every summer. I have none of those things.
I’m jealous on one hand, and incensed on the other. Jealous because I know that if I felt differently and didn’t care about what I truly believe morality requires of me, that could be us—- doing a LOT better financially than we are now—- no medical bills in collections, $600 or more per month of free food, my life a WHOLE lot less stressful without having to hustle for $$$. Kids are in preschool for the next two hours? Great, how much money can I make. (instead of doing what other moms of special needs kids get to do— take care of cooking and cleaning and bill paying during those rare free times). Incensed because why on earth is it our right to take the government’s money with no plan for getting OFF the programs? I have a friend who says “NOBODY in my town can have a family of 5-6 kids without this help, so why shouldn’t we take it?” Um, how about having ONLY the children you can afford WITHOUT this help?
I’m okay with people taking for a few months while they get back on their feet between jobs. Or taking because they’ve lost a spouse. But taking as a way of life? Why can’t the government just give out free birth control to families on programs? If you get pregnant, you’re off the programs. Birth control didn’t work? Give the baby up for adoption. I told you my views are unpopular.
The typical Orthodox Jewish view is to keep having children and God will provide. Most families who believe this who fall on hard times financially collect government benefits. I wonder what the non Jews think about this. It’s one of the thinks I think about daily.