Musings from an Orthodox Jewish work at home mom of twins with Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Archive for the ‘Government Assistance’ Category


I haven’t blogged since May.  Seriously?

Here’s what you missed.  Wilma KILLED my finger.  Got 3 xrays– it wasn’t broken– “just” a bad sprain.  But that bad sprain hurt worse than many of the broken bones I’ve had in my life (all my broken bones have been on purpose through surgery- never by accident– funny that.)  It’s been about 10 weeks now and I’m starting to have days where I don’t notice the pain at all.  Until I try to bend it.  ugh.

My mother in law died.  She had battled lupus for over a decade valiantly— we all knew this was coming.  Except that we didn’t.  We all thought we’d get another year or two out of her— everytime she was hospitalized we figured she’d make it back to the nursing home and we’d still have more time.  So we were all very shaken up.  She had gotten out of the nursing home after 10 months and had been living at home for 35 days when she was hospitalized for a listeria infection (she was prone to every infection).  She got pneumonia and respiratory distress and we STILL thought we weren’t losing her. But then the internal bleeding started and the doctors stopped all medications except for morphine and told my father in law that the time was coming that week.

Shiva was surreal.  In our home we had a million chairs, an Aron and Torah, tables, siddurim, a candle burning for a week, minyanim three times a day, and the kids were out of sorts to say the least.  Picture me upstairs every morning at 7:00 am saying “shhhhh the men are trying to daven– you CANNOT yell tushy!”.  The community cooked dinners for us for a week (good thing— I had to do all the camp schlepping, all the laundry, all the dishes, EVERYTHING— hubby wasn’t allowed out of the chair for a week except to go to the bathroom).  If you’re unfamiliar with Orthodox Jewish mourning customs I encourage you to google.  It’s fascinating.  Comforting and CRAZY at the same time.  I don’t remember five minutes of calm that week.  Whenever a minyan wasn’t happening, visitors were.

Camp SUCKED this summer and the kids aren’t going back next year.  I mean it this time.  Fred got Hand Foot and Mouth disease on a Friday (no camp on Fridays) so we kept him home from camp that Monday.  Camp nurse calls to send Wilma home.  She’d been exposed.  It’s not the plague, people.  So she said I’d need a doctor’s note to send both kids back the next day.  Rushed them both to the doctor on Monday afternoon after getting her.  Got the note— she didn’t have it and he was no longer contagious.  Sent them both Tuesday.  Got the call again— they didn’t like the look of his rash and he needed to stay home for a week.  So I kept her home on Monday for being exposed, and kept him home for a week for a no longer contagious rash.  That’s the kind of summer we had with this place.  The DUMBEST projects came home after they asked me for an explanation of where they are academically and I gave it to them in writing—- they had them doing preschool level worksheets.  Daily.  And watching movies.  Daily.  There is exactly one AFFORDABLE special needs camp on this side of town and I’m DONE with it.  Next summer– camp Mommy?  ugh.  There was a month between camp and school (that month ends this coming Monday) and I feel like a truck ran me over.  In order to send them to a “typical” camp I’d have to come up with tuition for 2 kids and $$$ for two one on one aides for 2 kids.  In order to send them to another special needs camp I’d have to pay more money or shlepp them to the other side of town.

But what’s on my mind this week is the title of this post…. .SERIOUSLY?  Just the STUPID ridiculous things people have said to us this summer about our kids and/or about my mother in law dying.  Here’s a fun sampling.  PS— the ones that involve Orthodox Jews?  I’ve been asked to stop posting about those on facebook because of Chillul HaShem.  You know what’s Chillul HaShem in my book?  People not being aware that people of all colors, shapes, sizes, and yes, religions can be ASSHOLES.  Sorry for the language but it’s my blog and I’ve got to curse.  Read on.


1)  When my husband takes one of our kids for a walk in the special needs stroller and walks by a particular house, a bratty kid (unsupervised of course) says….  “WALK MUCH?”   Another group of kids (with the father right there not saying anything because he can’t stand our kids even more than his children) says….  “baby baby…. goo goo gaaa gaaaa”.  Yep, fellow Orthodox Jews.

2)  When my husband asked a man at the zoo to please stop staying at our son (who was screaming “I AM A PSYCHO!”), he got punched.  HARD.  In the stomach.  (my husband, not my son.  But still!)

3)  Right to my husband’s face  “is your son still a freak?”

4)  At synagogue my husband was told he shouldn’t say kaddish for his mother because she didn’t believe in God.    Nobody said anything because the person who said it learns full time (in Orthodox Judaism the men who learn full time and don’t work for a living are held to a very high regard by many.  Me personally?  I’m FINE with men learning full time ***IF*** they can do it without Medicaid, food stamps, WIC, section 8, and all the rest because sucking off the government is not “making it” financially nor is it supporting your wife and family.)  So when someone saves for years in order to enter Kollel I think it’s wonderful.  How often does THAT happen?!?!

5)  I think the extreme idiot award goes to the person calling himself an Orthodox Jew who told my husband his mother died because he shaved off his beard like a goy (deragatory word for non-Jew). (my husband follows Rabbi Moshe Feinstein who wrote about how men living in America can shave their beards for particular reasons while being Orthodox Jews).

6)  During shiva, a tzedakah organization called for money. Hubby said no, he’s sitting shiva. They called back and left a message and an email. The email said that she died SO THAT he’d have a chance to donate to a worthy organization—- guess who is never getting a penny from us!??!?!? what is WITH people?


That’s all for now– just needed to get those tidbits off my chest.  I have PLENTY more to say on various topics so I WILL try to blog more frequently…….



It’s Lonely Up On My Soapbox

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.

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