Post # 77
Couple of comments- I took several months off from my job (due to bed rest). In medicine if you don’t use it, you lose it. I’m just now getting my feet back under me at work and I can’t imagine taking much longer off than I did… (so I’m agreeing with Cannotwait)
As to Zippy and J26 we’ll have to agree to disagree. I know when I lived in NYC, I had to buy the frozen french fries because all I had was a hot plate and a toaster oven. You may “see” these people buying something “unconscionable” at the store, but I really think that it takes getting to know the whole story and not just a snapshot.
Perfect example is someone close to me who is a NICU nurse. She hears these soundbites from a mom and thinks “how the heck can they use the system like that?”, but every time you get to know the family and find the backstory there’s almost always something to it that helps it make sense. We want to find a way to make the poor person out to be the bad guy, because it helps us feel like “well that can’t happen to me”.
Sure, some people will do stupid things, but the vast majority of women using the system are using it for a short term temporary set-back and the data backs that up. It’s the young woman experiencing domestic violence, doesn’t have a job and has 2 kids and uses it to finish her AA degree or the army wife whose husband leaves her unexpectedly, etc etc. Most people are one paycheck or bad situation away from similar circumstances. I for one am glad that safety net is there if it happens to me.
Post # 78
I don’t really like other people’s children, I mean they’re cute ,but I pretty much have zero interest. I AM really interested in my baby who will be here in March. LOL! I didn’t really know if I wanted kids or not either-but now that I’m pregnant I’m really excited. I think it’s different when it’s your kid-as I now do stupid shit like frame my ultrasound picture and put it on my desk at work.
Post # 79
I am not a kid person either. Most all of friends have a child, some more than one, and mind you, I am 21 years old. Most of my friends are my age or 2 to 3 years older/younger than me.
It’s not that I hate kids, I like kids, but I like them because I can give them back.
I’m not a fan of parents who let their kid scream, cry and roll around on the floor in public places and just ignore it though. That is annoying.
I have personally just never really had that maternal instinct. I have a lot of plans, which I think would be nearly impossible with a baby.
FH and I have a dog and a cat, and those are our babies.
We have talked about revisiting the idea in 5 to 10 years, but neither of us are really on the baby bandwagon.
Post # 80
I have to chime in here. @Mrs. DG: is making rational points that can be backed up- please don’t let personal anecdotes paint the picture of what “welfare” means to you and how you look at others who are using it.
I am full force on the No Baby Yet train, and with that everyone would take the time to think about the financial aspects of a baby. However, you cannot assume the worst of anyone you see with several children, one child, no children using food stamps. I’ve worked in social services with young mothers, and the reasons they ended up needing assistance were varied. One had both her parents die, leaving her with nothing. One had her husband die. One had a chronic illness.
Unfortunately poverty is a cycle, and a very complex one at that. Programming is intended to be a stop gap assistance, and most people receiving it are working with a wealth of other agencies to finish their education, become more employable, while finding affordable day care. If you want to be angry about something that costs us all, be angry about corporate crime (again, lots of writing and research but this is a decent summary http://money.howstuffworks.com/white-collar-crime.htm/printable )
There is so much powerful, informative research done on poverty I would urge you to explore the policies, and the people, more. http://www.thenation.com/article/what-ever-happened-welfare-mothers If you want to I know someone who, after both parents losing their jobs, drove 45 minutes to a different grocery store so her neighbors and friends wouldn’t know she was using federal assistance. The stigma is perpetuated by “welfare queen” stereotyping. @CaitMarae you mentioned wishing people would pay welfare back, and often times they do.When people get back off their feet, find employment, and stay healthy they are paying their taxes and contributing to society. Federal aid is aimed at making that process quicker, and trying to interject into the cycle so its broken before another generation begins.
Is it perfect? No. Do I have the answers? No. Is this entirely too long of a post that may be slightly off topic of what you intended? Maybe. But it frustrates me to hear so many echoes of one part of something I truly believe in (Responsible, planned, wanted pregnancies into families that can support them emotionally and financially) followed up with something I truly object to (Perpetuating the stereotype that everyone on welfare is having lots of kids to make money, and they’re just lazy).
Post # 81
@scg00387: Great post.
I also respect everyone’s decisions and timelines on whether they want children or not.
I was thoroughly surprised though at how closely everyone pays attention to what other people are buying and/or paying with. I understand the OP couldn’t help but hear since it sounds like the lady was probably somewhat loud but I never pay attention to that kind of thing and try to mind my own business. Now I’m thinking of everyone looking into my cart when i’m buying “personal things” 😛
Post # 82
@scg00387 – The program is great and all the points made about people needing it because of unforeseen circumstances, etc is what it is designed for but I think almost everyone can agree that there are people on the system that abuse it. So answer me this, is it right for the women as I posted before saying “I am happy that I am having another baby but also because I get to continue my welfare!”? Should the tax payers be paying for that behavior? I would like to see my money going towards a family who truly want to help themselves.
Post # 83
@MsJ26: When it is a tiny minority of people using the program, I think that it is worth the risk of that happening. Otherwise, the majority that truly need it would go without anything. Their kids would be hungry and they’d be spun into a permanent cycle of poverty that they wouldn’t otherwise have to suffer.
Think about student loans. The majority of students use their loans to pay for school and books and housing. However, there are a few students that use their loan money for trips and clothes and things that they don’t really need. (Believe me, I saw it frequently in my college and grad school experience). Does that tiny minority mean that student loan entitlements should be stopped?
Without student loans, grants and scholarships I never would have raised my self from the lower middle class… But maybe I should have just stayed there, since it is a federal entitlement and I was sponging off the system. Both programs provide individuals with the ability to better their circumstances… it’s just that one is an entitlement that mostly middle class people use (no stigma) and the other is one that poor people use (stigma).
Anyway, I don’t want to hijack this thread any further, because we’re pretty far afield now… but it’s been a very interesting discussion and I appreciate the multitude of viewpoints.
Post # 85
I keep coming back to this thread because it’s very interesting to see everyone’s opinions…
@MsJ26: Can I add I absolutely agree with your point. We all hope that the system works the way it should. it’d be great if it did – BUT (and no, none of us knows for the sure the # of people that do…) but there are WAY too many people who absolutely 100% abuse the sytem. As I said – my mother is somewhat of a social worker and sees – every single day – families coming in for help that while, yes, some of them are doing it the right way – TOO many people are coming in expecting the gov’t and social services to just “give them things” without them having to work for it.
I see the valid points that many posters here have written – that it CAN be a good system, when used right – and there ARE a lot of families who DO use it correctly – i’m not saying that no one does – but the truth is, too – TOO MANY PEOPLE ABUSE IT! there are way too many people i’ve heard of – that msj26 is talking about – who do have baby after baby just to STAY on welfare so they don’t have to work and so that other people (the gov’t/taxpayers) will pay for their way of life.
i may get slammed for saying this…but “in theory” yes it is a good system for those who use it correctly. HOWEVER (please don’t slam me…) but “communism was good IN THEORY as well” and we all know how that turned out…and to me, the welfare system is the same thing. IN THEORY it’s a good thing – but in PRACTICE it’s abused. i’m just saying when people abuse a system and it’s NOT used the way it was intended to be used then that is where the judgements come from.
Post # 86
@Mrs. DG: Excellent points. Thank you.
Post # 87
It just seems like everywhere I turn lately there is some kind of welfare fraud case happening. The thing that bothers me about the whole situation is that those who take advantage of the system will do so forever. I dont think its fair that the tax payers have to pay for that. I understand that government assistance is available for a reason and some people really do need it but it needs to be regulated better.
For starters, I am a firm believer that anyone who applies for assistance needs to be drug tested. I’m not saying that every welfare collector is on something but look at the statistics. If I had to be drug tested to work at my corporate job to collect my paycheck, then someone on welfare needs to be drug tested to do NOTHING and collect their check. I also think that they need to prove that they are atleast trying to better their situation.
Don’t even get me started on unemployment! Thats got to be the thing that I am most angry about. I know dozens of people who abuse it and its just not fair. I really wish the government would crack down and prosecute those who abuse the system. 99 weeks to collect is WAY. TOO. LONG. I understand that good jobs are few and far between but there are jobs out there. They may not be the most glamerous, but if someone really wanted to find work, they could (i.e. food service, retail, mill work,etc…). Last year, those who collected unemployement benefits got a tax break. How in the hell is that fair? I bust my ass everyday at work and do I get a tax break? Of course not.
Like another poster said, those on assistance get all sorts of things for free while us middle class americans have to work hard for everything we have. Laziness is a serious epidemic in this country and I sincerely hope someone does something to change it.
@JuneBride: I couldnt agree more. People who cant afford to cloth their children, should not be having them.
One of my best friends is about to pop any day now and she and her husband can hardly afford to support themselves. She quit her job almost 2 years ago and hasnt worked since. Her husband probably clears $25K a year. She fully intends on being pregnant again as soon as she absolutely can. I know its bad but I cant help but be completely disgusted by the whole situation. They are knowingly bringing children into a world where they support them. I’m sure they’ll end up on assistance sooner or later.
Post # 88
@UpstateCait: absolutely 100% agree with you that everyone should definitely have to go through a drug test. Just like you stated – I know I had to go through all SORTS of testing before being hired on at my job – INCLUDING DRUG TESTING – so why aren’t people on welfare or gov’t assistance put through the same thing?
also – i’m all for birth control being HANDED OUT FOR FREE when people collect food stamps. Or at least being an option for them – if they want them. Yes part of me says “mandatory” but I know that’s not right because it’s their choice to be on it or not…so at least have BC be it pills or condoms available and ready for pick up when they pick up their assistance too.
I remember, years ago when I was a cashier at wally world…a woman came through my lane with her child (and yes, just so happened to be using food stamps…). the other part of her order (non-food) was a carton of cigarettes and a few clothing items for her 5 year old who was with her. I rang her up and told her the total and she realized she didn’t have enough $$ to buy both the clothes and the cigarettes – so what did she ask me to put back? Yup – you guessed it (the child’s clothes). Oh how I wanted to throw the cigarettes at her head! I’m not making this up!
Post # 89
Well to the original question, I just wanted to say that I felt EXACTLY the same way until just recently (I’m 29). I still don’t want to have kids enough to say “I want to have kids!” but I’m starting to realize that it’s a bigger decision than I originally thought.
To the other issue, I personally see so many messed up situations it makes me crazy. First of all, I totally agree about the healthy food affordibility issue, a big bag of cheetos are way cheaper than the equivalent of fresh produce. So there’s a problem first and foremost. And I’m sure the system really does help a lot of people, but in my personal experience I’ve never seen it. I’ve only seen people abusing it. I used to volunteer for a program that provided low cost care for pets to qualified people, and it was a real eye-opener as to how many people are clearly abusing the system. It seriously made me want to throw up on a daily basis. Perfectly healthy people out on disability, welfare mothers who keep getting pregnant but wearing designer clothes, really ugly stuff. I even had a friend in high school whose parents actually got a divorce so the mom could claim she was a single parent to get additional government $, even though the two were still totally together.
So I guess the only part of what I just said that’s relevant to this thread is I don’t think people should have kids or try to live a certain lifestyle if they can’t afford it. It can be really sickening to see my hard earned $ going to a family with 10 kids, all of which are wearing brand new $150 sneakers. Meanwhile the Mom is pregnant again.
Post # 90
How did this post go from being about not ready/not wanting kids to blasting those on government support? I totally understand the argument that people abuse the system, I have seen it myself. But, like previous posters have said, there are many people who don’t abuse it.
Post # 91
I’m 29 and don’t have “baby fever” AT ALL. My husband is 44, which is really the only reason we are planning to start TTC in a year or so. If we were the same age, I would wait another 5 years at least. I don’t think its selfish at all to not want kids – I think its unbelievably selfish to have kids (at any age) you don’t really want and are not financially/emotionally/educationally able to support 100%.
I think everyone has different standards of “comfort” before having kids, but IMO it would be nice to see more people have some of the same goals that the OP has. Right now, one of me and my husband’s major concerns is paying for the future child’s college tuition. Education is super important to both of us (he’s a professor, go figure!), and its important for us to plan ahead for this. A friend of mine just had her 2nd baby (and they make significantly less than we do), and when I asked her about college she just shrugged her shoulders and said “cross that bridge when they come to it”. I can’t wrap my head around that mindset, but, again, it’s about what you’re used to (neither she nor her husband went to college), and what your standards of “comfort” are.
Just a point re: welfare. There is a federal time limit rules on welfare – 5 years. Only a handful of states (less than 10, can’t remember the exact number) extend benefits beyond 5 years.
It’s easy to say to that people who can’t afford to have kids shouldn’t have them (and I 100% agree with that!) but they are going to have them anyhow. You can’t cut off food benefits to children, and unfortunately, you can’t give a 2 year old a check and a ride to the supermarket. That said, I personally think basic cooking classes should be mandatory with receipt of food stamps or WIC and I think food stamps should be run more like WIC.