Sometimes I think I might crack under the pressure.
I don’t mean to complain here and I know there are so many women in shoes similar to mine or worse situations, but I don’t know any personally so all I can do is relate it to what I used to know. The pressure of being a single parent from a financial standpoint is almost unbearable. We live in a society that practically sets its citizens up for failure regardless of how many bread-winners you have, but when that number is just one, it’s truly impossible.
Think about it. There are many other countries that successfully support their citizens. That subsidize health-care, education, child-care, and other basic human necessities and those cultures run smoothly and happily and those things are valued. Family is valued. Education is valued. Health is valued.
But in the U.S. I am penalized to the tune of $19,000 (down from $26,000) per-year (that’s out of take home pay) for being a mother. Its like, (for those of you without children), if you were offered a job and upon acceptance of the position your employer informed you that because you were so lucky to be employed, they were going to deduct 50% of your take home pay as a thank you for your employment. Sound crazy? Well believe me, living in a country where I as a single income earner get absolutely no break in child-care costs, but pay the same as if I lived in a double income household, that sounds just as ludicrous to me!
It’s more than depressing, it’s crippling. In our society, the only relief is when your child is 5 and they start kindergarten. Then you pray like hell you get a full-day school so that you will only have to pay for after school care.
Now to be honest I feel the judgment form all the families I know and love who luckily are not in my shoes and who can’t imagine “paying someone to raise your children” and when I had a husband and someone to help put food on the table I made every sacrifice so that I too could stay home and be with my children, but now what are my options? I mean seriously? My daycare bill would be the same weather I worked at McDonald’s or was a software VP.
It’s hard to fathom why our politicians have never taken up this issue and why our society in general does not protest this point louder. I cannot be the only parent feeling this pain!
By the time my 3 kids are all in at least kindergarten I will of spent a total of $132,000 on daycare for all three of them over their lives, and that is just so I could walk out the door in the morning and try to earn enough to get them a roof over their head. And believe me that is all it does! It won’t stop at kindergarten either, I will still be paying roughly $8,900 per-year in after school care, but at least thank god in 2 years the bill will be half….if I can last that long.
Written by: Sarah Centrella