I am a married pregnant mother of two. My husband and I have been trying so hard to provide the life our children are worthy of. We married at 19 and 22, went to college, and have good jobs at a public university. We volunteer, pay our taxes, and care for those in our communities. We have tried to do everything right. However, we are just not able to make ends meet. We have cut out everything that is not a necessity, we cannot stock our fridge and instead rely on school meals for our children. We’ve tried to get second jobs, but he is a Boiler Operator and works shifts, and I am a Recruiter and have to travel. We have no family nearby to help with babysitting or picking up and dropping off our kids at school.
Because of mistakes that we made in our early twenties (credit cards, loans, non-essentials like cable, etc.) and medical bills, we are around $10,000 in debt. That doesn’t include student loans, rent, groceries, diapers, electricity, water, etc.
Everything has interest fees and late fees that keep preventing us from catching up and just when we start to get a hold of things, something else happens, like me getting pregnant despite being on birth control and tracking fertility to avoid getting pregnant. Or having our wages garnished because of a past due bill.
The icing on the cake has come recently. The garnishment came at the exact same time I was hospitalized for pre-term labor. I have been on bed rest for the last four weeks and will be for the next four weeks. I am given FMLA through my job, but it is only paid for with the amount of paid time off I have. I am about to receive my last pay check for at least 2 months.
When we were in a better position – before our second child (who was also conceived while I was on birth control) – we would cook meals for college students who didn’t have family in the area, we would take them in for holidays where breaks were too short for them to travel out of state to be with family, and we did it out of the kindness of our hearts. We always knew that it could be us that needed help one day. We don’t like to ask for help, because there are so many people who will consider you “lazy” or “irresponsible” and many other things. However, we have to put our pride aside now for the sake of our children. They shouldn’t have to suffer because of our inability to provide as parents. $10,000 would at least take the weight of debt, late fees, and interest rates off of our backs and allow us to just focus on our monthly bills for our household until I am able to return to work. At some point in our lives, we will be able to pay it forward once again.