Rant/Modern Mother’s Anxiety
Government Assistance for the people who truly need it? A lower-class perspective
I may be going in on a rant today, but I promise there is a point to be made. If not more than one point.
Being a woman, mother, in this day and age is difficult. You wake up each day and decide what to do with the time you have. Do you do laundry? Clean up the mess that will inevitably be recreated in a few hours (thanks toddlers)? Spend some time with your s/o? Or try to make time for yourself?
It’s never an easy decision to make, and trying to do it all is simply exhausting. Living with all of these daily decisions, and having Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Major Depressive Disorder (like I do), makes every day a difficulty in and of itself. Whatever I choose takes extra effort, and nagging in the back of my mind are all of the things I failed to get done. And it never really gets any easier.
I’m currently a mother of one (unruly) toddler boy, who constantly tests our patience. My fiancé and I, our son, and our two loving cats, struggle every day. In this economy, the difficulty of affording everything we need is almost impossible. Along with not having the greatest paying jobs in the world (hello side-gigs), my anxiety is at a personal all-time high. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t done anything to help it either. We are both considered essential workers (I’m an assistant store manager, and he is a cook), so we have worked every single day throughout the entire crisis.
Each day we worry about whether we will bring the virus home with us, if our son will carry it to our parents; if I happen to see my brothers and hand it off to one of them, unknowingly, endangering them and their wives and young children. Let alone if one of us are to get the virus. What will we do? How will we all survive on one income, and no health insurance?
I often wonder, although I know most of the reasoning, why “part-time” employees aren’t offered health insurance by employers, even owners of small local businesses. Sure, it may cost them a little extra money, and sure, it may be an inconvenience, but aren’t we, as a society meant to care for other people? Since when does a dollar make a difference when in comparison with someone’s health, their very life?
I have tried, on several occasions, to get health insurance assistance, but I’m considered in too high of an income bracket to qualify. I make roughly $16,000/year. My fiancé makes slightly less. So for a family of three (five if you include the kitties), we make (roughly) $30,000 every year. And that’s before taxes, social security, and our bills. What are we left with? Enough to buy a few groceries and hope and pray our one car does not break down on us (again). Last time it did, it cost over $1200 to fix it. That’s 1/25 of the money we get for the entire YEAR.
I do NOT believe we as Americans, as working people, are simply entitled to anything. We work hard for what little we do have, and we’re proud of that. However, I do think our case is not an anomaly. I believe there are MANY families in this country who, just like us, struggle to make ends meet. MANY families who need help with health insurance, with medical bills, with the cost of prescriptions and child care.
Can our government truly not help those who need it? Surely, there are those who do need that greatly more than we, but do we not still deserve to be looked after? Assisted in some way, as citizens, as working people? Perhaps this is an unpopular opinion. Perhaps the older generations will assume we are wanting handouts. But I firmly believe that something needs to be done in this country to take care of its citizens. The ones who TRULY need the help. The fathers who give their everything to bring home pitiful paychecks. The mothers who work and come home to care for their children and families. The men and women who live day to day, wondering where they will get their next meal, and how. The parents and people who suffer from debilitating illnesses, mental or otherwise, and need help paying for a trip to their doctor, or need help with groceries, and don’t qualify for “government assistance” because they’re in too high of an income bracket, even though they can hardly afford the things they’re able to have.
As a mother who struggles with mental illness, and can’t afford health insurance, barely affords groceries, and the bills, I know, for a fact, that my mental health would be much better if I had help with insurance. I know our bellies would always be full, and satisfied, and we wouldn’t have to tell our sweet baby no when he asked us for a trip to the zoo, or a toy, if we could have just a little help with our health insurance, or food expenses. We could afford to give him the experiences. We could give him a good Christmas, and great birthdays, without wondering how we were going to survive the rest of the month.
Something for us all to think about. Yes, someone may always have it worse, but shouldn’t we try to help them, and help ourselves? And if we cannot, should we not reach out to those who truly CAN?