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#61 of 412 Old 07-27-2008, 10:55 PM
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Hi, not on any assistance now but used medicaid for my whole pregnancy and homebirth (and proud of it)! I just had a thought to ad, re: expensive clothing at WIC offices etc.

What these judgmental people don't think of is.... um... lots of things are paid with taxpayer dollars. Schools, libraries, police, fire... roads.. on and on...

I think it would be really ridiculous of me to say something like -- "so and so borrows movies and books from the library and they are wearing expensive clothes!! Why use my tax dollars to borrow books when you can afford to buy them!!" or some such nonsense.

Besides, I have found many nearly new gymboree and such at thrift stores for like $.75 each so how do those people know they were bought new?

Also, I DISagree with the sentiment that people with less money deserve fewer enjoyments or pleasures in their lives. In my opinion, having been poor to the point of homelessness had it not been for kind family members and friends... people who are struggling need those small luxuries more. They make you forget for about 30 seconds that you might have to choose between your kid eating or a tank of gas for your partner to get to work (where we have been). I thank God we are in a better position now but any simple twist of fate or misguided choice could land some of these holier-than-thou people in the same position. It would do them well to remember that.

Sorry to get on my soapbox but it touches a chord.
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#62 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 12:18 AM
 
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That will be me soon, I'm going to have to tell the bank to come get the car. Its cheaper to rent one when we need it for Dr appts (cause the cost is reimbursed) and just do major shopping trips for groceries when we have the car to get us though most of the month which is what we do anyway. So yes you may well see someone driving a brand new car going to WIC or using food stamps. My car is costing just over $300 mo between payment/gas/insurance and I barely use it anymore becasue of gas prices. I'm tired of the stress and the car needs new tires, brakes, 100,000 mile tune up and I don't even know what that death rattle is (they said its a lose bracket and would only tighten it if I forked over $20) plus an oil change. So a couple $$$ in work easy, just can't afford it. My moms gonna have a cow but I don't think she can grasp the fact that I can't afford it. I think not having the car is actually going to be a relief once I have a bike I can ride to get us around

fwiw, I had a job when I got the car 4 years ago.
This is us now! We live 10 miles out of town & are vehicleless. The engines went in both our vehicles in the past 3 wks. We are looking, but we have a very small budget & need a car that is in good condition (we simply can't afford another "junker" but can't afford the cost of a car with a warranty either . We're discussing borrowing some $$$ from my Mom, but honestly, it's going OK without one. DH has been biking to work & will bike pretty much anywhere in town. We can use my Moms car on days she's out with her boyfriend since he usually drives, or do errands with her. It's working out OK. And, yes, everyone is having a really hard time understanding why we aren't rushing out & getting the first thing we can get our hands on, or taking on a payment.

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I've seen people at the WIC office with $500 strollers and/or designer clothes. I figure that either these items were gifts (don't you love how people will gift you with overpriced luxury items but not with essentials like grocery money?) or they were purchased before a change in fortune that resulted in WIC eligability.
This is me too! We're blessed with very generous families who have given us things like used vehicles, lots of clothes, toys, name brand shoes, etc.

Then again, I'm also very thrifty, do co-ops, buy wholesale, barter, etc to acheive some of the nicer things we have. There is also the assumption that everyone has to pay retail for everything they buy. I rarly pay full price. If anything I feel we deserve those nice things we do actually manage to get us *more* because we have to be so much more creative to get them!
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#63 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 02:22 AM
 
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I havenmt read all the posts, but I can ditto about getting nice things for next to nothing. On a different note have any of you experienced judgement from people who believed that you shouldn't have had kids at all if you need assistance? A very good friend said I don't care how many you have as long as you can pay for them. We live very frugally, but we believe in our right to have children, and the gov't definately wants a certain lifestyle out of us. We make under $15,000 a year, if I went to work we would lose most benifits,never see our kids or eachother, and actually cost the gov't more. My kids are homeschooled saving taxpayers something like $25,000 a year, and my son is at home with me saving another $7,000 a year in daycare vouchers. Our food stamps and medicaid don't even come close to spending that much taxpayer dollars. Not to mention the fact that people find it ok to pay someone else to mother my children, but look down on me for doing so. It is all so frustrating.

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#64 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What these judgmental people don't think of is.... um... lots of things are paid with taxpayer dollars. Schools, libraries, police, fire... roads.. on and on...
I think the rationale is that the things you're listing are seen as being "available to all," therefore using them doesn't carry the same stigma.

But, seriously, you can't "use" the public schools unless you have a child in the right age-range. And some of us never need a visit from the police or fire department.

Police and fire department are there for the people who need them, when they need them -- which is similar to programs like WIC and Food Stamps. So I guess the stigma's only attached to the programs where eligibility is determined by income.

Some people are willing to acknowledge that they might need the fire department one day -- but they resent paying their tax money on programs they can't imagine themselves ever needing.

Or, like the pp, they're okay with public assistance for people who visibly "need" it -- it only becomes a crime, or "visible abuse," when the person on public assistance doesn't seem to be suffering badly enough.

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... people who are struggling need those small luxuries more. They make you forget for about 30 seconds that you might have to choose between your kid eating or a tank of gas for your partner to get to work (where we have been).
So true!

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I thank God we are in a better position now but any simple twist of fate or misguided choice could land some of these holier-than-thou people in the same position. It would do them well to remember that.
Yes, and, as I've said before, I think that's where some people distance themselves, because they're just so sure that they're above ever needing this kind of help.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#65 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 10:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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On a different note have any of you experienced judgement from people who believed that you shouldn't have had kids at all if you need assistance? A very good friend said I don't care how many you have as long as you can pay for them.
I haven't been told this directly -- but years ago before I even had kids, I was at my sister's when her (childless) neighbor was visiting. My niece asked the neighbor to buy something for the school fundraiser, and the lady said she'd do it for my niece - but in general she had a "problem" with school fundraisers, because she felt that people shouldn't have kids unless they were prepared to totally pay for everything. She didn't feel it was her job to support other people's kids

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My kids are homeschooled saving taxpayers something like $25,000 a year,
I feel we're saving the taxpayers lots of money by homeschooling, too.

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and my son is at home with me saving another $7,000 a year in daycare vouchers. Our food stamps and medicaid don't even come close to spending that much taxpayer dollars. Not to mention the fact that people find it ok to pay someone else to mother my children, but look down on me for doing so. It is all so frustrating.
I've seen the same attitude. People get resentful about SAHM's like me, especially when they see SAHMing as a "luxury" they can't afford -- and they feel they're slaving away with their kids in daycare while I sit at home eating bon-bons I bought with "their" hard-earned money. But somehow it doesn't seem so awful to them if the mom on public assistance is having to leave her kids, too. Again, it just seems they want to see evidence of suffering. If we're not straining and sweating, we're not worthy of the help.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#66 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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The thing about having kids you can afford is something I have thought about. I wonder if folks want to put income as a determiner for issueing marriage liscenses. Or if the poor are allowed to marry they should make darn sure they never get pregnant and if they do then what forced adoption, abortion, sterilization???? I have heard the sterilization option put about. People have always had kids they couldn't afford: Alexander Hamilton was the bastard son of a prostitute, and Bob Marley was raised by his grandmother so his single mom could work. Bill Clinton was raised poor, and I am sure there are countless others that were raised dirt poor or on assistance that grew to do great things, or even just wonderfully average. What hurts is that the society I live in isn't set up to let me and mine get ahead easily. My DH works his a** off, and I care for my kids in the way most moms would love too, but after years of hyperventilating at the check out line, and having my stomach ache with embarrassment every time I had to put my "luxury" items back cause I went over budget, we got food stamps.
Thanks for this thread

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#67 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for this thread
Thanks for joining it! I'm glad you're here.

I think a big component of the societal attitude about "kids you can't afford" is the way that sex is now seen as separate from procreation. Sex is seen as a need by many, and it's currently not acceptable to make judgments (for others) about what parameters it's okay for sex to happen in.

And I certainly don't feel a need to make judgments about when it's okay for 2 adults to have a sexual relationship (as long as one of the adults isn't married to me!) -- but what upsets me is that the judgmentalism hasn't "gone away" -- it's just now being focused on people who procreate when others think they can't afford to.

The advent of birth control was supposed to increase options for everyone, especially women. But what about those of us who don't opt to use contraception? It seems like any contraceptive option is "in" -- the only option frowned upon is "opting out" and not doing anything to prevent a baby.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#68 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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I don't know how to quote you, but the attitude seperating sex and babies is a pet peeve of mine. Birth control doesn't empower women or children, and while I am Pro Choice it seems that often the only "choice" offered to women is abortion. I really want to see families viewed as important to the main stream, but alas we are in a culture that worships teens and twenty somethings. I am not a strong writer so I know I am all over the place with this, but I hope you KWIM

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#69 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 03:40 PM
 
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I don't know how to quote you, but the attitude seperating sex and babies is a pet peeve of mine. Birth control doesn't empower women or children, and while I am Pro Choice it seems that often the only "choice" offered to women is abortion.

I don't understand what you're saying here. I guess BC choices may vary according to region, but all BC is available and even free if you need it where I live. I also disagree that BC doesn't empower women. There have been lots of studies showing that access to BC does indeed empower women. I, for one, have chosen to have one child, and I am not forced to become pregnant due to lack of options. :
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#70 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 03:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magentamomma View Post
I don't know how to quote you, but the attitude seperating sex and babies is a pet peeve of mine. Birth control doesn't empower women or children, and while I am Pro Choice it seems that often the only "choice" offered to women is abortion. I really want to see families viewed as important to the main stream, but alas we are in a culture that worships teens and twenty somethings. I am not a strong writer so I know I am all over the place with this, but I hope you KWIM
huh? Birth control is very empowering for women, it allows us the CHOICE of when and if to become pregnant and not something that we have no choice in.

Seriously?
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#71 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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It empowers women who want to limit there family size of course, but for women who want a large family there is a stigma. In my spiritual belief system birth control doesn't work for me but there is little to know underastanding of this in main stream culture. No one should be forced to have more babies than they want just as no woman should be forced even subliminaly not to have the children she wants. In my area I know many women who were told by parents that they would be disowned if they did not abort. Is it choice to tell a 16 yr old that she HAS to have an abortion? This is happening alot where I come from. I know at least six young women to experience this kind of "choice". For me physically, the pill is toxic. I ABSOLUTELY agree with the right to choose, but the flip is that many of us feel pressure to make choices that aren't our own. I do not want to become a totalitarian state, where either no birth control is available, or only one child. What I would like to see some of the European programs strengthening the family. Italian SAHM get a pension in the end. I hope that clarifies.

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#72 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 04:16 PM
 
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just as no woman should be forced even subliminaly not to have the children she wants. In my area I know many women who were told by parents that they would be disowned if they did not abort.
Where do you live? And how many is many? I'm not sure what you mean by 'subliminally forced', either. Like, social pressure to have smaller families?
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#73 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 04:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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magentamomma, I totally identify!

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I'm not sure what you mean by 'subliminally forced', either. Like, social pressure to have smaller families?
"Subliminally" means it's not straight-out or obvious coercion. Here in America, most people are never forced to use contraception, or to abort. But there's tremendous social pressure directed toward some women and girls -- not always by the government, but by family and friends -- maybe even by prospective fathers.

It's like a sermon I heard once where the pastor decided to make a plug for vaccines (I know, different subject, but I really am going somewhere with this). The pastor said, "We now have a way to prevent dread diseases like polio -- but did you know there are some parents who actually choose not to vaccinate their children?"

In the same way, while many women embrace contraceptive options and find them very freeing, sometimes there's an attitude that those of us who choose to opt out, and to leave our fertility up to God, are being very stupid and/or irresponsible to bypass this "wonderful option."

I realize there are probably some women who can contracept without looking down on those who don't -- but I must say that most openly pro-contraception folks I know, seem to feel you're slightly loopy if you say, "No, thanks -- none for me!"

Example: after you (general you) gave birth (if you were assisted), didn't your doctor, nurse, or midwife ask, "What form of contraception will you be using?" Was it or was it not just assumed that you'd be doing something (besides or in addition to baby-led breastfeeding) to prevent another pregnancy?

Actually, my midwife was totally non-critical of our decision to leave it up to God -- but I think most medical folks expect you to use something artificial.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#74 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 05:27 PM
 
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thanks Mammal Mama I was feeling a little over my head here. I am not the best communicator in the world and I have no intention to offend.
Peace

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#75 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 06:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks Mammal Mama I was feeling a little over my head here. I am not the best communicator in the world and I have no intention to offend.
Peace
Thanks for opening up the subject!

I've been thinking even more, since my last post, about how "subliminal pressure" works in our society -- I think it's all part of an attempt to make people feel marginalized, as if they have to explain any choice that doesn't fit in with the majority-viewpoint.

A big piece of this is communicating/asking questions as if there were no "No" option to whatever is being endorsed.

And I'm not trying to debate the vaccine issue here -- I respect whatever view each person has on this, as on contraception -- but those of us who make counter-culture decisions about things like vaxes and contraception, usually notice the linguistic subtleties at play here.

Most doctors don't ask, "Do you vaccinate?" -- they ask, "Is your child up-to-date on all his immunizations?" And instead of asking new mothers, "Would you like to use contraception?" they'll ask, "What form of contraception will you be using?" It puts the person making the counter-culture choice in the position of feeling she has to defend her choice.

Of course, no one's going to strap us to a table and force us to wear an IUD like they do in China -- you usually don't hear about out-and-out coercion here: Things are just worded in such a way that you have to be pretty assertive and know your rights, to not get cajoled into going along with certain common practices.

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#76 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 09:28 PM
 
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I don't know how to quote you, but the attitude seperating sex and babies is a pet peeve of mine. Birth control doesn't empower women or children, and while I am Pro Choice it seems that often the only "choice" offered to women is abortion. I really want to see families viewed as important to the main stream, but alas we are in a culture that worships teens and twenty somethings. I am not a strong writer so I know I am all over the place with this, but I hope you KWIM

I hope no one minds if I go back to this, but I think there's something important here. I happen to be prolife, but I agree with you, magentamomma. If any choice is a TRUE choice, it must include the absolute freedom to make the opposite of the SOCIETALLY ACCEPTABLE choice.

I personally don't beleive birth control empowered women at all. WHat it did was free men from the responsibility of becoming fathers. It is now the woman's responsibility to avoid getting 'knocked up'. It has gone so far, that my own father hinted that I might have 'accidentally on purpose' gotten pregnant again without my husband's full consent. Now, you'd have to know my Dad to understand why he thought that, but there it is.

This applies to our own thread too, because society says, 'Oh, women have it so much better now because they can have a career if they so choose.
But we don't have a true choice, we are expected (that subtle societal expectation) to work, or if we do not, we are expected not to need help.

We are not allowed the choice to go against society's expectations for a normal family. I cannot accept my society's ideas on who should work, how many children we should have, and who should be raising my kids.



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#77 of 412 Old 07-28-2008, 11:57 PM
 
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I hope no one minds if I go back to this, but I think there's something important here. I happen to be prolife, but I agree with you, magentamomma. If any choice is a TRUE choice, it must include the absolute freedom to make the opposite of the SOCIETALLY ACCEPTABLE choice.

In my heart I would like to see a society where there was no need for abortion, that women could be supported enough to keep their babies.


I personally don't beleive birth control
empowered women at all. WHat it did was free men from the responsibility of becoming fathers. It is now the woman's responsibility to avoid getting 'knocked up'. It has gone so far, that my own father hinted that I might have 'accidentally on purpose' gotten pregnant again without my husband's full consent..
Exactly what I mean. Your DH was there so he obviously consented. I heard a woman get criticized for BF in front of men because they would get the wrong idea, but it is the exact right idea sex leads to babies!! Not a hard concept, but totally lost on a large segment of our population.


This applies to our own thread too, because society says, 'Oh, women have it so much better now because they can have a career if they so choose.
But we don't have a true choice, we are expected (that subtle societal expectation) to work, or if we do not, we are expected not to need help.

We are not allowed the choice to go against society's expectations for a normal family. I cannot accept my society's ideas on who should work, how many children we should have, and who should be raising my kids.

This is what I would have liked to have said.
That's why I wrote what I wrote. Not to get OT

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UAV's. . .
What are UAV's??? User Agreement Violations??

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#78 of 412 Old 07-29-2008, 08:58 AM
 
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Yup.

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#79 of 412 Old 07-29-2008, 09:19 AM
 
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We are not allowed the choice to go against society's expectations for a normal family. I cannot accept my society's ideas on who should work, how many children we should have, and who should be raising my kids.
:

Ironically though, I bet a lot of the WOHM get "societal pressure" from people telling them they aren't good enough parents because they *don't* SAH with their kids.

Seems like no matter WHAT choice we make now a days there is someone in our face telling us we're wrong.

ITA though about the whole birth control & choice thing though. I remember going to Planned Parenthood when DH & I were engaged because I though I was pg and they offered free testing. While we're stitting waiting for the results the NP was like "So, when do you want to schedule your abortion for?" Umm....EXCUSE ME! I've just told you I'm marrying the father in a few weeks, I'm 22 yrs old, done with college, have a good job & THAT is your idea of giving me my "options"? FWIW, I wasn't pregnant, but I've always remembered that very intensive counseling session.

For the Christian mamas here who don't use birth control you should check out www.aboverubies.org . You can also get their free newsletter that comes out a few times a year & the email one that comes about once a month.
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I agree, we are living unnatural lives.

We are getting ready to relocate, to a possibly very expensive town where cost of living is absolutley insane (like 3K a mo for a CHEAP 2 bbedroom) and I was looking in to if they have assistance but it turns out you still have to be below national poverty level to qualify. We would be living in our cars in our new town! LOL.

So we will see what happens. I am looking forward to getting some assistance when we need it.

And I am happy to be paying taxes for you all to have assistance as well. I think we should help eachother.
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#81 of 412 Old 07-29-2008, 01:41 PM
 
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Ok I'm joining this tribe.

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"Subliminally" means it's not straight-out or obvious coercion. Here in America, most people are never forced to use contraception, or to abort. But there's tremendous social pressure directed toward some women and girls -- not always by the government, but by family and friends -- maybe even by prospective fathers.

i hate getting into a discussion and then not having internet access!:

anyway. i needed to comment on this. it's so very, very, true. it's now regarded as the woman's responsibility to use protection. a lot of men i know won't even buy their own dang condoms anymore because "that's my gf/wife's responsibility"!!!!!!!

and as for the subtle and unspoken pressure to limit the number of children one has, especially if one is receiving assistance... oh it is very real. when i was pg with #4 i heard from everyone i know "oh, i hope this is your last!" "you know you can't afford anymore kids, why didn't you abort?" "why do you want more kids?" etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum. i let myself be convinced that i shouldn't have anymore children, and when i was told that i needed an emergency c-section... i told the dr i wanted my tubes tied while he was at it. dumbest thing i ever did in my life. i have regretted it from the minute i woke up after the surgery. i don't care how poor we are, i love my boys with my entire being, and i never believed before that artificial means of bc were a good idea (other than condoms. i mean, permanent or hormonal forms, but that's just me), yet i let myself get convinced that this was really the only option.

anyway.

i've been the girl in the brand new car picking up stuff from the food pantry. it was my mom's car. i didn't have one. and i got a dirty look from the worker that was helping me load the boxes into that car. i felt compelled to explain why i was driving a brand new car, which irritated me. what diff does it make? and was it really any of his business? nope, but i had to explain it.

i recently found out about a food co-op type thingfor those of us in wi, and parts of mi and northern il. www.sharewi.org and they take the ebt card!

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#83 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 09:06 AM
 
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The link janerose posted had a story about a tubal ligation reversal. . .

Maybe you'd be a good candidate?


DH and I agreed shortly after we got married that we would never have either one get 'fixed' if we thought we were done. The thought that something would happen to me, and DH would meet another mate, and that she would not be able to concieve children by him if she wanted to made me really upset. The opposite idea (something would happen to DH) made me feel sick. For us, having babies is part of our love.

I'm crying now, darnit. . .

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#84 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 10:45 AM
 
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As soon as we found out we were having #4 we were asked when dh was getting "snipped", ecspecially when it turned out to be a boy after 3 girls. Men brag to me about how they got snipped(most popular word choice around here) and how they took care of the problem of having more kids. There is a strong attitude of limiting family size... especially for those of us on assisitance. My SIL and BIL really think we are crazy. SIL will make comments about it frequently.

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#85 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 06:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by magentamomma View Post
As soon as we found out we were having #4 we were asked when dh was getting "snipped", ecspecially when it turned out to be a boy after 3 girls. Men brag to me about how they got snipped(most popular word choice around here) and how they took care of the problem of having more kids. There is a strong attitude of limiting family size... especially for those of us on assisitance. My SIL and BIL really think we are crazy. SIL will make comments about it frequently.
My FIL asked if he could pay for dh to get snipped after only one child! LOL.

Then again after each new child.

Still hasnt gotten snipped.

After ONE child.
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#86 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 06:58 PM
 
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What should I google if I am looking for assistance? I know how to get food stamps, but for other programs...in my area. ???
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#87 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 07:27 PM
 
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your local DHS office should have the forms for most assisitance. Also charities in the yellow pages. That should give you at least one food bank, and they will able to point you in the direction of others, or just call your local Salvation Army. we have only needed this sort of thing o couple of times but it is good to know.

homebirthing,,homeschooling intactalactivist mom to 3dd jumpers.gifand 2dsbouncy.gif.babyf.gifAlways busy
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#88 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Welcome, transformed and ishereal! -- plus any other newbies I may have missed!

I'm glad to see our discussion is still going strong!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#89 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 07:55 PM
 
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What should I google if I am looking for assistance? I know how to get food stamps, but for other programs...in my area. ???
I usually Google for my state's name & whatever benefit I'm trying to find. So, HEAP, WIC, food stamps, medicaid, etc.

You can also contact the above offices & see if they have a list of local programs that are available. I know at our WIC office we are given a list of all the local human services organizations to refer clients to when they inquire.

Good luck!
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#90 of 412 Old 07-30-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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I usually Google for my state's name & whatever benefit I'm trying to find. So, HEAP, WIC, food stamps, medicaid, etc.

You can also contact the above offices & see if they have a list of local programs that are available. I know at our WIC office we are given a list of all the local human services organizations to refer clients to when they inquire.

Good luck!
oh ok, yeah because I am thinking "outside" of govt stuff.

we dont qualify for squat right now, but dh is in real estate and changin careers so we will need it when we move. like alot probably.
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