We’re not happy about it, but we’re back on food stamps. It wasn’t a choice we made lightly, or quickly, or without regret. In fact, getting back on food stamps probably causes me more grief than relief. It’s just not the place I hoped we’d be at this stage in our lives.
We’ve been married for ten years now. My husband and I both have college degrees, and he has his Master’s. We shouldn’t need food stamps! We shouldn’t need to rely on tax payer money! We certainly don’t want to. In fact, I’d vote against such programs if given the opportunity. I don’t think it’s the government’s job to take care of me.
But it seems as though we’ve chosen to be low-income. My husband works full-time for a non-profit organization, and I’ve chosen to be a stay-at-home mom in order to homeschool our three children. I also substitute teach part-time. So we need a little bit of help financially.
We don’t plan on being on food stamps indefinitely. I’d prefer to be off it now if we could afford it. And you can bet that we’ll get off as soon as our income goes up just a couple hundred dollars a month.
So if we’re generally against government assistance, and if we don’t like being on it, why get back on food stamps? Why not get another job? Why not struggle through life without it? I think it comes down to two things: priorities and availability.
As much as I think providing for your family is important, being there for your family is even more important. I think my generation, and perhaps even the generation just prior to my own, really understands where I’m coming from with this. Many parents a generation or two ago sacrificed immensely for their children. They worked long hours, got a second or even third job if necessary, and then still brought their work home with them, and generally did everything they could to pay the bills without help from anyone else.
While I think that this way of life is admirable, I also think it lacks something. Part of being a loving parent is being there for your kids. Spending time with them. Teaching them yourself. Not pushing these responsibilities onto others. And this goes for both the mom AND the dad. Kids need both.
So even though we could make more money by getting more jobs or working more hours, we choose not to because we feel we have a moral responsibility to raise our kids ourselves.
We also decided to get food stamps again because we’re eligible to do so, and we could benefit from them. We’ve actually been eligible for a long time, but we could make it by without them for a season, so we did. But now that we’ve started losing money consistently again, we felt it was time to utilize the program available to us.
The truth is, almost everyone in the U. S. receives some kind of financial benefit from the government at the expense of taxpayers. Do your kids go to public school? That costs taxpayers $10,615 per year per student. Did you receive and cash a stimulus check back in 2008? The average one cost taxpayers $950, with a total cost of about $152 billion.
I support your usage of these government programs. I don’t necessarily think our government should be spending quite so much on them, but as long as these things are available to you, I think you should utilize them if you can benefit from them.
It’s funny how people are generally fine with spending tax payer money when it’s labelled “education” or “stimulus,” but have a fit about others spending tax payer money when it’s called “nutrition assistance.”
Maybe since my three kids aren’t in public school, the government should send me an “education” check for $31,845 since this is what tax payers would have spent on my kids to go to public school. Then I wouldn’t have any need to be on any kind of “nutrition assistance” program. Sounds like a good idea to me.