January 15, 2008,
J.N. asks from Beaverton, OR on January 10, 2008
How Can I Afford to Stay Home? How Do I Get Help If I Need It?
After months of racking my brain about what to do ~ I said "Duh J.! Ask the wonderful Mom's at Mamasource! They have always helped in the past!" So here it goes...
I am pregnant with twins, these will be our #4 & #5. I am "due" in the middle of May. As of now I work a full time job. It is my job that supports the families health insurance since my company pays for my entire family at no cost to us. I really wanted to stay home after we had our last child who is now 27 months, but just did not think it was possible. Well considering we are going to have to pay child care for 3 little ones (because my 2 year old is the only one now) I just don't know if it would be smart for me to still work! Besides the obvious benefits of staying home with my children, it just doesn't seem worth it! I got to stay home with my oldest two until my son who will be 9 this month was almost 1, but the now baby (2 yr. old) I had to go back to work after 3 months!!!
My husband will be finished with school in one year from now, and he gets a raise about every 4-6 months. We have talked it over a bit and are thinking that perhaps we could make it will a little help (food stamps or something like that) just until he can get a raise. I mean we have both been working since we were 16, the only time I ever used any state assistance was for 3 months when I was going through a separation from my oldest 2 childrens' father, and the only thing I used was W.I.C and a low income apartment! So it's not that I really feel that I deserve anything it's just that it's there for people who need help, and I guess I'm saying that I would not feel guilty using some assistance for a short time if it meant that I could stay home with my kids! Perhpas I could get a part time job after 6 month to a year or something if we needed a little extra ~ besides although I loved being a stay at home mom and desire to do it again ~ I think a little outside activity would be good.
So I guess my question is ~ does anyone know how I can go about finding out if we could even get any assistance? I mean if I go and apply for something are they going to say "well you are choosing to stay home with your children so there's nothing we can do for you."? Guess I'm looking for a little "how to" from some pros!
Any advice would be appreciated! Even if it's some helpful hints on how to live on a small budget with 5 kids and one income! Any tricks or advice at all!
Thanks so much and may you all be blessed in 2008!!!!!!
So What Happened?™
First of all I would like to thank everyone for taking time out of thier lives to share your thoughts, tips and words of encouragement with me!
I have done a little more researching on the net since I had so many of you send me links to helpful websites ~ truely a blessing! I think that we will be able to make it!
To answer some of the questions I was asked:
1) No my job will not allow me to work from home :( I don't even think they will let me come back part time because then I would have to job share and that's just something they don't really do. I work at a law firm in down town Portland and have been with them for 7+ years (doesn't break my heart to have a break!)
I did find out that I can stay on the Union Health insurance for 1 year after I leave but I would have to pay COBRA and I haven't done the math yet to see if that's even something we can consider!
2) I have thought about working from home. I am an Independent Beauty Consultant with Mary Kay cosmetics! I have been building my business for just over a year ~ my problem if I need to change my mind set. I joined Mary Kay for some fun girl time, personal growth and if I make a little extra money along the way then great! I need to learn to meet more wonderful women ~ but do not have many customers as of now and make only a few hundred dollars a year. But I have enjoyed every minute of it! And I thank all of the women on thier offers to join thier business ~ but Mary Kay is really a great company and I feel that it is the place for me.
3) I live in Aloha, Oregon.
4) My husband's company pays for his schooling and books since it's for a trade, so we don't have to worry about that! Which is a blessing in it's self! But he only goes one night a week so I don't think we can get any help based on that.
5) We are very scared and excited about having twins! It's going to be a challange but it's also a huge blessing!
well that's all I can think to answer about for now, but again I thank all of you for your words of encouragement! I truely belive that I will be able to live my dream of staying home to be a better MOM!
I will have each and everyone of you in my prayers ~ God Bless!
A.H. answers from Portland on January 11, 2008
Well, I would certainly look at seeing what aid you apply for - 5 kids is quite a lot, and daycare is expensive. That said, we ALL (well, I would venture to say at least most of us) want to stay home with our kids - whether we have 1, 5 or more. If everyone who wanted to stay home with their kids turned to the government to help fund that desire, well, our aid system would collapse. It's just not reasonable, or fair really, to expect the American work force, which often includes working mothers who have no other choice, to comfortably fund those who just want to stay at home to raise their kids (wouldn't we ALL, if given the choice). I'm not trying to be harsh, I totally support your desire to stay home with your kids, I'm just giving you some food for thought while making this decision and deciding if this is the way you want to do it. Many mothers in the workforce have to stay there for insurance purposes, or just the need to increase the family income (assuming it is a two adult household). The trick is to do so in a way that maximizes your time with your family. Do you have the option of working a late or night shift? Do you have the option of working weekends, or otherwise opposite days from your husband's schedule?
I work both nights AND weekends. I'd love not to work, but it just isn't reasonable for my family. I would say that it certainly isn't the "most" fun, and often we don't have just an overabundance of free family time as usually either one of us is sleeping or working, but I get to spend all week with my kids, and my husband gets to reconnect with them and be more active in their lives on the weekend. We try to maximize all of our commonly shared time to make the most of it, and we do just fine and everyone is happy. :)
Another thing you might consider is working FROM home during the kids' naps and whatnot. I know there are others, but WorkingSolutions.com is a great company that both my best friend and my husband has worked with in the past, so I know it is legit. In short they are subcontractors for companies like Office Depot and hotels.com and you dial into their network using your home phone and computer and you perform call center like stuff for them (placing order, making reservations, etc) and you get paid by the talk minute, with a garunteed minimum each hour (so you don't suffer if it is slow).
Anyway, I have to run so *I* can take a nap so I can go to work tonight! I hope this has given you some things to think about! Good luck and I know that whatever is best for you and your family will be what happens (it almost always does!!)!
1 mom found this helpful
A.H. answers from Portland on January 10, 2008
You can collect welfare (cash aid) for one year after your children are born. That is, if you qualify. You can collect food-stamps forever. I say take the aid and raise your own kids. You might also qualify for WIC, which is a good program that gives free food. It's better to use the system and raise wonderful human beings than to struggle with putting them in daycare. I used public assistance until my son was 2, now I work from home (babysitting and selling things on Ebay) and I support us both. Good luck. :)
1 mom found this helpful
L.R. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
There are lots of "calculators" online to help you figure it out, I just did one the other day: http://www.parents.com/app/stayathomecalculator/?sssdmh=d...
good luck, it is possible.
M.H. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
I don't know if this would work with your situation but I work part time at Starbucks. I have worked there for 4 years because of the cost of health insurance through my husbands work. You only have to work 20 hours (which is what I do) and it costs $175 for the entire family. That's with dental, vision, and 90% coverage for medical. They start you out a little above minimun wage but I tell everyone I don't work there for the pay I work there for the health benefits.
I work 3 days a week. 4am-8am one week day (everyone is home sleeping) 4am-12:30pm one week day (my dad comes over for 4 hours) and then every Saturday from 4-12:30. For our family and our situation it's perfect! Maybe with your husband going to school you may be able to be more flexible with times.
Being pregnant with twins may make it a little hard for that right now but if you need a part time something afterwards it may work. It's a nice environment for those few hours away from the kids and makes it all worth it knowing everyone has health insurance.
Good luck and here's the website for starbucks (not that you couldn't have figured it out) :)
D.S. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
I went thru the same dilema (my spelling sucks, sorry) several years ago. My husband really wanted a stay at home wife, I had been working for more years than I cared to count, and we had 5 kids at that time (we are a blended family). The problem was that I made at least as good if not better take home pay then he. I guess, luckily for me, my job ended and that took the choice out of the matter. We thought about me looking for a new job, but when we figured in the cost of daycare, it was just plain stupid for me to keep working. We figured what we would spend for daycare and how much it was worth to me personally to work (i.e. I wasn't going to work just to pay the daycare) and as a family decided to tighten out belts and expenses so that our kids could have me at home with them.
That was 6 years ago. Is money tight sometimes??/ Actually I would say most times, but our youngest 3 kids have had something to build their lives upon that I wish I could have given the older 5, and that is their mom at home full time.
There are plenty of agencies out there to help, but you wouldn't be able to apply until you have quit your job. And in your circumstances there isn't any reason you shouldn't take this route, if it's what your family chooses. Whether you decide to stay at home or not, I would definitely apply at the very least for state medical assistance for your kids. I have found that the medical the state is miles ahead of anything we could get in the private sector. We have 6 of our 8 kids on it now, and at one time everyone was on it. The only one in the family without medical right now is me. I don't know what this family would have done without the state medical, even my husbands medical (REgence) which is supposed to be one of the best, sucks in comparision.
I will tell you what my mom told me that convinced me to look into getting any assistance that our family qualified for..."there are some many people out that abusing the system, but it is there for people like you and me, to help us out in our times of need." Mom told me that she had worked all those years and paid her taxes for people like me, to help get kids like her grandkids raised in the proper manner, meaning that they deserved and needed to have me at home. She also reminded me of all the years that I had worked and paid my taxes.
I hope this gives you some more food for thought. Good luck with your decision.
D.F. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
Before you jump to the question of how to survive with out your job, you need to figure out how to pay for health insurance. It is so expensive (over $700 a month for me and my kids- and we are in great shape/health and that does not even include my husband) so my advice to you is DO NOT QUIT YOUR JOB until your husband gets insurance that covers you all. A friend of mine gets great health insurance through Univ of WAshington because she is a teacher's aid and qualifiies for the UW teacher's insurance that way and is a student at the same time. If something happened to you or your family while you are uninsured, you would lose everything in a heatbeat. Just some food for thought. My good thoughts are with you!
K.S. answers from Seattle on January 13, 2008
Have you thought about working from home in some shape or form- I used to work, and provide the health ins- but I lost my job and I now work from home to supplement my hubby's income- it has been such a blessing.
Congrats on the twins btw- take care,
T.M. answers from Medford on January 12, 2008
I think it is a great idea to stay at home, even if just temporarily. Sounds as though you will have your hands full! Applying for WIC is helpful, just for a little extra food and for their car seat clinic (the sheriff's department installs brand new car seats for you children and DHS only charges $20 for each car seat). I would assume you most definately would qualify for food stamps through DHS and possibly cash assistance (there is no need to feel guilty about doing this--there is a lot of money alloted for food stamps, and believe it or not it isn't being used) (plus in countries like Sweden mothers and fathers get to stay at home with their newborn while receiving federal assistance because it is a socialist country--there is nothing wrong with the old addage "it takes a village to raise a child".)
I would assume you could get at least $300 a month in food stamps and possibly cash assistance. The next step after WIC and foodstamps is to put your family down on the waiting list for HUD...you can find nice places to live where you don't pay any rent for!
Then there is Oregon Health Plan for you while you're pregnant and for the three months after you are pregnant, and OHP for your kids, at least the two that are on their way (they are covered for one year at least). Based on your household income, perhaps your other children would qualify as well. There are a number of good pediatric doctors signed up to the networks that operate within OHP--my daughter is signed up for the Mid-Rogue IPA plan and will soon see the doctor that I have received recommendations for. And there is no monthly premium to pay--what a load off the shoulders!
To pay for household incidentals and whatnot--if you have a landline phone--you can receive assistance with that monthly payment, possibly even with certain cell phone plans--but I am not exactly clear about that, so you may want to research that on the internet, or ask your phone company. I found that cell phone company representative aren't to up on it, but there are a few carriers that participate in it and it does cut down on that cost.
And you can always resell items and whatnot on craigslist and eBay. I am sure there are a million and one ideas on how to make it as a stay-at-home mom. I wish I knew more because I am a stay-at-home mom, but I am going to have to go back to work full-time pretty soon and put my sweetheart in daycare. I didn't sign up for HUD, which would have been a HUGE help in allowing me to stay-at-home. But, I imagine you can't just up and move with a troupe of children. My friend lives in college family housing, which is covered by HUD as well. I am curious what other moms have to say about this!
Best of luck to you and your growing family.
N.W. answers from Eugene on January 13, 2008
The book, The Tightwad Gazette, by Amy Dacyczyn, was a huge help and inspiration to me when I decided to leave work 18 years ago to stay at home with my 2 children. Since then we have had 2 more kids and I am still home full-time saving money!
Doing the math was a reality check for me. Taxes, tithes and childcare took 80% of my income. Out of the remaining 20%, I still had to pay for business clothes, gas, meals out. Instead of working full-time to earn that 20%, I decided to make it my job to find ways to save the money so we could live on one income. This book really challenged me to think creatively and learn to live more simply, not a bad idea for any of us.
Best of luck to you. I hope you find a way to make it work.
L.E. answers from Eugene on January 12, 2008
I have three of my own. We started when we were 19, so things have been tough financially because neither of us were settled into careers then. We are getting there, but have had to use assistance along the way and be creative. WIC is really simple to apply for, and they would not care if you were staying home with your childre. IF anything they would probably even encourage it. And on one income with 5 children I think you would easily be accepted.
My husband and I both currently work, and I work two jobs. AND we still are accepted for OHP. THis covers our children's medical expenses, not ours. We rarely use it, but it is nice to know when there is an emergency we are covered. AND won't fall even further behind.
ALSO, Meal planning is always helpful. Plan out what you want for the week before you go to the store. IT will help you save money. There are some books out on this. IF you are not familiar in it, it might be worth the investment.
H.H. answers from Yakima on January 12, 2008
Well, I don't know if OR is the same as WA or not when it comes to assistance, but when I was pregnant with my 1st I was eligible for medical coupons, they cover most doc visits for you and for the babies first year of life. Call your local DSHS office for an application and to see if you are eligible for anything else. Hope this helps!
H. in WA
P.B. answers from Richland on January 12, 2008
Hi, J., well having a family is so wonderful and you have your hands full, and really full after the twins are born, and you will need to rest even more carring twins.
A friend once told me, that all you have to do is, remember that instead of three ice creams a day, you treat you self to maybe only one.
It sounds like maybe with good stamps and just re-routeing your budget, and maybe there is state medical you can get for your family, while your husband is in school, it can be done but boy it takes alot of planning, as for budget, I have found that if you stay with the basic, and no fast foods, or instant foods, it will save you money. There are alot of intresting recipes that will help and being home sounds like your children need you.
Also maybe your job will let you work at home-part time, or maybe you will be able to find somthing on that order.
Congrats on the wonderful family you have and sounds like you and your husband have a strong relationship and a wondrful family. Good luck P. B
S.C. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
Hi J.-Congradulations on taking the big step. After I got our of the Army and had my second child I decided to stay home. What we did first was look at our finances and then remove all the stuff that my job was creating: child care, extra gas professional clothing and so on. Then we looked for all the stuff we did not "need". It was hard but we made some lists on "needs" and "wants". We had WIC at first but went to the food bank and our church and never needed other state services, but please remember they are there for you and your family. You and your husband have worked hard and have paid taxes that support these programs and as long as you don't over use I say use what you need and if you feel the need to get out see if one of your friends or neibors will trake babysitting so you can donate your time to your kids school, food bank or other organization that needs help. Do you do crafts or have a skill that your can make stuff and sell? I crochett and needle point and I would make stuff and sell them at craft stores or put an add in a paper and brought in needed income. How about watching other kids? You sound like you have your hands full, but could you watch one or two more to keep your two year old company? That can bring in some income and lots of people like their kids in a home rather than a facility. I did that as well until we got on our feet. I alway plant a garden in the spring to supplament our food and making a menu until you get used to living on a small budget helps. I stocked up on food storage with every bit of extra money we had so that was not a worry for us. I have been home for eight years now and it is still tight some month, but with my husband in the military it had always been tight! Both our kids have ADHD and our son it Autistic and BiPolar so as for the insurance you can get state insurance but I would wait until you have your babies, just tell your job after your three month of "baby vacation" you will not be coming back that way you will have your insurance as long as possible. I hope you work it out, your kids will only be home a few years and then they will be gone. Pray about and Heavely Father will help and support you. Take care and good luck-Shan
C.C. answers from Portland on January 12, 2008
You've probably already thought of this but, would the company you work for allow you to work from home? I don't know what it is you do, but I have known women who do their work from home via computer. I can't imagine what child care would cost for 3 little ones. Or does the company you work for have some sort of position that would allow you to work from home? And don't feel bad about getting government assistance. The government should assist. That is something I want my tax dollars to go to. The best of luck to you and yours.
A.K. answers from Anchorage on January 12, 2008
I can suggest a few ideas I find help me to "stay in budget."
I use FREECYCLE (a free yahoo group set up to recycle unwanted items between neighbors in your city: I use -wanted-ads when I am about to run out of clothes or need baby furniture, household items, whatever). http://www.freecycle.org/
I also scan craigslist for the free section and for items I might revamp for gifts to the little ones.
I joined a frozen meals group - we make up to 10 frozen meals on a Saturday. The host buys all the ingredients then charges usually 3-4 dollars a meal (we live in Alaska where food prices can be high). We add our own meat so if anyone wants no meat or little meat or whatever it is no problem. Everyone submits recipes ahead of time then when the recipes are compiled - votes for the favorites. We made cookies, crockpot recipes, casseroles, etc. since we started. These are nice for those days you don't feel like cooking a big todo and just want to grab something quick (esp. instead of eating out).
I can get my children free immunizations at the city health department. This cuts down on doctor visits and costly immunizations. My doctor office has a hotline and nurses I can call if I need a question asked (I use this if I am not thinking it is something I need to come in for but just want to know what to do....). I can also call the local hospital hotline and ask for advice.
There is a site that I turn to to help budget better and live a life more frugal: http://www.betterbudgeting.com/frugalliving.htm
If you do get on WIC - there is a program that will allow you a cell phone for a dollar a month. I think only certain companies do this. Check with your WIC office.
In Alaska, we have Denali Kid Care (a medicaid run program which you can utilize if you are in a certain income bracket that fills the rest of your insurance needs for your children and for you if you are pregnant). I am not sure where you are located but perhaps there is some sort of program like this in your area.
That is all I can think of for now to help you try and stay home. I wish the best of luck for you and your little ones!
L.C. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
You could go to the DSHS website online for your state like in WA it's http://www1.dshs.wa.gov/esa/tec/.
They have a trial eligibility calculator. You could see what you qualify for. You can type in just your husband's income and see what you could apply for.
H.M. answers from Seattle on January 11, 2008
Hi J., first I would do some research to see what the income guidelines are for qualifing for assitance before you make a big decision. You may qualify for WIC now, it doesn't hurt to try. I have 3 kids and have always struggled with working and not working, daycare the whole bit. The best advice I have is do whats in your heart. If you have a strong desire to stay home with your children then find a way to make that happen. If you want to go back to work eventually you can do that too. There is no right or wrong here. At one point I actually got a job working at the daycare so I could be with my daughter while at work!! Good Luck!!
E.R. answers from Richland on January 12, 2008
State and federal benefits are based on income and family size. They have a quick pre-qualifying questionaire at the DSHS website. My husband recently left his job to start a new career but the opportunity he wanted fell through, so we're also in a transition period. I went back to work and he went back to school, but I hadn't worked in 4 years (staying home with my boys) and wasn't really qualified for anything. I love my job, but sometimes I only get 16 hours a week and the mortgage still needs to be paid. We got on DSHS insurance until my benefits at work kick in mext month and we get food stamps, which helps my peace of mind. No matter how bad things get we'll always be able to eat. Also, we didn't get any help from FAFSA, for school, initially because it's based on last years taxes and last year we were making money, but we applied for Special Circumstances and were able to get grant money to pay my husband's tuition. There is always help for students, money to be found. Sometimes you just have to ask. These systems are set up to help people help themselves. They won't turn you away because you want to stay home with your kids, and if you wanted to work part time, for sanity's sake, (which I totally understand!!) they also have a childcare assistance program. Take a look, see what you find out. I'm new to all this myself, but I'll try to help if you have any questions.
J.M. answers from Richland on January 12, 2008
Hi J., My name is J. and I am a unit leader with Avon, have you thought of selling Avon? It's easy and sells itself! The best part is it's your own business you set your own hours and days,so you are free to spend time at home with your family! It only cost $10.00 to sign up, and for the cost I give you brochures for 2 campaigns, and enough supplies to last you a few campaigns plus if you run short I will send you more.Another good thing is by sending your orders online for your first 4 campaigns you make 50% of your sales on the core products the other products like clothes, shoes, some jewelry you make 20%, after the 4 campaigns then it's a percentage of your sales but never goes below 20%. Just e-mail me at ____@____.com for more information
As to food stamps not quite sure about that my best suggestion would be to call DSHS and ask them questions, or go into the office and get pamphlets.
Good luck to you and your family!
Take care J.
N.S. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
My name is N. i am a stay at home mom with my son who is 2 1/2 and im pregnant with my second son due in June. Let me tell you about hard working americans who have been working since they were 14 and 15 and all the great help we were given.
When i was pregnant with my son, i was working full time for the same company for 3 years. i was the main provider for our household, money and full insurance benifits for myself, husband and unborn baby.My husband was busy working on his career as a firefighter.
Well afer i had my son, my work wasnt willing to work with me and a schedul that would work and they let me go.. Ohhh my Goshhh what to do. So with in a week of having a baby i lose my job, have no health insurance. Have to money to pay for my Mortage.(my husband and i owned are own house.)
I went down to DSHS and they say to me sorry you and your husband make to much money. we were making at the time ruffly 1200 a month and are mortage was 1000.00.. afer months of fighting with them they finally gave us medical for our son. They refused to give any food stamps, monthly assistants or medical to myself or husband. i was able to get WIC so i could feed my son.
I was sooo mad, i would sit in the DSHS office and see all of these people they never worked a day of there lifes, smelling like smoke, tlaking on cell phones gettng medical, food, etc...The worst was the people that didnt even speack english!!!!!! Why should ghey get help and i have been owrking since i was 15 and cant get any help and they dont even speak english so ovisly they havent contribut to the system.
So finaly we had to put our house up for Rent, we didnt want to get rid of it. we moved in with my parents, my husband decided to go to school to be a Paramedic. So we lived off of student loans. If it wasnt for living with my parents i truly believe we wuld have been homeless.
For 2 years i fought with the state trying to get help, they told me i owned a house (that i didnt live in) and mly husband was going to school so Sorry NO HELP!!!!!!1 I am like my husband is trying to better our life for us so we dont have to depend on you, He will be doing a job that takes care of all of these lossers when they need help but NO ONE WANTS TO HELP US.
When i got pregnant the second time around, i fought for another 4 months with them paying $1000.00 out of pocket for Self pay insurance. They finally gave me Insuranc for myself not my husband still.
And now that i am pregnant and on DSHS (for one i HATE using the coupon, im not like the people that use the system, and we didnt even try to get pregnant, we believe you need to be able to support your family yourself, but things happen) I get the worst care from people they just jack me around and i feel try to take advantage of me because they see DSHS and they think SCUM, and we can run all the test we know that DSHS will pay for so we can get more money.
My husband just got a full time job and will start in a couple of weeks. Icant wait until we have our own insurance and house again.
The system is not right they dont help those that really need it for awail. They will find every possible reason not to give you and your family medical or food support. I know that child care is expensive that is why i am not working, i would be working and half of my paycheck would go to childcare what is the point. I would rather go with out and give my child a good chance at success, then bring home an extra 300.00 at the end of the month and let someone else do all the work.
I wish you the BEST of LUCK.. I hope for your sace you can wait until afer your husband gets his raise and put the babies in daycare for a couple of months. Because you CAN NOT rely on the state to help at all.
If you live close by, maybe you could work and find someone close by that would come to your house and watch the babys for a couple of months for way cheaper then what you are paying a daycare. I maybe able to work something out with you. If you have any thought about it just cntact me.
good luck with everthing. Sorry this was long... i just have a lot of anger toward the system.
A.G. answers from Spokane on January 15, 2008
I work from home while taking care of my house and daughter and I LOVE IT. The company I work with has a proven track record and is registered with the BBB. Best of all, there is never any selling, stocking, or inventory!
Let me know if you want more info!
"The future belongs to those who believe
in the beauty of their dreams."
R.E. answers from Portland on January 12, 2008
You should be able to find out at your local Health Department... Where I live that's where you can get an OHP application (if you will need health insurance for the children) and WIC which can help pay for cereals, milk, eggs, cheese, etc... and I'm sure you could ask there about where to go to apply for food stamps. All those things could be a tremendous help so that you can afford to stay home.
Personally my hubby and I did not qualify for assistance, but it had nothing to do with the fact that I chose to stay home, so I wouldn't worry about that! :)
Good luck to you!
M.Y. answers from Spokane on January 12, 2008
My husband and I were in your situation with our first son. He was going to have slightly over a year left of school when our son was born. I wanted to stay home (the cost of childcare probably would have swallowed up most of my income anyhow--go figure that I hardly made more than minimum wage with a bachelor's degree!), but we were slightly unsure of HOW?
Using food stamps and WIC was hard for me to do, too, but my husband reasoned like you do: it wasn't long term and that's what these programs are in place for.
I qualified for WIC while pregnant and still working, and then continued on that. After my son was born, him and I were able to be on food stamps, but they wouldn't count my husband, as he was a student and not working at the time (we had saved up a bit of money b/t our wedding and me working and him working his summer job). My husband later got a part time job and then he was added to the food stamps.
I don't know how we would have gotten through it w/o the help! We're now doing good, my husband graduated on time, we're buying a house this spring and have welcomed baby #2!
I don't think they mind letting stay at home moms be on these programs either--we never had a problem with it, and I had been worried, like you are, that they would frown upon me not working. But the people I worked with were always very helpful and friendly and considerate.
K.B. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
Have you actually sat down and done a budget for what is spent right now vs. if you stay home? Focus on what your salary pays for and subtract daycare, wear and tear on your car, gas, eating out for lunch while working, etc. as expenses that you will no longer have. You will be surprised how little additional income you might need once you factor in all of those things. When you are ready, you can also look into some sort of an at home business. Do our research!!!! there are a lot of scams out there, but some are legit. There are some posted here on mamasource.
B.B. answers from Anchorage on January 12, 2008
I am pretty sure that as long as you have children under the age of 5 years old, and you meet the income guidelines, you are qualified to receive state assistance,like food stamps, and may even be eligible for a one time assistance with rent or house payment...not sure though...make an appointment with your local office..they will be able to tell you what all you qualify for. Most states even have a low-income Energy assistance program that helps with your gas and electricity bills for the household, whether you are renting or buying...I think the deadline for applying for this is April? They either send a one lump sum in the from of a check to either the electric company and you have a credit, or they can split the payment and put part to the gas company, if you use natural gas or propane to heat with..They ask you which you prefer....they will also let you know if there are other programs out there you may qualify for...sounds like you are doing the right thing by wanting to stay at home with your babies....so good luck to you! And may God bless you and your little growing family!
M.P. answers from Portland on January 10, 2008
Whether or not you are choosing to stay at home is not one of the criterian for receiving aid. You qualify if the total income for your family is below the amount set by the state. Call the state of Oregon Family Assistance. Be sure that you can also quality for Oregon Health Plan.
Medical care is so very expensive. My granddaughter who has asthma, the meds alone cost a couple of hundrend a month. And my daughter has thyroid difficulties and must take medicine for tht and another condition. Her expenses are probably another $100 or so. Although she's working full time at a reasonable wage she has to pay most medical expenses out of pocket. The company's plan is high deductible.
Look up info on the Internet ( start with State of Oregon) and then make an appointment to talk with a worker.
Yes, I agree that staying home with kids is a high priority. I hope tht you can arrange it.
I wish for the best for you and your family.'
By the way what did you wear to the party for which you needed a flapper dress?
C.P. answers from Bellingham on January 12, 2008
You might want to look into a twins group. They probably have a lot of resources that we woulnd't!
D.M. answers from Anchorage on January 12, 2008
Do a search on frugal living, you will be suprised where you can cut expenses. Then go to your state website and find a link for something like public assistance to see what is available in your state. I have been able to live on a single income with a family of five for several years. We have to skip the spending alot and times can become very thin, but it has always been worth it!
B.R. answers from Eugene on January 12, 2008
Hello J., I work in a field where the staff do not make a lot of money and are struggling keeping their families a float. Two of my staff get assistance ranging from food stamps, help with paying child care, living in low cost housing, free health insurance, and getting cash assistance. I would think that there would be nothing wrong with asking for help - the worst that the agency can say is "no." As for low cost insurance, I have my children covered by Regence Blue Cross Blue Shield of Oregon which is pretty reasonable. I think you can get coverage for around 60-90 a month.
I would check out the following website, it lists different agencies that can offer a range of medical help:
S.J. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
I applaud you for wanting to stay home with your kids. I never figured out how to do that as a singe mom. My daughter is now 16 and a great girl but I definitely regret not being able to stay home. I don't know a lot about the help that is available but there has to be something. Also you could try doing some work from home. I just started doing this to supplement my income. I started with a company called "Work At Home United" We are a great team full of mentors to help everyone succeed at reaching their goals. I hope to quit my day job soon and focus entirely on working from home. If you would like some information about our team and company, feel free to call or email me and good luck! Do all you can to stay home with those kids. They are the future.
T.J. answers from Seattle on January 12, 2008
I'm not sure about how to get help. But I can tell you about a part-time job when you are ready. I have chosen to stay at home with my daughter who is now 3 years old. To suppliment our income I chose a direct selling business. After lot's of research, I chose Partylite Gifts. If your not familiar with them they sell candles and accessories. The best thing about starting this business is that there is no cost to you to start. And you chose what day's and how many hours you want to work. If you would like more information I could send you a CD-ROM that Partylite has put out that explains everything about the company, and you can contact me with any other questions. You can reach me at ____@____.com, good luck and congratulations on your twins.