A few months ago, one of my cab drivers – a nice young woman who is a few years younger than me and has an infant of her own – asked me when my husband and I are going to start our own family. Ignoring the twinge in my ovaries when she said this I told her that we definitely want to start a family, we’re just waiting until we have a bit more money because having babies are expensive.
“No they’re not,” she said. “MinnesotaCare paid for everything when I had Junior.”
For those of you who aren’t familiar with my state’s system, “MinnesotaCare is a publicly subsidized program for Minnesota residents who do not have access to affordable health care coverage. The program serves an average of more than 100,000 people each month. It has been critical to Minnesota’s welfare reform strategy, helping people leave welfare and go to work without losing health care coverage.” (That’s from their website.)
MinnesotaCare is actually pretty nifty … like it says in the blurb up above, you don’t have to be unemployed to qualify – you can still work and still receive MinnesotaCare.
Now, being a cab driver doesn’t pay a whole heck of a lot here in my small town. Plus, it does not offer any benefits other than dental. So without knowing what my driver’s husband does for a living and why he doesn’t have benefits, it’s really great that my driver and her son are covered under this system.
But dammit – why is it that my husband and I have full-time jobs and we’re supposedly living the American dream, but we don’t feel like we can afford to make a baby? Well – mostly because I have really bad health insurance through my full-time job. It will save us from hopefully having to deal with bankruptcy lawyers in case of an emergency, but having a baby is not an emergency and neither of us want to dip into my husband’s savings so we can give our in-laws grandbabies (sorry mom and mom-in-law.).
We are being very smart about this: When Hubby’s full-time job goes from temporary to permanent, he will have a Cadillac of a healthcare plan that will make mine look like a Pinto. He will also be making more money which will make it possible for me to work from home (that’s a whole other scheme). But it’s not easy. One of my motivations when I was paying off my bad debt was that we could start a family soon thereafter. Yup – can’t do that yet.
In the meantime, we wait. This is something that my husband and I are very good at. But I will not be idle. I/We have been given this time for a reason. I’m trying to start some freelance stuff up so I have a network to draw from when our first child is born. This will mean additional income in the interim and when I am staying at home. It also gives me time to save money. MinnesotaCare or not – you can’t tell me that babies don’t cost money. Even if I convince my husband (and my in-laws, and my folks, and my friends … wait, and myself) that cloth diapers are the way to go, there are incidental costs that come with babies.
So in the meantime, it is time to clean out my office. For over two years, it’s been catch-all for the physical chaos of my life. When it’s time for us to have kids, it will be our nursery. And it will probably take more than nine months for me to clean it.
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