When Pregnancy Is the Biggest Scare

mom and daughter in povertyStephanie Jones, writing in Class Lives, says, “But poor girls are so strapped by their finances, we can’t imagine a pregnancy: the furniture needed, time away from work, the long-term financial costs, the exhaustion after a double shift, the food, the bottles, the formula, the child care.”

The author is right. Being pregnant when poor is the biggest scare, because you barely have enough to support yourself, let alone another human being. That’s an extra mouth to feed.

You have to make sure their clothes are clean, pay for school events, and toy cars and Barbie dolls to make them happy.

Struggling to Get By

I could relate to this personally from watching the struggles my mother, Gegeyanesh, faces being a single mother with three kids. Since coming to America, she has done everything on her own and it has been hell at times. She works two jobs, 16 hours a day, six days a week, running off of four hours of sleep.

Most days, she only eats a piece of fruit or bread because she doesn’t get a break between jobs. She works in a nursing home taking care of old folks. She showers them, wipes them after using the restroom, and feeds them. On her days off, they’ll ask her to come in and, as tired as she is, she has to. She has to have enough to make sure all the bills are paid. She has two bad knees, swollen feet, and blisters from being on her feet all day.

When you are not financially stable, having kids often consumes your life. Having enough for them to survive is your only priority.

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