Opinion: Are we supposed to support our own children? Seriously?!!!
A working mom seeks help from an advice columnist:
DEAR ANN PANDERS: My husband and I both work and make good money and were really enjoying our life together until five years ago when we had a child and suddenly had to confront all these unexpected demands on our time and financial resources, which none of our childless friends have to deal with.
We had two sets of grandparents to rely on initially, but then they got all snarky and refused to keep the kid for 8-12 hours every day. So, we invited a foreign-exchange student to live in our house more or less rent-free in return for babysitting services, but she wasn't willing to do the laundry and house-cleaning, too, so we got rid of her. Finally, we settled on daycare, but you wouldn't believe how expensive it is. It costs so much, it would be cheaper for one of us to stay home and watch the kid ourselves. I know, crazy, right?
Well, once the child turned five, we figured our troubles were over because we could just stick her in kindergarten in the public school and it wouldn't cost us anything, but guess what? It's only half a day! So, like, what are we supposed to do for the other half?
Some of the school districts in the Chicago area offer full-day kindergarten, but not ours. Why can't there be full-day kindergarten in every school district in Illinois? Wouldn't that be great? Wouldn't that solve the problem for working parents who need to park their kid somewhere during the day without having to pay a babysitter?
What am I missing, Ann? Isn't full-day free kindergarten the obvious solution?
– River Forest Mom
DEAR RIVER FOREST MOM: You're absolutely right! People who take care of their own kids, or don't have any, should be taxed to provide free care for your child. That way, you'll have more money to spend on things that matter to you.