No one has ever said being a parent is an easy job. That’s especially true when you don’t have the resources. And no, we aren’t talking about not being able to plush up your little one’s future college fund. We’re talking about day-to-day problems like struggling financially to provide the basics.
The stats around poverty speak the message loud and clear. In 2020, the poverty rate for families averaged around 17.4%. That’s almost 1 in 5 families who don’t have the resources to make ends meet.
It can take a toll, especially when you’re unable to find affordable child care or afford diapers when you need them.
One Reddit user put into words how so many parents who are struggling financially feel, “I went to change my son and realized we have no diapers, and we don’t even have $20 to get a pack of diapers. Not on our debit or credit cards, not even $20. We spend all our money taking care of our son, and yet we still can’t afford f***ing diapers. I am so tired.”
There are, however, some resources available
Here are some programs to help — ideally — lessen the angst of financial struggles.
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC): This program provides support for pregnant and postpartum women and children up to the age of 5. Usually, you can get assistance with nutritional food options.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF): According to the Office of Family Assistance, this program provides states and territories with support to operate programs designed to help low-income families with children.
Additional places to look for support are your local food banks and pantries, ‘Buy Nothing’ groups on Facebook, or maybe even give your pediatrician’s office a call to see if they have samples to hold you over.
Whether you’re a new parent or have been in the game for a while (because, yes, kids get even more expensive as they age), know that you are doing a great job. If you’re struggling financially, ask for help, look for support. Join a parents group for tips and tricks to make it on an impossibly tight budget, but most importantly, find a community to remind you that you are not alone.
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