I am so annoyed by this, I can't even quite find the right words. A friend of mine posted on FB the following:
Ok, in addition to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation or Donate Life America, if you are inclined to give a charitable donation this holiday season I'd urge you to consider this one as well.
I was expecting a sad story of health issues and struggles. I find this couple to be so selfish and so self-righteous that it's appalling. We've all had kids. We've all had struggles, whether emotionally, physically, or financially. Some of our kids were planned, others weren't. But, were we out there soliciting money from strangers because we wanted to have the ideal birth in a birthing center with midwives and because we needed maternity clothes (?!?!?). Did we spend too much money on PBR and indie shows that we had to voguely ask for our friends' friend's money via a hipster website? Dude.
Do these idiots think that once the baby is born that's all they're going to have to pay? I don't think these ignoramuses have any idea how many doctors' visits infants require, not to mention the basic expenses of raising a child. Way to plan, a-holes. Man, pony the fuck up for insurance. If you don't want to play the corporate games, then you should've saved up for the kid ahead of time.
And, for God's sake, Oh-Friend-Of-Mine, find a real cause to contribute to.
Yes, I just ended my sentence with a preposition, I'm that annoyed.
Reading back over this, and what others have said, has made me...not rethink what I said, exactly, but wish I wouldn't have been so vehement. I don't know the people in the original post. I don't know where they're coming from or who the site was meant to attract. I only know the people in my own life, and it's not fair to take out my frustrations with those people on anyone else.
No, I'm not better than them. However, planning is part of life. Planning for if/when to have kids, and even planning for the possibility of a "surprise," is important. I took a job that I didn't like, one that was outside my field and paid me half of what I had hoped to make, because I needed the benefits. Money is tight for us right now because I'm not working, and the insurance we can afford pretty much only covers well visits until we hit a very high deductible. We plan for/around that. We have several back-up plans in place in case our plans don't work out. It's part of being a responsible adult, and sometimes making sure those back-up plans stay intact requires sacrifice. I don't know these people--but I know quite a number who aren't willing to make those sacrifices or sit down and formulate those plans. They're happy to sail through life and expect that everything will turn out fine, even if it comes down to others carrying them through the rough spots. They aren't simply accepting of that possibility--they're counting on it.
Should we be able to count on our communities in our times of great need, whatever those communities might be? To an extent. Should we be counting them into our plans--not our back-up plans, but our general, front line plans? I don't think so. But that's me. I can choose who to help out, monetarily or otherwise, as can we all. In general, I tend not to give to those who choose lifestyles they can't support.
I am just appalled by the entire thing. Being without insurance sucks, I get that. Getting pregnant when you don't have insurance also stinks, but it doesn't mean you won't deliver your baby. You just won't do it under the circumstances you'd prefer.
By choosing a certain career - no one is ever FORCED into acting, that is a definite career choice - you are also choosing to possibly limit other aspects of your life. We all want the BMW experience of childbirth, but realistically, sometimes we have to accept that our circumstances won't allow for that. Sometimes you settle for the 10 year old dependable station wagon because it is in your budget.
We aren't talking about medical bills accumulated by some random, horrible act of god post birth. Now that's a cause worthy of internet space and contributions. Families suffering from piling high medical bills because of circumstances beyond their control- I wouldn't think twice about giving whatever I could. And have. These people, even if they only intended to recruit from friends/family, are getting it wrong. They are abusing the generosity of their community. I find it horribly offensive.
Yeah! What idiots these people are for having jobs. If only they knew that it was less offensive for them to be truly destitute and have a baby - because then Medicaid would cover it - then they could have made the less repugnant decision here!
Also, only rich people deserve to have babies. Discuss.
MM - I'm sorry about your week, do airlines still offer compassion rates for folks traveling for funerals?
As someone who built her wedding around a holiday (we got married on New Year's Eve - in the afternoon, so folks could still go out to another party if they wanted to) I have to ask why it is so bad to have done so (really, I want to understand and am trying to keep the defensiveness [sp?] out of my font). It was on a Saturday and we wanted to have it when folks from out of town could travel...and could sleep it off if the open bar went a little crazy! I agree that a baby shower on Mother's Day was a little strange, but I don't think it would have bugged me if it wasn't for a woman who clearly thought that she was inventing motherhood!
My thinking on this is pragmatic. I absolutely believe everyone should have health care. I vote for candidates that support that and I donate to charities for people who don't have health care.
But we don't live in a world where everybody has health care yet, and I am a pragmatic person. As I said, my feeling on this is based out of my personal experience with what this all can cost and what you can lose if the costs exceed what you have. I personally would not choose to bring a child into the world when I cannot even pay for the birth of this child. Is that unfair, yeah, it's really unfair. Do they have to agree with me? Clearly, they do not. But I personally would not do it. I do not make my life choices based on how the world should be, but how the world is. Meanwhile I continue trying to work to make the world better so better choices can be made.
It isn't about what people deserve, because the world isn't fair. To me it's about what I owe my kid. I owe it to be able to routinely put food on the table for him. I owe it to be able to provide him with yearly visits to the doctor's office. Circumstances change, things happen, and sometimes people can't make that work. But these people are going into this knowing they can never make this work. It really sucks that there isn't a social net to help them out better, but to me this isn't fair to their kid. And I'm sorry if that makes me an asshole.
I'm not exactly sure what liberal privilege has to do with it either, since most of my feelings are based on growing up with parents who obsessed about money because we didn't have enough of it and constantly feeling miserable and stressed about money. All the time. I wouldn't want that for my kid.
But, privilege has a way of blinding people, and I'm sure I could be missing things. I'm not going to gain any understanding of the opposing points of view though, cause y'all would prefer to insult those who don't believe the same thing as you. I get that you're angry about my position, for whatever your reasons, so that's cool.
Wow!! This thread has exploded since I last checked in. I still stand by my "feeling" related to the plea for help, but I am totally conflicted about it. My friend just posted this article and this is along the lines of my response to him:
That's a touching article. I feel conflicted because last week, a FB friend of mine posted a link to some friends of his who have a webpage soliciting donations from people to help them pay for the birth of their baby. The guy is an artist or actor or something and the woman teaches bilingual ed for the city of LA, but it sounds like part-time because she's a writer, too. Supposedly, they had health insurance until recently, as the woman said the school system cut benefits. I actually had to research this point because it sounded suspicious for the city gov't to cut benefits. Indeed, I found that all full-time employees have coverage, so I concluded that the woman must be an hourly or part-time employee, ineligible for benefits, perhaps by a new rule.
I was so put off by their "plea" for help because it sounded to me like these two priviliged twenty-somethings hadn't planned well and moved forth with having a baby despite no insurance benefits (it sounds like she maybe got pregnant after losing benefits). Perhaps the most off-putting about it is that they are sort of marketing themselves as a charity and the website that is hosting their plea does actual fundraising for charities or for projects to get off the ground. While this couple certainly has a project in the works, I just found it to be so self-serving and pathetic when most of us are doing what we can to pay expenses out of pocket or for health insurance. At worst, we ask out families or close friends for help.
I can't completely figure out why this couple aggravated me so much. I'm liberal. I'm all about helping my fellow man. I'm all for ObamaCare. Why shouldn't we ask our communities to help us? Isn't that what we sort of already do? Put in the perspective of the plight of the woman who wrote the LA Times article, yeah, we should help each other out.
Interesting. Thanks for the confliction.
So, I'm definitely conflicted about this. I think McGlory fairly accurately describes my irritation with their plea. I am disappointed at how belligerent the thread has become, but I guess I started it out rather strongly.