A few years ago, my husband and I were in an incredible position to invest in a dream of ours and start a family. After our son was born summer of 2020, we took the plunge and invested in land in Maine. We’ve always wanted to own land—a peaceful and private place where we could homestead and enjoy a slower-paced, traditional lifestyle. That’s exactly what we did.
Due to unexpected health concerns, we left behind that piece of land to go back home and be closer to our families should the need arise. My husband went back to his old job, and I worked remotely. Luckily, everything on the health front turned out fine. We were pleasantly surprised to find out we were expecting our second child. We bought a house in a neighborhood for a steal, and we felt immensely proud of ourselves and where all of our hard work had taken us.
Today, I opened our bank account and saw less than $1,000 in the checking account. Money has been the only thing we’ve talked about for months now. Our land in Maine is up for sale because we can’t afford to keep it anymore. My husband looks defeated and haggard, and I don’t know how to help because I stay home with our children, and if I go back to work, we’ll have to figure out how to afford childcare, which would use up all the money I made anyway.
I never imagined things would look like this. When I was laid off before Thanksgiving last year, we tried to look at it as a blessing and part of God’s plan for our family because we wanted me to stay home and homeschool our children. We knew it would come with its challenges. My husband is a police officer and his employer doesn’t provide benefits to all dependents. And it’s not exactly a glamorously paid job. We added our kids to his plan and got myself some private coverage. We constantly assessed our spending habits and what could be improved.
The problem? We don’t have car payments. We don’t travel and hardly eat out. We live in a modest home in a neighborhood where we feel safe. We didn’t know how to cut expenses when our expenses are shelter, food, transportation, medical, and general personal care. What gives?
So here we are, selling our dream. My children and I now receive Medicaid as secondary insurance because our primaries didn’t cover anything, and we can’t afford our medical expenses. Living daily with financial stress completely robs our joy from a season we should be enjoying with our children. We’re concerned for our children’s future because how can we possibly afford to homeschool now? And I know we are not alone.
I can’t tell you how many parents I have spoken to who admit they have also received welfare in some shape or form and never thought they’d ever get to that place. How many people are selling as much as they can for extra cash or picking up side hustles when they’re already overworked. Countless families experiencing terrible situations in public schools, but they can’t afford private or to homeschool.
I know everyday Americans are desperate for something to change. For the degrees they invested in to actually pay off. For groceries and housing to be reasonably affordable. Praying daily for the future to bring a semblance of hope and prosperity, especially for their children. Because the truth is, if something doesn’t change, so many families will suffer terribly (if they aren’t already).
My heart knows the majority of people are responsible, hardworking people just doing their best. And aspirations of parenthood, reasonable housing, food, transportation, good education, and freedom shouldn’t have to be sacrificed today. I’m so sorry if you’re reading this today and the stress of current social and economic structures is robbing your family of joy. I pray for a better tomorrow, a tomorrow full of hope, for everyone.
“. . . but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31, NIV).