This is an Elizabeth Warren post but’s also a post about being a parent in America.
Do you know why my kids are 4.5 years apart? I’ll tell you.
See, I wanted a second baby starting when my son was 2. I wanted that so bad. But daycare for an infant in DC cost $17,000 per year then. My husband was working on Capitol Hill where salaries are relatively low. I was working at a non-profit and the economy was in bad shape. Our rent was $2000 per month. We didn’t have a car payment at the time but my husband still had loans to pay.
We didn’t have another $17,000 in our budget. I couldn’t have a baby.
My friends were having more babies and I had to force a smile. My sister got pregnant with her second and I locked the door to my office and sobbed to my mother on the phone about how much I wished I could have another baby. One of my best friends actually confessed that she felt bad about telling me when she got pregnant with her second child becasue I was so ripped up about having to delay another baby or maybe never have one at all.
It was more that a year later that my husband went to a private sector job that got him enough of a pay bump to replace most of my salary. By subtracting the cost of daycare, that meant I could leave full-time work and we’d be in the same financial position as before. It also meant I could finally have the second baby my heart had been breaking to have.
Nothing in a family’s life works without childcare. If you don’t have family nearby to help, if you don’t have the income to cover costs, you have to make terrible compromises. You pick substandard care facilities. You go without other things to pay for sitters so you can work or go to school.
You delay a dream of another baby.
One of Elizabeth Warren’s first plans was for universal childcare. She showed me that she understood that families need two incomes and that they also need reliable care for children. She understands how much easier would life be if the question of “Who will watch the kids?” was answered?
Vote for Elizabeth Warren and we might have that answer for ourselves.