the high cost of parenting

She’d written “Plasma, 250.”

In my social services job, I see my share of parents who don’t get it right all the time.

And then there’s Monika.

An immigrant from eastern Europe, she’d been married and divorced with three young boys now in a new land, a new city, and a new life. To say it was going to be difficult was about as understated as saying little boys are quiet and don’t eat much.

She found work, a home and being an industrious woman, plugged herself and her sons into an affordable, awful neighborhood and impoverished subculture surrounded by selfish people who oftentimes did little more than take, expect and use.

She wasn’t raised that way.

She works long hours during the day and comes home to long hours at night with her sons, repeating the daily routine, and a mantra to herself that things will get better.

She lost her job recently and came to me ashamedly asking for “just a tiny bit” of help to keep the lights and A/C on until the next pittance of a paycheck hit her account or someone finally bit on one of the hundreds of resumes she’d submitted.

I asked her how much it costs to feed her family each month on her income.
She said “About 6 pints of plasma.”

Parenting is priceless.