Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner

    It’s Halloween! Share your scary story–funny or serious- here!

    Posted October 30th, 2007 by

    Do you have a scary story to share about the hurdles you’ve faced raising children? Help collect real life stories about how scary it is to raise a child without adequate family-friendly policies. We’ve found that sharing true stories about the hurdles we face with parenting–from overly expensive healthcare and childcare, to a lack of time with children when they are born or sick–bring the issues to life better than any fact sheet could. Please share your story on our blog by scrolling down this blog page to “Post a Comment.” Do tell! And, don’t forget to click Post a Comment when you’re done writing. (After you’ve submitted your story here, please also consider letting us know at if we can contact you in the future to share your story with leaders and possibly the media.)

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    October 30, 2007 at 1:57 pm by Anonymous

    I know this is about moms, but I wanted to chime in for fathers. When my son was born, my husband had less than a week off of work. He went back a week later still feeling like he was in recovery. He had no time to bond with our son.

    My friend’s husband didn’t have any sick leave saved up (flu season with their two year old did its work) so he had no time off for the birth of their second child. He was required to take unpaid leave in order to attend this birth. Our office gives a paid day off for your wedding, but not for the birth of your child!

    Also, nobody takes fathers seriously as caregivers. When my husband goes to pick my son up from daycare, the teachers talk to him about sports, not about my son. How did it get so hard to be a father?


    October 30, 2007 at 1:55 pm by Anonymous

    As a mother, a huge concern of mine is violence in the schools. I live in a safe suburban neighborhood, but I’m not so naive to think that we are immune from school violence. Just recently there have been revelations about the amount of sexual assaults taking place on suburban school buses. Threats scrawled on bathroom walls are pretty regular now. It only takes one gun getting into a school to create devastating results. Even without guns, the amount of bullying that takes place at schools, and now on the Internet is wholly unacceptable. Yet, here we mothers sit, helpless to do anything about it. While, of course, most of this behavior starts at home, somebody somewhere has to stand up and say “enough is enough!” Whether it’s stricter anti-bullying rules in school, more proactive steps taken by schools when anti-social behavior is detected, or more education of students and teachers as to what is and is not acceptable behavior, more needs to be done. We are required to send our children to schools, yet I’m terrified my daughter will be bullied at school like I was. How do we end this vicious cycle?


    October 30, 2007 at 1:55 pm by Anonymous

    I am a single mother to a seven-month old baby girl, and like many of the families who have posted here I am finding the burden of paying for childcare crushing. Monthly childcare expenses come to more than my rent. I can’t NOT work, but I can barely afford to work. Every month we are in the red. If I didn’t have help from her grandparents, we’d be completely unable to make this work.

    As an adjunct professor, I am lucky even to have landed a teaching position with health benefits. But paying the premiums for coverage for my daughter would cost about a quarter of my income. The paradox in this is that I am also “lucky” enough to make so little that she is eligible for coverage through the state.

    Why is the math of motherhood so crazy?


    November 1, 2007 at 2:24 pm by Anonymous

    You should bring your daughter to work! There’d be at least one parent who would applaud your bravery.


    October 30, 2007 at 3:05 pm by Anonymous

    I couldn’t agree more!!!!!!!!!
    My son was a victim of bullying of a sexual nature, and the school where he attends, is referring to the incident, as nothing more than “horseplay”.

    It infuriates me that the school is more “concerned” with their “reputation”; possible concern with unwelcome and “negative” reports/publicity, than they are with the safety of the children they “claim” to serve.

    They state the teachers have been trained to deal with bullying, I don’t believe their has been sufficient training, and the more bullying is “allowed”/”permitted” to occur, the less time there is for implementing the curriculum.

    It’s difficult to refrain from being so cynical, and viewing the world we live in, as an extremely “scary” place.


    October 30, 2007 at 1:54 pm by Anonymous

    I work 37.5 hours and every day I worry about my daughter (9th grader) and after school time. “Will I be able to get out of that meeting in time to pick her up?” “Will I call a friend to pick her up today?” “Will she take a bus to the library?” I pick her up as many days as my schedule allows but what I REALLY want is to be done with work in time to get her every day without worrying that my boss is going to grow impatient with my late “lunches” at 3:00, when I race over to school, take my daughter home and race back at 4:00, only to work 1/2 hour or so more. Or she may get impatient with me not being available at that time most days. I am considering proposing reducing my hours permanently but I’m afraid I’ll propose my way out of this job! Why wouldn’t they just find someone who wants to do it full time? In my heart I know my my family should come first!! That is what is wrong with this country. The guilt mothers are made to feel about trying to be a mom while still bringing in enough to help pay the mortgage. I want to be home, having the casual conversations from which most questions are born…the important ones about sex and drugs and boys. We need to change the stigma of it being negative to put our sick child before a job. I’m willing to be poor and not get paid when i cannot be at work. I just don’t want to feel divided loyalties.


    October 30, 2007 at 2:00 pm by Anonymous

    I hate that there are no regulations on our personal care products. Even many products that we know and “trust” use ingredients linked with cancer and toxicity. This effects the smallest infant to the eldest amoung us. We assume what we use everyday to wash our hair and paint our nails and keep us pretty and clean is all safe to use – but since the companies have no one to answer to they can put whatever they like in their products without regard to our health. And the sad part is that they actually DO use ingredients with known health issues in their products and we buy them with words like “gentle” on the cover and think we’re safe.


    October 30, 2007 at 1:43 pm by Anonymous

    I am 8 months pregnant with my second child. I am also employed full time as director of marketing by an small (under 50 people) company in PA. The company has fallen on some hard times and may have to close. If that happens in the near future (before I deliver this baby), I’ve learned I cannot get healthcare coverage in PA due to my ‘pre-existing’ condition of PREGNANCY! HIPPA covers you for group to group coverage, but not group to individual coverage in our state. The company if it goes out of business cannot offer COBRA. Unbelievable! My husband is self employed so I have the coverage for the entire family. I could only get individual coverage after (for me and my infant) after my 6 week check up! It seems criminal to discriminate a young, healthy, professional, pregnant woman in this day and age.


    October 30, 2007 at 1:42 pm by Anonymous

    After deliberating for months about how much time I would be able to spend with our first child before going back to work, my husband and I had only discussed briefly what his options were. Our son arrived 3 1/2 weeks early and though my job was super supportive, his boss was less so. At 8am, the morning that my son was born (he arrived at 12:09am), my husband and I are sleeping in our birthing suite when his phone rings. It turned out to be his boss. She briefly asked how the new family was and then questioned my husband as to when he would be returning to work. He wasn’t given an option; he would take one more day off and then return to his desk. So, the day after we came home with Asher, he was back at work, not even allowed to leave an hour early!! As he had been with the company less than a year, he wasn’t entitled to take advantage of FMLA. We didn’t want to use up his meager vacation and sick days if we needed them for an emergency, so after having 2 days to get to know his new son, my husband had to go back to work. My husband and I thought there may be some understanding from his boss, as she is a woman with children of her own, but apparently we were both terribly mistaken.


    October 30, 2007 at 1:58 pm by Anonymous

    I know I’m not alone in my concerns or in my situation. I’m a single mother of a kindergarten-age little girl – and I’m fortunate to have a pretty good school for her to attend, with an after-school program.

    My challenge is this: my daughter’s father is absent from her life and Child Support enforcement’s not been able to track him down and hold him responsible – that alone means I’ve absorbed nearly 100% of the cost of raising her. We’ve done relatively well, considering all the numerous financial and other stresses. I even found a city-run daycare that was *excellent* and had a sliding scale system of tuition. That allowed me to live on my own and not have to accept City, State or Federal Aid of other kinds. And it went year-round, so Summer’s were covered.

    Some families have the buffer or parents or other relatives that can care for a child when the child is ill or school is not in session; I do not. Since my daughter’s father is not in the picture, none of his family is, either. My parents are elderly and my mom spends 99% of her time taking care of my father, who has been ill with cancer for nearly two years.

    The hardest part is this: there are so many early dismissals, Teacher Professional Development Days and school closings, that finding care on those days is incredibly expensive! It is as if no one knows that I exist or that we need help. If you combine all the days off for vacation, early dismissals and in-service days, that’s nearly 30 days for which I must find care for my daughter!! The *cheapest* I seem to be able to find is about $50 a day. That’s $1,500 I do not have! Nor am I able to take 30 days off of work!

    This does not even take into consideration that as soon as school is out, I need to find another venue for her care; finding an affordable, high-quality, local Summer program for my child is nearly impossible. I “make too much money” for many programs that might assist us, by the way, negating the career and financial progress I’ve made over the years. I anticipate paying roughly $300 a week for her Summer care, and the Summer program doesn’t even kick in until July, leaving yet *another* gap to be filled.

    It is only because this Summer my daughter and I will be moving in with my loving and generous boyfriend that we will be able to function at all.

    Incidentally, my boyfriend and I are both established professionals and our combined income will also be in the low six figures…but without our affiliation, I would never own my own home, would risk the shut off of utilities, would lose health and car insurance, and most certainly not be able to afford to provide my daughter with the quality of nutrition I have been able to give her….

    This is terrifying, not scary. There’s so many things wrong with this picture, I am not even sure where to begin fixing it.


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