Jane is 22 years old and already has two children both under 5 years old. It’s a lot of work and she doesn’t get much help.
After Jane got pregnant in high school at 17, everyone told her that she had ruined her life, and she started to believe them. After graduation, the father of her baby, Jose, married her, and started attending night school while working in an auto parts store. Things were difficult financially, but Jane’s father helped them out with money on the promise that Jane would attend community college once the baby was old enough to go to daycare.
Once the baby was old enough, Jane’s parents offered to pay for daycare or even watch the baby themselves on the weekends, but Jane refused the help and did not want to attend school. After she accidentally got pregnant again, her father stopped speaking to her or helping her with money. This made things even more difficult for herself and her husband, which put a huge strain on their relationship. Jose was almost finished with school, but now has to work 12 hours a day to support Jane and the children. Jane blames herself for the accidental pregnancy.
Jane and Jose both attended private school and come from upper middle class families. Before Jane got pregnant they had never wanted for anything and were both on track to attend college full time. Neither of them has ever had to budget or ask for help before, so they are struggling to make ends meet.
Today, Jane checked her bank account and realized that they do not have enough money for food, diapers, and baby formula. Her only options are to ask for help, but she doesn’t know how; her father had always taught that asking for help was beneath her. Since she is angry with her father, asking her family is out of the question. She knows that Jose’s parents blame her for ruining their son’s future, so she is afraid to ask them too. Her options are now to apply for food stamps or visit a food pantry. She knows if Jose finds out that she has done either he will be furious and blame her for not being able to manage the money that he works so hard for.
When have you been too afraid to ask for help? Are there people who may need your help, but are too afraid to ask? Are you carrying resentments like Jane and Jose’s families?