Maybe slightly off topic, maybe not. I kind of get the feeling I’m not the only one who’s gone through something like this. People who think that, if fertility treatments can be afforded, then it must mean you’re in a strong financial state, but who also say that if fertility treatments aren’t easy to afford, you can’t afford to be a parent.
One of my best friends had the latter as her first reaction earlier this year when I told her we were going to do what we could to start IVF. I told her it would mean Cody and I would have to save more instead of going out as much. We simply weren’t going to be able to afford to do both IVF-stuff AND go out every weekend or every other weekend. Her reaction was that we couldn’t afford IVF then and couldn’t afford to be parents.
UGH! IVF out of pocket is less than 10% of what they estimate it takes to raise a kid, true, but you also don’t have to have all that estimated money up front. It’s spread out over the years (and I never figured out how it’s supposed to take a quarter of a million to raise a kid to age 18 anyway, not unless you’re factoring in an off-the-lot car at 16, private schools and tutors, etc). Many MANY people have children who wouldn’t be able to afford IVF and they’ve done just fine! My parents afforded me and my brother without government help, but they definitely couldn’t afford IVF, yet we always had a home, plenty of food, and even toys.
(I also encounter that a lot right here on LJ, people telling me they hope I don’t ever have a baby because I wouldn’t be able to afford to raise it, hypocritically often the same people who are so pro-welfare-for-all.)
The spot that caused me to feel a rant coming on just happened via IM a few minutes ago. Her unofficial-fiancé (waiting on her to decide which ring she wants, and the one she’s almost settled on has a price tag of $20k) got a new job today. He lost his last one for taking a week off just a week after starting to take her on a pricey Hawaiian vacation (I believe they stayed at the Hilton in Waikiki). She’s openly boasting about it being a $120k/yr position, and about how this means she can go back to decorating the wall by their front door, which she’s already dropped $300 on.
But I couldn’t summon up a bunch of, “YAY! I’M SO HAPPY FOR YOU! YAY!” emotions because I’m trying to research more insurance stuff for IVF while also arranging for me and Cody to move into a smaller, lower-cost apartment to help save money for this, and my own stuff has me pre-occupied. IMO, it’s more important for me to take care of my life than to summon up a bunch of excitement I don’t feel when I don’t pity their “hardship”. Having stocks worth six figures and having to pass on weekly make-up shopping isn’t a hardship! I congratulated her for him, or course, but did ask her to please not begin suggesting expensive outings again as she used to do (truthfully, I was a bit glad when her guy lost his job last time because I thought that maybe, just maybe, if they had to get by on her salary, which is about 15% more than Cody makes, then maybe she’d be more fun to hang out with because it would include trips to the mall to watch her drop $200 or more on make-up, and maybe it would make her more sympathetic to not being in the top 5% of households by income).
To her, $15 or $20 is “just $15 or $20”, as she has told me when I said I couldn’t afford a girls’ night out again that week, but in my world, that’s part of a co-pay. To her, $100 on a haircut is a good bargain, and she’s been trying to get me to go to her stylist and drop $100. If Cody and I can be trying for IVF, it must mean I can afford $100 for a haircut.
So what is it, IVF is difficult and expensive and not easy to afford, meaning we can’t afford to be parents because raising a child costs more overall, or we’re rolling in dough because we’ve managed to come this long without completely giving up?
She’s not the only one I know who has made presumptions about our financial state based on our discussing and aiming for IVF.
Why, oh WHY, do people feel that they have this right? We CAN afford to raise a child. We are NOT rolling in spare cash. I am so frustrated that is seems like the ONLY people who understand are Cody (obviously), one of my other best friends who lives three time zones away. Sad, very sad, when I feel more comfortable talking about this with people I don’t know and I am wishing my best local friend would forget I ever even mentioned IVF.