As my due date gets closer, I start to realize exactly how well this capitalist system is designed to keep the bottom on the bottom. My partner and I are far from well off but we had reached a point where we had our heads well above water. Lately, it feels like we are starting to drown again. With the end of the semester, a lot happened. My tutoring job ended and my doctor advised against double shifts at the restaurant. O'Neil has also suffered a cut in his hours at both of his jobs. This put a big dent in our income. Not exactly an ideal situation when there is a child on the way. After much calculation, we realized that there is about $1300 a month going out that isn't coming in anymore. To put this in better perspective, I am probably one of the most frugal people you will ever meet so there is no wasted money in our house. We have stopped eating out (which is somewhat blasphemy when you work in the industry), use coupons for everything, buy in bulk, pack lunches, buy store brands, hunt for freebies, adjusted our phones and cable to reduce cost, use as little hot water as possible, ration electricity... I mean really the ways in which we have tried to reduce costs are just about endless.
Two nights ago, I spent 3 or 4 hours online looking into cost effective (and eco-friendly) ways to raise a child. I already knew breastfeeding was a sure bet at reducing costs and after an intial investment so would cloth diapers. The problem is I can't stay home to breastfeed so I'm going to have be a cow and milk myself a few times a day while I'm working. Why is this a problem? I work in a restaurant right now, until I find a new job utilizing my degree (which, in this economy, is not going to be easy). There really is no where other than the nasty staff bathroom for me to pump and I can't exactly say "I'm sorry I need 30 minutes to pump so someone else will have to take my tables." Quite the catch 22 don't you think?