Thursday, June 19, 2008

The price of being *just* a mom part I

When I decided to stay home to raise our baby after Ark Boy was born we had to make some hard decisions.
We did what I had said we would NEVER do.
We went on WIC.
We signed up for state medical insurance.
There have been annoyances with WIC but that's for another post.
Today we had to go to the Department of Human Services (DHS) about our medical coverage.
After trying to contact my "medical worker" since Farm Girl's birth over two months ago I finally caught her at her cubicle.
I know she works in a cubicle because Before Children (BC) I worked for an organization that worked with DHS.
I'm no DHS novice.
We received a letter (among several) that said I had to make an appt to sign a "Mach 5" (??!?!). One of the other letters said that Farm Girl had been added to my medical but just because the letter said that didn't mean it was true and I should call and confirm that everything was okay with my worker.
When I finally reached my medical worker I explained about the letter saying I had to call to confirm everything was okay with Farm Girl being on the account. She said she never sent that letter in a tone that showed that I was clearly ignorant.
About the letter that asked me to make an appt. she said:
"Oh no, you don't make an appt. You just come in and ask to talk to the covering worker and sign the "Mach 5".
ooohhh kaaay.
She did suggest we go in as soon as it opens so we don't have to wait as long.
It opens at 8:30am.
We got there at 8:20am.
There was a line.
A line I didn't want to stand in.
Maybe there's a little bit of pride left in me but mostly I couldn't tell where the end of the line was or even if it was a line.
We had to wait for 20mins or so to be called in.
Right before we were called Farm Girl had an explosive-up-her-back poop.
So I carried naked, poopy baby back to this person's office.
it was an office.
Not a cubicle.
Maybe things have changed in two years...
I explained that I needed to fill sign the "Mach 5".
This is the information they wanted:
my name, birthday
kids names and birthdays
my signature
I also brought the letter that had asked me to call and confirm that they had all the info they needed about Farm Girl. I made sure to highlight that portion so it would be very clear. I left that for her. Hope she gets it.

Because we got there early I was able to see employees coming to work and being greeted by their colleagues. It reminded me of when I was working in a similar atmosphere and kindof got sad that I wasn't working.
Especially when the alternative involves these awful experiences at DHS and the like.
Then I remembered that I/we think it's important that WE raise our children- not a daycare provider. It's also very important that I nurse and I know it would be very challenging if I work.
So why am I getting the dirty looks?
Because I chose to stay home with my children?
And why does it need to be a choice
Either go to work and leave your children for an unbearable number of hours a day
Stay home with your children and feel like you aren't doing enough
Why can't we do both?
Why can't work and have my children with me?
Wouldn't this be healthier? For everyone?
But I can't figure out how to make that work in our culutre
and right now it's more important to us that the kids are home with us than that I work.
And the stinky thing about all of this is that the ONLY reason we have to have anything to do with DHS is because we can't afford health insurance independently.


Ash said...

hey, you let me know if you need any help with this system. you probably have more experience that I do...but i might be able to help if you need it.

Joanna said...

I wish I had answers.