We Fight about if We Can Afford to Have Another Child

Should we apply for subsidy?

If someone is on the subsidy committee of a day school, please just post an answer now so I’ll know if it’s worth going through the humiliation of applying.

How would you assess a family that:

  • Owns a detached home, midtown
  • Takes an annual vacation to Florida
  • Takes an annual trip to Israel
  • Only one of the parents is working?

Let’s break it down:

  • The house: After my wife and I got married we were lucky enough to have family assistance to put a down payment on a house. We are barely managing the mortgage payments. A big reason we’re not moving is because we have family close-by who help significantly with child care. If we move away we’d need to hire a nanny or pay roughly the same for daycare.
  • Florida vacation: We drive. Stay at my grandparents’ condo. We only pay for gas.
  • Israel trip: My wife is from Israel. My children’s grandparents and cousins live there. My wife’s parents are not well enough to travel here. If my children are to have a relationship with half of their family then this is the only way.
  • Only one parent is working: One of us is studying towards an additional degree full-time with the hope that a better-paying job will lessen the need for a subsidy.

Will the subsidy committee only look at us on the surface? Or will they ask me about shopping for rotting fruit and vegetables in the reduced rack? Will they ask me about dressing my younger son in his older sister’s clothing? Will they ask me about the need to buy a new car (not new, second-hand) because my wife needs to take my daughter for specialized therapy twice a week and she’s not taking her an hour and a half each way on the TTC in the snow? Will they ask me about wrapping my niece’s old toys in wrapping paper and giving them to my daughter on her birthday? Will they ask me about hearing my wife cry at night after we fight about if we can afford to have another child like we’d always hoped, while slowly it’s getting too late for one?

Why does the Toronto Jewish community have enough money for health clubs, state-of-the-art new UJA buildings, museums, but not enough to reduce tuition? It’s like building a gorgeous museum and filling it with invaluable art, but the admission price is too high for so many people who would otherwise benefit so much.


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