“They’re not even in school and you’re paying $25,000 a head? Come on dude, that’s just dumber than crap.”

— Dave Ramsey, renowned financial advisor who will either tell you to live on beans and rice or declare bankruptcy if you’re broke, and his recent reply to a woman who shared that she was paying $25,000 annually for daycare

When our daughter was two, my husband and I found out we were having twins—talk about the surprise of a lifetime. We knew it would change our lives, we just didn’t know it would push us to the brink of bankruptcy.

At the time, my husband was in nursing school forty hours a week, our daughter was in day care, and we relied on my job for benefits and, obviously, money. There were doctor appointments and more doctor appointments, all with co-pays. Imaging studies. Bloodwork. Bi-weekly, then weekly, OB check-ins.

We were very fortunate they were born healthy but almost immediately began to feel the pinch. Diapers, formula, and payments for our “new to us” minivan added up quickly.

My husband took a $12 an hour job in the evenings after his nursing classes. Three months after our twins were born, I started using that minivan to make money by driving for Uber. I continued to drive a rideshare for three years. I missed New Years Eves with my husband, I spent my 38th birthday driving all day, I missed waterpark and beach days with my kids. I still feel ashamed when I realize I will not get that time back.

All of it, to pay for daycare and diapers.

When my husband graduated nursing school, it was a huge relief.

I am very passionate about helping families across the country with things like public or government-subsidized day care and social programs that help young families regardless of income. Other developed countries contribute, on average, $14k per child to families in the form of assistance. The United States is second-to-last, offering an average of just $500 to young families. Adults are choosing not to have children because of the cost—and who can blame them?

It is time for our government to help adults and families across the country. Programs like this should be seen as an investment in the next generation. It will allow parents to keep more money in their pocket and invigorate the economy: this money would help pay for kids’ sports teams, vacations, days to the local museum, trips to watch the local baseball team, and help build family  memories. No one knows how to spend money faster than parents, trust me.

If you agree with these ideas, please spread the word, make a campaign donation, and vote for me in the May 2024 primary.

Believe in change. Believe in the possible.

Believe in me.

Lindsay Donahue