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No money, no baby

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A sunset photo of Carrie and Natalia

As kids, Carrie, left, and Natalia Mansmith both experienced some financial insecurity. Carrie Mansmith

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Carrie and Natalia Mansmith know they want to be moms. They talk about it constantly, daydreaming over the details of their future life as a family. They even have a name picked out — Bryson. There’s just one thing in the way. 

“We can’t afford to have a kid,” Carrie said during our interview. She feels that’s the last hurdle the two have to clear before they begin the long, complicated process of bringing a baby home as a queer couple. But Natalia worries that the clock is ticking.

“When you’re so focused on money, you kind of forget to focus on the things that actually matter. … There’s just so much more to life than how much money you have in your pocket.”

As kids, they both experienced some financial insecurity. For Natalia, the love and support she received from her family felt like enough to get them through hard financial times.

“We didn’t have a house at certain times, but our family all banded together,” she said.

But Carrie grew up with a single mom battling addiction, and they constantly struggled for basic necessities. Their need for support often put them at odds with their well-to-do relatives. Carrie fears she and Natalia won’t be able to provide a child the financial stability that she wished she’d had growing up.

“It takes a lot more than, you know, hugs and kisses,” she said.

Carrie has a combined-income threshold she wants to reach before bringing home a baby — almost a magic number. And they’re not too far off from that number. But will any number be enough to overcome the baggage they bring to their marriage? What would it take for them to get un-stuck?

If you liked this episode, share it with a friend. And to get even more Uncomfortable, subscribe to our newsletter. Each Friday you’ll get a note from Reema Khrais and some recommendations from the Uncomfortable team. If you missed it, here’s the latest issue.

If you want to tell us what you thought about the episode, or anything else, email us at uncomfortable@marketplace.org or fill out the form below.

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