While we were talking to DH’s relative about summercamp and college for his fourth kid he mentioned that he had 7 kids in addition to his 4 and the one grandkid living at home over at his house that day. He said he usually did most days these days. The kids make friends with his kids and come over and then you find out that they don’t have any place to go to for Thanksgiving because their parents have abandoned or neglected (and maybe abused) them so you invite them over and suddenly you care for them and can’t kick them out because they have nowhere else to go.
DH’s family runs a gamut of socioeconomic status. We’re wealthy. His parents are well-off now, though they weren’t always. His brother’s family is comfortably middle class, his sister’s is lower to middle middle class. This relative is on the edge of lower middle class, depending on your definition. They have food and shelter, but they have unpleasant (medical, car, mortgage, etc.) debt levels at high interest rates and frequently they’re overdrawn and they’ve had cars repossessed and there are often worries about their ability to keep the house, for which they owe more than it is worth. They have terrible credit and often cannot borrow. Their life is filled with uncertainty and stress about money. Stress and bouts with poverty have affected their health as well. They have aged much faster than we have.
But they’re doing better than DH’s relative’s wife’s family. There’s no drug problems. There have only been small problems with the law. They have a house.
And they’re doing better than these other children from DH’s hometown. The children are loved and cared for and not at all neglected or abused at home. And he’s sharing some of that privilege with other kids.
I wish that range of how well people doing started closer to where DH’s relative is (only with less stress and uncertainty) and didn’t have so many people doing so much worse.