April 21, 2008

Welfare vs Getting a job

Welfare has been around for years. And as such, has also been abused in the process. I understand pregnant mothers that have no where to turn and need this assistance...in the beginning. However, I don't believe in raising your kids on it. Sure, all mothers would love to stay home and raise their children but using that as an excuse to receive financial aide is a bunch of nonsense. First of all, I have no idea how they survive. I know, back in the day, the State would give mothers extra money for every child they had without any incentive to get off. Times have changed. People are tired of supporting other peoples offspring's so they have forced the system to help the mothers. Wow, what a concept. If you really look at how you survive off of financial aide, it would be more beneficial to get a job. There are even programs to help train women for today's market. I have been a single mother since my boys were 1 and 4. I never collected financial aide from the state nor assistance from anyone. I did it on my own because my dead beat ex husband couldn't hold down a job and was constantly chasing his wife across state lines or running from the law. It can be done. We would all much rather stay home and watch our children's first steps, rolling over for the first time, saying their first word, but you benefit them more by leading by example. Not to mention, it isnt fair. Why should anyone get to stay home with their child while I work to support them and my own children? What do the kids learn when Mommy stays at home all day and cant pay the bills?? Not responsibility. Do something to help yourself. If you cant afford to feed them, you shouldn't breed them. Things happen though and I completely understand. If you need the assistance, then use it. Don't make it a lifetime plan though. The longer you're off the job market, the harder it is to get a job. There are places to help with child care. Utilize them, and in turn, gain some self respect. If I have offended anyone, please accept my apology. No, wait, this is really how I feel. If I can support 2 boys on one salary, anyone can. Just do it.

10 comments:

Crazy Working Mom said...

My mom did it too. She was turned away when she asked for "help" because she made to much money. They told her to quit one of her jobs and stay home. She did it and I know that there are lots of women out there who do. I commend you for speaking out AND for being a WONDERFUL single mom. I have high respects for you, my friend! :)

Lori said...

Awwwww, Thank You:)

The Gal Herself said...

What a great post about a complicated issue! By personalizing it, you really got to the heart of the matter.

This has been on my barren-spinster mind lately because of the FLDS flap in Texas. Seems that if a man has, say a dozen wives and kids with each one, the welfare system is supporting him nicely. Since only the first marriage is recognized, his other 11 wives are all unwed mothers and COLLECT WELFARE!!!! I hope that if the authorities cannot prove child abuse, at least the IRS will get in there and take a good long, look at the books. This is so unfair to those who are genuinely struggling!

ScrapNBear said...

Could not agree with you more.

Anonymous said...

I agree getting on welfare as a way of life should not be done. However, we must consider that single parents very often live at the poverty level, many single mother's do not have the proper education or there are extuating circumstances that hinder employability. Welfare should be a social support system to help individuals get on their feet. Unfortunately the welfare system is not set up to help single Moms to get good paying jobs - just to get a job - usually minimum wage or just above that no family really lift themselves out of poverty. Our welfare system would be better to be putting these people through technical and/or college programs and producing education and providing these people with a way to really contribute to our society along with raise their families without having to live on minimum wages. That is the way to break the welfare cycle. But right now our system is based on working (any work at at any pay) and not on educating... Perpetuating the cycle of poverty particularly for single Moms.

Also I wanted to point out there is a large segment of single parents with disabilities themselves or who are raising children with disabilities. As a single Mother with a child with autism I can tell you how difficult it is to place a child with a disability in a daycare environment. Programs and supports for these families is essentially nonexistent. The traditional supports do not work. Many parents with special needs kids will stay home on public assistance combined with SSI and part-time work, not because they don't want to work but because there is no support system for them. They cannot find child care, when these kids go school - the school is calling constantly, their meetings, their are behavior issues, there are medical issues, there are therapies to go to after school/work hours, doctors appointments fill the calendar. These single parents are exhausted. Raising a special needs child is draining in 2 parent families - try it solo and then to be told to get a full-time job with no supports...If the child has a medical disability they are missing work themselves often because there is no one else to take the child, and their jobs are in jeopardy because of their increased absentism and multitude of problems. Many employers are not going to put up with these family issues for long particulary at low-paying jobs. I have worked at home for 9 years at a medical transcriptionist - sometimes barely scraping by as I have 2 kids with special needs - one with autism and one with motor dyspraxia and severe asthma which requires time out of school.

So my rambling point is -- remember we never know the full story. It's easy to say "get out and work" but not everyone has the same situation. Not all receipents of welfare are scamming the system or created equally --although those do exist.

Say a prayer for these struggling families and be grateful you have the physical health and well-being that you CAN work and so can your children.

Just lest you be judged.

Lori said...

Your case is very unique. The majority of single mothers arent in your situation. To say that a person has been failed by the system because they cant better themselves secondary to the system is wrong, in my opinion. Everyone has the ability to better themselves and their marketability. Im not judging anyone. Im saying that I worked for a living to support my 2 children without child support. For those people who use the system as a means to sit at home, it isnt fair to the rest of us. Being a single parent is a way of life in todays society. Dont except that label as an excuse to do nothing for yourself or yur kids. Use it as incentive.

Anonymous said...

i am sad. I enjoy your blog but your attitude on this topic is not sympathetic and rather harsh. I work for a living too - but I found a way to do so from home so that I could work best for my "unique' situation. I don't make a lot but money isn't everything and it's more imporatnt I meet my sons medical and developmental needs at this time. If that means getting assistance than so be it.

Also you are uninformed regarding my siutation being unique, as I am very active in the disability community and this is NOT a unique situation at all. There are many many single parents and in fact married couples too who really are struggling with how to work and take care of special needs children that have intensive needs.

Also how is this unique if 1 in 150 children are diagnosed with autism today? that is 1 in 150and it's higher in some states than others! this is an epidemic and not unique.

There are little support systems in place for these families.

We are NOT "blaming" the system but rather seeking to change and reform the system.

Just because you have the opportunity and health to get a job outside the home and you have the blessing of two children with no health issues doesn't mean others aren't in a percarious situation and you should be able to empathsize not brush them off as having a unique situation.

No one is saying for these families to do nothing and sit back to help themselves but at times these resources are limited.

Let me inform you a little about special needs parents, these families are some of the most staunch advocates you will find in the WORLD. They are fighters. They are folks who have lobbied their state and federal legistalors and they devote time UNPAID to advocate for their and OTHERS children's rights on a regular basis.Many single parents are praised for getting a good payign job but what do they give back other than being able to support their families? These families may struggle but they are the families who often effect teh greatest change by their relentless advocacy of social policies, helping the community etc...

They serve as special education advocatse for other families, They sit on nonprofit boards like the Autism Society and ARC and other national boards.. They are NOt folks waiting for a hand out or sitting idly by. But their priorties are much different than yours...

What I posted for originally was for you to recognize that you cannot assign people a one-size-fits-all judgement in regards to public assistance.

Yes, there are people who abuse welfare... yes there are those who refuse to work... but there also many who use the welfare systerm for it's intent and purpose - to help out in rough times, to help out the disadvantaged. There is no shame in this.... the options for people with disabilties or those who have kids with disabilities isn't an easy fix of "go get a job lazy person" They have a right to get public asisstance if needed, or apply for SSI or whatever measures they need without being to made to feel badly about this or that they are lazy.. .many don't want to do these things but find it necessary.

You I am sure have no idea of the medical expenses incurrred for a special needs child, mostly not covered by insurance for autism and similar conditions... YOu have no idea how exhausting the lifestyle is for a single parent...

My intent is not to be argumentative but rather to inform... that there is an entire subculture of disadvanrtaged single parents out there you know nothing of...not just me a single person... many do go on to get college degrees (I did), get jobs but many also utilized public assistance for a time particulary if their child is going through a rough spot/

My final thoughts folks please keep an open mind, and a nonjudgemental heart.

Single Moms getting on other single Moms about using welfare isn't the answer.... the system does need changes and everyone can effect their own personal change but you must realize that sometimes its easier for some to makechanges than it is for others because of certain disadvantages they face. I would simply say a prayeror a warm wish for them...as they have a rougher road than most. god bless.

Lori said...

Well, it seems to me that my reply to your comments will never be satisfactory. I live in California where welfare abuse is out of control. I said "unique" because it is. The majority of the people I see, like the girl I was standing behind in line at the grocery store today, abuse the privilege. She had her hair done, acrylic nails on with a name brand handbag and was giving the checker "Wicks" coupons. I get paid for my blog and the right to give my opinion. And, for the record, my youngest son has ADHD. I have fought many battles on his behalf. If you look into previous blogs I have written, it will discuss in detail my own private struggles. I will not rewrite how I feel because it is the view of many. I understand that certain circumstances have to be viewed in a different light, however, my opinion on this matter will never change. I work hard as a single mother and get very irritated by the many that live off of a system that was designed to help those in need...for a short time, not as a way of life. God bless you and your kids. Im sure the struggles you endure are many but the rewards of having your children outweigh the hardships.

riverclark said...

I am sorry if I offended you. Yes, indeed, i have seen women such as the ones in the grocery line you speak of and it's a shame. But I dont' get angry. Anger very often accomplishes little. It's more about reform and advocacy. It is my opinion those who are physically able should work but our public policies should put into effect some extra help for single Mothers. YOu can agree or not. There will always be those who overcome the odds with little assistance and they should be proud. But not all situations are created equal is all I meant to say.

But everyone has to make a choice what is best for them. For me forgoing a big income for now and a "sense of self" is a trade off I can make but maybe others could not. I do not judge them for their choices. Those who chose to work outside the home - kudos - you are independent and should be proud, but I am too independent in my own way albeit on a tighter budget maybe but I have strong beliefs how my children should raisesd - by me - not daycares and in accordance to our belief system.

Lori, your opinions are valid as this is your blog (and apparently you are paid ?? for it) and I have enjoyed many posts, but this paritcular blog left me a bit cold. So we agree to disagree shall we? And realize there are a wide vareity of opinions on social issues.... not everyone will agree with yours...

I am a conservative Christian single Mom who has opposing beliefs to many of your stated here, but I still read and can still garner wisdom from your views and consider them and I hope you do the same.

Sorry for any anonymous comments I was having difficulty signing in. I didn't construe any as spam. But will refrain from posting again if you find it offensive.

lest you think otherwise my sons are the best blessing of my life and being blessed with a disabled child has shown me a side of life and faith few are able to see so for that I am forever grateful. No regrets...

Lori said...

I think agreeing to disagree is the perfect thing for this topic. Yes, I do get paid for my blog. When I started this blog, it was because I was mad at Supportkids and I wanted people to know about it. I was approached by Divorce360 and have been writing for them ever since. For the record, the anonymous comments I made reference to had to do with my Wordless Wednesday and a spam comment I received. Im not sure why you take everything I say personal but it had nothing to do with you. I welcome any debate on all subjects. It keeps it interesting.