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Welfare Moms - Should we be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children? - Page 2

post #21 of 792

My jaw dropped when I found out (not so long ago) that the US doesn't have paid parental leave, and unpaid only lasts 6 weeks. That's completely barbaric!

 

The way I look at it, having the government subsidize SAH parenthood is an investment: I'm quite sure it'd save a few hundred thousand dollars a year per person in the long run, when you account for the potential people who'd be kept out of jail if they had an involved parent around even part-time instead of raising themselves!

 

I do think there needs to be some kind of check on it, to keep people from just completely abusing it, but what that is, I can't say. I'm not familiar with the system in Canada or the US, so I don't know what is already in place.

 

In any case, it's most certainly a better use of money than space exploration, scouting around the solar system looking for our next planet to destroy, or to go chasing down minor drug offenses.

post #22 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I'm divided on this.  I know many mothers who have no interest in parenting, but they also have no intention of working.  So, they use the system.  I think we as a country give too much money to too many people and many of them are taking advantage.  

 

However, there are so many families who DO deserve it.  There are many moms who would happily work, if they could make enough money to support their family AND pay childcare, but our system doesn't make it easy for those who would work.   

 

I guess I just wish there were a better way to check on those who don't deserve help from the government, but are taking it anyway. 


i think the problem with this is how do you know for sure they aren't parenting well? just because they aren't doing it your way? and who gets to say which way is best? who is going to be the watchdog on this? and there are some moms who actually want to stay home with their kids and should be able to. does that make them lazy? bad? do you only deserve assistance if you work outside the home? and then what is the point? 

 

post #23 of 792
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Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 6:30pm
post #24 of 792

I looked at this post on facebook twice before deciding to add my 2 cents. I am a single mom to twins living on welfare. Wait - not living - barely surviving. I live in housing that is subsidized as part of a domestic violence program. My rent is still $20 more than the cash assistance I receive from the state. I have to do a lot of juggling to get the electric and gas utility bills paid... I also get food stamps each month but my twins are gluten and lactose intolerant so I really have to stretch to make the money cover the groceries. I also end up begging for diapers and I am considering potty training at 16 months since I can't afford the cost. We also have health insurance through the state but it is like drive thru Dr visits for me. The twins get more attention due to their issues (second set of ear tubes and allergies) - thank God. I was let go from my job last November when the twins got sick and needed the first surgery for ear tubes. I have looked for work since then but I lost  daycare assistance - so any job would have to pay well over $300 a week to cover daycare expenses. Even when I had help with daycare costs, it still cost $90 out of pocket and I was working part-time. I do not receive child support yet as my divorce has turned into a custody battle. I was able to prove DV against me but not against the children so he is asking for 50/50 custody.

 

I have to agree with another person who stated that there is no working the system anymore. I am getting lots of support and resources from the community and the government and we are still struggling. I worry every day about how I am going to pay the rent, keep the electricity on and buy diapers. If I earn more than $150 in a month, I could lose benefits from the state but that is not enough to cover expenses. The system is very broken and living in Arizona where the budgets are getting cut is not helping. If I didn't get help from the state (and a great church family) we would be on the street or in a shelter.

 

I have an associate's degree in education but I can't find a job that offers more than $7.50 an hour part-time. That isn't even enough to cover the cost of daycare for twins. Before anyone jumps on this post - I was married and the twins were a big surprise ! I had just gone off the pill and started a new job when I found out I was pregnant. After the twins were born, my marriage fell apart and the DV happened. We spent 9 weeks in a shelter before moving into subsidized housing. I have to attend classes, do volunteer hours and do case management as part of my requirements for living here. We do not have cable tv or any extras. We don't eat out or go to the movies. We don't have a car and we either walk or ride the bus to get around. I am only online because the internet connection for our staff is unsecured for the residents to tap into.

 

Welfare sucks and I would much rather be working part-time or at a job where I could have my children with me - but it isn't possible. I love being home with my twins but I never get a break. Life is hard and being a welfare mom is not sitting on the couch eating chocolate watching Oprah reruns.

 

Thanks for reading. ~ Courtney   http://cocoandtwins.blogspot.com/

post #25 of 792

This is the problem with the conservative agenda on welfare... there is this perception that prevails among conservative propaganda (yeah, I said it) that there is a large and significant subset of women who use the system with no intention of reform (i.e. back to work, becoming educated, etc)... as if it is a significant enough portion of welfare recipients to make a fiscal impact on the US budget. Show me the study that proves it. Check this out: http://www.anitra.net/homelessness/columns/anitra/eightmyths.html

 

 

Yes, in ANY system there will be fraudulent abusers of that system... but in the case of welfare recipients, that fraud is negligible. Who the HELL would spend as much time as it takes to navigate the welfare system to eek out a measly living from it fraudulently (in any country, but especially in the US), if it weren't absolutely necessary?? Do you have ANY idea what it's like to live on $6,000 a year?! Just budgeting that income is a full time job... there are no prepared meals in that budget... everything is made from scratch to save money (and I don't mean from a box, I mean from SCRATCH), every expedition outside the house is just that... an expedition... and how much time does it take to navigate public transportation to run the errands that it would take someone with a reliable vehicle half an hour to run? (I'll tell you how long: two hours, at least!), not to mention the disdainful and condescending BS that welfare recipients have to deal with from the welfare office to the grocery store clerk.

 

I could go on, but I won't. The fact is that the majority of fraud committed against the welfare system is done so by people that actually profit from it while also working, thereby getting more than they "deserve".

 

Sorry, I don't mean this personally at you, per se... but it REALLY IRKS me that this perception continues to pervade in our culture as it's perpetuated by the politicians that want more money in the pockets of their corporate investment bankers on the backs of hard-working families who are just trying to survive.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I'm divided on this.  I know many mothers who have no interest in parenting, but they also have no intention of working.  So, they use the system.  I think we as a country give too much money to too many people and many of them are taking advantage.  

 

However, there are so many families who DO deserve it.  There are many moms who would happily work, if they could make enough money to support their family AND pay childcare, but our system doesn't make it easy for those who would work.   

 

I guess I just wish there were a better way to check on those who don't deserve help from the government, but are taking it anyway. 



 

post #26 of 792

Yes.

post #27 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamaofthree View Post




i think the problem with this is how do you know for sure they aren't parenting well? just because they aren't doing it your way? and who gets to say which way is best? who is going to be the watchdog on this? and there are some moms who actually want to stay home with their kids and should be able to. does that make them lazy? bad? do you only deserve assistance if you work outside the home? and then what is the point? 

 

In some cases, it's obvious.  The kids aren't fed, the parents aren't home, there are drugs in the house... 

 

I have no idea who would be watch dog.... or how, I know it could never happen, but I WISH it could.

 

I have a friend who is being supported by a rich fiance.  She lives in a million dollar home, has the best of everything, but she won't get married because she'd have to give up her welfare.  She gets food stamps, free college, and a check each month.. all delivered to a house she doesn't even live in.  She gets paid under the table for part time work, and hasn't paid taxes in several years.  She's in school, but makes it no secret that she has no intention of working after she graduates, but she has to graduate or pay back her student loans.  She proudly says "my full time job is to find a rich husband".

 

Another woman we know (not a friend) has a Cadillac  Escalade, buys the most expensive clothes, because her boyfriends  sell meth out of her home, while her five kids play in the living room.  When one boyfriend gets arrested, she just gets a new boyfriend.   She collects welfare, and food stamps, but sells the food stamps.  I'm pretty sure she's never paid taxes. 

 

On the other hand, another woman works two jobs just to stay above water.  Her youngest child is 14, her oldest is 18. In order to qualify, she'd have to quit one or both jobs, instead of HELPing her, they want to take control away from her... she just needs help, not a complete free ride.

 

 

post #28 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post



In some cases, it's obvious.  The kids aren't fed, the parents aren't home, there are drugs in the house... 

 

I have no idea who would be watch dog.... or how, I know it could never happen, but I WISH it could.

 

I have a friend who is being supported by a rich fiance.  She lives in a million dollar home, has the best of everything, but she won't get married because she'd have to give up her welfare.  She gets food stamps, free college, and a check each month.. all delivered to a house she doesn't even live in.  She gets paid under the table for part time work, and hasn't paid taxes in several years.  She's in school, but makes it no secret that she has no intention of working after she graduates, but she has to graduate or pay back her student loans.  She proudly says "my full time job is to find a rich husband".

 

Another woman we know (not a friend) has a Cadillac  Escalade, buys the most expensive clothes, because her boyfriends  sell meth out of her home, while her five kids play in the living room.  When one boyfriend gets arrested, she just gets a new boyfriend.   She collects welfare, and food stamps, but sells the food stamps.  I'm pretty sure she's never paid taxes. 

 

On the other hand, another woman works two jobs just to stay above water.  Her youngest child is 14, her oldest is 18. In order to qualify, she'd have to quit one or both jobs, instead of HELPing her, they want to take control away from her... she just needs help, not a complete free ride.

 

 


Well, I'll give you the meth mom... I honestly wish that welfare recipients were drug tested... there has been talk of that in the past, but unfortunately the drug trade brings more to the US economy than fixing that problem is worth (otherwise there would have been something done about it by now).

 

As for your gold-digger friend.... ever think that maybe there's another reason that she's not getting married that she's too embarrassed to admit? Sounds like her problem is a lot bigger than stealing welfare, and has a lot to do with her emotional survival. Knowing that if he tosses her to the curb, she won't have to reapply to welfare. Even so, that sucks and I'm sorry that I harshly judged your perceptions earlier. Obviously your experience has impacted your opinion in a way I hadn't thought of before. :)

 

post #29 of 792

wow, some great points here.

 

Yes, we as mothers need to be supported so that we can be as fabulous mothers as we can be. It is confusing to me that the only help we have available to us is done so that we cannot actually raise our kids ourselves - but have somebody else do it.  It really begins to look like every move we make under our government is to stimulate the economy, and that anything and everything that is true and good about us and about life (motherhood, family, tribe, nature) does not matter.

 

Children belong with their mothers and/or fathers. If it is someone's preference to put their child in daycare, or someone else, so be it. A mother should have the right to breast feed, in person, for as many years as it takes. Our society needs to support mothers - society needs to work around mothers, not the other way around. Someday I hope a mother and/or father's actual presence and touch will be worth as much as food and shelter.

 

I believe it is our god-given right to raise our babies ourselves. Our society, our government should encourage this, should support this. This is OUR country. Not their country. And our government should be an extension of our own beliefs, needs, and desires.

 

I have known a bad mother. I don't use that term lightly. She lost the right to raise her children.  But what we need is community. We need to help each other, and when you have a bad mother on your hands, the mother needs to be rehabilitated or community needs to intervene so that the children are safe. I know that some people abuse the system. She was one of them. And then there's people like me that should be making more use of the system than I do. I need to be with my children. I have to be. But I certainly feel the pressure that I am not *supposed* to be (with them). I am suppose to let them go, so that I can get a job, collect all the assistance. But I can't do it.

 

I believe we need a whole system change.  And like someone else said - stay at home jobs, or jobs where we can take the kids with us, if need be. Better wages so that all wages can afford a decent living. And so that families can have at least one parent there at all times. But Ideally I'd like to see children having ample time with both parents, while also being contributing members of society. And single mothers that don't have their needs met, yes they should be helped so that they can be at home with their babies, if they desire it so, and I'd even like to see mamas have the right to homeschool as well. But also given the opportunity to provide work to society, and in a way that works AROUND what they need to do as mothers, and doesn't interfere with it.  And in these situations, as any, it should be made sure that single mamas are taking care of their babies good and right, that there is no abuse or neglect going on, that funds go where they are supposed to go, etc.

 

 

post #30 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I'm divided on this.  I know many mothers who have no interest in parenting, but they also have no intention of working.  So, they use the system.  I think we as a country give too much money to too many people and many of them are taking advantage.  

 

However, there are so many families who DO deserve it.  There are many moms who would happily work, if they could make enough money to support their family AND pay childcare, but our system doesn't make it easy for those who would work.   

 

I guess I just wish there were a better way to check on those who don't deserve help from the government, but are taking it anyway. 



Yes to all this. However, in defense of those mothers who don't want to work or parent, as hard as it is to watch, most of them are symptoms of this very same broken system. I know how many times I have wanted to throw my hands up in frustration, trying to balance rent, bills, keeping a car running in order to get to work, paying for childcare ordoing insane schedule juggling in order for both parents to bring in income (which still isn't enough to make ends meet) and say "forget it." I have been fortunate enough to see beyond poverty, so I have a vision for my family that I keep in my mind. For someone who is the 2nd or 3rd generation of abject poverty, survival on a welfare payment is enough because it's all they can imagine. They are conditioned to accept their standard of living, and to normalize it in order to cope. To them, "other people" work and make it. A frighteningly large population of children are being raised on substandard food, in substandard housing, by parents who can't meet their emotional needs, receiving a substandard education, and then the rest of the world wonders why "those people" think that the only ways to make money involve selling their body or drugs.

 

There is an excellent book on the issue of welfare reform, called "Flat Broke with Children."

 

In my ideal world, I would love to see families receive a stipend that was substantial enough to cover either the basic living expenses for the first 18 months of the child's life, or if the mother chose to work out of the home, to pay for high quality childcare. Although I prefer to stay home and enjoy it very much, I would not be so adamant about NOT going back to work full time if I didn't have to pay practically my whole paycheck just for my kids to be warehoused all day. But the choices can be so limiting. I have friends with degrees and they say it's not much better.

 

The bottom line is that this country pays lip service to family values, but in the end it values the dollar over the child. The way I see it, that debt will be paid.....we can either pay it on the front end, while kids are young and we have a chance to shape their future, or we can pay it later when we build more and bigger prisons. But you can't run from it.

post #31 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by waiting2bemommy View Post





Yes to all this. However, in defense of those mothers who don't want to work or parent, as hard as it is to watch, most of them are symptoms of this very same broken system. I know how many times I have wanted to throw my hands up in frustration, trying to balance rent, bills, keeping a car running in order to get to work, paying for childcare ordoing insane schedule juggling in order for both parents to bring in income (which still isn't enough to make ends meet) and say "forget it." I have been fortunate enough to see beyond poverty, so I have a vision for my family that I keep in my mind. For someone who is the 2nd or 3rd generation of abject poverty, survival on a welfare payment is enough because it's all they can imagine. They are conditioned to accept their standard of living, and to normalize it in order to cope. To them, "other people" work and make it. A frighteningly large population of children are being raised on substandard food, in substandard housing, by parents who can't meet their emotional needs, receiving a substandard education, and then the rest of the world wonders why "those people" think that the only ways to make money involve selling their body or drugs.

 

There is an excellent book on the issue of welfare reform, called "Flat Broke with Children."

 

In my ideal world, I would love to see families receive a stipend that was substantial enough to cover either the basic living expenses for the first 18 months of the child's life, or if the mother chose to work out of the home, to pay for high quality childcare. Although I prefer to stay home and enjoy it very much, I would not be so adamant about NOT going back to work full time if I didn't have to pay practically my whole paycheck just for my kids to be warehoused all day. But the choices can be so limiting. I have friends with degrees and they say it's not much better.

 

The bottom line is that this country pays lip service to family values, but in the end it values the dollar over the child. The way I see it, that debt will be paid.....we can either pay it on the front end, while kids are young and we have a chance to shape their future, or we can pay it later when we build more and bigger prisons. But you can't run from it.




This was my point exactly. Wouldnt it be awesome if they gave us $22,000 a year for every child we have? Ill bet that in 20 years the amount of people in prision would decrease by an insane amount.
post #32 of 792
Quote:





This was my point exactly. Wouldnt it be awesome if they gave us $22,000 a year for every child we have? Ill bet that in 20 years the amount of people in prision would decrease by an insane amount.


I would quit my job today, and be pregnant every year for the rest of my life if someone would give me $22 K a year for each child.

 

post #33 of 792

I think that a paid maternity leave for the first year or so (or even the option to use unemployment money when you have a child) would be nice.  I don't think it should be a welfare regulated thing though.  It should be something one parent who has been working steadily and contributing to society should get the option of doing.  Welfare is a completely different situation and to be on welfare you have to be working or very actively seeking work.   

post #34 of 792
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Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 6:28pm
post #35 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by kristandthekids View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

This was my point exactly. Wouldnt it be awesome if they gave us $22,000 a year for every child we have? Ill bet that in 20 years the amount of people in prision would decrease by an insane amount.
$44k/year just for popping out two kids? $66/k for three?

1. No way would that be sustainable.
2. The number of children in foster care would skyrocket due to people not wanting a kid but wanting money to sit at home.

I was kind of joking. eyesroll.gif Just making the point that US taxpayers are spending WAY more money on incarcerated people while people suffer from generations of extreme poverty. The prison industrial complex is expensive to keep running.
post #36 of 792
.
Edited by kristandthekids - 1/16/13 at 6:28pm
post #37 of 792


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adaline'sMama View Post

I was kind of joking. eyesroll.gif Just making the point that US taxpayers are spending WAY more money on incarcerated people while people suffer from generations of extreme poverty. The prison industrial complex is expensive to keep running.

to be honest with you as much as i get your tongue in cheek sarcasm, you have stated a truth about the underlying philosophy which really really gets my goat.

 

instead of prevention one depletes the system and then blames the result out of it. probably if there was more parental support there wouldnt be so many people incarcerated. 

post #38 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post


 

to be honest with you as much as i get your tongue in cheek sarcasm, you have stated a truth about the underlying philosophy which really really gets my goat.

 

instead of prevention one depletes the system and then blames the result out of it. probably if there was more parental support there wouldnt be so many people incarcerated. 


I totally agree meemee, but I dont ACTUALLY think they should give us $22,000 a year per kid to be sahms. While it would be awesome, its not practical.
post #39 of 792

I believe that if we are going to have any hope in this world, we have to start to value our children and the people who take care of them. I think welfare should only be for the disabled. A program where staying at home to take care of your children would be a job that you get paid to do like any other job. If a mother or a father chooses to stay home with their children they could get a check just like any government worker. But, like any job you would be held accountable for the job you do. Raises and bonuses would be based on classes taken such as child development, nutrition, parenting, ect. By doing so we would place value on parenting and take away the stigma of "being on welfare". Taking care of your children should be a respectable position. A program like this would eliminate  the people who collect the money, but don't take care of their children.

I am a mother, grandmother and retired pre-k teacher. I am a firm believer that we need more education on being parents.

 
post #40 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Connie B View Post

I believe that if we are going to have any hope in this world, we have to start to value our children and the people who take care of them. I think welfare should only be for the disabled. A program where staying at home to take care of your children would be a job that you get paid to do like any other job. If a mother or a father chooses to stay home with their children they could get a check just like any government worker. But, like any job you would be held accountable for the job you do. Raises and bonuses would be based on classes taken such as child development, nutrition, parenting, ect. By doing so we would place value on parenting and take away the stigma of "being on welfare". Taking care of your children should be a respectable position. A program like this would eliminate  the people who collect the money, but don't take care of their children.

I am a mother, grandmother and retired pre-k teacher. I am a firm believer that we need more education on being parents.

 



I like the idea except that then there is a very scary big brother element being introduced. I already hate having to sit through nutrition classes for WIC. I can guarantee that any such program would be structured in such a way that not conforming to the mainstream would mean a financial penalty, regardless of whether or not the decision was in the child's best interests. My local WIC office pushes vaccines and vehemently discourage cosleeping, for example. When I used the health department's carseat program, in addition to carseat information, the class also covered immunizations and other topics that they felt we needed to be lectured about.It just seems like it would end up being another way to pressure parents, especially young/new parents, into conformity.

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