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Welfare Moms - Should we be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children? - Page 13

post #241 of 792

Wow, I just read through all 12 pages of this thread and now I have a headache (though really I should have stopped after page 4 or 5 because after that it degenerated into a lot of childish back and forth).

 

I read through the whole thread because this is a topic that is extremely relevant to me. I am a single mother of one child. And I'm also a libertarian. And I believe with all my heart that children deserve the freedom of having a stable caregiver (preferably their mother or father, if those parties want to). All these beliefs come together with tumultuous results. 

 

I come from an upper middle class family, but it was a make-your-own way sort of family. I started working at 16, I worked through college. I got pregnant right as I was graduating from college. I stayed at my job and went full time during the pregnancy. I had every intention of returning to work after having the baby. My son was a clingy baby. He would cry and scream hysterically any time anyone else held him. I lived with my parents at the time, so I was very lucky in that regard. I had paid maternity leave for 6 weeks, and I had planned to take four months unpaid family leave. I had planned to put my son in daycare, as I could not afford a nanny. Crunching the numbers, daycare would have taken most of what I made, while leaving me with very little time with my son. I made the decision (while living in the safety of my parents' home) to not go back to work.

 

Instead I got a paper route, I would take my son with me every morning from 3-6am, longer on weekends. It paid pretty well, though it was extremely stressful, and hard on my car (and body). I paid a small rent to my parents and for food and stuff. Then my parents started pressuring me to move out when my son was about a year old. After a brief stay at my brother's, I got a non-paying job as a live-in nanny (I got paid some to watch a neighbor girl as well), when that ended due to them losing their house, I moved back in with my parents, and looked for nanny jobs. It took me about 6 months to find another one, and around that time I started making toys. Christmas of that year, the toy thing really took off, and as I only had a very part time nanny job then, after Christmas, I decided to have a go at the toy thing, with possible babysitting jobs as well and whatever other ways I could make money. My parents really wanted me out at this point. And I decided to rather than kill myself trying to work however many jobs I needed to survive, I would sell my car, buy a van, and live in it.

 

LOL, it sounds crazy, but I was determined to do whatever it took to stay with my son. Anyway, we travelled around, sold the toys that I had made, were very, very broke most of the time, worked at an organic farm for a while (not a permanent job though). But the toy selling was picking back up, and I decided I needed a place to live. I headed out to West Virginia, the cheapest place in the country, and eventually I found an old house for $4,000. I borrowed $4,000 from my parents' and another $5,000 from a friend to make the bare minimal repairs and pay moving expenses (and pay off a delinquent credit card). Oh yeah, my van also became too expensive to repair, so after living in a vehicle, we now take the bus (yay for town bus services!).

 

Many times I have considered getting government assistance, but I haven't due to many beliefs that I hold. I have been fortunate enough, however, to receive support from my parents, mostly in terms of a place to live and also in the money borrowed for the house and other small monetary ways (like money for bus tickets to visit and occasional phone cards, etc.), and to receive support from my friend also by the loan. I am fortunate to be well-educated and well-loved.

 

I'm not telling my story to say that if I can do it, anyone can, because I don't believe that. I told my story, because it shows how mothers could be helped: by loans, by unconventional jobs, by living with family. But we have to demand these things! We also have to give generously. If you believe in helping mothers stay home with their children, how are you supporting this?

 

I have never applied for government money, because so much of it is just a trap. It keeps you down. How many heart-wrenching stories do we have to hear about mothers who are working and working and paying for daycare and having nothing to show for their hard work or their sacrifice?! My solution was just to opt out. I'm a hard worker. I never wanted to not work, but I had no interest in working myself to the bone with nothing to show for it. Plus it wasn't fair to my son, just because I got myself knocked up that he should have to live most of his childhood in an institutional setting. 

 

The whole system just bothers me too much to take part in it. Read through some of these absurd stories on here! Fundamentally the system doesn't make sense. I know this an old argument, but if the state/federal will pay someone else to take care of my child while I work, why won't they pay me? There is an entire convoluted system set up that makes no sense. Our government wants people to have "jobs." If they create "jobs," then they are stimulating the economy. So we have jobs for all the government workers and everyone pays their salaries. Then we try to get Mother into a job, which then creates another job for someone else to watch her kid. I can't even bring myself to file for child support from my son's father, because the amount of money I MIGHT get from him would probably be less than the amount of money the government would spend to force him to give that money. (I know I'm going to get flack for that one.)

 

This is way too long, and I need to end it, even though I could go on all day. But I just want to end with the statement that I DO think we should be supporting moms so they can stay at home with their children. But by we, I mean WE, not the government. The government always does things in the most wasteful, convoluted way possible. However, as this is the system we have at the moment, if a mother can collect welfare that will enable her to stay home with her kids (if that's even possible--since the whole point of welfare is to get you out of your home), I have no problem with her doing it.

 

I just wanted to repeat what I said earlier: If you believe in helping mothers stay home with their children, how are you supporting this?

post #242 of 792

I can not believe this thread is still going strong. I also can't believe that some people that are posting are so angry. Does anyone here truly think that I like being on welfare ? I have twin boys that are now 16 months old. I once had a government employee tell me she wasn't going to reward me for getting pregnant with twins. She said it with so much disgust that I almost cried (I was postpartum). It wasn't like I was taking fertility drugs - the twins were a surprise - but also a great blessing. Some days I really hate my life. I am dealing with a horrible divorce and custody battle with a man that I once loved that decided he could sit at home, not work and drink all day. When I complained about his drinking and lack of providing for his family one too many times, he hit me. He broke the front door off the hinges. I chose to leave him and live in a DV shelter for 9 weeks because I felt it was the best choice for my children. I am welfare because right now it is the best choice for my children. Daycare for twins in my area is just under $300 a week. Minimum wage for a full time job would pay $300 a week before taxes were taken out. Income of $1200 a month would cost me my welfare benefits. So I would be paying a stranger (or company) to watch my twins for 50+ hours a week (full time work plus travel time on the bus) - not making a dime - and losing my benefits !!!!  

 

What should I do instead ? 

 

I have tried to find an at-home business. I have offered to babysit for other moms. I walk to the store and buy groceries 2 bags at a time since that is all I can fit on the back of my used double umbrella stroller. We take the bus if we have to go more than a mile or so. They don't allow the stroller on the bus - so I have to take the twins out of the stroller, fold it up, and then carry the twins, the stroller, diaper bag and anything else we needed that day onto the bus. Then do it all again to transfer. It can take an hour to get across my small town because of the bus schedule. 

 

I am sitting here tonight full of anxiety because I have to let my EX have the boys next week for two visits of 48 hours straight (overnights included) in another town. My boys will be 2 hours away. They have never been without me. They won't have their cribs, music, things, routine. I don't know what to do with myself when somebody offers to hold one of them when we are at church - what will I do for 48 hours ? I really think that there are bigger issues to worry about !!!!! (Like my neighbor that gets unemployment, doesn't pay her rent, gets new tattoos and smoke pot in the house !) I would work if I could find work that paid enough to cover daycare in a suitable establishment. Work would give me a break from the stress of divorce/custody/raising children on my own.

 

 

 

 

post #243 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisa1970 View Post

Plus, the more government pays, the more government tries to control what goes on in our homes.



This is one of the realities that makes me of two minds when I hear some people talking about how family-friendly Europe is. As I've already mentioned, we do draw food stamps, our girls' health care is covered by Medicaid, and dh and I get 100 % discounts for any medical care we need. This has not, so far, resulted in the government trying to exert any control over how we are raising our family.

 

However, in many countries in Europe, it is very difficult and sometimes even illegal to homeschool. I think unschooling would be very difficult or impossible there.

 

Our freedoms are very important to us. On the one hand, I think it would be absolutely lovely to be paid to stay home with my children for the first three years of their lives. On the other hand, both of mine are well past three now, and I strongly feel that it's best for them to have the freeedom to pursue their own interests and learn in their own ways. I love it that we're free to decide what's best for our children, irregardless of whether the majority of the population agrees with us. I'd hate to be in a place without these freedoms.

 

post #244 of 792

Also, I think we are all different in terms of what level of neediness we feel justifies getting some help. I am not a single mother, and yet dh and I don't have a problem with availing ourselves of some assistance because it makes life so much less stressful for us.

 

Without the medical discount, dh might very well be dead now, because there have been many times where he's needed his insulin dose readjusted. This actually seems to be what his two TIA's were red flags for. It's hard enough sometimes, getting him to go in when he's having a problem, even now with the ER and doctor visits and tests, and even hospital stays, all covered. If he knew he'd be running up another bill that we couldn't pay, he'd probably quit even telling me when there was something weird going on in his body.

 

Without the girls' medicaid, we'd be in serious debt right now because they've both needed some dental care, one more than the other, and I simply wouldn't have been willing to let their teeth be ruined.

 

Without the food stamps, I'm sure we could live but we wouldn't have nearly as varied a diet or nearly as many fresh fruits and vegetables as we do now.

 

I don't think people need to be at the point of starvation or death to feel okay about getting whatever help they may qualify for.

post #245 of 792

Not all countries that have more social spending programs outlaw HSing - at all.  Canada is very easy to HS in.  I know HSing is not illegal in numerous countries that have decent mat leave etc, the UK comes to mind. 

 

I do think welfare and HSing might not be allowed, depending on the type of welfare program you are on.  On normal welfare programs you are supposed to be looking for work - how is this going to happen if you are HSing?  If your mom is HSing while you look for work you might be able to swing it.....This only applies to kids who are school age, of course.

 

In most provinces single parents of young children were exempt from looking for work due to there being young children - this does not extend into school years.

post #246 of 792

kathymuggle, I did not mean that hs is illegal in all of the countries with good, family-friendly legislation. But I am pretty sure, from what I have read, that it's illegal or very difficult in Germany and Sweden. I've also read that it's highly regulated and difficult in some other European countries. I'm glad that this isn't the case in Great Britain or Canada -- so maybe I have nothing to worry about!

 

As far as qualifying for assistance when children are school-aged, I'm not sure how th is will work for us. Our youngest just turned six in March, so I've been wondering if, in the fall, dh might be required to report for job training or something. Or, maybe we'll lose our food stamps and medical coverage. It will be really rough if we lose medical.

 

And yet, even back when we were both working opposite schedules for a few months, we still qualified for the medical coverage, though of course our food stamps were lower. So I'm not sure what it will mean for us. We'll see.

post #247 of 792

I also wanted to add that I wasn't specifically talking about the government paying a parent to stay home and unschool. In the U.S., there is definitely a requirement, once there are no children in the home under school age, that any parents who are capable of working be doing so, or be going to school or looking for work in order to continue to qualify for food stamps. For all I know, this may also be the case for children's Medicaid and adult hospital discounts.

 

We really don't expect special government concessions just because we homeschool. We could work opposite schedules if working were not so hard on dh with all his issues. He has looked into applying for disability, but the doctor at the hospital where he gets his care has explained that they are not allowed to fill out the paperwork for disability. I guess there's a requirement that people come up with the money out of their own pockets to see a doctor and get whatever tests are done in order to verify that there's a disability.

 

We should have enough money to do this when we get our income tax return this coming February, but it's unlikely that we'll have it before then. So dh is waiting until then to try to start the process, since he doesn't want to get started and then get dropped, and possibly have a long waiting period before he can apply again, because we couldn't come up with the money to do our part in a timely manner. In the meantime, I suppose he could report for job training or job searches or whatever he needs to do, if this is what's required for us to keep our medical coverage. Since I work from home, I can keep an eye on the girls while he's gone.

 

So, in a nutshell, my concern is NOT that I want special concessions for homeschooling. My concern is actually that I wouldn't want a situation where it became harder for everyone, on welfare or not, to homeschool. Since this isn't happening in Canada, though, maybe I shouldn't worry that it could happen here.

post #248 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Not all countries that have more social spending programs outlaw HSing - at all.  Canada is very easy to HS in.  I know HSing is not illegal in numerous countries that have decent mat leave etc, the UK comes to mind. 


Homeschooling laws in Canada are set at the provencial level, not the national level. Some provinces, such as Quebec, are difficult to homeschool in.  Quebec also has stronger socialism programs than most other provinces.

 

I believe In the UK, they are set at lower levels, too, with England, Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland all having the right to set their own laws about homeschooling. Last time I checked, homeschooling was illegal in N. Ireland.

Generally, there is direct link between how much the government gives people and how much like to control lives.

 

We can live in the US, Canada, or Europe, but chose the US. We like the lower taxes and less interference.

 

post #249 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




Homeschooling laws in Canada are set at the provencial level, not the national level. Some provinces, such as Quebec, are difficult to homeschool in.  Quebec also has stronger socialism programs than most other provinces.

 

I believe In the UK, they are set at lower levels, too, with England, Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland all having the right to set their own laws about homeschooling. Last time I checked, homeschooling was illegal in N. Ireland.

Generally, there is direct link between how much the government gives people and how much like to control lives.

 

We can live in the US, Canada, or Europe, but chose the US. We like the lower taxes and less interference.

 


We lived in France for awhile and moved back here (despite getting an automatic check for renting and having 3 children) every month while we were there.  I like government helping people who need it, but not at the expense of small employers being able to be in business.  It was really hard to get hired there, especially if you're a woman of childbearing age due to all of the benefits that people get (especially women).  That kind of defeats the purpose of having laws to protect women if they can't get hired because of the laws.  I love that here, we can be whoever we want to be, change jobs whenever we want, work however many hours we want, etc.  We may give corporations too much freedom, but we also don't handicap the small employer.  We really need a good, strong safety net for people that I don't think we have yet.  

 

post #250 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post




We lived in France for awhile and moved back here (despite getting an automatic check for renting and having 3 children) every month while we were there.  I like government helping people who need it, but not at the expense of small employers being able to be in business.  It was really hard to get hired there, especially if you're a woman of childbearing age due to all of the benefits that people get (especially women).  That kind of defeats the purpose of having laws to protect women if they can't get hired because of the laws.  I love that here, we can be whoever we want to be, change jobs whenever we want, work however many hours we want, etc.  We may give corporations too much freedom, but we also don't handicap the small employer.  We really need a good, strong safety net for people that I don't think we have yet.  

 

It is also my understanding (quite possibly mistaken) that in countries like Sweden that have generous maternity benefits women, on average, work lower-paying, lower-skilled jobs than men...
 

 

post #251 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by azgirl View Post



It is also my understanding (quite possibly mistaken) that in countries like Sweden that have generous maternity benefits women, on average, work lower-paying, lower-skilled jobs than men...
 

 

I don't know about that since I never worked there.  It seems that once you get your foot in the door, you're pretty well protected legally, no matter your sex.
 

 

post #252 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




Homeschooling laws in Canada are set at the provencial level, not the national level. Some provinces, such as Quebec, are difficult to homeschool in.  Quebec also has stronger socialism programs than most other provinces.

 

I believe In the UK, they are set at lower levels, too, with England, Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland all having the right to set their own laws about homeschooling. Last time I checked, homeschooling was illegal in N. Ireland.

Generally, there is direct link between how much the government gives people and how much like to control lives.

 

 

 


According to this site, it is legal to HS in N. Ireland:

 

http://www.hedni.org/legal-information/

 

In any event, I think much of what you wrote is true.  I agree the bolded is somewhat true.  

 

I am also fairly sure you are a reasonably wealthy woman.  You might not care so much about government intervention if you were poor and it meant more dollars in your pocket.  I have often felt the USA was a country of extremes in most ways.  Economically, it is a great place to live for the rich, and probably not so great for the poor. I might be wrong, though, I am not American.  Governments should put systems in place that help all socio-economic groups though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #253 of 792


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by azgirl View Post



It is also my understanding (quite possibly mistaken) that in countries like Sweden that have generous maternity benefits women, on average, work lower-paying, lower-skilled jobs than men...
 

 


This is true in the US, too. 

 

post #254 of 792

I am poking my head in to remind folks that name calling is still not allowed.  Please, I understand that emotions run high on this subject, but please edit to remove name calling. 

 

 

post #255 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post


 


This is true in the US, too. 

 


Canada, too.  Women earn around 70% of what men do, for the same number of hours of work.  I do not think it comes down to mat leave or any other financial programs for families - but due to the fact that:

 

a)  women work in more service positions that do not pay as well

b)  women work part time, and part time work is valued less.

 

Changing this dynamic will help women and families as much (more) as discussing welfare issues.

 

 

 

post #256 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drummer's Wife View Post


 


This is true in the US, too. 

 


Yes, I should have specified that my understanding is that the wage gap between men and women in Sweden is bigger than ours. I just don't have a source or reference and haven't been able to find one easily. I think I may have to look for one...

 

post #257 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post

 We keep focusing on the moms (or parents) here, but the real focus should be on the children.  They are the weakest and most vulnerable here.  Stop vilifying moms and start thinking about what we can do to change the plight/situations of children.  What can we do provide access to education and resources so that they can break the cycle of poverty.  So far the conversation has been about moms and dads as losers.  Can we shift our focus? (asking America, not MDC).

 


Excellent point. Shifting perspective from parents to kids would hopefully make welfare much less prevalent in the future.  

 

post #258 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I am also fairly sure you are a reasonably wealthy woman.  You might not care so much about government intervention if you were poor and it meant more dollars in your pocket.

 


 

biglaugh.gifIn the US, we are very solidly middle class. My DH is an engineer who worked his way up.

 

In Canada, we really struggled because taxes were so much higher and Canada dollars buy less then US dollars. We lived in both Quebec and Ontario, and I was a SAHM and we homeschooled both places.

 

I couldn't have afforded to stay home with my children for as long as I have if we had stayed in Canada. We would have continued to struggle until I got a job. The same is true in the UK -- I would have to work for us to get buy. The SAHM and homeschooling issues would have ended the minute our kids passed the magic age that  the government decided it wasn't important for me to be home.

 

I've had more time with our kids because taxes are lower here.

 

Honestly, in Canada, we were broke.

 

 

post #259 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




Homeschooling laws in Canada are set at the provencial level, not the national level. Some provinces, such as Quebec, are difficult to homeschool in.  Quebec also has stronger socialism programs than most other provinces.

 

I believe In the UK, they are set at lower levels, too, with England, Scotland, Wales, and N. Ireland all having the right to set their own laws about homeschooling. Last time I checked, homeschooling was illegal in N. Ireland.

Generally, there is direct link between how much the government gives people and how much like to control lives.

 

We can live in the US, Canada, or Europe, but chose the US. We like the lower taxes and less interference.

 

 

A bit of a generalization. I'm sure some States are much harder to homeschool in also. Where I am from in Canada we have very little restriction in homeschooling despite being given several hundred a year for supplies etc. 

 

Also regarding lower taxes, there seems to be very little difference between the two countries http://www.canadiansocialresearch.net/taxes.htm. The difference is that the American system allows for a much greater disparity between the very rich and very poor. If the States government truly has less interference in the lives of it's people it comes at quite a cost to a large portion of its people.   

 

 

post #260 of 792
Quote:
Originally Posted by azgirl View Post



It is also my understanding (quite possibly mistaken) that in countries like Sweden that have generous maternity benefits women, on average, work lower-paying, lower-skilled jobs than men...
 

 


You would be hard pressed to find ANY country that doesn't have this problem.  Women in Sweden earn about 15% less than what men earn.  Women in the US earn less than that.

 

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