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Staying at Home "On Welfare" - Page 5

post #81 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
If you have a definition of raising a child that discludes nearly half (or even just a regular interval of any amount of time) of their waking hours, then please provide it so we can discuss this further, using the same definitions.
I've been curious about this too - for a long while, because I used the same terminology - and not in any way to disparage WOHM - that's what feminism is all about - giving women a CHOICE to do what the heck they want to do with their lives without being judged to some 'Perfect Woman/Mother/Wife/Partner' standard.

But - the kneejerk angry reaction to the concept that if someone is spending 8+ hours a day with your child, they ARE influencing that child, that childs outlook on life and that child habits.
In none of that am I saying that they are a BIGGER influence than the parents - but they ARE an influence. And in my mind, anyone who influences a child for 40+ hours a week (and assuming a child sleeps for 8 or so hours a day, that's a little over a 1/3 of the childs waking hours weekly) DOES have a hand in raising that child.

Is this not true?

If it isn't - then what IS raising a child? What is the accepted definition?
post #82 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azuralea View Post
You have a much broader definition of "raising your kids" than most people I know. Just a personal anecdote, I went to daycare as a child (which, btw, I thought was a lot of fun), and I have never once, not in my entire life, not even in my teen years when I was questioning everything, thought I was raised even in part by the childcare workers. Or my teachers, for that matter. I did appreciate them and love them, but the people who raised me are my parents, full stop.
Okay ... what I read in Preggie's post is that she's not saying working mamas who use daycare aren't raising their children: she's just saying the other caregivers have some part in that, too. Just as dh and I are the ones raising our children -- but I think taxpayer supported programs are also playing a part because they've helped us fulfill part of our financial responsibility, and are still helping us meet our children's medical needs.

I understand the "raising our own kids" phrase has been quite a hot-button for working mamas. Also, the phrase "paying our own way," used by a previous poster in this thread, is a similar hot-button for those of us who've ever drawn, or are currently drawing, public assistance.

I think we'd all come a lot further -- in our own lives as well as in this discussion -- if we'd admit to ourselves that humans function best as interdependent creatures: there's no such thing as absolute self-sufficiency.

For the people who can't admit that, who have to keep persuading themselves and everyone else (and I'm not saying that's you, Azuralea, I'm not hearing that from you at all) that they've never taken a scrap of help from anyone else, that they've always "paid their own way" and "done it all by themselves" -- well, bully for you! I'm not here to persuade you you're not "all that."

I just think if you really are "all that," it won't matter one jot to you if someone else has (or seemingly has) it better or easier.
post #83 of 1188
I think before one can bash those "in the system" , we have to revamp the whole system and make it possible for parents to support themselves and not "just get by". I am a SAHM, but have worked when I needed to. My dh now works 2 jobs so that I can stay home with the children. And what is funny is that even though DH is a Officer employed by our state AND works at sporting goods store we would still qualify for WIC and some state benefits (we do have 5 children though). We do not get them because we feel that we are making it and there are others more in need. But my mom on the other hand is on SSI and would only quailfy for like $10.

But mainly I honestly believe that NO child should ever go hungry do to a family choice or situation.
post #84 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Frankly, no.
Okay. That is your choice. I remain open to discussion if you should change your mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Not when the people calling for this enlightened, open dialog insist on using phrases that have become (correctly or not) hot-button phrases that are consistantly used elsewhere to demean, insult, or hurt.
I have insisted only that the manner in which I used it initially be acknowledged as not meaning what was incorrectly inferred. I need to know what your definition is if I am going to be able to rework my own to be inclusive of your needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Open hearted, open minded dialog STARTS when you are at least willing to acknowledge that some words and phrases have become flashpoints. You can't just ignore that, if you want to have a discussion where people can let down their guard.
So what you are saying is that your need is that I acknowledge that you have feelings derived of pain, that you attribute to a particular phrase being used in a way that was intended to do so by the person who used it toward you in a previous experience. I acknowledge that you have expressed this to me and I believe you. I need to know that you recognise through my very lengthy explanation that you also trust that I was not intending in any way to do the same. I was not aware that you or anyone else would feel as you do. I have asked for a working definition of 'raising one's children' precisiely to avoid this in the future because my personal philosophical understanding of raising one's children appears at first to be different from yours. I need to know that my understanding is at least tolerated if not embraced. I feel that we are equals and can have differing definitions and understandings and still communicate peacefully and without hurt and judgement. I do not judge you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Tell me true. You can still honestly say that you have never seen anyone use that phrase as a weapon? Do you see why it might be nice to set it aside, in a discussion that's already charged politically and emotionally, on all sides?
I honestly state that I was previously unaware that the use of the phrase in question would evoke feelings of hurt, pain, insult, etc... I was completely unaware that there would even have been a reaction to the phrase at all. My friends are all very open-minded, loving people, and while I was raised in a very pain-ridden home with constant violence and disregard for the dignity of others, I have been blessed to have discovered through some really wonderful people that there is another way to live that includes living without fear, anger, resentment and judgement. That is all I can offer to you. I cannot be you or assume that you will accept me and all of who I am, especially given that we don't know one another.

I do see why it would be preferable to you that I set it aside to enable discussion to happen; you feel that it is a barrier to your ability to communicate with me. Am I correct in extrapolating this conclusion from your response?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
It's like saying "What are those f-gs so worried about, it's only a word, I meant it in a friendly way," and then wondering why the discussion has shut down after you've issued what is often perceived in a knee-jerk way to be a perjorative. If you can't see why/how that might happen, I don't really know what to say. Soooo...I think I perhaps will not say anything more.
I disagree simply because that is name-calling. I would assume that a conversation would shut down if I had intentionally refused the name by which another person has been called in favour of another one. I think the same effect is achieved even if the name being used isn't charged with hurtful connotation. For example, if I called our repair man "charlie" having no regard for his given name, it would be reasonable for him to be upset. I do not think this example is analogous to the phrase that I used. What I think you attempted to express is that my unintentional social blunder is equal to another unintentional social blunder. I accept that, as long as in the example given, the person who used the word in question did so completely without malice; otherwise, again, it does not follow and I will not concede to that because I did not intend any hurt.


You have not responded to my previous post; I did invest a lot of effort into making myself clearly understood and I hope that you will revisit it in order to facilitate an understanding between us. I understand that you chose not to in your last post because you needed an acknowledgement of your pain. I have acknowledged your pain, and I am deeply sorry that you have been hurt in the manner you described and also that my words re-opened your wound. I did not intend in any way to cause you or anyone else pain. I hope that you will consider working together to begin a healing process that could include the redefinition of words and phrases to mean what they could if everyone wished for the betterment of one another.

I think that if we choose to accept words as weapons, they retain the initially intended effect. We can choose to disarm them if we choose to use those words to mean what we need them to mean to feel loved and secure. I have endured a lot of pain from my experiences with the medical community. When I hear women ask me what my OB is going to 'let' me do, I can choose to be offended, but instead, I facilitate a redefinition of the role of OBs by changing the language to meet my needs (as I think you have requested that I do, but again, I need a working definition to be able to continue to express my own understanding, which I believe is valid, just as I trust in advance that yours is) and those of other women. I think this is possible. As I have already stated, I was unaware that the phrase I wrote carries such hurtful connotation for many women; we can change that, but we have to be willing to do the work of coming to a mutual understanding that doesn't put words between us, that disarms both the weapon words and the feelings that are evoked by them.

Tigerchild, have I met your needs in this response? Please let me know if I have not and I will try to do so if you are willing to let me know what they are (and if not, that's okay too- but I hope you will).

Are you willing to work toward a better language for expressing the needs of women? Is anyone? I am.
post #85 of 1188
This is a big internal conflict I'm having right now.
I work part time out of the home for 20 hours a week. I make $9.50 an hour which makes my take home pay about $700 a month.
With me not working, we got over $500 a month in food benefits.
While I am working we get about $100 in food benefits.
With me spending $35 a week on a babysitter and $70 every two weeks to fill up my gas tank plus the loss of food stamps, I am losing money to work, basically. I mean, if you count food benefits.
I am only open to working part time because I am in college full time, and I have very young children.
So.
Should I quit my job?
post #86 of 1188
I would think that if a child had needs the parents were unable to meet, their "morals" would cause them to swallow their "pride" and go out and get what their kids need any legal way they can, rather than sit back resentfully fuming about the "morals" of other parents who aren't too proud to help their kids get whatever is offered for people in their particular situation.

Many programs are exclusively for working people or do not discriminate between working and non-working and for the vast majority of programs that do make a distinction, it is in favor of working people. This even goes for certain private-sector charities. People who assume they can't get anything are being irresponsible by not looking into what they can get for their kids.

I don't see how taking help which has legally been made available is illegitimate or immoral. By putting the programs in place, society has collectively declared that it is OK. Private scruples on the matter only hurt yourself. Oh yeah........and your kids. It is internalized classism as far as I can tell, and very convenient for the upper classes who never think twice about the "morals" of all their tax write-offs, corporate subsidies, etc.
post #87 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by earthymama2b View Post
- then what IS raising a child? What is the accepted definition?
How about this: I believe "raising a child" comprises both direct care and financial provision. It means providing direct care and nurturing to meet the child's physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs, and also providing financially for the child's material needs for food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care.

Does everyone basically agree with this definition? If so, I think this definition will give us a sound base for discussing these issues. If not, suggestions are welcome.

With this definition, we acknowledge that any time we receive help in fulfilling ANY aspect of our parental responsibility, we are getting helped with raising our children. Yet just as my husband and I are still our children's parents, regardless of any financial assistance we receive, so parents in two-income (or one-income single-parent) families are still the parents, regardless of whether they sometimes rely on others to directly care for their children while they work.

When parents are financially stressed, each parent, child, family, and situation is different, so no one solution is the "right" solution for each and every family. I'm realizing that one of my goals in starting this thread, is to create more openness to the option of Mom continuing to stay home while getting some public assistance, for families who feel Mom working is not the best option for their unique children and situation.

My purpose, though, is not to make any mother feel bad or wrong for choosing a different option. I just think the option we're discussing is one that's been greatly maligned, to the point where many don't even see it as a morally sound, respectable option. I'd like to examine and refute the unfair criticisms, in the interest of expanding parents' freedom to find the best course for their own families.
post #88 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
The government could save itself so much money if it would cover homebirths for low-income mothers who'd like to go this route. Could it be that Medicaid is somewhat of a subsidy for the medical system (just as someone said WIC is a subsidy for dairy farmers)? If it isn't, then WHY won't Medicaid cover homebirths? It would save them a tremendous amount of money ... so all I can think is that the medical system doesn't want to lose the government money.
Bingo.
post #89 of 1188
Thread Starter 
DreamsInDigital --

I certainly can't decide, for you, what's the best solution for you and your family. But I will say that if I were already going to school full-time, with small children -- I'd quit the job so I wouldn't have to be away from them the additional 20-plus hours a week (I say 20-"plus" because you're also away from them while driving to and from work).

The early years are such a short time in their lives, and in your life -- but such a crucial time in their development. So my "vote" is for you to quit your job, because I (though not knowing you personally) think this would make for a happier, more rested mom and happier children.

Best wishes to you whatever you decide!
post #90 of 1188
That's exactly how I feel, mammal_mama. My youngest is 3 months and I just *long* for her every moment I'm away. She's pining for me too, as most of the time I'm gone she won't eat.
I'm putting in my two weeks' notice on Monday.
post #91 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital View Post
That's exactly how I feel, mammal_mama. My youngest is 3 months and I just *long* for her every moment I'm away. She's pining for me too, as most of the time I'm gone she won't eat.
I'm putting in my two weeks' notice on Monday.
I am trying very hard to hold back tears reading this...and not succeeding... This must have been a very hard decision to make and I am so pleased that you felt confident to follow your own intuition/convictions. I had no idea that your little one was so young when I read your first post. I cannot imagine the anguish you've been feeling for the past few months being seperated. Lots of love to you and your family. You'll do just fine. You made a good decision.
post #92 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
I am trying very hard to hold back tears reading this...and not succeeding... This must have been a very hard decision to make and I am so pleased that you felt confident to follow your own intuition/convictions. I had no idea that your little one was so young when I read your first post. I cannot imagine the anguish you've been feeling for the past few months being seperated. Lots of love to you and your family. You'll do just fine. You made a good decision.
I totally agree, and I'm so happy for you and your family!
post #93 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by thismama View Post
Well good for them. So let them keep working. I don't see the problem here.

*unwraps another bonbon*
I think I'm in love :
post #94 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I believe "raising a child" is providing direct care and nurturing to meet the child's physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs, and also providing financially for the child's material needs for food, shelter, clothing, and health care.
I accept this definition. I also think that accepting this definition does not degrade the autonomy of the family, but that as an autonomous unit, the family exists interdependently with others.

Maybe this could be a new thread. As I've been participating here, I am seeing that perhaps those who are not participating in this thread, but still in this forum or maybe the whole site would benefit from at least agreeing that there are differing definitions and we could develop a way of expressing which definition we intend when we write. What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I'd like to examine and refute the unfair criticisms, in the interest of expanding parents' freedom to find the best course for their own families.
I think that is a noble purpose and I would like to participate. Thank you for starting the thread.

Sometimes such a process can be painful, but I think it can be done peacefully, respectfully and leave everyone with dignity intact. Is there a way that you have in mind of organising the discussion to facilitate easier communication and the possibility of drawing a conclusion from our discussion?

A pp wrote that (I've paraphrased) as women, we are a large enough group to affect true change; I'd like to work together to do that. I agree that there certainly are enough of us. We don't have to have the same goals in our lives, but perhaps a few common goals regarding how we communicate with one another about the goals we have for our lives would assist us in being able to support one another. How do you all feel about that?
post #95 of 1188
Thread Starter 
I just edited my definition of "raising a child" in post #87.
post #96 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
How about this: I believe "raising a child" comprises both direct care and financial provision. It means providing direct care and nurturing to meet the child's physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs, and also providing financially for the child's material needs for food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care.

Does everyone basically agree with this definition? If so, I think this definition will give us a sound base for discussing these issues. If not, suggestions are welcome.

With this definition, we acknowledge that any time we receive help in fulfilling ANY aspect of our parental responsibility, we are getting helped with raising our children. Yet just as my husband and I are still our children's parents, regardless of any financial assistance we receive, so parents in two-income (or one-income single-parent) families are still the parents, regardless of whether they sometimes rely on others to directly care for their children while they work.
Yes! That would be exactly my definition! *nods*

So, with that definition in mind, I CAN see how saying that daycare is 'raising' peoples children might be taken as a putdown, as a sensitized person might feel that one was implying that the daycare was the ONLY thing raising their child - which, well - that's obviously and patentedly false - you are still the childs parent, and you do still spend an extended amout of time with the child......even if it's NOT 100% of the time.

Maybe that's where I come from. I'm selfish, and I want to be with my future kidling 98% of the time - and while I'm sure I'll NEED help raising fkidling, I don't really WANT all that much help.

Now - just to stir it a little more - would most of us agree that if a child is - for example - in boarding school for most of the year, and taken care of by nannies when they are at home, and spend MOST of their time with adults other than their parents - those children aren't really being raised BY their parents. True, False, Classist, or just dreadfully insulting?


As far as the topic of the thread - I find it - most - interesting - that on a parenting board, ANYONE could consider staying at home with your children as 'sitting on your butt'.

Ummm - parenting is the toughest job there is, and I know that, and I'm not even a PARENT. It's sad in this society that we are NOT paid for taking care of our OWN children, and consider it more 'moral' and 'responsible' to pay other people to take care of our children so that we can work at jobs that suck our passions and energy just so that we won't be viewed as 'slackers' and 'parasites' on the system.

Sheesh. Raising children SHOULD make you 100K a year. It's worth every penny - but that's NOT how our current society is set up - entertaining the current generation is seen to have more value than raising the next one, and that's deeply troubling.

I've (obviously) got nothing against getting support from the government to stay home and take care of my children. Heck, seems like that one of the most important roles of the government - insuring that the next generation grows up as stable, secure, intelligent, and functional as possible. And I think that in a 'normal', healthy family - having a parent being the primary caregiver the majority of the time lends towards stable, secure, intelligent, and functional children.
post #97 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
If you are relying on "welfare" to stay at home with your children, that means you actually cannot afford to stay home. I'm sure there are millions of mamas who would LOVE to SAH but it would mean going on public assistance and their pride and morals will not allow it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brittneyscott
How is it right for them to sit at home with everything given to them while the rest of us have to bust our butts to make ends meet? Yeah I guess we could quit our jobs and sit at home taking advantage of the freebies but we do have morals. I understand some people need help for short term needs that's okay but don't sit at home abusing the system.
These attitudes are exactly what the OP was trying to address...I'm just, wow. :
Quote:
I've sometimes heard people speak disdainfully of sahm's who choose to apply for, and receive, taxpayer-supported benefits such as WIC, Foodstamps, and Medicaid for their families. I've heard this referred to as "staying home on welfare."
post #98 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by pitter_patter View Post
If you are relying on "welfare" to stay at home with your children, that means you actually cannot afford to stay home. I'm sure there are millions of mamas who would LOVE to SAH but it would mean going on public assistance and their pride and morals will not allow it.
My pride means so much less to me than my kids growing up healhty and happy(which means for *my* family staying home to care for them however I can). My mom's pride meant more to her than being home with us, and she regrets every minute she had to leave us to go to work, or work and school full time while I stayed home to care for my younger sibs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brittneyscott View Post
[SIZE="2"][SIZE="1"]I don't have anything against people that apply for welfare when it's needed but I do have a problem with people living on welfare without trying to support themselves or their families.

Ex: My dh works fulltime and makes most of our money. Its enough that we could get by on but not w/o a lot of stress. So I work part time weekend nights to make extra money. I have all week at home w/ my kids and DH is home w/ them weekend nights while I work. No daycare needed. I still have to be careful w/ our money to get what we need done. That's okay though because WE support our family.

On the other hand I know people that live off of welfare: gets WIC and food stamps (400+ mo. for a family of 4), Medicaid for themselves and kids, a gas check (200+ mo. for I don't know what), discounts on phone bill, and who knows what else with no job.

How is it right for them to sit at home with everything given to them while the rest of us have to bust our butts to make ends meet? Yeah I guess we could quit our jobs and sit at home taking advantage of the freebies but we do have morals. I understand some people need help for short term needs that's okay but don't sit at home abusing the system.
I find it hard to believe that at least one person is not benig made to work, unless they are lying to the workers about something. There are *Very* strict rules in place to prevent stuff like that from happening. If it *is* happening it is because either there is something you don't know about, or they found a way to cheat the system.
And! People do not get more than 400$ a month in foodstamps for a family of four. Not in my state anyway...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aura_Kitten View Post
Welfare only lasts 5 years.

It is an incredibly foolish choice to use those 5 years with one parent working and one staying home when in the future, if those 5 years have been used up a person cannot get more. Even if they are in an abusive situation, even if they and their partner split up and they fall on hard times, even if they lose their job and need to retrain, those benefits are gone forever.

Very very few people choose to stay on welfare just to "make the best choice for their child" because in truth it's an extremely bad choice for the long run. Furthermore, say a mother chooses that, she stays at home to raise a baby or two, uses up all her benefits... then five or ten years down the line she's left that husband or partner and gets with someone else, has another baby and finds out that even with them both working they can't scrape by ~ not only can she not get benefits for herself but if a child is born while the parents are receiving state assistance the child isn't eligible for benefits either.

And yet furthermore, some food banks won't even allow people in that situation to get food handouts (which has happened to my sister).

:
That is just for TANF, Foodstamps and medical(which most families with a working partner would only be receiving)do not have a lifetime limit on them. I currently had to use 2 precious months of my tanf lifetime allotment while the state got my child support stuff figured out with my husband. He will be paying more in CS than TANF would give me, and he only makes $12 an hour. There were giving me $740 a month for a family of five, and he will be paying $840 a month. Definitely not enough to live on, but I'll figure it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
DreamsInDigital --

I certainly can't decide, for you, what's the best solution for you and your family. But I will say that if I were already going to school full-time, with small children -- I'd quit the job so I wouldn't have to be away from them the additional 20-plus hours a week (I say 20-"plus" because you're also away from them while driving to and from work).

The early years are such a short time in their lives, and in your life -- but such a crucial time in their development. So my "vote" is for you to quit your job, because I (though not knowing you personally) think this would make for a happier, more rested mom and happier children.

Best wishes to you whatever you decide!
I totally agree. I'm so glad you will get to be home more with your little ones mama.


I think most people that are so against the system really don't have any idea how things work within it. There are so many misconceptions on this thread and ones like it. It's weird. I can't believe that people really think someone could survive, or would want to survive soley on what is given by our government. It is just not humanly possible.
post #99 of 1188
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
I accept this definition. I also think that accepting this definition does not degrade the autonomy of the family, but that as an autonomous unit, the family exists interdependently with others.
I really like the following: As an autonomous unit, the family exists interdependently with others. I'd like to incorporate this into the definition. Maybe in the following way? --

As an autonomous unit, the family exists interdependently with others. Parents have the primary responsibility for raising children. Raising a child comprises both direct care and financial provision. It means providing direct care and nurturing to meet the child's physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual needs, and also providing financially to meet the child's material needs for food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care.

When we as parents receive help in fulfilling ANY aspect of our parental responsibility, we are getting help with raising our children. This does not mean we are any less as parents, because we receive this help. It is just an example of how a family can be an autonomous unit, and still exist interdependently with others.

So, are you and others thinking it's better to discuss this as a spinoff in another thread, or does it seem to apply to the current thread? I'm interested to hear what everyone thinks.
post #100 of 1188
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamsInDigital View Post
Should I quit my job?
IMO, yes. What are you doing for work? Solving world hunger? If so, keep it. If you are a cog in the capitalist wheel accomplishing nothing of significance really except staying away from using social benefits, and if you don't enjoy working, mama get home and be with your babies. Your schedule is full enough as it is.
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