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Welfare moms

post #1 of 47
Thread Starter 
I'm not single, or on welfare, but I really hate it when other people give welfare moms a bad time. I don't think a woman should be forced to live in poverty, be deprived of basic needs and human rights, and have to work in a miminum-wage job and leave her child in full-time day care. I'm also sick of all the misconceptions about women on welfare - like they all have six kids, they all do drugs, etc.

I know a few welfare mothers who use drugs, and I know MANY non-welfare mothers who use drugs. Why are the welfare mothers somehow worse?

I realize that for several reasons, teenage women should not have babies, but the fact is, sometimes they do. Should we punish those babies by denying their mothers welfare checks, affordable housing and medical care, and foodstamps?

About welfare moms being a burden to society - I for one am GLAD that my tax dollars can go to disadvantaged women and children! I'd much rather it go to them than to any of the other things it goes to.

Remember, women do not impregnate themselves. These impoverished children are a result of MEN as well as women - men who frequently do nothing to care for them. If the men were providing adequately for the children they created, women would not need welfare in the first place!

All mothers, no matter what their age, marital status, or how many children they have, deserve the right to raise those children themselves - which does not mean keeping them in day care! All mothers also deserve comfortable, secure, spacious, affordable housing; nutritious, high-quality food; the right to breastfeed exclusively without resorting to pumps or formula; the right to remain at home with their children as long as they see the need to; quality medical care (not Medicaid) for ALL medical conditions; and the right to go to school (and bring the child to class with them) instead of working.

In reality, women on welfare (actually, women period) are not given these rights. Raising a child and keeping a house while single is probably the hardest work there is - and people call welfare moms "lazy"! I think they deserve so much more than they are getting.
post #2 of 47
Personally, I'd rather support a single mom or dad on welfare for a year or two or three, rather then have him/her have to put baby in "day care". I believe the first few years are extrememly important, and all moms or dads should be home teaching and interacting and loving their children....
post #3 of 47
Yes, it really irks me when welfare mothers are all tarred with the same brush as drug abusing, lousy, lazy, good for nothing mothers. A mother's work should be valued. Good parents are contributing to society and if a mother is single, with young children, then she should be able to recieve welfare without feeling ashamed.
post #4 of 47
Thread Starter 
Some people think that if you don't have a *paid* job (one that gets taxed) then you aren't worth anything to society and you're nothing but a burden.

But really, who does more for society - a mother, or the owner of McDonald's?

Also, as far as drug use, we all pay for it whether it's a welfare mom or not. Plenty of single men are in prison for drugs - we pay for that.
post #5 of 47
Good point greaseball about men in prison. I read that it costs taxpayers $56,000 a year to house and keep one man in prison . Thats twice what we make a year. Welfare is there for a reason. I hate our idiot president for making welfare even harder to get, and cutting funding for early-ed and head-start progs. He also cut millions from a prog designed to feed low income schoolkids healthy,free breakfast and lunch when that is all some of those kids eat all day. GRRRRRRRRRR
post #6 of 47
I think the statement that teenagers shouldn't have children can be hurtful to alot of us teenage parents. Focusing on the idea that teens have no business having children only further stigamatizes teen parents and does little to encourage them to be thoughtful parents. What teen parents need is encouragement and support for the often very hard decision to actually bear and raise these children. I think this is a great thread and it touches on many topics that really hit home with me, but coming from a teen mother and knowing many wonderful teen parents I'm especially sensitive to the subtle and somtimes, unfortunate shaming that these young people (usually women) have to face. I think the issue isnt whether or not teens have any business having children at all, but rather the fact that not just SOME, but ALOT do have children and they need support. Just my 2 cents.
post #7 of 47
I hear you, peatree. I was not technically a teenaged mother, but I had my first born at 23 and I looked about 19 at the time and the subtle discrimination continues to this day, even though I'm now 33. One example (of many): During the 2000 election campaign, the Green Party was very eager to get signatures from people demanding that Ralph Nader be put on the ballot in every state. One day, at our local farmers' market, there was a Green Party table set up, soliciting signatures. I was there with 3 of my 4 children and I went up to sign the petition, and the woman at the table looked at me doubtfully and said "Are you registered to vote?" I was the ONLY person she questioned that way. I'm sure she saw a young mama with a brood of kids and immediately made the assumption that I was uneducated, ignorant, voiceless, etc. (Sure, I was dressed rather sloppily at the time, but it was 7:30 in the morning!)

Anyway, welfare mothers are criticized, but teen welfare mothers are positively vilified. You hardly ever hear people complaining about "teen fathers" or "welfare fathers."
post #8 of 47
It is my belief that compassion alone will not help the poverty disaster. The only people who dedicate their talent and intellect to finding solutions for this problem are people who have BEEN THERE.
Do you know that it is the wealthiest people who leave nothing to charity in their wills? I will find the exact figure, but it will make you sick.
Please, no flames. I know there are wealthy people who are very charitable and loving. But the people who have the real power ($$$$) generally do not care, and use words like "tough love" and "accountability" so as to keep the dependent people dependent. This society makes it next to impossible to get ahead, or get out of the cycle of poverty.
Since I don't have alot of time right now, I'll copy this list that I posted in Activism, in case people have not seen it.
It is an example of how, if you need help, the 'system' thinks you are not entitled to have any privacy at all.

The Ministry of Community and Social Services form to determine spousal status for social assistance includes the following questions:

~Who pays for the groceries and other household supplies?
~If you have a will, is your co-resident mentioned in it?
~Has your co-resident been appointed in your will as executor, beneficiary or guardian of your children?
~Do people think of you as a couple?
~Do you and your co-resident entertain together as a couple?
~Do other people invite the two of you over together?
~Do you go out with your co-resident to dinner, movies, social events or sporting events? Who pays?
~Do you and your co-resident attend holiday celebrations together?
~Does he/she buy holiday presents?
~Who eats meals with you at home?
~Who does the weekly meal planning and how is it decided when to order takeout/in or cook at home?
~Does your co-resident ever do your laundry (or the children's)?
~Do you ever open each other's mail?
~Do people think of you and your co-resident as a family?
~Do your children receive gifts from your co-resident's employer or attend events sponsored by your co-resident's employer?

I'll be back later with bells on.
Amie
post #9 of 47
Forest Sage, I'm convinced that large ammounts of money corrupt people. The more they get, the more they want and to hell with anyone who gets in their way. Why else would super profitable corporations like McDonald's push to expand and yet at the same time lobby against raising the minimum wage?
post #10 of 47
"The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you can control all the people."
Noam Chomsky

I think one of the reasons wealth refuses to acknowlege poverty is because wealth sees in poverty the EXACT same thing that drives it - fear of powerlessness. Wealth is about image making, and it's about presenting itself as worthy, great, potent and indestructible.
But a vital part of keeping wealth invincible is keeping poverty dependent. In an egalitarian state welfare moms would be as powerful and revered as Julia Roberts.

Large corporations and banks have convinced people there is not enough money for things such as education, welfare, health care, unemployment insurance, legal aid, etc.

One of the things my premier did to get into power was declare that the government was not in the business of housing people.

The poverty rate for single parent families in my city is 60%. If a single welfare mom or dad is lucky enough to find an apartment for $325 inclusive, (Canadian dollars) they will still be spending 63% of their income on shelter. Living on welfare certainly isn't the 'free ride' alot of people think it is.

I live in a university town that is very resistant to see the problem of poverty and homelessness (which is on par with Toronto's). Right now, despite overwhelming opposition to building it, there is a 42 million dollar hockey arena being built in our core. It just doesn't matter what we serfs have to say!
Amie
post #11 of 47
Thread Starter 
Peatree - Oops, I apologize. I realize that must have sounded bad when I wrote that teenagers shouldn't have babies. I guess what I meant to say is that for most teens (under 18, I mean), at least all the ones I knew in high school, raising a baby can be harder than for an adult, and there are a lot of reasons not to have a baby so young.

Some teens, especially those just starting out in puberty, will have an extra hard time carrying and delivering a baby. I know many who have had cesareans, partly because of the medical community and its arbitrary rules, of course, but it could have been due to their underdeveloped bodies as well.

Also, most teens are in high school, and many of them have never had a job. I don't know of any high schools that allow a student to bring a baby to class, so many teen moms do not get to finish hs. Many teens' parents are not happy about the pregnancy and will not help in any way - some even throw their kids out of the house. Teen fathers are notorious for doing NOTHING. The last stat I read said only 20% contribute any kind of help at all.

The jobs one can get while under 18 do not pay a decent living wage to support a family. One cannot usually rent an apartment if they are under 18. The stresses of raising a family, in my opinion, are too much too soon for the average teenager.

I did not mean that teens couldn't make good parents. I think if they can get around all these obstacles, they can. I believe there is a lot more to being a good parent than your age.

Also, every teen I knew in hs who got pg, got that way by an older man who had no business with teen girls. But, of course, it's easier to blame and shame women. I think all teen moms deserve so much more support than they are getting.
post #12 of 47
Thread Starter 

Yet another reply

Forest Sage - Also, I read that the people who contribute to charities usually have annual incomes of around $10,000. And that when rich people make donations, it's to organizations that benefit other rich people - museums, opera houses, etc.

Another thing I don't get is the notion that charging everyone a percentage of their income for taxes is supposed to be fair. Or we can use the church example of a 10% donaiton -

If you make $4000 a month, you can probably afford to part with $400, but if your monthly income is only $800, there is no way you can do without that $80!
post #13 of 47
Wow, it's really nice to hear that! As a single mom of two little ones it's nice to know that not everyone looks down on me for getting help through DSS. I am probably not the typical welfare mom, just made a very poor choice for a husband who moved away to who knows where when my first was almost 7 months and had just found out I was pregnant with second. I did not go on welfare at first because I felt embarrased. I also don't like telling people about it because I stay at home with my kids during the day. I was babysitting during the day so I could take my kids with me and going to school at night. Now I am waitressing on the weekends, something I never thought I would do and still in school at night. I am scared to death of the day I have to put my children in day care, which will happen soon so I can go to school full time.
post #14 of 47
OT: Tori, I would recommend looking into a home-based daycare. I was a single mom for most of ds's life and he was in daycare. The only places he wasn't mistreated were in home-based daycares. You have to be careful but I had terrible experiences with every institutional place I tried. Just thought I would share this.
post #15 of 47
I just wanted to say-Tori,you sound like a great Mom!!!
post #16 of 47
Thank you so much for telling me that, I definatly try to make the right choices and decisions for my children's benifits and I know I am doing the best I can but I do worry that I could do things even better and for a stranger to say that brought tears to my eyes because sometimes I do wonder if I am doing a good job. I definatly need to hear that!
post #17 of 47
Tori, the fact that you are concerned about how your choices impact on your children prove that you are a good mother. Being a good mother has nothing to do with whether you have a partner or what your income is or where you get it from.
I get very tired of hearing people bag out single parents and those who get government money. To be honest I would prefer my tax money to be spent on single parents rather than on politician benefits (which I believe are excessive).
I am a single mum of a 3.5yr old. I get alot of flak from people because I'm a single parent, I receive some government money (but then everyone I know receives some government money via family allowance) and that fact that my son is autistic; something which some people believe is a direct result from my single status.
I live in Australia, so the pension system here is different, but that attitudes are not, unfortunately. It's very sad, because these children are our next generation and we should be doing all we can to try and make things better.
post #18 of 47
I was going to post here to voice support for teen mothers-but peatree did such a great job-there's not much left for me to say!
post #19 of 47
WOW! What a really great post and so much support going 'round. It was really nice to get online and see this. Wado to Greaseball for starting the thread and to all who contribute(d). I love my welfare mommy.
post #20 of 47
Quote:
Originally posted by daylily
I hear you, peatree. I was not technically a teenaged mother, but I had my first born at 23 and I looked about 19 at the time and the subtle discrimination continues to this day, even though I'm now 33. One example (of many): During the 2000 election campaign, the Green Party was very eager to get signatures from people demanding that Ralph Nader be put on the ballot in every state. One day, at our local farmers' market, there was a Green Party table set up, soliciting signatures. I was there with 3 of my 4 children and I went up to sign the petition, and the woman at the table looked at me doubtfully and said "Are you registered to vote?" I was the ONLY person she questioned that way. I'm sure she saw a young mama with a brood of kids and immediately made the assumption that I was uneducated, ignorant, voiceless, etc. (Sure, I was dressed rather sloppily at the time, but it was 7:30 in the morning!)

Anyway, welfare mothers are criticized, but teen welfare mothers are positively vilified. You hardly ever hear people complaining about "teen fathers" or "welfare fathers."
I can totally relate. I was 21 when my son was born (I found out I was pregnant on my 21st b-day) and I look about 16. When I'm not at work I dress like a slob. Baggy jeans, too big t-shirts, sandles. When I was on leave I took my son the mall alot because it was too cold (in Nov/Dec) to have a newborn out in the cold and it was a way for me to get out of the house and get some exersice. I was browsing through a jewelery store one day, looking for a mother's ring (which I'm going to get tonight! ) and when I told the girl what I was looking for, she says "well our lower cost ring are this way" I was just like, wait a minute, I never asked for lower cost rings, I asked about mother's ring in general. You can just let me decide what fits in my budget. She just assumed that I was a teenage mother and probably single since I had been at the mall everyday for two weeks by myself.
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