SAHP's Using Public Assistance - Page 11 - Mothering Forums
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#301 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 12:37 PM
 
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happyhats, I wish more doctors had the experience of living on public assistance themselves! I think they'd be more likely to never refuse to see Medicaid patients, and they'd also be less likely to look down on families that don't pay for their own health insurance.
This I totally agree with. I think sometimes a person doesn't know what it's like until they've walked a mile in your shoes.

Some doctors do get it, though. I've had plenty of doctors tell me they think health care is a human right. And that everyone should have insurance, or access to health care.
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#302 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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Just a reminder folks, this is a SUPPORT THREAD for those who are on aid, not a DEBATE thread on whether you agree with the it.

Seriously?
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#303 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 02:41 PM
 
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Thanks, Satori! I was about to post the same thing!

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#304 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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#305 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just a reminder folks, this is a SUPPORT THREAD for those who are on aid, not a DEBATE thread on whether you agree with the it.
Thanks, Satori!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#306 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:13 PM
 
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I wasn't debating. I was telling my story of growing up with a parent who chose to be a SAHP on welfare, long term.

Having been a child in that situation, and now as an adult, I see a full life cycle. My mother truly did manipulate the system (although no laws were broken) by having more children to extend her benefits. And now she has zero retirement and no job skills, and I'm not sure she even has enough social security credits because she was a SAHP all those years.

Also, my mother's choice to be a SAHP with public aid as our family's main source of income ended up being a hardship for everyone, because public aid certainly didn't elevate the family above poverty level. It wasn't a very well provided for childhood.

And the cycle is being repeated by my siblings. My point was it's not easy for children to live so hand to mouth. I didn't like being cold and hungry. I remember always feeling hopeless and sad, and hungry most of the time, not carefree and joyful as a child.

I just wanted to share that because that is my story. I don't think public aid provides enough to get by on, long term, at least it didn't feel that way to me as a child.
Are you on public assistance? Because I think what you are missing is that this is a support thread for SAHP's who use public assistance. I understand that you might think that your posts are helpful, but I for one, do not find them to be so. You say you are not debating, but your posts have not been very supportive, either.

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#307 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:21 PM
 
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I wasn't debating. I was telling my story of growing up with a parent who chose to be a SAHP on welfare, long term.

Having been a child in that situation, and now as an adult, I see a full life cycle. My mother truly did manipulate the system (although no laws were broken) by having more children to extend her benefits. And now she has zero retirement and no job skills, and I'm not sure she even has enough social security credits because she was a SAHP all those years.

Also, my mother's choice to be a SAHP with public aid as our family's main source of income ended up being a hardship for everyone, because public aid certainly didn't elevate the family above poverty level. It wasn't a very well provided for childhood.

And the cycle is being repeated by my siblings. My point was it's not easy for children to live so hand to mouth. I didn't like being cold and hungry. I remember always feeling hopeless and sad, and hungry most of the time, not carefree and joyful as a child.

I just wanted to share that because that is my story. I don't think public aid provides enough to get by on, long term, at least it didn't feel that way to me as a child.
What you describe can not happen anymore, there is a 5 year limit on aid and if you don't do welfare to work you don't get aid, period. (unless your exempt which is hard to get unless you have a good reason). 20 years ago there were not the resources available today either. For example you were limited to getting only what you could find in your community, now you can get things online which for me has been a HUGE thing. I get my girls a down parka from LL Bean off ebay every winter for $25 or less that keeps them toasty warm. I make sure we have enough blankets to keep everyone warm in the winter. My kids are warm, well fed and live in a safe neighborhood. I made the choice to live in a small town so we could survive on what welfare gave us while I go to school to provide a future for my children. So please know, how you grew up has no bearing on today's welfare system.

Now, lets get back to supporting each other!

Seriously?
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#308 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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#309 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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#310 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:31 PM
 
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I am sorry that you had a hard time with welfare & the stigma & such growing up That's part of why this thread exists, though- to support eachother & try to get past that stigma. We are all doing the best we can & making the choices that we feel are best for our children & our family.

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#311 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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That Is Nice, I am really, really sorry about all you had to endure as a child.

However, I don't believe the use of public assistance is what makes a childhood miserable or happy. Just as extreme wealth doesn't make a childhood miserable or happy.

I don't know any stats -- but I'll bet if there were some stats on the kinds of childhoods people had, economic status alone would have very little bearing. Not that economics don't matter -- just that parental love informs how parents grapple with reality and raise their children in the midst of each set of circumstances.

In my own life, I certainly haven't observed wealthier families to be any closer or more loving than low-income families.

I don't discount childhood experiences, not at all. However, I will share that for years I thought my mother's interest in part-time jobs was a big factor in my not feeling very loved by her. I no longer see that as the main issue -- I now see that the main issue was/is my mom's underlying need to control and manipulate people into living the way she wants them to.

There are controlling and manipulative SAHMs, there are controlling and manipulative working moms -- and there are many loving, affirming and accepting moms in both groups. I just happened to grow up with a controlling and manipulative mom who liked to work -- when my brother and I were teens, she actually chose to work part-time jobs that had her at home all day while we were in school, and leaving for work as we were getting home from school.

This was probably more to get away from our dad than to get away from us, but it still hurt. As an adult, I see this as a choice she made that was unrelated to the choice to bring in extra money. There are lots of working mamas for whom the big priority in job/schedule choice is to minimize the time away from their children.

My mom just made a different choice. If you dig deeper, I think you will probably find that many of the things that made your own childhood miserable had little to do with your mom's use of public assistance programs.

I don't believe you intended to hurt or offend anyone. But I'd just like to point out that your comments affect some of us similarly to the way that my story of my miserable childhood with my working mom, would likely affect some in the WOHM forum.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#312 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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What you describe can not happen anymore, there is a 5 year limit on aid and if you don't do welfare to work you don't get aid, period. (unless your exempt which is hard to get unless you have a good reason).
In some ways, that 5 year limit for eligibility is bad, though. When that 5 year limit was passed as part of reform, I was worried for children who might be born after their parents exhausted the 5 year time limit.

It's not just because of how I grew up. I hate to think of suffering children in any capacity.

I'd definitely like to see more social programs for subsidized child care, job training (for good jobs), aid and forgivable loans for college and training. The system is better than 20 years ago, but still needs public investment and support.

No kid should have to grow up in poverty. Or go hungry.
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#313 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:45 PM
 
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#314 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 03:47 PM
 
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Anyway, I see this is a thread for those on public assistance now. I haven't been on public assistance since I was a child, so I guess I won't post.

I just read a post quite a few posts back, and I thought about my own childhood, and I thought it was relevant.

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#315 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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I'll go back and edit my posts, now that I see this is a forum just for those currently SAH.
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#316 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 05:02 PM
 
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Self-editing.

Those were choices your mother made though, I get more then enough food stamps, even if they killed our FS today we would still be able to eat well for at least a month becasue through frugal shopping of nutritious basic food staples we have a nice pantry. Look at my sig, I don't buy any foods containing that stuff so I'm not buying cheap crap food. I shop sales and use coupons. So far this month I have spent $224 in FS and saved $215, so that's $439 worth of food and I still have half my FS and were stocked for about 3-4 months on Cereal, lean ground turkey (we don't eat beef), boneless, skinless chicken breasts, no added crap lunch meat, tons of various spices, and the ever useful beans and rice. That's just what I bought in the past 2 days or so since I got this months FS, now imagine that kind of stocking EVERY MONTH! It starts leading to a very nice pantry to keep us well fed and happy.

Now there are free programs that will weatherize your home so you don't have the drafts and you can stay warm, there's help to pay your utilities. If your living outside your means then yes, you will be miserable but if you live within your means you will be fine. After I pay rent, gas, electric, phone and internet I have $16 left over which isn't much but its enough to get what ever else I need for the month. I also get money for school which pays my car payment and insurance (I bought the car new 4 years ago, long before I needed aid and it has a very low payment) and any extras we need most of the time (its gonna be tight until Feb though becasue I have to use 1/2 of next months PEL disbursement to replace my ancient computer but we won't be cold or hungry)

I can't remember what else you wrote about but the way you grew up had less to do with the fact you grew up on welfare and more to do with your mother making bad choices in how she raised her family.

Seriously?
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#317 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 05:20 PM
 
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im not on PA but have really learned to appreciate a hand in my life at the times i needed it. just wanted to say as someone who grew up poor not on gvmnt assistance that there can be plenty of shame and hardship in that too. shame and difficulty dont necessarily come with PA. at least if we had some help it wouldve been easier!

agree absolutely that its about the attitude of the parent. you can have shame and feel strapped no matter how much money you have. you can feel happy and abundant no matter how much money you have. and your kids definately pick up those vibes.

i think this is a great thread to support moms who want to get all the support they can and feel great about it.
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#318 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Those were choices your mother made though, I get more then enough food stamps, even if they killed our FS today we would still be able to eat well for at least a month becasue through frugal shopping of nutritious basic food staples we have a nice pantry. Look at my sig, I don't buy any foods containing that stuff so I'm not buying cheap crap food. I shop sales and use coupons. So far this month I have spent $224 in FS and saved $215, so that's $439 worth of food and I still have half my FS and were stocked for about 3-4 months on Cereal, lean ground turkey (we don't eat beef), boneless, skinless chicken breasts, no added crap lunch meat, tons of various spices, and the ever useful beans and rice. That's just what I bought in the past 2 days or so since I got this months FS, now imagine that kind of stocking EVERY MONTH! It starts leading to a very nice pantry to keep us well fed and happy.

Now there are free programs that will weatherize your home so you don't have the drafts and you can stay warm, there's help to pay your utilities. If your living outside your means then yes, you will be miserable but if you live within your means you will be fine. After I pay rent, gas, electric, phone and internet I have $16 left over which isn't much but its enough to get what ever else I need for the month. I also get money for school which pays my car payment and insurance (I bought the car new 4 years ago, long before I needed aid and it has a very low payment) and any extras we need most of the time (its gonna be tight until Feb though becasue I have to use 1/2 of next months PEL disbursement to replace my ancient computer but we won't be cold or hungry)

I can't remember what else you wrote about but the way you grew up had less to do with the fact you grew up on welfare and more to do with your mother making bad choices in how she raised her family.
No, that's not true.

My mom bought rice, beans, flour, etc. She cooked everything from scratch. Every single thing. She ate very healthfully and purchased only basics. She gardened. She never bought any packaged foods. Not ever. Food stamps simply did not cover the food needs. Public aid simply was not enough money to live on. Had we had supplemental income, it would have been a different story.

My mother did use weatherization programs, every year, and did a lot of the labor herself to stretch the funds. But you only get so much in annual eligibility, and it was never enough to take care of the weatherization problems the Section 8 eligible rentals had.

It really wasn't about the choices she made other than the choice to rely 100% on public aid. She received AFDC (which I think was phased out and replaced by TANF, right?), foodstamps, WIC, Section 8, medicaid, fuel assistance, and weatherization assistance. Probably other stuff.

Anyway, she homebirthed, lived very naturally, cooked from scratched, sewed, homeschooled, no plastic toys, breastfed, etc, lived pretty darn frugally and simply in every possible way except she never made any money and lived soley on public assistance for the entire time her children were at home. Everything we owned was from a thrift store. The money wasn't mismanaged. It simply wasn't enough.

Actually, I think the reason my mother used public assistance was because she wanted to be at home with her children, but also because she wanted to breastfeed, homeschool, garden, sew, cook from scratch, can things, etc. If she had worked, she would not have had the time to do that. She knew that and said it at the time, and says it to this day.

Sometimes there is an assumption that most welfare mothers (certainly in my mother's generation) didn't live frugally, or didn't cook from scratch, or garden, or breastfeed and save on formula costs. My mother was very much a hippie and home birthed, breastfed, co-slept, gardened, cooked from scratch, and by nature lived very simply and very frugally.

She just tried to do it on public aid, and it wasn't enough money to live above poverty level.

It probably would have been a pretty good life, actually, with a little more money so that we weren't poverty level. We needed more than what public aid provided.
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#319 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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That Is Nice, Where was the father in all of this? It seems to me that your mom was doing the best she could. Was your father doing what he could to make sure his offspring had a reasonable way of life? Wheres the child support? That might have made all the difference. It seems to me that your story is less about PA than you may think.

My family and I have an EBT card and get medicaid. My husband and I have paid into this system as have the last four generations of our families so we are making use of all the programs that are available.

We are starting our own businesses, taking classes, putting two small children thru school... we are plenty well fed, I keep a very very stocked pantry and we have a great house. We love our life!

Back to the support....:

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#320 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 05:57 PM
 
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That Is Nice, Where was the father in all of this? It seems to me that your mom was doing the best she could. Was your father doing what he could to make sure his offspring had a reasonable way of life? Wheres the child support? That might have made all the difference. It seems to me that your story is less about PA than you may think.

My family and I have an EBT card and get medicaid. My husband and I have paid into this system as have the last four generations of our families so we are making use of all the programs that are available.

We are starting our own businesses, taking classes, putting two small children thru school... we are plenty well fed, I keep a very very stocked pantry and we have a great house. We love our life!

Back to the support....:
It was about public assistance because if my father had had a good job or paid child support, we probably wouldn't have qualified for public assistance.

My mother did the best she could on public assistance, for the most part, as far as budgeting and living simply goes. But I really wanted her to get a job pretty much from the time I was 5 or 6. I saw other mothers who worked (and fathers) and those kids seemed to have food in the frige all the time.

My dad was a deadbeat. Never paid any child support. Not once. He wasn't really around. No excuses can right that, but I still think my mom could have gotten a job and tried to bring in more income. I prayed and prayed to be grown up, and couldn't wait to be able to be an adult myself. Childhood on public assistance as the only source of income was a terrible existence.
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#321 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 06:02 PM
 
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My husband and I have paid into this system as have the last four generations of our families so we are making use of all the programs that are available.
I'm curious why previous generations paying taxes matters? Obviously, my mom and dad have never paid much in taxes, if anything. They haven't paid into the system. I'm pretty sure even now my mom gets the earned income credit, and gets back way more than she ever pays in.

But that wouldn't make me more or less eligible should I run into financial difficulties now and need to rely on public aid for a bit, would it? I hope not.

I've paid taxes since about age 18 (and quite a bit in recent years since my income went up after college) but I've never felt that qualifies me for anything.

I'm sure my grandparents paid taxes, but that doesn't impact me.
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#322 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 06:22 PM
 
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If you mom had gotten a job, she likely would have have her benefits greatly reduced. Trust me, I've been there. Again, this is a support only thread. Please, if you feel the need to argue/discuss whether the issues of your childhood were caused by your family being on welfare or who deserves to recieve public benefits, could you start a new thread, possibly in Personal Growth or Frugality & Finances?

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#323 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 09:41 PM
 
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Hi all,

I'm at home on rest b/c my blood pressure went up, and the Mw's were talking induction. It's down a bit, and I can wait till Monday.

I just shelled out almost 80$ for labs! But, we got the packet of forms to fill out for Medicaid! : Now, all we ahve to do is sign the forms, and copy DH's pay stubs, and send it in. I finally feel like it might all work out, and I need to try to get rid of some stress for the sake of my poor BB. I was worried that I hadn't done soemthing right, because the forms hadn't come, and the BB is due in just 9 days!

Now I'm going back to the couch, but I wanted to fill you all in. Hugs to all of us!

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#324 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm curious why previous generations paying taxes matters?
Well, if I remember right, you were the one talking about the need for at least part of the population to pay taxes. You mentioned something about the economy not working unless some folks are earning money and paying taxes. Mountaingirl was pointing out that she and her husband have both worked and paid taxes in the past -- and probably plan to put some back in in the future, as they're starting a home business and taking classes.

She also mentioned the contributions of her ancestors, which you obviously see as irrelevant -- but if you look at it side-by-side with your concern about "everyone" going on public assistance and "no one" paying taxes, it's actually pretty relevant. Many people in Mountaingirl's family pay or have paid taxes, and there are other folks out there in the nation who pay taxes, too. Some may need a "leg up" from time to time, others will keep both legs up and never need assistance, and just keep paying taxes.

So, I don't see us heading toward 100% of the population needing public assistance and not putting anything back in.

But, seriously, since you say that you know first-hand about the stigma of being on public assistance -- don't you have any grasp of why some people mention the contributions of their parents or other family members? I'm not saying this is the case for Mountaingirl -- but I've known at least one other person (in real life) to do it, and I think it was to combat the stigma.

But, of course, everyone in need deserves assistance regardless of what their relatives have or haven't given -- no one should feel stigmatized. And I don't think people who talk about their family's contributions, at all mean to cast aspersion on those whose relatives have also received assistance.

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But that wouldn't make me more or less eligible should I run into financial difficulties now and need to rely on public aid for a bit, would it? I hope not.
Of course not!

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I've paid taxes since about age 18 (and quite a bit in recent years since my income went up after college) but I've never felt that qualifies me for anything.
No, need is what qualifies a person. Again, I think because of people like you talking about the need to put something back in and not just receive, some people feel compelled to talk about how they have paid in.

While your paying in in the past doesn't "qualify" you for anything, it certainly matters in the grand scheme -- at least, in the grand scheme of what you've said about some people needing to put something in -- right?

You seem to keep wanting to say something negative ... I'm sorry you hated your childhood. But that doesn't mean that our children are having miserable childhoods and going cold and hungry. I realize you may not mean to imply that we're hurting our children -- but please realize that we come here for support because we face negative attitudes out in the world.

To repeat others: this is a support thread. Let's get back to the support!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#325 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi all,

I'm at home on rest b/c my blood pressure went up, and the Mw's were talking induction. It's down a bit, and I can wait till Monday.

I just shelled out almost 80$ for labs! But, we got the packet of forms to fill out for Medicaid! : Now, all we ahve to do is sign the forms, and copy DH's pay stubs, and send it in. I finally feel like it might all work out, and I need to try to get rid of some stress for the sake of my poor BB. I was worried that I hadn't done soemthing right, because the forms hadn't come, and the BB is due in just 9 days!

Now I'm going back to the couch, but I wanted to fill you all in. Hugs to all of us!
And a big and prayers for you, too! We'll eagerly await your updates!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#326 of 412 Old 10-04-2008, 10:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
No, that's not true.

My mom bought rice, beans, flour, etc. She cooked everything from scratch. Every single thing. She ate very healthfully and purchased only basics. She gardened. She never bought any packaged foods. Not ever. Food stamps simply did not cover the food needs. Public aid simply was not enough money to live on. Had we had supplemental income, it would have been a different story.

My mother did use weatherization programs, every year, and did a lot of the labor herself to stretch the funds. But you only get so much in annual eligibility, and it was never enough to take care of the weatherization problems the Section 8 eligible rentals had.

It really wasn't about the choices she made other than the choice to rely 100% on public aid. She received AFDC (which I think was phased out and replaced by TANF, right?), foodstamps, WIC, Section 8, medicaid, fuel assistance, and weatherization assistance. Probably other stuff.

Anyway, she homebirthed, lived very naturally, cooked from scratched, sewed, homeschooled, no plastic toys, breastfed, etc, lived pretty darn frugally and simply in every possible way except she never made any money and lived soley on public assistance for the entire time her children were at home. Everything we owned was from a thrift store. The money wasn't mismanaged. It simply wasn't enough.

Actually, I think the reason my mother used public assistance was because she wanted to be at home with her children, but also because she wanted to breastfeed, homeschool, garden, sew, cook from scratch, can things, etc. If she had worked, she would not have had the time to do that. She knew that and said it at the time, and says it to this day.

Sometimes there is an assumption that most welfare mothers (certainly in my mother's generation) didn't live frugally, or didn't cook from scratch, or garden, or breastfeed and save on formula costs. My mother was very much a hippie and home birthed, breastfed, co-slept, gardened, cooked from scratch, and by nature lived very simply and very frugally.

She just tried to do it on public aid, and it wasn't enough money to live above poverty level.

It probably would have been a pretty good life, actually, with a little more money so that we weren't poverty level. We needed more than what public aid provided.
Your mom sounds a lot like, well, ME! We recieve Food Stamps and WIC, and we also have Medicaid because we qualify. Our annual income hovers around 25,000 a year for a family of 5. Thankfully we live in a very low COL area, but we would be starving without the FS and WIC. I cook from scratch as much as I can, home birth, breastfeed, cloth diaper, buy all my clothes at the thrift store and clothes for the kids too, and we also have a lot of generous friends and family who help us through. My DH works full time and is finishing up his Master's degree so we don't have to be on assistance in the future. I am also in school as well, and without a degree or any formal training, it makes ZERO financial sense for me to WOH. I don't feel guilty one BIT for getting Food Stamps while I'm educating myself and working towards a better future for my family.

MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.

That Is Nice, I would hold no judgment against your mom for making the decision she did. Clearly she was not a leech just trying to suck all she could out of her government. She made a decision to make you guys her priority, and it is unfortunate that other circumstances made her so deeply dependent on the assistance. But she did the best she could. I wouldn't feel so bad!
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#327 of 412 Old 10-05-2008, 02:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.
Gosh, this doesn't seem like a very supportive attitude! If I see another mama in a designer outfit or with newly-done nails, I don't see how she's hurting me or anyone else in need. Does it make you mad to see some celebrity all dressed to the nines? Do you perceive that as hurting you? ... Well, I don't think someone who gets public assistance is any less worthy of nice things.

I guess what it all boils down to, is feeling good about how we're managing our own little corner of the universe -- but stopping short of saying that everyone else should be doing it like we do, and if they don't they're hurting us, or ripping off the system.

Please don't get me wrong -- I think it's wonderful what you're doing, I just think we run into a whole lot of ugly when we start trying to dictate how everyone else using public assistance "should' be doing it.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#328 of 412 Old 10-05-2008, 02:49 AM
 
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Mama Poot~ I have had a friend pay for me to get my nails done for my sister's wedding. You don't know that someone on PA paid for her nails or clothes with cash aid. She could have been given a giftcard, or had a friend who did them, or even done them herself. And even if she did use her cashaid to get her nails done or buy a nice outfit, why does she not deserve to do something that makes her feel good? We don't know the full details of everyone's life, and we really don't need to. As I've said before, we are all doing the best we can. to all!

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#329 of 412 Old 10-05-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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I think it's hard not to judge others when sometimes we feel so judged ourselves. I know I'm not completely innocent of doing this myself, though more and more often I hear a voice in my head saying, "hey in there, you don't know this person's life..."

I have a feeling I brushed a nerve with my last comment, though since things have been edited I'm not sure how, lol.


My husband didn't grow up with money at all. In fact, he grew up with poverty stricken family members that had drug and other related issues. He had a hard childhood that didn't afford him luxuries and necessities we want for our own child. I didn't grow up with a lot of financial resources either, though my family is supportive, loving, and always kept us fed clothed and feeling secure. I know that some people feel that this may not be a good time to have a child, but things don't always end up the way you originally intended. I don't think there is anyone on here saying that they don't want to support their children...in fact most are saying that they are working towards providing a better life for them through some form of education or other means. While I can understand that you feel your mom made mistakes, That Is NIce, I hope that one day you can come to the conclusion that she did what she thought was best for you at the time, and that that is what every parent does for their children. You can learn from your past, but it shouldn't shadow what you think of everyone else.
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#330 of 412 Old 10-05-2008, 09:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
Your mom sounds a lot like, well, ME! We recieve Food Stamps and WIC, and we also have Medicaid because we qualify. Our annual income hovers around 25,000 a year for a family of 5. Thankfully we live in a very low COL area, but we would be starving without the FS and WIC. I cook from scratch as much as I can, home birth, breastfeed, cloth diaper, buy all my clothes at the thrift store and clothes for the kids too, and we also have a lot of generous friends and family who help us through. My DH works full time and is finishing up his Master's degree so we don't have to be on assistance in the future. I am also in school as well, and without a degree or any formal training, it makes ZERO financial sense for me to WOH. I don't feel guilty one BIT for getting Food Stamps while I'm educating myself and working towards a better future for my family.

MY problem is with people on PA who DON'T live how I do, who go out and SPEND their cash benefits on designer clothing and getting their nails done, FF'ing their kids by choice, the whole bit. I think that is ripping off the system. I think that hurts people who are truly in need, who are frugal, and who are trying to get by without screwing the system.

That Is Nice, I would hold no judgment against your mom for making the decision she did. Clearly she was not a leech just trying to suck all she could out of her government. She made a decision to make you guys her priority, and it is unfortunate that other circumstances made her so deeply dependent on the assistance. But she did the best she could. I wouldn't feel so bad!
My mom probably sounds like a lot of mothers on MDC. There's a reason I'm crunchy, right? Yes, my mother had a lot of good ideas. She really did. I forgot to mention cloth diapers, too! Anyway, she did well and made good decisions within the realm of what she had.

My point was that she never worked a day in a paid job from the time I was born until welfare reform forced her off public assistance. What I was looking at negatively about my mother was her intentional use of public assistance and 100% her reliance on it. From the time I was born until welfare reform, 100% of my mothers income was from public assistance.

She did not have the $25,000 per year you mentioned. Nor did she ever work towards a degree, like you mentioned, or go after any job training, or take advantage of subsidized childcare. She never had a seasonal job, or part time job, or any income from a job.

I am definitely not against public assistance. In fact, just the opposite. I am very, very much for it and think that we need increased social program investment. I think if we had things like univeral health insurance, better maternity leave policies, more support for breastfeeding, and better access to housing and education, then mothers wouldn't have to make such hard choices. It is hard to juggle the internal desire many of us have to stay with our young children with economic realities. In the U.S. we are at a disadvantage compared to mothers in many other industrialized countries. Of course, we have options that many 3rd world mothers do not. There are blessings, and there are areas we can improve.

Anyway, my point in my posts was that my mother never left public assistance until they forced her to. And that she never had ANY income other than the public assistance.

It's funny. I know that she received every program subsidy under the sun except subsidized child care. She received AFDC, food stamps, section 8, fuel assistance, WIC, government cheese, etc, and probably some grants for other things. But she never applied for child care subsidies.

She relied 100% on public assistance. So, basically I think she had an annual income for herself and her children of like $8,000 to $10,000 per year. That included food stamps and housing assistance. It was not enough, and we were hungry a lot of the time, even though she did cook from scratch and garden.

My point was that public assistance alone will not provide a very good life for children. Obviously, she is an extreme example, and the extent of her case couldn't happen anymore.

My issue with my mother wasn't her use of public assistance, it was the reliance on it and intentional use, and how she used it not to elevate herself to provide a better life for her children, but to subsist on it. So, when welfare reform hit, she was even more impoverished and had not held a job since she had been a teenager. Her transition to the job world was chaotic and difficult. She is still in poverty today. I am not sure she will have enough credits to qualify for social security even. Eventually, I am sure she will be a financial liabilty to her children, and we will have to provide for her. In a lot of ways, we already have, helping her with expenses. It is one factor in why I have questioned whether I can be a SAHP myself because I need to factor in making enough money to be able to help family.
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