Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Welfare Mom

My mother was a welfare mom. We still went hungry but she always had booze and cigarettes. I sort of grew up embarrassed and a bad feeling towards welfare moms.

But I'm having second thoughts. I'm thinking "mom" is the important word here.

My daughter-in-law, who I've griped about to the heavens has moved to our area with my four grandchildren. She gets some child support from my stepson, but I'm not sure how much or how consistent he is, as we are mostly estranged.

She's working at Albertson's in their pharmacy from 11 am to 9 pm, making something like $11 an hour. She's had a tough time getting babysitters for that late at night. I have the three oldest kids on Wednesdays after school and her foster family helps out quite a bit, but it's still a dodgy proposition.

The state will pay for her babysitter, approximately $2000 a month. But they will not pay her $2000 a month to stay home with her kids.

That just doesn't make sense to me. It seems like it would benefit society for her to be home, assuming she's not drunk out of her gourd like my mother or stoned, etc. She's got her faults, but those kids would be better off with their mother.

In this case and others like it, forcing them to work defeats the purpose and tends to break up the family even more.


Barb said...

That is one of the biggest problems that I have with the stigma of welfare. Being a stay at home mom is the most noble role a person can have. Children are so much work to keep them clean and fed.

There may be cases where it is in the best interest of the family for the mother to work.

I know someone who has a lot of hard feelings towards her mom as the children did without(I think always had enough to eat though), while mom had enough for alchohol and tobacco always. The mother was not on welfare as husband supported her and then children got jobs and helped out while still in high school or younger. At one point, the mother did work and I think it was one of the best things for her. The mother is an educated woman with a teaching and library science degree. Sadly, she is also an achoholic and was often suicidal at times. She is so well-read though and has so many talents from cooking to crocheting and sewing. She even gardened early in their marriage until allergies got the worst of her. Her daughter tried 12 step but could never get past the anger step.

Elizabeth-W said...

Here's when I know our society is better. When women earn Social Security credits for staying home and raising her children. A woman can stay at home 25 years, do a reasonable job taking care of her family, and what does she have to show for it in terms of her own old age retirement benefit? Squat.

Lisa M. said...

You have such a valid point.

As my foray into the public systems in this state increases, I am often shocked and amazed by just what is out there. I too wonder, what is GOING on. What are they thinking?

I am so sorry for her plight, and I hope it does improve.

annegb said...


Anonymous said...

I have a great respect for mothers who stay at home with their children. I do not feel as though my tax dollars should pay for it. If you feel strongly about being able to stay home with the children, then do not have them unless you are financially able to do that. Personal responsibility is the issue here. Have only the children you can afford. Bottom line.

Alexandra said...

When I was born my parents were on welfare...my dad was disabled and waiting for worker's comp to start paying up or whatever.

My parents ate only once a day so I could eat, and they split a bottle of pop between them.

They managed to get out of welfare and never went back.

I wonder...the stepson who's supposed to pay child support...has it occurred to anyone that maybe he needs to be able to support himself? Maybe they're trying to take too much out of his check...I have heard that complaint from men I've worked with, and it's ridiculous--there's barely enough to live on after child support comes out! Why can't women stop trying to milk it for all it's worth? Don't base child support solely on income...base it on cost of living and take into account how much the other parent makes. How many times are you going to buy your kids new clothes, for example? Maybe once or twice a year, not every week!

I am a housewife. My husband makes enough so I can stay home with our son. You CAN make it on one income if you PRIORITIZE. Needs come first. You do not *need* a big-screen TV, for example.

I am against any kind of "pay for housework" scheme. I get "paid" already--it comes from hubby's paycheck, where else? I get room and board and grocery money, and spending money if there's some left over, if you want to look at it that way. My husband earns money not for himself, but for our family unit.

annegb said...

Thanks for your comment, Alexandra. My parents weren't like yours, of course, they were mooches, leeches on society.

I agree with your point about child support and payments that can suck the paying ex dry.

My point, though, was that the government was paying Jamie's babysitter more than she was earning at her job. Wouldn't it save everyone money to give her the money and allow her to stay home with her kids?

It seems common sense to me. It seems to be counter productive for my tax dollars, say $10 an hour, to pay someone to care for Jamie's kids, while Jamie leaves them, goes to work and earns $8 an hour. Why couldn't the government pay her the $8 an hour. She gets to stay home with her family, and the government saves $2 an hour. Everybody wins.