I know a single mother with three children who is trying hard to keep her head above water while also staying off of the welfare system that the government wants her on.
She was married for years until her husband decided that he would prefer the married lady down the block to his wife and kids. So he moved on with no thought how his first family would pay for rent or purchase food. He paid no child support and the mother didn’t have the money to go to court for help with the child support issue. This single mother wasn’t allowed to work while married, because according to the husband, she was to stay home and care for the kids.
After seven years of being a mother and housewife she was left with no income and four mouths to feed. She immediately started looking for employment. After seven years away from the work force it was hard for her to find an employer that thought she was a worthwhile candidate.
She had some college before marriage and having her children so she figured that she should go back to school and get a degree. She was able to take advantage of educational loans to pay for her schooling and the college had low cost child care available to students in her situation.
While raising three children, keeping house, and so on, she managed to complete her college classes and got her Bachelor of Arts degree. She again started looking for employment that would pay rent, buy food, and starting paying off her student loans. She was able to find employment, but now she had to figure out where the kids would be cared for after school while she worked to earn a living for her family.
As luck would have it, the school she had her children attending had an after school program that watch over the kids until six in the evening so the parents could pick them up after work. That was going to work out well for her and the children. When she went to the school to enroll her children in the after school program, she was shocked to learn that the program was full and she would have to make other arrangements for her children. She looked for a daycare that she could afford and learned that the least expensive day care option in her area was $800 a month for the three children.
Considering that her starting salary was not excessive and the $800 would make her far short of covering her other living expenses she had to make a decision. Would she turn down the job she had worked so hard to find and just go on welfare, where the government would like her to be?
In visiting the school in question several times I found it interesting that a large number of the women picking up their kids at six in the evening were still dressed in their pajamas. It appears that they had no time for their kids so they spent the day laying around the house while the school did the babysitting for them.
It seems to me that if our society truly wants single mothers to succeed on their own, we need to set some rules. A great starting place would be to require any applicant parent prove to the school providing the after school care, that you are employed, before being able to enroll your children in after school programs. This requirement would eliminate non-working mothers who simply choose to dump their kids at the free program so they will not have to watch them.
This young single mother was luckier than most. She had family that was able to help, and she was able to get that job, make her own living, and feel proud of herself. But many others are not as lucky and end up completely dependent on the government for food, rent, and other essentials paid for by big brother (big government) that wants to control us all.