I was originally going to make my next post about my spending priorities, and how I look at purchases (and that post is still coming as well, as I was almost done writing it), however, there was a comment in reply to my first post which was frustrating enough, that I’d like to dedicate a pieces exclusively to addressing this misconception.
The comment in question asked this: “My only question would be where’s your husband???? How come you didn’t marry your daughter’s or your twin’s father?” *Original punctuation of poster left intact.
Now, those of you that know me personally already know the rather complicated answer to this question. However, I personally don’t see how my relationship issues are anyone’s business, nor what they have to do with the welfare situation in this country whatsoever, and therefore I’m not going to go into the specifics of them here, because it simply isn’t relevant to the issue.
What does being married (or not) have to do with the fact that a family with three children is expected to live off of $725 a month?
Whether I was, or am, married to the father of my children, and/or where he is at (or why) isn’t the point of this blog. The purpose of my writing is to give a realistic description of how hard it is to live and support a family off of a very small amount of money, and to illustrate accurately what social services (i.e. welfare) truly provides to its recipients. I’m doing this because most people are not truly aware of what welfare truly consists of, and have false impressions of both what is given, and about the people who receive it.
My original first reaction to the question when I was about to respond to the comment was to start to explain the unique situation that brought me to this point where I am here, alone with my three children. But then I stopped, because the truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter “how” or “why” I am alone.
The very fact that the question is being asked to begin with is just one of the societal stereotypes so many people embrace, as if being married or being with a partner in and of itself can magically fix a bad situation – economic or otherwise. Often times the extra burden or added expense for another person is just too much strain to handle with the limited increase in funds one would receive. Then there’s the assumption that “the man” (be it husband, father, etc.) would be able to support “the woman” and/or find work where she could not – and this, quite often, is also not always the case.
The simple fact of the matter is at this point in time, I’m doing this alone – and I’m not the only one. There are plenty of single parents out there, male and female alike, for a myriad of reasons. People separate. They divorce. Some leave bad relationships. Some part amicably. Sometimes people even pass away. Other times mothers can’t even track down the father of a child. Not everyone who becomes pregnant is married, and not everyone who has children together gets married, nor should they.
No matter what the reason is, it’s not really anyone’s business. The story is worth hearing, and the issue still deserves attention. This whole idea that marriage fixes all, or it could never happen if you were married is down-right absurd.
As a side note, and further evidence of the inadequacies and injustices of the welfare system, if you do receive child support from the father of your children (and you collect cash aid, food stamps, or Medi-Cal) you are expected to turn it over to the state District Attorney to “reimburse” what they are paying to you in benefits. So any help from the father of the children does not go to help cover additional costs not covered by that the tiny bit of welfare you do receive. So you end up with the exact same (little) amount of money that social services deem is adequate, and the state actually pays less out of their own coffers.
So tell me again, if you believe this is an adequate and fair system to the benefit of the children in proports to help?
I always welcome comments. (Link is at the top of each post.)