It Could Never Happen If…

30 Sep

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.)


Posted by on September 30, 2011 in Family, Marriage, Money, Welfare


Tags: , , , ,

4 responses to “It Could Never Happen If…

  1. modernmarriedchick

    October 10, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    Great post here — right in live with my “judgement” post. Anyne who makes a staement like “Where is your husband?” is simply judging you. I have a husband, no children and our life still went off the rails, so, despite the feelings of the ignorant, marriage is not an end-all, be-all, cure-all to social ills. Frak that person. I will contnue to follow you and your blog!

    • needtospeakout

      October 14, 2011 at 1:30 pm

      Thank you for your support! You’re completely in line with my thinking as well. That’s the whole point of this blog, it *can* (and does) happen to anyone.

  2. Renee @ whereverthewindblowsme

    January 27, 2012 at 6:31 am

    I actually thought the same thing as I was reading your blog. It was not a judgmental question. I’m a single mom. I know life happens, but I also know that having a partner to weather the storm makes it a little easier – even if it is just a psychological thing. Two heads are better than 1 kind of thinking. With that, I don’t think it was unfair for a reader to ask, but I do understand that the topic deviates from the point of your blog. I think you have a blog with great potential! Keep on sharin’!

    • needtospeakout

      January 27, 2012 at 9:40 am

      Although I do agree that no question is unfair, if one is truly looking to further understand a situation, and I also understand there might be a certain amount of curiosity involved, the tone of the question in the original comment, along with the link to a publication that was literally called “Marriage as a Cure for Poverty” really irked me, because of what the poster was implying.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comments in regards to this issue, it’s always nice to hear another perspective, and I do hope you’ll stick around with me as I continue through this difficult period of my life, and try to raise awareness and speak out for all the others who are too ashamed to do so.


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