Making ends meet

Essay by belindawil January 2004

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In the rhetoric that preceded and paved the way for so called welfare reform, the passage of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, poor, single mothers were repeatedly characterized as the causes of virtually all that was wrong in the United States. Single mothers particularly those on welfare, have been relentlessly stereotyped by politicians, policy-makers and pundits as lazy, dependent, reluctant to work, often as promiscuous and corrupt.

Single mothers have to cope with providing enough to make ends meet, their family's basic income needs, while nurturing and supervising their children. Single mothers who worked in the labor market, wages only covered 63% of their expenses. They therefore have to still depend on the system for assistance. Some single mothers should not be classified in the category as lazy, dependent on the system, reluctant to work, etc.

Being a single mother myself I do not depend on the system.

I enrolled in college, got a decent paying job, my children have been in daycare every since they were six months old. I made a decision to better myself not just to sit around and wait on a two hundred dollar check once a month. When my oldest child who is now eleven years old turned five I took the biggest step of my life and went and purchased a home for myself and my kids. I refused to pay four or five hundred dollars for something that was not mine. I have always had my own vehicle before I even had kids so I have never had to depend on pubic transportation.

Single mothers have to struggle from day to day to make ends meet, and without the help of a good partner or in my case and good mother and father it is...