One-third of all single mother families live in poverty.
I’m not a single mother, but many of my friends are. There are so many cards stacked against the single moms in our country – from social stigmas to unequal pay to lack of support in the workplace. They are poor, they work overtime to provide for their children, often to the detriment of their own health and well being.
Our economy is failing, putting these women even more behind. Social programs aren’t keeping up with the deficit these families are living with. Someone says they just need more education and training, so they can get better jobs to provide for their children. Another person says they just need to find a stable man to help take care of them.
They cannot get a better education because there is not enough time between caring for their family at home and work. If they spend too much time outside the home, they aren’t being effective parents. These women want to be able to spend time with their children, which is why they fought for custody to begin with. Quality childcare is nearly impossible when you consider the less-than-equal pay women receive in the workforce.
Child support is not enforced to the extent that it helps these mothers. When a married couple divorces, the non-custodial parent continues to have an increase in income, while the custodial parent remains at the same level of compensation in the face of inflation.
Social programs such as Food Stamps and WIC do not keep up with the needs of the family in terms of financial assistance or the ability to make healthy choices for their families. Many people will buy less nutritious items for their families in order to make their budget stretch as far as possible, so that there is food to eat at the end of the month. This attributes to health problems in children and adults, as they are unable to afford to keep up with the USDA’s “food pyramid” recommendations.
How many of these women have escaped abusive relationships only to be smacked around by society? These women need help, and they need help soon. They do not need to enter into (or stay in) damaging relationships in order to provide for their children, they need to be supported and have some of the burden lifted off of their shoulders. Childcare costs need to be reduced, equal pay MUST HAPPEN, health care needs to be affordable and accessible and child support guidelines should be rewritten and enforced.
Most of all, these women need to be given a hug for each and every day that they continue to survive, and thrive, against all odds.
Originally posted on MeliaLore.com