I think I could probably walk into a job making about $10/hr with my background in hospitality and rooms operation. So if I worked full time at a local hotel, I might bring home $400/week before taxes. The cost of before and after school care for three children – which I would need to work a day shift – is about $150 dollars per week on the low end. Factor in gas and food and rent and electricity…
I’ll stop there.
If, like me, your ex-husband is not paying child support, you’re even more royally screwed. People say “but there are systems in place to help you get child support!”
In my case, my ex has no address (couch surfer), no employer (self) and no driver’s license (he bikes) so it is not likely he will be “found” by the system anyway. Not for a very long time.
The waiting list to even speak to a person about child support was four to six months long. I am on the list, of course.
If you never thought you’d be on any government aid or support, the process can be daunting.
The paperwork and wording is strange and if you fill something out wrong, there is a good chance your case worker will assume they’ve “caught you” in a lie and your aid will be suspended and you will be under investigation.
Because of the “welfare queen” stereotype, many case workers are jaded. They talk down to you. They assume the worst about you. They make you feel like shit for your situation. They lecture you on your life choices. There is no dignity in applying for government assistance.
Oh, and many times, once a single mom gets a job, her food stamps are instantly canceled or dramatically reduced. If there is no friend or loved one available to watch kids for free, that “income” simply goes to childcare and bills with little to nothing left over for sufficient groceries.
Some of my single mom sisters are ten to fifteen pounds smaller every time I see them. I know better than to ask what their diet regime is. I already know it’s “poverty.” They are going to sleep hungry so their babies are fed.
We had Year of Pancakes.