How Welfare Reform Has Unraveled the Mother Fiber of the American Family:
by Kayla Sullivan
There is a dangerous deficiency of maternal influence in American homes. There is a legitimate purpose for women to have the right to raise their own children. Women should have the right to cook for their own children. Women deserve the unalienable right to teach their own children the moral guidelines that are required to be a successful member of society. “Welfare reform is bad for women, because they are the direct target of a drive to modify women’s behavior; bad for children, who will see less of their mothers; bad for labor, who will face more competition for fewer jobs; bad for the poor, because it makes them poorer; and bad for the middle class, because their programs are next.” (1)
Welfare Reform has cast a horrid slander on impoverished mothers. These new requirements have targeted the mothers of the family. Contrary to popular opinion, most women in the welfare program are with the fathers of their children. Either the father’s are unemployed, or fall into an ever growing chasm called working poor. It has become socially lecherous to accept your own tax dollars in return for the opportunity to give a child access to a sheltered environment; a prospect against the odds. The women who utilize the Welfare system have been stereotyped as tax dollar vampires. Mimi Abramovitz who is, among her many credentials, a professor of social policy at the Hunter College of Social Work in New York City has also exposed this fallacy. She states in an article she wrote for May/June 1995 issue of Democratic Left, “Welfare reformers falsely portray recipients as “welfare queens” who prefer welfare to work, lie to gain benefits, and have additional children in order to get more aid. In actuality, cutting welfare benefits and forcing women to work will make it more difficult for them to raise and support their children.” (1)
I recall the stories of my mom trying to make it on her own when I was a baby. She worked different gas station and cleaning jobs, but the first baby-sitter she fired because she came home from a long day at the gas station only to find her smoking pot and making out with her boyfriend on the couch while I played unsupervised in the yard.
Another baby-sitter left a handle to a pot of boiling chicken noodle soup over the edge of the counter and I had burned my arm so bad it was in a cast for weeks and I had to learn how to eat with my left hand.
Thus, I grew up on Welfare. I was raised on five pound blocks of welfare cheese-product in my refrigerator. My mother received a meager stipend that would pay for low-income rent and generic household commodities. My father saw me once but never paid, as my mother would say, “One red cent of child support”. Obviously, my mom made the wonderful decision to keep her pregnancy, even though she knew she would be raising me without his help.
I also grew up in a safe town. I had a stay at home Mom when I was a child. My house was always immaculate kept. My homework was finished straight after school. I ate square meals at a table with her every night for dinner. My clothes were modest, but neat. My long hair brushed and plaited each morning and night.
When I was seven my mother was diagnosed with chronic, debilitating asthma that would put her in the hospital for weeks at a time. It is needless to say, her jobs where never there when she got out of the hospital. She returned to college, but every winter she would be in the hospital again, and unable to finish her semesters. Luckily for me, there was s Social welfare program was there to help us survive.
Woman and children today are not auspicious enough to have the option of my “privileged life“. As if punished for being born to the wrong parents, so many children are being raised by artificial life. Their meals are quick and convenient. Take the food product out from one box, put it into another box, push the button, wait for “Pavlov’s beep”, then park in front of another box where people grow up to live in nice apartments with their friends and constantly fret about their sex lives. There are also hundreds of channels of things that explode. People die a lot. Then there is the music video baby-sitter who will teach children that selling drugs and dehumanizing women are socially applauded. Most of the women have better plastic surgeons than they do vocal teachers. That convenience doesn’t happen until the children are older enough to be home alone.
Before T.V. babysitters, are the daycare days. It is a terrifying decision to make for someone so tiny and vulnerable that you love unconditionally. First of all, there is inevitable illness from mass exposure to so many other children. A large contributor to this epidemic within the daycare system is because the women on the Welfare to Work program are generally only qualified to entry level, no benefit positions. It is the kind of position where if your kid is sick, and you don’t come to work, in today’s economy, you would be immediately replaced by the next application at the top of the pile. “When a parent cannot afford to take off one more sick days, or if they fear being “counseled” for using too much time, they will dose the child with Tylenol to temporarily hide the fever and other symptoms and drop the child off at daycare without mentioning to the staff that the little one is ill.”(2)
That is the just a couple of the normal parents concerns. The reality of abuse to children by daycare staff is heard on the news often, but not as often as it happens. “From 1983 to 1985, for example, a study made by the University of New Hampshire divulged that in the licensed daycare facilities alone, there were 1,639 cases of confirmed sexual abuse. In one of our southern states, dozens of little ones in a particular daycare center were diagnosed with gonorrhea of the mouth. Children have been forced into disgusting sex acts with each other, with adults, and even perversions with animals. Some have been used as actors in the production of pornography. Thomas Case wrote an excellent feature in the January 1990 issue of Fidelity entitled “Satanism Rising: It’s 1990; Do You Know Where Your Children Are?” describing ritualized/satanic abuse of youngsters in daycare centers. To children trapped in such situations while their parents pursue their careers, the entire adult world has become a nightmare…. “(2) How can this be in societies, let alone families, best interest?
It seems ironic that the political social right groups who profess that mother’s should stay at home, so dad can work, is also the ones who have removed a vital safety net for the children of our country. The latch-key kids are being raised by artificial boxes, with no one to kiss them, or tell them who their family’s God is.
The daycare kids are growing into violent, angry young adults. It is understandable when if a child has been abandoned by their parents to be raised by a variety of strangers.
The mother’s guilt is overwhelming. In either situation, Mommy comes home from a long hard day, too exhausted to keep a house together, and still help with spelling words, without having a nervous breakdown.
And just in case you think that women should think first before they make babies, and you’re sick of your tax dollars supporting the morally corrupt, here is some food for thought:
“You’d never guess from all the fuss that the $24 billion spent on AFDC benefits in 1994 represented only 1 percent of the federal budget—4 percent when Medicaid and food stamps are included.” (1)
(1) Abramovitz, Mimi. “Welfare Reform Violates Women’s Rights.” Welfare Reform. Ed. Charles P. Cozic. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1997. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. Lansing Community College Library. 12 Nov. 2006 <http://cygnus.lcc.edu:
(2)Monica, Mary. “Day Care Harms Children.”) The Family. Ed. Mary E. Williams. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. Thomson Gale. Lansing Community College Library. 12 Nov. 2006 <http://cygnus.lcc.edu)