I am sure that many have probably spoken on this particular topic, but currently, it is one that I am having to currently deal with.
Being a mother is a hard job, being a single mother makes it harder, and being a single mother to five children makes it quite difficult. What makes my job more difficult is that I do not have the help of my children's fathers. My ex-husband kicked us out in 2008 (myself and two oldest daughters) and has had nothing to do with us since. My ex-fiance (biological father to youngest three and only known father of oldest two) decided a music career was the route he wished to take and that a family wasn't something he needed at this time in his life.
As said before, my job is already difficult enough being a single mother to five children without the help of their fathers. Each day can be quite stressful, especially being my daughters are all close in age. Their ages are 8, 7, 3, 3, and 2.
What makes things more stressful is that currently, I can not work. Not because I choose not to or physically cannot, but because I can not find adequate daycare for my children. I had a full-time position, 40 hrs a week with benefits that I had to give up because my child care provider decided they no longer wanted to watch my children. You can only imagine how difficult this can make things in the home.
I already had to apply for SNAP benefits (which I really did not want to do), and because I now had to be home to care for my children because I had no one to watch them, I was forced to apply for TANF (something I REALLY did not wan to do). It makes me feel as if I am not doing all that I can, like I am a failure.
The stigma with this is that when someone at the store sees me pull out my EBT card, also seeing me with my children (who are also biracial), the assumptions are ridiculous. If the funny looks about having biracial children aren't enough, they only get worse along with snide remarks when they see the card being pulled out and used.
It is very saddening to me that before anyone even takes the time to know me or my situation, they put me in the category of being lazy or making excuses to get benefits from the government so that I do not have to work, which is SO VERY FAR from the truth for myself.
They have child care programs and assistance available...however, being that this is not a very large area, the daycares provided on the list that accept the payments from the DHR do not have enough openings for my children. During the school year, I would only need care for three, being that my oldest two would be in school, and that was still not an option.
So, here I sit. I am having to be a stay-at-home mother on public assistance, and I HATE IT!! I want to work. I want to be productive in my life for myself and my daughters, and I can not be.
I hate the stigma around me because of the current setbacks that have crossed my path. It is very discouraging when I have others frown upon my situation and tell me I am no good or lazy or an abuser of the system. I am NONE of those things. If we lived in a larger area or were able to move to a larger area with more daycare options, I would jump at it.
Thank you for allowing me to vent. I don't necessarily need advice or suggestions on anything. Just needing to get that out in the air being it is one of the struggles I am currently facing in my life. I continue to push every single day to try to do better and find employement that will give me daytime hours so I can be working while my children are in school and so I can put my younger three in headstart and early headstart so I can take myself off of assistance so those who need it more than myself can get it.