Pay Check to Pay Check (My Story)

moneyI am One in three women in America who are living in poverty or teetering on its brink. That’s 42 million women plus the 28 million children who depend on them.

 

A woman pushes back from living on the Brink out of desperation. Earlier this year I watched the documentary, ” Paycheck to Paycheck: The Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert“.  Ms. Gilbert’s story was real for me. Learning about her struggles,  I got a clear sense of desperation. Her story was similar to my experiences. I know about not having health insurance, about living in substandard conditions, about feeling stressed out, and about working in positions with low pay.

However, I did not get a clear sense of desperation as I read the article, Paycheck to Paycheck: How 4 Real Single Moms Make It Work.  In this article, the single moms talk about having support systems. In an optimal world, having a support system is vital to the role of single parenting. Realistically, it is not always evident for every single mom. Recently in the news, a single parent in Arizona made a heart-wrenching decision to leave her children in the car while attending a job interview. Out of desperation, this single parent risked imprisonment, the endangerment of the lives of her children, and the endangerment of having them taken away. Assumingly, she convinced herself that this measure was needed and was a solution in assisting her to push back from living on the Brink.   I can relate. I have been in situations where I was unemployed and contacted about a job interview and did not have child care and had to make a hard choice. I have also been in the situation of the mother who worked at Mc Donalds and left her child in the park with a cell phone. I have had to take my children to work or have them to be latch key children. I was not making enough to afford after school care.

To continue to analyze  ….4 Real Single Moms, some of the profiled single parents were able to take vacations with their children. StilI, there is no clear sense of desperation. I am one of the 42 million women that are either living in poverty or on its Brink, and I  have only been able to take my children on one real vacation in their lifetime.  We went to Atlanta where we had been homeless a few years before. The outcome and the enjoyment of the vacation was no more different than when we were homeless. Saying yes to Dippin Dots at Centennial Park and choosing items we wanted to eat at CNN-not just from the value menu at Wendy’s were the only concrete experiences that reminded me that my girls and I were no longer homeless.

 

Although references were made about the ….4 Real Single Moms, my intentions are not to blame. I applaud these women for their efforts, their devotion, their struggle, and their sacrifices. I applaud them for creating or maintaining such a system that allows room for problem-solving and reconstructing ideas. I am truly inspired by their stories. Nonetheless, my heart and mind go out to the other single women that are on the Brink of poverty; and I often wonder what else could be done to reach out in more aggressive ways to address this epidemic. I would love to see a community or public panel share information and formulate agendas on how to reduce or resolve this issue. I  envision feminist groups and volunteers lists surfacing in every community to tackle-at each state and local level- this disease which is a great indicator of the survival of communities. In addition, to minimize the capitalization of living on the Brink and to reduce the infinite interest of its impact, additional input from other REAL moms living on the Brink must be solicited to fully understand underlying causes. I am talking about single moms like me.

 

 

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