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Byron Shire
May 15, 2021

Caring for single parents

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Beth Shelley, Booerie Creek

My relationship broke up and I became a single mother. The reality of being alone with the responsibility of two children was terrifying. I’d had severe post-natal depression with my first child and struggled with maintaining my sanity while having a second child and going through the breakdown of my relationship.

Why do we think that having a second child will save a relationship? Crazy thinking, but who among us is totally sane? I realise that throughout my life I’ve struggled to have moments when I didn’t feel anxious, worried or depressed.

I grew up in a poverty-stricken family of eight children where my parents had no time to do anything but yell at me to get out of the way and it didn’t make me feel like I was worth anything.

As a single parent I was grateful to the government for providing me with enough to pay my rent and bills and have a safe home for my children.

I was lucky enough to get a bit of work so I could afford a car. Before that I used to carry my shopping home hanging off the handlebars of a stroller with a crying, screaming baby.

For me having children was stressful and lonely even though I did have other single mothers to share the burden with.

Work was a great relief from the stress of being a parent and I loved it. That was over 20 years ago now and I’m still grateful for the income support that I got back then. I often used to worry I would end up in the clinic and just totally lose it and go insane.

The thought that politicians could take away some of the financial support for single mothers is mind-boggling.

Don’t they understand the difficulty and stress of being a single parent in the first place? We have a huge problem in this country with mental health issues and suicide.

Poverty increases these problems. Saving a tiny amount of money by cutting benefits to single parents is nothing next to the suffering it will cause.

As a taxpayer I want my taxes to support single parents and children. The Greens care about those who are struggling with stress and difficulty.

As a single parent I will vote for the party that cares about those in need, especially children.

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  1. Well said. I totally agree with you. The hidden costs of stress on low income families will be felt in other areas. Very bad move to reduce the single parents allowance.


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