Lazy school holiday afternoon. Single mother folding washing, fruit rotting in the bowl, flies buzzing around the child’s cooking/slime experiment, cat eating the last of the bread, children glued to their screens.
“Zen, what are you watching?”
“Some highlights from the IT movie.”
“I don’t want you watching that movie, you’re too young, it will give you nightmares.”
“The boy in it is a Virgo.”
“He’s a Virgo like you mum.”
“NO, you are not watching it.”
“Worth a try, mum.”
Selfless community service alert! My Pollard Parenting Method (patent pending) is now available to my adoring public. Why buy a how to raise rugrats book when Pollarding can help you with awkward mothering moments?
Public Transport + small untamed child = major public embarrassment for mother. If you are sitting on the bus with your child and he starts singing,
When you’re climbing up a ladder and you hear something splatter,
When you’re rushing to the potty and you hear something grotty
Say out loud at regular intervals,
“I wish his mother would come and get him.”
Or simply move to another seat on the bus and pretend the offending child does not belong to you. He may well pull down his pants, tug at his penis, and sing another filthy ditty you taught him, but eventually a kind old lady will give him lollies to shut him up. She will glare at you when she gets off the bus. Pretend not to notice.
Happy Mother’s Day! Single mothers will now have to provide ‘verification’ of their relationship status in order to claim Centrelink’s Parenting Payment Single. Single mums who leave parenting Payment Single and then return to the payment will also have to send the Human Services Department a photograph of themselves sitting alone crying into their one glass of Aldi wine on a Saturday night.
“From 20 September 2018 new claimants seeking Parenting Payment (Single) or single parents claiming Newstart Allowance will be required to have a third party sign a new form verifying that they are in fact single, then we can tattoo their scrawny necks and microchip them before we release them back into the wild,” the government announced as part of the 2017 Budget this week.
To be rewarded with vast sums from the government’s welfare-bludgers’ prize pool, I will have to find someone whom I don’t want to share the horizontal tango with, to verify that I am in fact raising my children single-handedly. I’m really not sure who I’m going to ask to help me with this. Will it be the merchant banker who picked me up at an art gallery and then took me on an incredibly boring date? The 22-year-old man working at my local servo who thought if he gave me a free juice and a bag of chips, that I’d go on a date with him? The guy who sent me ‘sexy’ pics of himself late at night on Facebook while his wife was asleep? He may be my best choice. Hopefully, he’ll get confused and tell the authorities that he and I have been shacked up for years with my children, his kids from three relationships, our cat and a feral budgie. Apparently, the penalty for making a false declaration is up to 12 months in jail. Which could mean I’m in for a nice break (Wentworth prison here I come) from mothering and working if my dreamy battler beau brags about our imaginary sexy times on social media.
“This is offensive and deeply disturbing,” said Terese Edwards, chief executive of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children.
“Who verifies? Do children get asked? Is there a neighbour watch alert? This is a slippery slope back into the dark days. I’m proud of our single mothers, they are doing a damn good job and don’t need the burden of Government prejudice.”
Terese is right, single mothers are doing a damn fine job, they’re the hardest workers I’ve ever met. But I quite like the neighbourhood watch idea as I’m a bad picker. I could have a panel of people telling me if I’m going out with the wrong dude. My neighbours could shout out to me, “If you bring that guy home, we’ll tell Centrelink,” and I’d be dissuaded from making a bad move on Tinder. Happy Mum’s Day from the Liberal Government. Scott Morrison what a generous man you are, you have saved me from a lifetime of bad relationships. I think I’ll stay home tonight knitting myself an old cat lady chastity belt.
Last Sunday I posted a picture of me wearing a T-shirt with the words
REAL MEN PAY CHILD SUPPORT
emblazoned across it. There was a big reaction. Some men reacted with the predictable ‘not all men,’ and one friend responded like this,
Nothing but a walking sperm donor, he doesn’t get to be honoured with the title of DAD. I have nothing but respect and awe for the strength and perseverance you’ve shown in being both mum and DAD. Too bad some other men are so fragile as to think you are talking about them.
Another response was,
When men who don’t pay child support are shamed, they tend to retreat from discussion and challenge on the subject. They go into a defensive stance that blocks out even mild inquiry about their responsibilities, let alone an outright attack on their claim to manhood.
Which made one poster so mad, they said,
Why don’t the good men encourage these men to man up to responsibilities?
Can men can hold other men to a set of values? The ‘men’ I know who dodge paying for their kids have no values and feel no shame, they’re not capable of it. And their families don’t hold them to account. They come from a long line of men who avoid responsibility and any kind of admission that their behaviour needs to change.
When a woman lives in constant financial stress, lying awake night after night wondering how she’s going to get by, worrying if the electricity is going to be disconnected, knowing she will send her children to school with sniffles because she doesn’t get paid if she takes a day off work, her kids suffer. The children become stressed because their mother is not present. She’s not focused on her kids, she’s too worried about how she’s going to pay the rent and when she’s going to get a good night’s sleep.
What annoys me most is the people who aid them. How does a ‘man’ go from earning $120K per year then within a week have a taxable income of $28K? How does a ‘man’ declare a taxable income of $19K a year when his rent and bills total more than $30K? How do these liars sleep at night?
I understand not respecting or trusting your ex, but making your children suffer? I don’t get it.
Today is Father’s Day and I’m missing my long dead dad. Reading happy family messages on social media on a day like today is tough, especially when you’re doing double duty. I’m loving my strong male mates who are showing up and working hard and being great dads by making their children their main priority. I’m not loving the dads who show off their kids at public social functions but aren’t there for the hard graft of parenting. A part of me wishes that men in Western society would take the men who decide to be deadbeat and Disneyland dads to task. Tiger Woods can treat his wife and kids like shit but still be awarded player of the year awards. In our society it’s even easy to get away with not paying for your kids. I don’t know if it’s the role of government to chase up sperm donors who are not declaring income and crying poor then taking their new families out for dinner and getting on with a newly invented life as though the children they had first are a part of their past that they don’t need to revisit. The Child Support Agency doesn’t seem to be highly effective. I’m not advocating a return to the strict moral code of the 1950s but a few conversations along the lines of ‘mate lift your game’ and ‘real men pay child support,’ I think would help us ladies struggling with bearing the full load of child rearing. Yes we chose to have our kids, but in most cases, no we didn’t deliberately choose boys masquerading as men who have relinquished their responsibilities to their children. Real men man up.