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Posted Wednesday, June 15, 2011 

Single Mom writes President Obama

Single moms are banding together to get the attention of President Obama.  April McCaffery explained why best: 

[T]here has to be something that can be done to make it just a little easier for single moms and their kids. Whether it's better child support enforcement, or mention of the millions of kids raised by single moms that don't end up in jail, or health care facilities open on Saturdays, public education that supports a family's right to NOT spend their evenings on dioramas. Something to make it just a little bit easier.

 

The point is, single moms work very hard with little support.  Single moms get called greedy, for enforcing child support orders.  Single moms are expected to do it all, and still are shown study after study saying that it doesn't matter what they do, their children are doomed for a life of crime, poverty, and poor education.  And, it'll all be that single mom's fault.  

 

You can read all of the open letters to President Obama on SingleMomMindy's site.  You can also write your own, and post the link in her comments.  Below is my letter.

 

Dear President Obama,
 
I am writing to you as many other single moms have done to bring to your attention what single moms are really going through.  My letter is different from the rest, because my "single mom" status is still pretty fresh. My son is only 13 months old, his father and I divorced when he was only three months old.  
 
My ex-husband is ordered to pay $284 of child support every month.  $284.  The first two months he was ordered to pay it, he only paid me $200.  Why?  I don't know.  He is also ordered to pay half of the cost for medical expenses -- out of pocket costs as well as half of the premium for our son's insurance.  He hasn't paid the premium the entire year, and is only now promising to start paying after I drafted the contempt of court papers that would put him in jail for not paying.  He also owes me several thousands of dollars in debts that he was ordered to pay in the divorce decree, which he puts off paying every month. 
 
I know what you're probably thinking, or at least what I THINK you're thinking because it is the perception that is so widely put on single moms -- I'm money hungry.  I'm greedy, selfish, and am only looking to get every penny out of my ex-husband that I can because I'm angry over the divorce, or jealous of the new wife, or lazy.  Yes, President Obama, I have been a single mom now for only ten months, and have already had all of these accusations sent my way.  And, by reading the other open letters to you, and hearing the stories of other single moms, I know I'm not alone in those accusations, or in these situations.  
 
Probably the biggest injustice and stress of having the father of your children owe you a substantial amount of money is the fact that you know that you'll probably never see a dime.  And you know what?  Society expects you to know this, and accept this, and let "daddy" off the hook.  Why go through the stress of fighting it, right?  The "legal gymnastics," as another mom put it, is a nightmare and stressful.  This is the problem, President Obama.  We shouldn't have to be fighting it.  Child support, medical support, child care support, and debts are all things that have already been court ordered, and should be enforced by the government.  Automatically.  Immediately.  Taken out of their paychecks before they take the money and buy new engagement rings and houses, or even just buy themselves new clothes and food...and if there's enough left over, maybe their kids will get the court ordered support that probably isn't nearly enough to begin with.  Did you know that to have the Office of Recovery Services take money out automatically, the mom is charged $10 a month?  Ten dollars might not seem like a lot to you, but ten dollars is a bag of chicken nuggets and vegetables, or new shoes for your child, or snow pants.  Ten dollars might be what is dedicated to a savings account for the child.  
 
So, Mr President, I am asking you, along with all single moms, to do something.  Change the way that single moms are viewed, have stricter enforcement of child support, honor the many single moms that are doing everything they can to raise successful, responsible children.  Do something to make the lives of single moms easier, so they can focus on what is really important -- their children.  
 
Thank you,
Rachel Tobin
 

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