This video looks at the stories of ten single mothers in Australia talking about how the benefit cuts that came into effect at the beginning of this year have affected the lives of their families. Since the cuts, benefits in Australia have come roughly into line with the benefits that sole parents receive in New Zealand. I believe that most single parents in New Zealand will be able to resonate with these stories. Society degrades single parents, and the negative views start from the top at governmental level and are fed to society through the media. The degrading views of single parents needs to stop, our jobs are tough enough without society frowning upon us. Single parent families are amazing, strong, and resilient, all while carrying a huge burden on our shoulders. Single parents are NOT lazy, drug addicted, alcoholic low life bludgers! Those who view us as such need to walk a week in our shoes, and learn to understand just how amazing we actually are.
I hate hearing the 'C' word before the first of December, and it really irks me when I walk into shops mid October and all the decorations are hanging about the store, with huge displays of tinsel and baubles for sale in the center of the stores - it shows exactly what Christmas is about these days - consumerism, unless you are a broke single parent. I loathe consumerism and that we live in a capitalistic world, brainwashed into buying 90% of crap that we don't actually need so that big business can keep making their fat pockets even fatter, but I also feel no joy in the lead up to Christmas due to not having enough money to buy my boys some of the things they would like. My last couple of Christmases we have been dead broke, and this Christmas we are steering down the barrel of it being our poorest one yet, but what we lack in money, is made up for in friends and family, and this is where our joy in Christmas lies.
I know that I'm not the only one who gets stressed at this time of year, it's something that thousands of us sole parents have to face, it kinda goes with the territory of being a sole parent. So what do we do to keep our sanity at this time of year instead of sinking in a pool of our own misery? We focus on what we do have; our children, our health, a roof over our heads, food (as plain as it may be for some) in our bellies, our family, our friends, be grateful for what we do have, as the true meaning of Christmas is far from what society would have you believe these days. Lets get back to basics, whether you are religious or not, the true meaning of Christmas started with Christ. I'm not saying that we all should be celebrating Christ (especially since I am open to everyone's different beliefs), but I mean the basics of good decent values and morals; be kind to one another, show love for one another, smile at a stranger and ask them how their day is going, help someone less fortunate than you - even if its as simple as making a sandwich for the local homeless man down the road. At this time of year charities are crying out for help - whether it be monetary or hands on, taking your kids to volunteer at a local charity could turn out to be the best gift that you give them this Christmas.
Yes I hate the 'C' word before the 1st of December, but it is also a word that can stand for so much more than those flush money hoarders importing cheap goods into their chain store would have you believe. Christmas can be a time of great meaning and gratitude, lets teach our children what it is really about!
Hi I'm Chon, I am in my early 30's and I have two wonderful boys who are 12 and 7 years old. I have just completed my degree as a fulltime student, as well as being a fulltime parent, and now I am in job search mode. I have decided to blog my journey to not only help myself, but to help others out there in similar situations. In solidarity we grow, not only in strength, but in mind and heart!