Dear Senator Grothman,
How dare you?!?
How dare you insinuate that I am exposing my child to abuse and neglect? How dare you suggest that my very existence is sending my daughter down a road that will negatively impact her life forever? How dare you accuse me of becoming a single mother for the financial benefits?!?
Senate Bill 507, your bill, wants to declare me a monster to the public. Your bill wants to have the state government and the general public look at me as if I had been found guilty in a child abuse case. Your bill wants to designate me as a “contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
What have I done to make you single me out as a public nuisance and potential criminal?
Is it because I’m a single mother?
Do you know why I’m a single mother, Senator Grothman?
I’m a single mother because my now-ex-husband and I decided to divorce 3 years (to the day) after we got married, 1 year and 3 months after our daughter was born.
So, because my ex-husband doesn’t love me the way he did the day we said “I do,” I’m automatically on the watch-list for being an abusive mother and a neglectful parent?
What have I done that is considered abusive or neglectful?
Is it the fact that my mother picks her up from school every day and keeps her in a warm, safe, friendly environment?
Is it because I let her read books 2 levels above her grade because she can and wants to??
Perhaps I shouldn’t teach her how to respect her elders by having her sit quietly in bible study classes at my church when there isn’t a babysitter available?
Maybe I shouldn’t have let her read scripture at the lectern in one Sunday morning worship because it could teach her how to be an exceptional leader and speaker?
And what financial benefits of being a single mom am I missing out on? I’ve already looked at low-income housing when my daughter and I moved into our first apartment: I make too much money (wait for it…). I looked into a Habitat for Humanity house that we could help build and move in to: I make too little money (there it is). The only “benefit” I get (if you can call it that) is a very small amount of child support from my ex-husband; it’s small because I work more hours than he does, make more per hour than he does and my annual income is 10% more than the median income in the state my husband resides. All told, the support my ex-husband has been ordered to pay is less than 1/4 of the living expenses I pay just to keep a roof our daughter’s head. According to the California Department of Housing and Community Development I am considered “lower income,” and yet nothing designated to low-income families is available to me.
My daughter goes to public school; I drive her there and my mother picks her up. My daughter is enrolled in the before-school care and buys lunches at school occasionally; I do not qualify for subsidy for either of these.
I work full-time for a Fortune 500 insurance company, pay for my medical insurance, contribute to my 401(k) and participate in the Employee Stock Purchase Plan.
I pay my taxes on time. I give regularly to my church. I donate blood. Hell, I’ve even given away a kidney!
So remind me again how I’m a tax on the community, city, county and state?
I am appalled and disgusted at your Senate Bill and at the fact that you think that I, a single mother, am adding a significant risk of abuse and neglect to my daughter.