“Although I am certain that by now Mr. Santorum realizes (which is not the same as giving a hoot) that he has incensed an incredible amount of people regarding his comments and rants about single moms, I’m wondering if he is willing to come forward and share where he obtained his information.
As a mom who was married for 13 years and is blessed with an incredible daughter who is now 11 years old, I chose to leave the marriage because my daughter deserved a better environment to serve as a model for a healthy relationship between her parents as opposed to thinking emotional abuse is absolutely acceptable treatment. (I was fortunate enough not to be physically abused like so many single moms who have mustered the strength to leave for the sake of their child/ren.)
In August of 2008, I founded and have since run a group called “Alone Together: Single Moms’ Online Support Group.” Although the group started on Meetup.com, we recently shifted to using Facebook in order to help as many single moms as possible and have members spanning the globe. Alone Together is based on the principle of “teach a man to fish.” We believe in a hand up NOT a hand out. We in no way give people money, nor in the the past three years have we received a request for the same; rather we all support each other by offering advice, sharing experiences, and providing links to resources so members may attain their greatest wish—learning skills to become the best parent possible. (Sorry to burst your bubble, Mr. Santorum, but, no, their wish is NOT to drain the system—it is actually to make sure that the most important commodity this country has is nurtured. In case you do not know what that commodity is, it is our children, a/k/a the future of this country.)
Oh goodness, pass the smelling salts! I think Mr. Santorum may have just fainted in disbelief. What a shock to learn that I am just one of countless single moms who went to college and maintains a good-paying full-time job as a legal secretary while also volunteering for many charities. I apologize for shocking you without warning: “You’re kidding? A single mom who actually contributes to the betterment of society? Eeegads! IMPOSSIBLE!!!”)
As someone who has been an avid writer since age 7, brevity is not my strong point but I will do my best to get to the point of this post. I would very much appreciate the chance to speak with you and allow you an opportunity to back up your opinion. (I’ll even reimburse any phone charges you may incur.) A great start would be letting people know where you obtained your information and statistics regarding single moms. I feel strongly that the public deserves to hear from an actual single mother—the proverbial two sides to every story, so to speak—in order to allow them to make an informed decision based on more than just the spoutings of a political hopeful. I feel compelled to do whatever damage control I can and I have worked hard at reducing the stigma attached to single moms.
Brace yourself, Mr. Santorum, but our members consist of women with MULTIPLE Master’s Degrees, published authors, family law attorneys, and many others who work in high profile careers. They put themselves through college without any governmental aid or hand-outs. The single moms I have been fortunate to meet are very proud and humble and many have been raising their child/ren WITHOUT ANY FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE WHATSOEVER. In fact, the laws are so ridiculous that, at least in Minnesota, even if the Court awards child support, if a mom is not receiving it, she has to use HER OWN MONEY to go back to Court to plead her case that the Court ENFORCE AN ORDER IT ISSUED! And even then, her child/ren never see a dime in support. Oh sure, you can revoke his license and/or have him serve jail time, but what is the sense in ASSURING any chance of a stream of income allowing him to fulfill his obligation to his CHILDREN (this is NOT spousal support – it is used to feed and clothe those he helped bring into this world). Man, that is so hard to wrap my head around.
We did not get married or enter into relationships with the goal of having children just so we could quit work and hop on the welfare bus. While I absolutely agree there are women (not in our group or any of the other many single mom groups, simply because no one like that has asked to be a member) who do indeed have child after child as a means to continue to collect government support (which I am sure you know launches them into the lap of luxury—pardon the dripping sarcasm) that is NOT the portrait of a single mother and, I for one, am incredibly insulted by what I can only assume is your naivete.
Would you be willing to engage in an interview with me so that the public can hear another perspective? By the way, that’s another wonderful trait single moms have: sticktuitiveness and resourcefulness. We truly are a force to be reckoned with because we will do whatever is necessary to take care of our child/ren. If you aren’t willing to come forward, I apologize in advance for chalking that up to deciding to hide behind your supporters and let them do your dirty work for you. Afterall, if you really are convinced that single moms are the cause of the countries’ problems, then I would think you would jump at a chance to stand up for your extremly vocalized beliefs and opinions. Surely you aren’t scared by a simpleton like me who has no idea how to care for herself without draining the system. (Sorry, I can’t seem to control my sarcasm as I find what you state to be absolutely ABSURD—but everyone deserves a chance to “prove” their point.) As I stated above, when it comes to our children we will fight to the end, so rest assured that if you choose to ignore me, I will use my media connections and all other resources to make sure the country knows that you are nothing more than the little man behind the big green curtain.”
(A founder of Alone Together Single Moms Online Support Group)
(Editor’s note: Ms. Swanson’s letter was posted March 12 on Rick Santorum‘s Facebook and campaign sites. It is reprinted with permission and with the hope that it resonates with you, too. For more Santorum news on this matter, see: Mother Jones article Santorum: “Single Moms Are Breeding More Criminals”.)
- Lara Bergthold: Rick Santorum’s Latest Target — Single Moms (huffingtonpost.com)
- Money and the Single Mom – Debt (singlemomthriving.wordpress.com)
- Rick Santorum: Single mothers are ‘breeding more criminals’ (dailykos.com)