In this morning's DomPost Jane Bowron has written a column which highlights this perfectly.
Solo-mother-bashing is considered to be a base sport, to be kicking someone when they're down. I understand why people leave violent and abusive relationships, but I have little time for women who think they have sufficient skills to bring several children into the world from different fathers, and have no intention of making a go of it with a decent partner to give children two steady parents to help them grow up.When I started campaigning against the DPB in 2001, with a parliamentary petition calling for a review of this particular benefit, the outrage unleashed was enormous, even vicious sometimes. I thought I was prepared for it but I really didn't know what I was getting into. Only a handful of influential people were on the same page.
If he looks like a violent duck, if he quacks like a violent duck, he is a violent duck, so don't breed with him. If he says emphatically that he doesn't want kids, then respect his wishes and don't 'fall pregnant' (I believe it happened because sexual intercourse took place) to him. Take a full inventory of your situation and personality to access whether you have enough in your favour to help your children survive and kick on in the world, financially, emotionally, physically.
Now, 15 years later, so many are starting to put the pieces together and actually question the effect sole parenting is having on children.
Bowron still stumbles however with her prescription of 'sucking it up' for the sake of the children. The great dilemma is of course how to help what are innocent children without encouraging more of them. She's says,
Let's find out what's going on, get some statistics, start making policy.Where has she been hiding? MSD, Treasury, SuperU, Families Commission have produced oodles of research about sole parent families. The welfare reforms were targeted specifically at getting sole parents into jobs (thereby breaking the dependency cycle) and reducing the habit of adding children to existing benefits. Some success is evident but there's a long way to go.
If she wants more policy aimed at taking care of the children but discouraging feckless breeding she might have to look beyond National.