We're not the most popular demographic, single moms. Most of us are hovering tantalizingly close to the poverty line, working a few jobs to make ends meet and worry that we're only doing half the job we should for our kids. But luckily for us, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to be in our corner. So just how is Hillary Clinton helping single moms?
Well, she gets it. She knows that there is more to being a single mom than being just some sad statistic, a cautionary tale to wave around when campaigning real family values and the like. She knows single moms have every day issues that need real answers. That they need support in their community not just from family and friends (although that makes a massive difference, of course) but from employers, child care workers, teachers and doctors. Single mothers need to know they're not alone, especially when we feel like we have nowhere to turn for help. As a mother herself, she knows how hard the job really is, which could be why she once referred to single mothers as 'heroines'. (That's sweet and all, but heroines probably don't toss and turn all night with revised budgets dancing in their heads.)
While some have argued that Clinton is actually not-so-great for single moms, the former Secretary's own record and words speak more to her views on the demographic and its issues than anything else. From that perspective, here are some of the real ways Clinton could help single moms, should she make it to the White House in November.
She Empathizes With Them
Sure, she probably won't be proposing a bill to end loneliness for single moms any time soon, but in this video, Clinton encourages family and friends to step in and help the single moms in their lives. No small feat, believe me. And I'll bet she would be one of those friends who brought you a take-out pizza and some wine when you were feeling small. It may not be a hardline policy proposal, but it's definitely important to understand how moms feel if you're going to lobby for them.
She's A Proponent Of Equal Pay
Clinton believes that equal pay is not just a women's rights issue, but a family rights issue. "The fact that women in North Carolina still get paid less than men for the same work costs those women and their families thousands of dollars every year," Clinton said while speaking in North Carolina in 2014, according to The Hill. "Imagine what a working mom could do with the money she is owed, the better home she could rent or even buy? This is not just a women's issue, this is a family issue, a fairness issue."
With nearly half of single mothers still living below the poverty line, equal pay is definitely a single parent issue.
She Believes Parents Need Time With Their Kids
Clinton wants parents to be able to take up to 12 weeks, with pay, to care for their babies. A guaranteed paid leave would make a huge difference in the life of any parent, but perhaps most especially a single mom. Because otherwise you're exhausted and angry nearly all the time, and that's not good for your emotional and mental well-being (or for your own kids either).
She's An Advocate For Affordable Child Care
As Clinton has pointed out again and again, child care isn't 'just' a women's issue. It's a family issue. And when single mothers are trying to get out in the work force and make a better life for themselves and their children, affordable child care could very well be the difference between failure and success for them.
Overall success is the aim here — not just for the single moms but for the children they're raising. Because after all, one day one of these kids could become leader of the free world. (Right, President Obama?)
Hillary Clinton may not be the perfect advocate, or activist, but in an election year where women's and mother's issues seem to have largely fallen off the radar, it's nice to see that Clinton hasn't forgotten single moms altogether. Take note, guys.