Agony aunt: Used and confused

Dear Wendyl,

I’m a single mother on a benefit and I have two kids. We’re doing the best we can and I want to go back to work but I’ve applied for jobs and never got them. My problem is that my neighbour is a single working mum and I end up looking after her kids quite a bit if she’s late home or has an appointment.

Since all the stuff in the news about how much people get on the benefit, I’ve noticed she’s been really short with me and I heard her daughter say to my son, “Your mum’s just a lazy dole bludger.” I sat my kids down that night and talked to them but I can’t believe this woman has turned on me after everything I’ve done for her. How do I get her to see me as I am?

Sad and Ashamed, Auckland

Dear Sad and Ashamed,

I got so angry reading your letter. If it was me, I would charge over there and remind her that you are the person she is happy to have look after her kids for nothing but then turns around and calls you a bludger. But to be honest, I don’t think that will fix this.

When times get tough, it’s interesting to see where the focus turns. This is a country that doesn’t turn its back on people in need and I, for one, am proud of that. Would she rather she looked over the fence at a family starving and unable to survive? Just ignore her, hold your head up high and, from now on, you are too busy being a dole bludger to provide free childcare.

  • Wendyl

Related stories

Get The Australian Woman’s Weekly NZ home delivered!  

Subscribe and save up to 38% on a magazine subscription.