"Saw this and it feels so real. I remember being like Lily as a kid, school was my only food source most days. I still struggle to eat in public due to food anxieties and I'm in my 30s now. It's one of the reasons I "took so long" to leave my ex, when I realised how abusive he was, because I knew if I left him I'd be reliant on benefits and my children may have days with skipped meals. I knew what that felt like, I didn't want that for my kids. Then there's also the "your own fault for picking a bad partner" when no one knees what a person in like at the start, if education was upto par many women wouldn't fall for "bad men" and many men wouldn't be rapist and abusers (I know not all men but the statistic speak for themselves). While I've managed our budget well enough since left my ex, my kids don't skip meals but I often do, and it hurts as mothers to be pushed for something we have no control or choice over. I have literally nightmares most days over either our ex finding and killing us, or the government stopping my money and kids going hungry. All while trying to heal from a lifetime of ptsd in a culture where a single mum who's trying to access assistance for anything from food to childcare to mental health support is doubly criticised and punished.
"why even have children if you can't provide for them?" Why make it so hard for single mothers to provide for their children? Why make women choose between physical safety and poverty? Why punish children and loving parents for the actions and inactions of abusive and absent parents? Stop blaming single mothers for not matching up to the systems design to keep us down. "