“But , it’s hard. You don’t understand how hard!”

ImageThis, without exception, if the most irritating excuse I hear about why someone has not tried to improve their life or that of their children.


Dora, the shortest of all social workers, just had a very loud conversation with a woman who has been “going to enroll in adult school to learn to read and write” for 2 years. However, she thinks it may conflict with the schedule she would like to have in cosmetology school so she has never enrolled in either. Meanwhile the Dept. of Children Services is telling her that she has to go through mental health therapy, but she thinks it is “too hard” to make it to the appointment.

Says Dora: “Life is hard. Maybe you don’t understand that, but it is. It is hard to raise children, it is hard without children. It is hard to look for a job; it is hard to maintain stable and meaningful employment. Everything is hard. That is just how it is. You are choosing to think that HARD means MISERABLE and you are trying to avoid it.”

My thoughts ….

  1. Cosmetology is a difficult trade and the study of it requires a fair amount of math and science. I honestly have not met any dumb hairdressers. My hair guy Denny (of The Yellow Balloon in Arcadia) is brilliant and dedicated and works long hours standing on his feet.  – I don’t think this young mother can be a Cosmetologist.  
  2. OMG- STOP WHINING! Is this what you have taught your kids to do in the face of adversity; to whine? Somewhere in my life a family member used to tell me, “come here and cry and I will give you something to cry about.”
  3. This is the Welfare recipient that the public identifies as draining resources and sponging off the system. Because, by the way, she is.  Nice job as ambassador, right?
  4. Get a simple job that does not require literacy: Push a broom, clean, wash dishes, etc…  Take a job in the service industry and earn while you learn.
  5. Go to Adult school on the side.
  6. Be responsible for yourself and own your decisions – even when your decision is to do absolutely nothing. And then be aware of the consequences of your choices. In this situation, the consequence is that you may lose your children. If you lose your children you will also lose your meal ticket, food stamps, Medi-CAL, and cash aid.
  7. Parenting my own children was never this frustrating. Changing the attitude and behaviors of adults from my limited role is anguish.
  8. How many minutes would it take for me to be fired if I walked over there and said “Get over yourself !”? Yep. I will just sit here and write this while I collect my voice messages.

Not all people are like this. Thankfully, most of the folks we help are willing, motivated and have their own hustle on that we support. “Good things come to he who hustles”. It is true.

By now, in this fictitious scenario, Dora has stopped talking and the volume level is normal again so I can make phone calls.

Published by Homeless

Mommy. Social worker. Nice lady seeking to end homelessness and end poverty. FightOn

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