Podcast Episode 235: Stephanie Land on Motherhood and Poverty

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 235 of The New Family Podcast, where we talk to a writer about her experiences with motherhood and poverty, and what we can do to help erase the stigma surrounding this complex issue.

It’s my delight to be able to bring you a remarkable and important story today. I’m joined by author Stephanie Land, who has become known for her unflinching writing on poverty and motherhood. Stephanie writes about her years seeking out an existence for herself and her daughter through her work as a housekeeper. She writes about her struggle to make ends meet, her reluctance use of food stamps and the bigotry she encountered for needing to access social services.

But she also chronicles her efforts to keep alive her dream of going to university and becoming a writer something she nurtured in blog posts about her life with her daughter and getting by in those years. Since then her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Vox, Salon and elsewhere. Her book Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay and a Mother’s Will to Survive is already a New York Times bestsller that’s been met with all kinds of critical acclaim. Although her circumstances have now changed, Stephanie remains active in fighting to change the stigma surrounding people in poverty, especially single mothers. Stephanie lives in Montana but while in Toronto to give in a talk she visited me in my small home studio.

Here are some resources related to this episode.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

Stephanie’s website

Stepville blog

Stephanie’s Facebook Page

Related Episode: The Families Forced Out When Condos Move In

Related Episode: These New Parents Bought a House with Their 2 Best Friends

Related Episode: What it takes to be — and raise — a mentally strong woman

What Stephanie wishes others who are struggling to get by could know

“Everybody’s situation is different. There’s a lot of people in much worse situations or dangerous situations, but I always think of that Mr. Rogers quote about looking for the helpers. What I wish I would have done more of is tell people how much we were struggling. I’ve had people reach out to me after reading the book who lived in Port Townsend, and who said, ‘I had no idea. I would have said yes when you asked me to babysit Mia if I had known how much you really needed it. I never wanted people’s sympathy, and I didn’t really realize that I needed their empathy. I think the more you can just matter-of-fact say things like, ‘I need $20 for gas today.’ Well, people don’t really like to give you money. Things like Target gift cards would just kind of show up in my mailbox sometimes because people knew that I was struggling. But I wouldn’t have received any of that stuff that often went straight into Mia’s Christmas stocking or for her birthday, unless I shared that I was in need of these very specific things. It took a lot of guts to say that, but I can’t imagine where we would have been if I hadn’t.

Are you a fan of the show? We’d dearly love your support.

Click here to visit our Patreon page and find out how you can become of a patron of the show to help us cover our costs. For as little as $1 per month you can help ensure the podcast will always be available.

Here are all the ways you can subscribe and listen to our show:

Subscribe to The New Family Podcast in iTunes

Subscribe to The New Family Podcast on SoundCloud

Subscribe to The New Family Podcast on Stitcher Radio

Subscribe to The New Family Podcast on these other Android Directories

Subscribe to The New Family Podcast by RSS

Listen in our feed in LibSyn!

 

Please follow and like us:


Brandie Weikle

About Brandie Weikle

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here. View all posts by


'Podcast Episode 235: Stephanie Land on Motherhood and Poverty' has no comments

Be the first to comment this post!

Would you like to share your thoughts?

Your email address will not be published.

About The Editor

The New Family, a blog site that examines and celebrates modern family life, is run by long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson, Brandie Weikle. She is also the host of The New Family Podcast. Former editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. She lives next door to the father of her children and leads a dynamic Facebook community called Positive Co-Parenting After Divorce. You can contact Brandie here. You can find our privacy policy here.

1,000 Families

We'd love to learn about what makes your family tick. To participate in our award-winning guest blog series, The 1,000 Families Project, or "I bet we can find 1,000 ways to be a family" please email us a photo and at least 750 words describing the people in your clan and what life with kids is like for you.