Single Moms Receiving Guaranteed Income: ‘It’s a Relief to Know I Have That Extra Income Coming In’

Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“I work from 8 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon everyday, and anytime there is something I can do to earn a little extra … I do it. … I receive $92 a month in SNAP benefits (food stamps), which is not nearly enough to cover my grocery bill for the month. And that’s why I’m so grateful for MMT—I can go spend cash on some groceries, and my baby and I are still good. Cash is more helpful than SNAP because I can buy groceries with cash, but I can’t pay bills with SNAP.”

An Open Letter to Women’s Magazine Editors: It’s Time to Save Reproductive Rights

Right-wing politicians like Ron DeSantis are ranting about the “woke” media, yet most women’s sites today stick to “traditional” female topics: beauty, shopping, fashion, shopping, relationship issues and more shopping.

Perusing the happy headlines featured on women’s media sites, their readers would have no idea that abortion bans have demolished the rights of women in 21 states, nor that the maternal mortality rate has spiked in those states. Are women’s digital media site editors living in a Barbieland bubble?

The Next Battlefront in the War Against Women: Fighting for Congress to Fully Fund WIC

Leaders in Congress agreed on a topline figure to fund the government for the next fiscal year. But it is certainly no cause for celebration. The long-overdue agreement will continue most of last year’s levels, while providing enormous boosts for the Pentagon. With rising costs, last year’s funding levels are not enough for federal safety net programs to meet the needs of struggling Americans. Simply put, more people need more help and they will not get it. This is particularly true among single mothers—40 percent of whom needlessly struggle with food insecurity.

It’s all part of Republicans’ plan to both restrict abortion access and cut nutrition assistance from low-income mothers, infants and young children—creating a new wave of the feminization of poverty.

Remembering My Mother: Susan Catania, Champion of the ERA

Late last year, my mother Susan Catania—former Illinois state legislator, a relentless advocate for the ERA and a fearless champion of critical but politically unpopular causes—died.

Beholden to no one and with nothing to lose, she was known for her willingness to take unpopular stances. She introduced gay rights legislation, championed gun control and was the first Illinois legislator to sponsor the Freedom of Information Act. She passed income tax reform, a compensation plan for crime victims and legislation that led Illinois to become the first state to designate a state holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. More than 50 of her bills became law. But the fight that defined her career was the Equal Rights Amendment; she even became the ERA’s primary sponsor in Illinois.

Front and Center: ‘A Lot of Single Mothers Want to Work—They Just Don’t Have the Support or Family or Guidance’

Back for its third year, Front and Center is a groundbreaking Ms. series that offers first-person accounts of Black mothers living in Jackson, Miss., receiving a guaranteed income. First launched in 2018, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust is about to enter its fifth cohort, bringing the number of moms served to more than 400 and making it the longest-running guaranteed income program in the country. Across the country, guaranteed income pilots like MMT are finding that recipients are overwhelmingly using their payments for basic needs like groceries, housing and transportation.

“There are a lot of single mothers around here who want to work and just don’t have the support or family or guidance in front of them. That lack keeps them in the same position. For some people, all they have is themselves. … To know that I have a back up and can worry less about having enough gas or having to call on my mom. Now that I have this income coming in, I can save a little bit more. I can try to preserve a little bit more. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Reimagining Child Welfare: The Ms. Q&A with Dorothy Roberts, Host of Podcast ‘Torn Apart’

Professor Dorothy Roberts worked for decades to try to fix the child welfare system—but she came to the understanding that the system could not be fixed: It had to be abolished. Ms. sat down with her to discuss how abolishing the child welfare system is an issue of reproductive justice for women and their families, and the importance of educating about the injustices of the child welfare system.

All episodes of Torn Apart are available here or wherever you get your podcasts.

The False Promise of Split-Shift Parenting

In a country where roughly two out of every five parents struggle to afford care for their kids, many couples have resorted to parenting in shifts: One parent looks after the kid(s) while the other works, and then they swap.

I asked my social media followers: What is split-shift parenting like in 2023? One word popped up over and over again: exhausting. And when the whole family is stretched thin, we know exactly who picks up the slack: moms.

Moms deserve more options. Better options. Sustainable options—and they need them urgently. 

The Most-Read Ms. Stories of 2023

Ms. readers are fed up. You know how I know? Your reading patterns. I know we are tired. I’m tired too. But I’m so glad you brought those big feelings to Ms. And just know: Your rage, your activism and your voice are making a difference.

Explore the most popular articles published this year on MsMagazine.com.

How to Prevent Child Sexual Abuse During the Holidays

The end of the year brings a time to celebrate with family and friends. It feels cozy and carefree. Unfortunately, the holiday season is also a high-risk time for sexual abuse against children. 

Finding a balance between having a restful and cheerful holiday season and creating a safe environment to protect the children around you is essential. So, what can you do to help prevent sexual violence against children during the holidays? 

This Mom Is Finally Accepting Her Inner Scrooge

I have a secret shame that I can no longer keep buried: I am a mom, and I … don’t like Christmas. 

I realize that my kids will get older soon, and I will miss their ardent belief in Santa and their inability to sleep past 6 a.m. when presents are being opened. And I will wish I savored and enjoyed this era of my life more. I will hate that I complained even for a second. These thoughts stir up the mom guilt, big time. But I’m also not ashamed to admit that I don’t feel the merriment all month. It’s not healthy for us to suppress our inner Scrooge.