Her Facebook page doesn’t match the news article’s narrative

I am not going to make this a crybaby of the week post because the topic of the news article, solo mum Kellie Edmonds has chosen to work full-time to support her five children. That is to be admired not criticised and I am also well aware of how journalists will use a person’s story in order to try to make a political point. She also is quoted as saying that she isn’t looking for help, or a handout.

When you allow a journalist to put the personal details of your life into the media you risk being put under the spotlight of public scrutiny. Whaleoil readers after watching the video and reading the article checked Kellie Edmond’s Facebook page and some were not impressed with what they found.

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It appears from the publicly available photos that Kellie had a holiday in America last year and is currently on holiday in Europe right now.

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Kellie Edmonds is a solo mum who works full-time, and battles to put food on the table and pay her bills each week.

Kellie Edmonds learnt a while ago the best way to make food last a week was to lock it in the boot of her car.

She’s on a tight budget and can’t afford to have her kids raiding the cupboards for an extra slice of bread; she needs it to make their school lunches.

A solo mother of five, she sometimes goes without meals herself to make sure her children have enough to eat.

“I get quite panicked if the boys eat extra food when they get home,” she says, sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea one afternoon after picking them up from school. “It drives me nuts, especially when you’re on a low income.”

[…] Edmonds never thought her life would end up like this. She used to mostly be a stay-at-home mum, until a divorce five years ago drove her back into the workforce.

Now the 38-year-old juggles holding down a full-time job with looking after five kids. Her eldest daughter lives in a sleepout in the backyard with her own partner and child.

She works at a logistics company for $23 an hour on a temp contract without annual leave or sick pay, so whenever she has an unexpected day off there’s less money for food.

“I feel so drained by the time I get home that I just don’t want to do anything. But you know, you’ve got to come home and cook tea for the family,” she says.

Edmonds budgets around $100 a week for food, although “there have been weeks when there was only $50”.

“Sometimes we have noodles,” she says. “That’s on the nights when I’m absolutely shattered. Sometimes it’s eggs on toast, or macaroni cheese is quite cheap to make. It’s just learning how to cook on a budget.”

Even breakfast cereals are tightly controlled[…]

“I just feel sick that most of the time I can’t even buy them a $7 box of nutri-grains,” she says.

Edmonds pays $530 a week to rent a house in Manurewa, in the heart of South Auckland. People here are mostly brown, and mostly poor.

Four out of five locals survive on an income of less than $50,000, and more than 90 per cent of those living in the electorate have nothing more than a high school education.

House prices have doubled in the last decade; for many, home ownership is an impossible dream.

Edmonds says she isn’t looking for help, or a handout. But sometimes she has to fight back her tears until the kids are in bed.

“Some days I get quite down,” she says. “When they’re not awake, I’ll ring mum and have a cry. She always brings life into it again, and I feel hope.”

Family support is crucial. Without her mother, Edmonds says, she’d be “screwed” – another family living in a car perhaps, or forced to fully rely on what she feels is inadequate support from New Zealand’s social welfare system.

Edmonds says her mum helps a lot
“Mum just paid for a trip to the dentist, which I don’t like,” she says. “I like to handle myself. I’m 38, for God’s sake!

Her mother clearly is a very generous and supportive person.

“She always tells me that one day she’ll be old and I’ll have to look after her, but I don’t like it. I’m very proud.”

Her mother has paid for an overseas holiday with Kellie and her sister.

Judging by the photos on Kellie’s Facebook page her generous Mum has paid for not one but two overseas holidays.

Edmonds says being poor is a humiliating experience, and staff at Work and Income “make you feel like low scum”[…]

Edmonds says if she’d known she would end up divorced, she wouldn’t have had kids. “It’s a lot harder.”

But she doesn’t think it’s fair for people to say the poor shouldn’t have children if they can’t afford them.

“I don’t agree with that,” she says. “There’s always a way. Although maybe you shouldn’t have as many!”

Looking back, Edmonds wishes she’d had more options as a teenager. She dropped out of school early because she didn’t understand the lessons, and recognises the impact that’s had on her career options.

“I learn by hands on, and I just wish they had a way to teach kids like me,” she says.

She’s keen to see New Zealand elect a Māori prime minister for the first time.

“Personally, I think it would benefit my culture, and my country,” she says. “But then again, it depends on the person.”

She hasn’t voted before, but would consider supporting any party that lowered her tax bill so she could put more food on the table […]

– Stuff

 


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