Welfare reform was billed as the end of the free ride for all those lazy moms sitting at home doing nothing except raising their kids and cashing their AFDC checks. The new law replaced the old Aid to Families with Dependent Children with TANF — Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. And TANF meant those lazy moms were going to have to earn that assistance.
Those of us who objected to this new law at the time argued that, actually, those moms already were doing work — they were raising their kids. This objection got slapped down by, among others, the Republican Party, which insisted at the time that raising kids wasn’t real work and didn’t count.