I probably shouldn’t write this right now because I am frustrated but I am anyway. I seriously can’t believe how rude people can be. My kids are on WIC. Yes I admit that we have it and I’m truly not ashamed of it. Anyone that has WIC should not be ashamed to partake in this program. Since the girls have been home from the NICU, WIC has been heaven sent. It has done EXACTLY what this program was intended to do; HELP those in need.
I should probably tell you the story of the couple. I had to go to Walmart tonight for baby food. I had WIC checks for my girls that I needed to use. I followed all the protocols and took the precautions I have been told to do. Social distancing, 6 ft. apart, blah blah blah… I did it all. I have tried not to really go ANYWHERE, especially to WalMart but today, I had to go. With WIC you can’t do the grocery pick up, you have to go inside. So anyway, I needed to get food for the girls because they are getting to the point that they need solids and not all formula anymore. With WIC we get a certain amount of 4 oz puréed food containers a month for EACH girl. Since we get two checks for the puréed food, I try and be fair and split them up throughout the month so we don’t wipe out the shelves in one trip. That’s what I did.
But as I was in line checking out, I had a couple behind me waiting. At first they were okay. But as soon as they saw the WIC checks their whole demeanor changed. They were annoyed. They seemed Disgusted. The man started huffing and puffing. He went and checked other lines like 3 times. Then they started “whispering”, or so they thought. The women turned her back to me so she wasn’t talking in my direction. Extremely obvious. I overheard the man say “This is the shortest line, looks like we are going to have to sit here.” And the woman “She’s on WIC. We are going to be here a while.” And a few more jabs.
Words hurt. I normally could care less about what people think or say about me. But today these words hurt. I truly felt belittled; and I usually have thick skin. I completely understand that it’s a longer process when using the WIC checks. I’m sorry it’s an inconvenience to you. But guess what? WIC is what HELPS put food on the table for my kids. By being on WIC, it doesn’t mean we can’t afford food. It doesn’t mean we are homeless or live in a trailer or whatever other stereotype is connected. It doesn’t mean we are lower class or beneath you. You don’t know me. You don’t know my story. You don’t know the hell me and my family have been through this last year. You don’t know that we just had twins that spent 2 months in the NICU and that we are STILL recovering financially, physically and especially mentally. You don’t know that we have been in and out of the hospital with one of our girls because of a formula allergy that gave her gastroparesis and now needs to be on one of the most expensive formulas. You don’t know that I had to quit my job because child care for 3 kids is too expensive and it’s cheaper to be a stay-at-home mom. You don’t know that due to this COVID 19 quarantine business has slowed down for my husband that has been deemed an essential business/employee. And You honestly don’t know that we have an extremely strong-willed three-nager that I TRY my damndest to parent on the daily and am extremely exhausted, especially today.
So, to the couple behind me…. YOU are the reason the WalMart employee won’t say the WIC word out loud in fear of the current customer being judged harshly. YOU are the reason the people feel ashamed to admit they have/need/want assistance. YOU are the reason and YOU need to change your perspective because YOU don’t know the full story.
So think about what you say and how you say it because you never know who is listening. Rant over.
Remember Love thy neighbor and be slow to anger.
As always, make your own sunshine ☀️