Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Face of WIC

Did I mention that I'm on WIC? More accurately, my son is. It's an income-based government program that provides assistance in providing women, infants, and children with nutrition. When both I and Mr. Random became poor graduate students, we more than qualified for this program. And we put aside our pride and signed up, because our little guy is worth it.

We could have made it work without it. But why should we? We're qualified. The way we'd make it work is by taking out extra student loans. The program is there. We've paid and will continue to pay taxes. 

For the most part I'm fine with this decision. 

And for the most part, grocery store clerks are very helpful and courteous. But not always.

Today, while shopping, I had the great displeasure of a grocery store clerk who was definitely judging me, and poorly. [Disclaimer: I realize the following is entirely my interpretation, and my be inaccurate. But I think it raises a far point, whether true or not] She maintained a level of professionalism - enough that I don't feel it would have been appropriate to complain. But it was also clear to me that she saw me as a "WIC-Mom." 

What is a "WIC-Mom"? 

In her opinion, and those who are otherwise apt to judge someone on WIC, I'm sure it's someone who is not married. Who had a child too young. Who was too selfish to give it up for adoption. Someone who is not educated, and was too stupid to know what "protection" means. Someone who does not have financial means to provide for her child, and therefore, doesn't deserve him.

Here's the thing. I am a WIC-Mom. I am married. I've been married nearly 6 years. I was 27 when my son was born. I may have been selfish to keep him, but at the time we got pregnant we still had a house, we had 2 incomes, and our lives were very, very different than they are now, roughly 3 years later. I'm highly educated. I hold a bachelor's and master's degrees in a science field and I am working on my Ph.D. I definitely know what "protection" is and how to use it.

It's true - I don't fully have the financial means to support my son - but I went out and found some. WIC is helping. I work 3 jobs. My husband currently is job searching and working a part-time job in the meantime.

So we damn well do deserve our son.

And if I am one WIC-Mother, so very much the opposite of what you might assume...what do you think that might mean for other "WIC-Moms"? One thing is for sure, if a mom went out and got WIC support, she's at least done that one thing to support her child. How dare you judge her for that?

If parenting has taught me anything it's this:

You never know what path has led the person before you to the moment you are witnessing. 

And once you realize that, you'll realize you are in no position whatsoever to pass judgement. 

1 comment:

  1. It's kind of a craze these days, to pigeon-hole anyone who chooses to use government or social aid. There's some seriously misplaced hating going on... So sorry to have you experience some of it.

    I think WIC is a wonderful program. One of the best one's out there, really. It's direct benefit to society and families is marked. It's a helping hand for women with children, something that women here in the US don't ever get help with otherwise, because for all of the cries for "family values" we do almost nothing to help families...


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I have a journal. You know, the real kind...paper, bound in a book form...nice leather cover. And I do write in it...every few months. I like it, but somehow I find it hard to keep up regularly. I'm at a computer nearly all the time, so I find it easier to keep up on this blog. So, that's what this blog is for. To help me journal when I'm away from my journal. A place to collect my thoughts before I lose them to the chaos of my mind.

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