The Clyde Family

The Clyde Family

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Be careful who you judge....

I am blogging right now through tears of anger. As you know, we have a child in our home that is in foster care. He is just 6 months old and we are having a blast, but something happened tonight that makes me so mad.

As a child in foster care, he qualifies for WIC. "WIC provides certain nutritious foods for growing families, information on healthy eating, help for breastfeeding moms and babies and referrals to health care". I have never used WIC before and I have had to learn the ropes one month at a time. This is the first month that I got baby food and cereal for the baby, every other month has been formula only. Like I said, it takes some learning to figure it all out.

Tonight, I got the appropriate foods and formula for the vouchers I had. Got in line and put the food in order with the vouchers on top of the piles. The way the program is, because I got formula, baby food AND cereal, it took 6 separate transactions to get it all.

Albertson's was really slow tonight (bonus) and everything was going great. A lady and her 4 kids got in line behind me and I warned her that mine was going to take a few minutes and she might want to go to a different line. She told me it would be fine. She loaded her stuff on the belt and THEN saw what I was buying with the vouchers on top. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that I was using WIC.

The checker was so sweet. She remembered me from past trips to the store. Also, when you use WIC, your name is on the vouchers. HOPE CLYDE isn't a hard name to remember, I guess. She was chatting and asking how the baby was and that's when I noticed it..... the lady behind me was rolling her eyes at me. In shock, I kept looking her way. She stood with her arms folded, hip cocked to the side and staring me up and down. Occasionally, she would close her eyes, breathe in deep and when she would open her nasty, little eyes, they would roll to the back of her head. As this went on, I was feeling like an absolute idiot for using WIC. The checker even noticed and twice, mouthed to me, "don't worry about it". Thank goodness I had a seasoned checker that got me out of there in a hurry.

Loading my car, I couldn't stop thinking about that lady. The things I would say to her, just running through my head. I got in my Tahoe and started to pull out of the parking lot when the little princess came waltzing out of the store. Her eyes met mine and she looked at my car. Not needing a translator to read her lips, she said, "OH MY HECK!!!! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?". I guess the car I drive isn't what she would imagine to be WIC recipient worthy.

I don't know if it was good or bad that I was on my way out of the parking lot and there was a car driving behind me, because I wanted to turn around and let her know how wrong her assumptions were. I know my mouth and I know it would have been NOT NICE. I kept driving.

The feelings of humiliation and anger took over and I couldn't control my tears. Calling my mom and my sister made me feel much better. But, the bottom line is, be careful who you judge. You never know what THEIR situation is. If she had known that I was a foster parent with a 6 month old baby in my home, would her attitude have been different?

This isn't the first time I have felt this way, but usually, I can give people the bird and tell them to kiss my butt. When Tyler was a baby, he was on oxygen for the first 11 months of his life. Well, we had to park in the handicap stalls to get him AND his oxygen out of the car at the same time. I got a lot of dirty looks then, also. *A 20-something woman parking in the handicap stall with her baby!?!* Yea, not the first time it's been this way. But I really hope to use this experience as a learning tool for others.

Don't judge a mama until you've pushed a cart full of WIC items through the store... isn't that how that famous quote goes? You get the idea!!!!

So, let's all be a little more kind. You never know what people are going through. It made me think of family members and close friends that are on WIC right now because they qualify financially. Do THEY face this regularly? It made me sick to my stomach to think of how THEY feel. I hope my loved ones don't face this discrimination.

Anyhow, just another experience to learn from in this whole process, right? Be careful who you judge.

15 comments:

Launa said...

I am so sorry that she made you feel that way. We all have bad day's and do and say things that we wish we could take back and knowing you the way I do, I know that you take great pride in supporting your family. Just remember that what you are doing for Nathan far out ways the small minded BS that she did to you tonight screw her anyway!!!We love you and know that God will be sending you great blessing for all the good you do!

Kellie said...

Hope u r AWESOME!!!! I know that I probably would have opened a serious can of whoop a$$ tonight!!!(this hasn't been my day) U r a way better person than her!! What u guys are doing for that sweet little man is awesome!!! Love ya bunches!!

Emily said...

The hard times can only make us stronger if we keep the right attitude about it. Way to go, my friend! You found knowledge in this experience. That little man is lucky to have you taking care of him. Keep smiling :)

Brittney Taylor said...

Oh my goodness...seriously if I had been with you...what the heck...I can't say I haven't experienced my self but not that bad...I don't look like a person who would qualify for WIC just like you don't but Geesh if anyone were to do that to me I would feel humiliated...I am so sorry she was such a mean person...what goes around comes around...I sure love you and I will not be so quick to judge someone...I love you Auntie Hope...

Heidi said...

People are so mean. Just remember that it does not matter what people think and what a good thing you are doing. I think sometimes people have to look down on thers because they have to many problems in there own life. good post.

sandy said...

Hold your head high the people that really matter is people that know the sacrifice that you are giving to your foster child. Love and Hugs to your family for this. As a WIC leader for many years what a great program of proper nutrition for children, infants and moms. No one should fill bad for the help this gives our children. We all want the best for them.

Rachel Doyle said...

This story reminded me of a time that I went to the temple in flip flops -- I had broken two toes and couldn't fit my foot into any other shoes - this lady there gave me "the look". I just smiled and went past her -- I just knew that she was going to give her YW women the lesson of dressing appropriately for the temple the next day -- as I was going to give the do not judge lesson to my group.

Sam and Kristie Muir said...

This is the first time I have come across your blog but knowing you are good friends with my neighbor Gina I have to say you have alot of restraint not to tell the lady exactly the truth just to let her feel stupid. I use Wic and you just made me realize that when I get the looks that it is ok because no one knows my situation and it is ok to make sure my kids get their needs taken care of. I know my sister in law and brother get ALOT of disgust in looks and they have had to hear it when parking in handicapped spots but you are right be careful who you judge!

Aleisha said...

oh how I Miss you Hopie!! Im so happy to be able to read your blog... I say amen to this whole post. So sad that people are so judgemental when they have no IDEA. We still need to get together. Even though im not on facebook :)

Amy said...

Some people just suck!!! I've had to be on WIC to make ends meet and I was so grateful that the program was available to my family. I too, got the nasty looks from people. Now that we are financially sound, I smile and talk to the people who are checking out if I'm behind them because I know what it's like to worry where your next pack of diapers is coming from. They are usually embarrassed too. Just take this as a lesson in life (although I'm sure you never would be so rude!) to see the situation in a different light. It's amazing what lessons life holds when you're least expecting it! :)

Misty said...

I've been on WIC with all 5 of my kids, and have felt embarrassed more than once at looks, or loud *sighs* from people in line behind me. It sucks that people are so judgemental, but the needs of my kids come first!!

Nettie said...

The people who feel embarrassed are the ones who are actually working hard to better their situation so they wont need the assistance... it is the "woo hoo a free ride" people that I wanna roll my eyes at. I think most people need to take a look at the judgements they pass, either consciously or unconsciously... love one another right???

Joseph and Katie said...

I'll be honest Hope, I have sighed inside once when I was behind someone that was using WIC. I had my 6 kids with me (all under the age of 11 yr.) and two other people lined up behind me as well. It was way past nap time, lunchtime at this point and I was already soooo done with the heat and shopping, whinning, fighting etc. The girl in front of me never knew what I was thinking at the time, I did have the presence of mind not to let my feelings show, but I was so tired and frustrated before I got to the line and now I had to wait and wait!
I read your post today with a repentant heart. I know I am not perfect. I feel so bad I felt the way I did that day towards that young mom. I am so sorry you had to have this experience. I know you will move on and are a better person for turning this into a learning experience and teaching moment. I love your candid writing and expression Hope.
Thank you. I love you girl. You hang in there! It is all worth it!

Jamaica said...

I hate people that judge others. But I do believe that it is because of the FREE LOADER'S that have caused it. I to have been on WIC and was given crusty looks from time to time. The reason I blame the FREE LOADER'S is because I have personally stood behind someone at the checkout stand purchasing LOBSTER with their FOOD STAMPS. Hang in there you are doing a wonderful job and stepping up to the plate.

Jamaica

Smonkey Mama said...

I too have had this same experience many times in the past. It hurt as much as it was embarrassing. I try to look at others in a different way because of things like this...it has taught me a valuable lesson. I know I'm not perfect but those situations have taught me to be more mindful of what others are going through.
It's hard to be the one being judged. I always remind myself that one day that person will understand how I'm feeling and that "what goes around comes around" and boy does it every come around!!! Like I said, I have been on both sides of the issue....neither side is very fun to be on!
I love you Hope and appreciate you for being real!! *hugs*