Hey, you know that “pride” thing that we all have to preserve our ego? It’s where we avoid talking about our flaws or shortcomings because those things don’t make us feel good about ourselves. Well, today I’m dropping my pride on the Knoxville Moms Blog. Why? I want you to hear my story, and hopefully that will encourage someone to think of me and be kind next time they find themselves in this situation. This is just an excerpt, so click the link at the bottom to read the rest!
We have all been there.
Whether you do your grocery shopping on your lunch break, on a mad dash between work and dinner time, or while trying to wrangle all your cranky/bored/energetic/overtired/whatever kids on the cart so you can make it home in time for naps, there seems to be a universal understanding among moms that grocery shopping can be stressful. And the one thing that can take even the most successful shopping trip and make it feel like a disaster is when you get stuck in the slowest.checkout.lane.ever.
When you’re stuck in that dreaded lane, trying to distract yourself from the growing frustration of how long this is taking, glancing over racks of tabloids and chewing gum at all the other lines moving faster than yours, you start to stare down that person at the front: what on earth could be taking so long?! you think. You start counting items… you glare at the cashier… then you realize the hold up: this mom is paying with WIC. UGH.
In case you’re not familiar, WIC stands for Women, Infants and Children. This government program provides nutritional assistance to low-income pregnant or nursing moms and children under age 5 by providing certain items for free, such as milk, bread, cheese, eggs, cereal, and beans. If you have ever been a grocery cashier, used WIC, or been stuck behind someone using WIC, you know it is ridiculously time consuming to check out. And regardless of who you are in the situation, it is ridiculously frustrating for everyone.
I have been that person behind a WIC customer, annoyed and tapping my feet, huffing and glaring, wishing “those people” would just get it together or let me and my 6 items go ahead of them or use a designated lane so us paying customers could move through at a reasonable pace. Believe me, I know the frustration.
Then I became a WIC mom.
The circumstances don’t really matter, and no one should ever have to justify themselves in a public forum like the internet, but here I am, a pregnant, stay-at-home mom to 3 kids who depends on WIC every month. It is what it is; it is not a situation I really celebrate, but I am very thankful to live in a country where this is an option for my family. It doesn’t come anywhere close to covering all of our groceries (nor is it supposed to), but it is a big help with a family and income the size of ours.
I am telling you this, anticipating plenty of hate in the comments (tip for bloggers: never read the comments), because I have one simple request for anyone who will listen: please be kind.
Click this link to the Knoxville Moms Blog to read the rest of this post!