Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A humbling experience

I'm pretty sure I'm not the first person to burst in to tears in the WIC office and I'm positive I won't be the last.  The past 2 months have been hard on us and June holds a new hurdle for us, paying completely out of pocket for our health insurance.  If we use COBRA we'll be paying $1600 a month.  If we go through BCBS we could save $400.  It's still expensive and not easy to do when you have a mortgage and other bills to pay.  Especially in Massachusetts where we are required to have health insurance.

Last week we broke down and applied for SNAP (food stamps).  Today we applied for (and received) WIC and well as sent off our Mass Health applications.  The woman at the WIC office assured me it was ok to be on WIC and need assistance.  I just kept apologizing.  For Ben and I it's very hard to get to this point.  Ben was laid off during my pregnancy and despite having to declare bankruptcy we managed to make sure there was enough money (with some help from the family).  Now it's different, we have Garrett and his needs have to be met.
our little guy
The reason we do this

And we sit there and look at our little guy, our reason for everything and we know we are doing this for him.  Because it's hard for anyone to be on these programs.  I'm not saying anyone should be ashamed, there is no way in hell I would be ashamed of doing the best for my child.  But again it's hard because we want to give him the best without relying on programs to help us.

Edited to add:  We went to the grocery store to use the prorated checks (our period starts on the 28th of each month because of Garrett's DOB).  We got $26 worth of groceries and only ended up spending 45cents.  It's going to take us some time to get used to our guidelines and weigh all our produce because we have to stick to our allotted amount.   Ben and I both felt a little mortified going through the store and checking our WIC checks to see what was covered.  But the truth is we got a lot of food that will make sure that Garrett has a full tummy and in the end that's the most important thing.


Parentwin said...

When the babies we re actually babies, my husband had just lost his job. We were on WIC at that point. It was very embarrassing for me, even though I knew it shouldn't be. I felt very similar to how you do now. And the feelings surged up every time I had to use the checks in the grocery store.

I hope two things:

1) That you soon find yourself in a better place, for you surely deserve it.

2) That someday society will have changed and opened enough so that people who find themselves down on their luck can use the services provided to them without feeling any humiliation or grief.

teawithfrodo said...

Thank you.
I know we aren't alone and we're doing the right thing.  It's especially hard for Ben because he was laid off during my pregnancy as well. 

I've never had to weigh my fruit in the store because I wasn't concerned about the actual weight.  Now we're doing the math and trying to get as much as we can out of what they have given us. 

aiasdotca said...

I really love this post.  You are so strong and I'm glad you posted this. 

mosmomstuff said...

Good for you!! It takes a lot of strength to accept help in times like that. You should be proud of yourselves for doing what's best for your family. Great work Mom and Dad!
New GFC, NetworkedBlogs, and Twitter follower from Nice to Tweet You Thursday. I'd love for you to visit me at and @MOCreationStuff on twitter.

Findit13 said...

 I'm sorry you have to go through this, I'm
sure it's difficult. I know I would feel the same as you, but you truly shouldn’t
be uncomfortable or embarrassed to be on the WIC program. It’s a good program
that is set up to help people in your exact circumstance. A friend of mine was
on WIC for a while, after her husband left her shortly after the birth of their
son. She said she would go to a grocery store a little out of the way, one that
she didn't normally use, and probably wouldn’t go back to after she was off
WIC. This way, she felt less embarrassed; as she didn't know anyone working at
that store, and it was unlikely she would run into any of her acquaintances
there. It got her threw a tough patch. I hope things turn around soon for you
and your family, fingers crossed that they will.

teawithfrodo said...

I'm sort of saddened to learn so many people have been on WIC because the economy is really crap.

teawithfrodo said...

thanks for the visit. I appreciate the kind words.
I have indeed followed you back and I look forward to reading your posts in the future.