Dear Woman in Line Behind My Husband at the Store,
Hello. You don't know me, but you were shopping at Dave's Marketplace a few weeks ago. My husband used WIC checks to pay for groceries for our two year old son. You sighed audibly, rolled your eyes and grumbled. I am so sorry that you were inconvenienced because he choose the same line you did.
You see, it is actually my fault we are on WIC. I failed to research the high cost of daycare before I got pregnant. I did not realize daycare cost 1200 to 1700 per month, this does not include crib sheets (I needed six for the daycare alone) and food. I was making about 1200 at my old job per month so you can see where this was a problem. Also, I worked about an hour commute from my apartment so I needed a daycare my son could stay late at, at an extra charge to me of course. I actually got quite fortunate for a while. I found a daycare that was 980 per month. Between the cost of daycare and gas, I netted about $25.00 per month for diapers and formula and with my commute I saw my son for about an hour a day.
I also needed to take about 5 days out of work per month for my son's various therapies and weight checks. You see, his daycare was not in the state we live in so the program could not visit him at daycare.
It was with a heavy heart that I had to resign from my job. I just could not afford to work. When the daycare closed, we could not at all afford a more expensive one which would have been our only choice. I actually did look for several months for another job, but interviewers didn't believe that I loved my job, it was only due to daycare issues I needed a night job.
My husband was nice enough to get a second job, but I was the main bread winner. I have been looking diligently for an evening or night job, but you see it is hard for a middle aged woman to switch careers. Perhaps you are a hiring manager and can give me a job? I am quite a hard worker, but I can only work evenings or nights so I can make all our son's appointments.
It soon came down to paying bills or feeding our son. I can eat bread sandwiches but you see my son was so underweight we had the state sending a nutritionist out to the apartment. The decision to sign up for WIC was actually hard. We budget but we just can't make ends meet. Do you have any idea how embarrassing it is to have to have people know you can't afford to feed your kids? Can you imagine how it would feel to have strangers judge you? Oh wait.....
I am not asking for pity. I have worked since I was 17. My husband has worked since he was 15. Has your life turned out exactly how you planned? Did you ever need someone's help? There are definitely people off worse than us and they don't want pity either. They want the same as you, to be treated fairly.
Again, I am so sorry that my husband choose to inconvenience you, but you see my husband didn't have time to tell you our story. It is really embarrassing having a store manager double check the groceries we are going to feed our two year to make sure we didn't select the wrong state approved foods.
The next time a parent inconveniences you in this manner, think what would happen if you lost your job, or if your life changed in an unexpected way. How would you feel if all you wanted to do was feed your child?
Thank you for your time,
Mom Loves Sci-Fi