How many times have you been in the check out line at the grocery store and had that person in front of you dressed to the nines, hair professionally done, nails professionally done with the newest smartphone out there, using WIC coupons? I know I used to get so bugged that my hard earned money was being taxed for them to squander their funds and require state assistance. It never once dawned on me that they could be a foster parent, caring for a child that someone had neglected or abused. I never once stopped to think that maybe there was more to the story than what it appeared to be. The thought never crossed my mind until I was the one using the coupons. I try to go to the store on an "off" time so it's not as crowded. I do this for 2 reasons... 1) using the coupons is a pain in the butt. Each coupon is for a "batch" of items and have to be done in separate transactions. For instance I get about 6 different coupons for Sweet Pea. These 6 coupons purchase 6 cans of formula, 2 boxes of cereal, and 32 jars of baby food. Why that can't all be listed on one coupon is beyond me. So there I am in line with my "regular" purchase and my additional 6 transactions. 2) I feel like I'm being judged because of the way I'm dressed (whether dressed up or not) and using the coupons. Are they really giving me dirty looks or is that just my perception? Because I used to be so judgmental I feel like maybe everyone around me is judging me for using them. I always feel like I have to justify my usage and say things like "Yeah, my foster daughter sure eats a lot"...Like I owe them an explanation for me using them?? The only thing I suppose I should feel badly about is the multiple transactions. Yes, I am *that* person that holds up the line but seriously would YOU want to make 6 different trips to the store (Walmart because they're the only ones who stock enough of her special formula) to get 8 little jars of baby food at a time??!! Maybe if Walmart had more than 3 check outs going at any given time of the day I might make more trips...but it's doubtful.
Being a foster parent has taught me to think about things a little differently....and maybe now you'll think a little differently the next time you're in the check out line behind someone like me ;)