Just For The Poor Kids

lined-up-lunchesImage via Shutterstock

Mothers and children stand in a line, waiting their turn at the window to turn in their papers.  The paperwork isn’t for anything fun, it’s not for anything they want to be a part of , but it’s something they have found they need to be a part of.

Mothers occupy themselves on their phones, feeling slightly embarrassed to be in this line while using their smart phone, but the truth is the phone is not the latest model, and they got it for free with their latest upgrade.  As a mother of three children, having a phone so they can reach her isn’t just a priority, it’s a necessity.  She stares at the screen of her phone desperately trying to avoid being drawn into a conversation with anyone, trying to pretend she is anywhere but here.

The kids, on the other hand, stand as if they are awaiting the firing squad.  Heads down.  Eyes averted.  Trying to make themselves as small as they possibly can.  Hoping and praying they don’t see anyone they know, and more importantly that no one they know sees them.  A few hours ago they were happily playing a video game, and now they find themselves here standing in the line no one wants to be in.

The line they’re standing in is for free lunches when the school year starts, and a voucher to get a school uniform for free.  Just one uniform, so if mom doesn’t scrap together some cash quick they’ll be wearing that exact same uniform every day of the school year.

As if this experience wasn’t already humiliating enough, mom overhears one of the school administrators answering a parent’s question:

“What’s that booth for?” asks a random parent who is there navigating the confusion that is freshman registration at high school.

“Oh, you don’t need that booth, that’s just for the poor kids,” answers the school secretary.

Mom feels her face begin to burn and her eyes start to water, “Dammit I will not cry while I’m registering my kid for school”, she thinks to herself while steeling her resolve to stand firmly in the line.

The kids all heard it too, that innocent comment from the school secretary describing them as “the poor kids” of the school.  That’s a label they’ll carry with them all through the school year, even if their circumstances change.

They didn’t realize they were poor, they thought they just didn’t have a lot of money, but now they know they’re the poor kids.

The school secretary has no idea she has caused such a pain for these people, she said it without thinking.  She didn’t mean anything by it, it’s just how she thinks of them.  They are the poor kids.

She would never say, that door is just for the crippled kids.

She would never say, that entrance is just for the stupid kids.

She would never say, that hallway is just for the lazy kids.

Those things would be too politically incorrect.

We are living in a world where the way we build ourselves up, is to tear someone else down.  We are living in a world where it is not okay to allow our children to bully one another, but it is still acceptable for parents and other adults to tear each other down for not fitting in, for not meeting a standard society has set for them.

We don’t stop to think why these kids are in need of a free uniform voucher, or a free lunch ticket.  We just think the parents are failures for not being better financial providers.  “They should have stayed in school,” we think.  “They should get a damn job,” we think.

We don’t want to think about the sequence of events that have brought them to where they are, because if that sequence of events could happen to them it could happen to us, too.  We could one day find ourselves in the poor kids’ line.  Maybe there was an unexpected job loss, or an unforeseen health situation that impacted finances.  Maybe their happily ever after, didn’t quite work out and now mom finds herself providing for the kids on her own income, when she thought she would be a stay at home mom instead.  We don’t want to think about any of that, we just want to think about how we’re so much better than the kids and parents who have to stand in the poor kids’ line.

During the school year, the other students will have absolutely no way of knowing who is eating lunch for free, or who is wearing a free uniform because we’ve taken pains to remove any possibility of kids bullying one another from the classroom.  Their lunch money is on a card, the same as everyone else’s is, and they’ll swipe it at the register just like everyone else will.  Their shirt and pants will come from the exact same store as everyone else’s does.  Because we don’t want them to stand out, we don’t want them to be picked on or bullied, we want our kids to be safe from those experiences.

And yet, we can’t seem to stop adults from doing it.  Where do we think the kids are learning how to bully? How to pick on someone just for being different than they are?

Why can’t we seem to figure out that different, in whatever form it comes, doesn’t necessarily mean bad?  Why can’t we seem to figure out how to keep parents from bullying one another?

Why can’t we seem to figure out how to stop judging one another, and start helping one another?!

Can we?

About the writer

@morethanamom

Angela is a social media and online community professional who has always dreamed of being a writer. Blogging combines two of her passions, social media and writing! She blogs about anything that strikes her fancy and is always thrilled (and a little surprised!) when someone lets her know they enjoy reading her work. You can find her on her blog www.writermomblog.comGoogle+,FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

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Jenn 9 months ago

I remember the exact spot I was standing in on the playground in second grade when a boy told me I was poor. I remember the desk I was sitting at when I was teased in sixth grade for wearing the same clothes to school every day. I remember standing in line on Monday mornings in Jr. High to buy lunch tickets for the week. My tickets were pink. Kids who paid full price got blue ones. Why? Why couldn’t they have been the same color? Some weeks I skipped lunch entirely so I wouldn’t have to be seen with those damned pink billboards that displayed exactly how poor I was. Only now that I’m a parent do I take that pain and multiply it by a million to imagine what my mother felt.

Today I’m by no means well off, just barely comfortable, but that ache inside never goes away. Something needs to be done to stop this, and it starts with changing the perception that people who need help are less than anything or anyone. Feeling like Less Than really sucks.

Kathi 1 year ago

My two older kids were those poor kids. My life has changed for the better since they were little. I guess I was blessed that they were at a Title I school. The stigma from other parents wasn’t there because we all were in that boat. What I resented was that I was an on call employee of the district and I often found myself in the teacher’s lounge at lunch listening to these teachers put down the students and their families. They had no positive expectations. I would be so angry, but if I wanted to keep getting calls to the school, I had to say nothing. It’s so sad how poor people are treated. You never know how they ended up there. Don’t judge.

Rachel Rader 1 year ago

Omg thank you for this blog. this is exactly how i feel even being on fb. ppl say but you can afford internet why are you applying for food stamps and you have a smart phone. you have a car too. that should be for ppl who dont have anything….Truth is i barely get by on the Suvivors benifits i get from social security. I dont have a job atm. mainly because i got tired of being harassed by my inlaws because i moved and didnt tell them where. they kept trying to follow me home but they dont know the city i live in like i do and i could lose them in rush hour traffic. but at least my bills are paid but food?????? maybe 50 bucks left for the entire month most of our meals consist of Ramen and peanut butter sandwiches. or potato soup. and koolaide Ya i make just too much for anything else if i make even 50 from a regular job ( not my hobby)then i lose the 89 dollars for food stamps and oh ya forget gas for the car so jobs??? good luch going out to an interview. i have maybe 20 for an entire month of gas. in a major metroplex and the phone is prepaid old style phone….this story is soooooo me

Twisted Mommy 1 year ago

This was a fantastic post. I was that kid growing up. We did not have to stand in any line. Forms were sent home to the parents, filled out, and we brought them back to the teacher the next day. No one knew who was getting free lunch and who wasnt. We didnt have cards or anything. We simply went to lunch every day and got our food. I think it should still be that way to avoid lines of “poor” kids. Fast forward many years and I am now the mom who needs help. I am not lazy, I am not uneducated. I just happened to choose having my daughter over my 70k job which I couldnt keep due to a very difficult pregnancy. I have been bouncing between low to mid paying jobs, lay-offs, and unemployment for nearly 3 years now. I do not receive welfare, but we do receive foodstamps which I am very grateful for. My daughter is 3 and we are currently applying to private schools in the city where we will not only be the free lunch family but also the financial aid family. This may not sound like a lot, but when only 10-20% of the school receives aid it is a lot. I am glad she is only 3 and does not know she is “poor” and I am hoping to be back in the position I was before she was born so she will never know, but I know. I feel it at every interview we go on when I am the only parent staying behind to ask questions about financial aid, when I am the single mom in payless shoes while married moms are there in shoes that cost more than my rent, and when I have to have a different attitude and be much more humble because I am asking for help when most others are not. It sucks to be that kid and it sucks to be that mom.

Andee Zomerman 1 year ago

My whole blog was started so I would gain more compassion for the community around me. Now I fight to abolish these “poor” stereotypes. We ALL need help at one time or another. No one should be shaming anyone. I loved this article and will share with my friends. I couldn’t have written it better myself.

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Beth 2 years ago

I wrote about poverty and our attitudes towards poor people on my blog just a fewdays ago …. It’s so true – we can judge from our warm, dry, well-fed existance, and not really consider what puts people where they are in the first place and how it could so easily be us. If you’re interested in what I wrote, here it is:

http://nothingandeverythingbeth.wordpress.com

Jen 2 years ago

I agree that the secretary was insensitive and did not think about the children. However, I think being offended by being called poor is an issue in itself. I think at the heart of this blog is that there is nothing shameful about being poor or needing financial assistance. But pretending you are not poor or trying to prevent your kids from knowing they are poor sends the message that it is wrong to be poor.

amanda 2 years ago

well looks like im not the only one….my electric is about to be shut off on tuesday and i have no help and everyone i call is out of funds….school starts back up in 22 days and i can’t even afford to go out and buy school clothes for him……im a single mother and no-one around me is even hiring to help myself….thats all i want is my electric to stay on and school clothes for my kid….to make matters worse i live in the projects and if u get a utility shut off tha. u get kicked out….than me or my kid wont have no place to stay email me smgereshenski20@gmail.com

Stacy 2 years ago

The middle school that my children attend and the elementary school that feeds into it recently converted to a magnet school(still part of the public school system) after receiving a federal grant based on need. The uniform required at the new school costs between $40-50 compared to a $6.50 school t-shirt that was required in the past. The children are required to purchase a specific embroidered fleece jacket as well for cool mornings. Last year the elementary school was 100% free lunch because 85% of the students qualified for free lunch(the figures the school used in their grant application asking for federal money) When parents complained…myself included, we were told “if you want a better education for your child, you will find a way to buy the uniforms” …after the local media took interest, the school offered 1 half price uniform ($20) to students in need. The application for assistance included a space to explain why you want your child to attend this school, why you cannot afford the uniforms and in order to pick up the discounted uniform(ordered for you) you must also have a thank you note written by your needy child showing their appreciation.

I am fortunate that I had family to catch me when I finally left my abusive marriage. My abuser forced us out of the house, took my car and totaled it, he refused to pay to support his kids for 18 months. I was a stay at home mom for 10 years, I was not allowed to work..I tried, every attempt made my situation worse. My ex husband had made six figures for the entire 10 years of our marriage, when I escaped he stopped working. When I finally got him in front of a judge 18 months later, he was ordered to pay $30 a week in child support for two children…he was making 250k per year when we separated. I applied for job after job, my experience from 10 years prior was worthless. I took the only job offered at $8 an hour part time and I went back to school. This Fall I start nursing classes…thank goodness for student loans and Pell Grants.

Beyond food stamps, free school lunch and medicaid, there was no help. Even the local battered woman’s shelter refused to talk to me unless I had an arrest report that they could file along with some application for victim’s assistance…that is right ..their first question was “do you have an arrest report proving the abuse?” “No?…sorry we can’t help you.”…so not even 5 minutes to tell me what help there would be if I got brave and chanced a call to 911. Legal Aid took my case because they believed there was a good chance in recouping their costs from him(in the end they didn’t). There was no free housing, there were no free utilities, there was no ‘welfare cash’ …heck I didn’t even make enough to qualify for earned income credit that first year.

I didn’t ask to be in this position. Three years ago I was going to tough it out for the kids for another 10 years, but the abuse escalated to physical, things like waking up to him holding a pillow over my face…and then trapping me in a room for 3 days afterward to keep me from calling anyone.I wasn’t going to live for another 10 years at that rate. I am clawing my way out, getting an education so I can get a job that will pay for braces, pay the rent and keep the lights on. I am fending off debt collectors as long as I can before I play the bankruptcy card. I am letting the $30 a week in child support build up so I can pay for $300 worth of uniforms, $100 for school supplies and $100 for sneakers. ..and $40 for 2 half price uniforms with a thank you note written by me…but forged with my children’s signatures.

amm 2 years ago

I can’t belive wjat the secretary said!! How sad, especially in this day of being aware and PC! I believe it but I am just shocked. I hope an administrator corrects her behavior

Andria Huici 2 years ago

This is why I send my kids to school with bag lunches because we don’t qualify for free or reduced. But not only that the lunches they do provide of I decide to give them money doesn’t sustain my teenage kids who are in sports. I feel better knowing that their reading what I approve them to eat. This system is so screwed up, we work and pay taxes that go to these lunch programs that our kids can’t benefit from!

Jessie N Jesse Criado 2 years ago

Kimberly Lynn Cherrine-Bell im so glad u said that.. recently my brother nd sister in law lost foodstamps because she makes just a few dollars more then allowed. They are struggling. I thought we spent a lot of money on food but she has 6 kids in her house hold nd 3 of them are ages 16-19 big boys eat alot.. :( lifes rough and its not only till we experience it that we see how rough it truly is.

Crystal Paiva 2 years ago

To Kimberly Lynn-
I would’ve let them call CPS so the school could’ve been properly notified that its administration was a buncha f*ing idiots

Jessie N Jesse Criado 2 years ago

Last year my daughter asked why she didn’t have to pay for lunch.. I tolde her “because we are not millionaires, daddy works hard to pay all the bills and we dont got money for much else”.. shes 8 btw.. she said shes going to write a book so we can be rich one day.. too cute.

Christine Lindberg Taggart 2 years ago

I am a mother of 4, 2 are still in the public school system. My kids get free lunch due to my SSD. I was a nurse, we were middle class until I found out I have a genetic disease which caused me to have 4 strokes. Caring for people and having strokes is not good, so I stay home now. Hubby works his butt off and takes me to my treatments. Because of my illness, my kids get free breakfast and lunch.

Laur 2 years ago

Thank you for writing this; it’s a very good read. I was one of “those kids,” and today I’m a school teacher in an lower SES neighborhood. I’m around snobbish attitudes and insensitive comments on a daily basis. When people compartmentalize each other like that, then the kids and parents often avoid the school. The judgment, embarrassment, and shame can cause the kids to avoid classes, and the parents to hide away. From there, the education is not being attained, and the problems increase. I know that it’s easy to think “just deal with it and succeed,” but not everyone has the support to keep going.

Kimberly Lynn Cherrine-Bell 2 years ago

Try being the only child in a school of four hundred who does not qualify for free lunch and breakfast cause your mom makes $5 dollars a month to much to qualify for it..also $5 too much to qualify for food stamps and all sorts of other benefits. Then the school screams at yells at mom about it is unfair her child is the only one bringing lunch from home and is abuse because all the other kids eat school lunch. So then tells mom she has to buy the lunches / and they will be confiscating the packed lunch everyday or they will call CPS on the mom for abuse for making her child stand out in school and how that was destructive to the child’s development. Had to get a lawyer involved before they stopped harrassing

Amberlee Stout 2 years ago

That made my eyes water

becca 2 years ago

seems like “poor kids” touched a nerve. it’s not an insult, nor an opinion. if you’re below a certain income level, then you’re poor. I’ve been unemployed/poor at times, and I called myself poor and didn’t feel ashamed. what should the line be called? economically disadvantaged?

    Amber 1 year ago

    I agree with you.

Laurie Nunez 2 years ago

Been there, done that…watched as standing in those lines tore my mom to pieces. Still, she held up and presented herself with dignity. That is why I work so hard as an adult to help others whose life circumstances are not on par with mine today. It hurts, and often those in need have done nothing to put themselves in their less than desirable position. Just be thoughtful in your actions and words…it only takes a moment to reflect.

bekki 2 years ago

I was one of those kids in school and I know that even if the uniform doesn’t look different and you pay for your lunch the same way as everyone else once one kid has overheard something is different it is always remembered and if parents say things off the cuff when asked about it at home it does get repeated and it does spread between kids. I dont know if my kid will end up in the line too but I do know that I will do my best to answer in a way that won’t spread the pain around any worse.

Julie Shaw Boyson 2 years ago

That is horrible. Kids can be so mean when they aren’t taught and it is tolerated.

Julie Shaw Boyson 2 years ago

Kids should never be made to feel ashamed. I am glad at least now they don’t have different colored tickets. Whoever thought that was ever a good idea…..

Carla Doty 2 years ago

Amen!!

Aleja Suarez Giovenco 2 years ago

Beautifully written. You never know their circumstances, and whether or not they can be yours. There is a stigma to being called poor, but it can be worse when you know it to be true. In all honesty, that the school secretary said that baffles me. She really should have known better.

W. 2 years ago

I live in a community where it was determined that the stigma of getting reduced or free lunches was embarrassing for the lower income students so they made hot lunches free for every student enrolled, regardless of income. Then it was brought up that some kids didn’t like what was offered for hot lunch so now cold lunch offerings are available for everyone, also for free. Then they added free breakfasts. Our 4 children attend a school where we pay tuition (we’re on scholarships based on the service hours we provide to the school) and we also pay $2.45 per lunch, per day, per child — or provide our own cold lunch — and we feed them breakfast at home. Since it’s not part of the public school district, we aren’t able to take advantage of the free meals but it’s an excellent deal for the students enrolled in public school.

Kady 2 years ago

Great article, which should be required reading.
Financial good fortune doesn’t make anyone better than anyone else.
I’m fortunate not to need financial support (so far), but I don’t for a moment feel superior to anyone who does.
I hope your article makes people more thoughtful.

Katherine 2 years ago

I’m sorry. For your circumstances and all those of the commentors, but where exactly was the bullying?

    Amber 1 year ago

    I agree with you. I didn’t see any bullying. Why is someone’s financial status an insult? I have brown hair. It’s not an insult to say so. I grew up on a reduce lunch program as my father was a single parent who was enlisted in the military. We were poor but I never thought of it as a bad thing, necessarily. No one judged me for how my lunch was paid for while he needed the assistance. Maybe if we didn’t make it such a big deal, it wouldn’t be taken as an insult to call something what it is, which is a line for poor people to get free lunches for their children. There shouldn’t be any shame in that. I’m sure the rich parents don’t qualify so it would be inaccurate to say it was for anyone other than someone who is poor.

Courtney Anne 2 years ago

I too am one of those moms. I have a smartphone but it is part of my family’s plan. I am 37 years old but my step dad pays my phone bill. We do get food stamps and although dealing with welfare in AZ is ridiculously hard, I am thankful I can have food in the fridge/cabinets. We are housing assistance too. I couldn’t afford to live in this town without it. We have a nice duplex in a neighborhood and no longer live on the 3rd floor of an apartment complex. I have multiple mental health diagnoses that keep me from working outside the home. Some days I wish I could handle it. My twins are starting Pre-K next week. They don’t understand poor. They think the machine gives money to anyone and everyone. I do my best to make ends meet my selling craft items I make. It is only a few dollars profit but the mental health benefits far outweigh the financial. Crafting keeps me calm. I love to be creative. I just found out this week that I am losing half my child support. We barely had enough to cover everything before. I am not sure what we are going to do. I haven’t had a car in 4 years so most of the money is spent on transportation (bus, taxi, bribes and gas money to friends.) The cool thing is that my biys love to walk and think the bus os so COOL! I am trying so hard to just look at positives tonight. It isn’t easy at all. I hope to take advantage of the Thanksgiving project this year. I must have missed it last year. Thanks for being understanding of the issues. It is hard to ask for help, beg for a handout. If I can take the time and effort to help someone less fortunate than me – then everyone can and should. It really would make this world a better place to live.

    Courtney Anne 2 years ago

    And I still can barely type on the touchscreen. Please ignore the typos. Thanks.

Janice Trinh 2 years ago

Such a sad reality we live in. It’s so hard to imagine ourselves to be in that situation, but truth is, it really can happen to anyone at anytime. There’s just no preparing for it. And it’s even sadder that the kids have to bear some of the consequences. People really do need to think before they speak.

Kisa Johnson 2 years ago

I am pretty thankful that getting the free lunches here only requires submitting paperwork, unless you get any sort of benefits.. in which case they just mail you a letter.
I usually make sure to save the best I can to afford uniforms and school supplies for the start of school!

Jenn Galbraith 2 years ago

And your the “type” that needs the help. 80 bucks. I know a person that made 20 bucks too much and she was refused help. I think it is messed up. I am on the system and have also been on the working end taking care of myself and child (2 jobs in my 20s) scraping by. Also when my man was working full time before his job decided to do him dirty, we were doing quite well without me working. I’ve been on both sides of the fence and grew up on both sides of that fence. I’d rather be poor and happy than rich and miserable. But I would like to be comfortable and happy. :)

Jenn Galbraith 2 years ago

I agree, you wrote it beautifully. (as mine is all cramped on FB) I don’t write like that on blogs or papers lol. You are very eloquent in your wording and writing Writermom’s Blog. :)

Julieann Gallagher 2 years ago

It’s a tough world out there. I know what it’s like to be in a position where you have to get help. Please just show some compassion. Not all poor people are lazy slackers looking for a hand out. I hope all of the critical folks never have to be in a position to have to beg. It’s humiliating and breaks your spirit like nothing else on earth.

Kyara Peacock 2 years ago

This breaks my heart. I was one of “the poor moms with kids living on welfare.” My mom and dad helped me a lot. My ex-husband’s parents did everything within their power to keep their son’s whereabouts unknown so that he didn’t have to pay child support because “[I] had a job (minimum wage) so why should [their] son have to pay [me] anything?” We went the route of shopping with food stamps and clipping coupons and getting criticized for saving up our loose change to buy a new video tape every two months, but I didn’t care and no one should have to feel ashamed of having humble beginnings because we are the generations who have kids who understand real gratitude! God/Goddess bless you all.

Shaunacey 2 years ago

every mom, rich, middle-class, poor or otherwise, should read this post, and remember it.

Ladyisms 2 years ago

Great post. It brought up some memories of when my children were young and in one day our lives changed permanently. We live in a great community but there were still differences in how we were treated, but not one offer of help. Not from the community anyway. Coworkers were great though.

Tammy Sipe 2 years ago

Our public schools this year are providing FREE breakfast and lunch to EVERY child. Now no one will know who the poor kids are =)

Jessica 2 years ago

Our school is a title 1 school, and at registration everyone fills out the free/reduced lunch paperwork. The school uses the info to qualify for federal funds. We don’t qualify anymore but I wouldn’t have any idea at registration who does and who doesn’t. Activity fee scholarships are done online so no one ever knows who has one and who pays full price ($115-$125 per kid per sport!!)

Sioux Mocerino 2 years ago

Thank you for writing this in a way that is non judgemental and educational at the same time. A piece written with love and emotion.

Mary 2 years ago

What I don’t get is why someone didn’t call that secretary out on saying something so incredibly insensitive! Wow… At our school, the forms are mailed in. No one sees them but the person who processes. Confidentiality is important, and the kids have the same pin-number system as everyone else, so there’s nothing to show that they’re on free or reduced lunches.

Sounds like that school staff needs a lesson in sensitivity.

Cecilia 2 years ago

Great post, my favorite I’ve read. It is so true and I am amazed someone who worked in a school would refer to the kids as ‘the poor kids’

supermommy 2 years ago

Wow! These types of things should be handled more privately. The stigma is just to great and no matter what, bullying still exists.
Any school administrator with such a lack of tact should be made to apologize to the school as a whole, publicly. Let her/him feel the humiliation of a public “outing”.
Just because a family may not have money, doesn’t mean they are poor.
This post brought tears to my eyes, because the stigma still remains. No one WANTS to be that family and yet the idea that we could be only two pay cheques away from homeless is a reality for more than we realize.

Momofdbb 2 years ago

Where we live it’s not that big of a deal about who gets free lunch. I remember a kid saying their mom had to send money for lunch , several kids were shocked. ” your mom , pays for lunch ? You aren’t on the free lunch program ? That’s weird. ” the schools my kids go to are Title 1. Title 1 schools get more funding because the majority of kids are on the free or reduced lunch program.

Patty Allsbrook 2 years ago

Heartbreaking

Destiny 2 years ago

Hmm, I guess I have a different perspective. My husband and I both grew up poor. We married young and had no money. But even still, he refused to return pop cans for the deposit or eat “poor” food like Ramen. Doing these things made him *feel* poor (we were!), and he hated that feeling. On the other hand, I had no problem with these activities or with people thinking I was poor. Who cares?! I wanted to spend the least amount I could, earn as much as we could, and maybe some day not be poor anymore. But why, when we both grew up the same way, did he end up resenting it while I embraced it? His dad resented being poor, and he modeled that resentment and embarrassment for his children. On the other hand, my parents didn’t seem to mind our lot. They did the best they could with what they had, but they weren’t mad at life for our situation. They modeled an optimistic, un-embarassed attitude for me and my siblings and we all picked it up. Was I called poor in school? Yes. Did that bother me? Nope – I honestly didn’t realize it was supposed to bother me. It was an accurate assessment of my financial situation, I never took it as a value jugement or insult. Because of my experience, I can’t help but believe that a parent’s emotional reaction to these things will have a bigger impact on the child than an offhand remark from a stranger.

    Amanda 2 years ago

    Love. This.

Tara 2 years ago

I am one of those Mom’s on Assistance. I have a beautiful 7 year old daughter. I use assistance as a means to support my daughter and myself while I attend full time college to better my situation. I am lucky I had the chance to go back to school but I do not have money and had assistance to get the money to go to school. I feel the eyes and smirks on my back all the time. I hear the comments that are not meant to harm and the ones that are. And each time I hear those comments or feel those eyes I just think to myself that I am doing what I have to so that my daughter can eat and sleep, I willingly sacrifice my dignity for my daughter and would any day. Isn’t that what most parents do? Isn’t that what those parents that are eying me or smirking at me do? I feel confidant that I am doing what is right for my daughter. So to anyone out there that feels ashamed or beat down, remember you are being a great parent and I for one think you are amazing and am behind you in every line you need to stand in!

    Cecilia 2 years ago

    Great post! I received WIC and food stamps when my daughter was a baby and used to get embarrassed and hear the comments. One day my mom told me, ‘Never be ashamed for feeding your child’

Linda Mitchell Jordan 2 years ago

Thank you.

Donnie Brasco 2 years ago

Thumbs up. If you want free food, stand in the line.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Wow, well I guess there’s one in every bunch. I’ve read trough pages of amazing comments and then I find yours. Luckily all that good washes away any bad you tried to leave behind.

talafofotom1 2 years ago

well this for the poor kids someone I know had parents work everyday and didn’t get much of a hand out. One of those families grew up in lower southern Michigan and returned south when you couldn’t buy a job. One of the parents got hurt in a ditch and another was killed by hospital negligence. Yet together they brought up some pretty smooth customers. So what is the cure for these “poor” kids”? the old factory system is being wiped out by the cultural correctness of “saving” what getting all of us to live in grass huts? vote for jerks who hand out money to the guys who got them elected or the cartels send kids up here to be indentured mules? I say there’s got to be a better way but a got panel to study problems for 2 yrs. then submit some bs feel good isn’t the way.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    It can happen to most any of us, our last name isn’t Rockefeller (Or Walton) and so the nest egg isn’t what it’s cracked up to be!

Mary 2 years ago

I can’t believe that people have to stand in line to qualify for free lunches! At our school, the free lunch application is included every year with all of the other forms we receive (also available on the school district website) and the kids and parents are just supposed to turn it in with all of their other forms to the office. No one needs to know they they filled out the form.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    At this school there are stations set up all around the cafeteria, it’s a very big school (my daughter has 667 students in her freshman class) so you stop at each station and collect or turn in. This one gives you their schedule, that one takes the ID photo, the next one has you sign a waiver for PE, etc. etc. So if you don’t need the free lunch station, you’re encouraged to skip it.

Renee 2 years ago

This is an amazing post. We’re fortunate that free lunch program paperwork gets turned in quietly along with the rest of the school paperwork-but the days when kids were teased about free lunches are in the past as our community grows smaller and poorer.

The two largest employers in our area just laid off thousands of workers, and jobs for them are few and far between. There are many single parents and migrant workers. Those that have jobs are often still just barely above poverty level, even with both parents working.

You never know why someone needs help, but I will say this-kids don’t judge kids on the free lunch program unless they have heard adults do the same. Kids don’t care. The prejudices they have, they learn from the adults around them. Something to keep in mind, for sure.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Thank you so much for your lovely comment.

    Cecilia 2 years ago

    Such a good point – my daughter came home one day saying how awesome it was that her friend got free lunch and we had to pay. She didn’t even think to make fun of her. My niece also received free lunch and she thought it was awesome.

Leah Alvarez 2 years ago

Damn. That hit close to home, in more ways than one.

Annette 2 years ago

This is a great post. We are one of “those” people, and it does really make you feel like an outsider. Schools send home so many things that parents are expected to fork over money for — fundraisers, pictures, trips, etc — and it really bothers me that I can’t simply sign a check and let my kids join in with everything.

My husband works a very seasonal, unpredictable job, and our little ones are 6 (with special needs) and 4. I have been trying to find work but jobs are hard to come by these days. My work experience is limited, as is my number of professional references. So that cuts down my options even more.

And no one seems to think about the childcare expense. It’s very easy to say “get a job” but I’ve done the math — half or more of any future paycheck of mine would go out on childcare expenses, and additional gas for my car. I would feel like I would only be working to pay for the gas to get there and back, and pay the daycare fees, with only a small bit leftover.

Being “poor” shouldn’t be a dirty word, especially with the economy in the sewer for such a long time. Markets have collapsed, jobs have been eliminated, and income has dropped. Prices are going up constantly — gas, groceries, propane, etc — making what income we do have shrink faster than before. ANYONE can find themselves in one of “those” lines in a very surprisingly short period of time, for a variety of reasons.

Sometimes it’s not a matter of just “working hard” to pull yourself out. Sometimes you can’t just “get a job” to stop being one of these horrible poor people. Sometimes it’s everything you can do to deal with the hand you’ve got the best you can.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Yes! When I stopped working outside the home and very luckily transitioned into a career I do from home it was because if I had gone back to my full time, very good job, over half my income was going straight to daycare expenses! Not to mention gas, car maintenance, work clothes, meals etc. It didn’t pay me to go back to that job!

Ashley 2 years ago

I loved this. Made me cry in frustration, actually. As one of the “poor kids” who had the white lunch ticket when everyone else had the blue, I strive to teach my kids to appreciate every damn thing they have and to be sensitive, kind, and respectful to other people. Someone didn’t teach that lady human decency and respect. People have no idea what it’s like to be a “have not” surrounded by “haves.” Thank you for writing this post.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    So many moms have written comments telling me they had the same experience as you had with the different color tickets. It seems even though we’ve come so far in so many ways this is one way we’re still tragically lacking in!

Shaye Boucher 2 years ago

Be kind to everyone. Always. You never know their story.

Mandy Detor Rowe 2 years ago

I read this with a heavy heart feeling the pain of being called out in front of my whole class at age 10 as the poor kid as if it were yesterday. That is an embarrassment that never quite leaves you, parents need to teach their children that money does not qualify you as a person, the dignity and caring you treat yourself and others with does. As a middle class mother of two I am doing my best to collect memories, not things for my children.

Kari Anne Sparks 2 years ago

Great post. I couldn’t have said it better myself. My husband and I graduated college (and had our kids) post-recession and we have 3 jobs between the 2 of us and still can’t get above the poverty line. Hopefully someday we will catch up and my kids don’t think of themselves as poor just we don’t have lots of money they also know people have it worse, when my daughter found out a classmate lived in a motel she realized we are fortunate to have what we do.

    Jenn Galbraith 2 years ago

    I’m glad your daughter realized that. I feel badly for her friend. I plan on taking my son to a soup kitchen at Thanksgiving so we (he and I) can volunteer to feed the homeless so he can become more grateful. I know he is, but I think it’s a wonderful lesson to teach him.

Kelsey 2 years ago

My daughter isn’t yet in school and at this point we make enough to get by without any assistance but we have another little one on the way and I’m almost done with college so school loans will have to start getting repaid. My husband wants to go to school to get out of his fast food job (he’s an assistant manager) and I don’t blame him. I’m sick of working my two part time jobs just to make ends meet. People don’t look at the whole situation, they just see that you’re getting assistance and you have somewhat nice things so they think you’re abusing it. I hope my degree will get me a good job and that I can keep it all though the time I’m supporting my kids.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    I hope you land an amazing job when you finish school! Good luck!

C’dar Pinder-Sommerville 2 years ago

I love this post not only because I was that kid, but because unfortunately my daughter is also sharing that unfortunate label too. I do have a degree, and I look for jobs all the time but nothing is happening. I have holes in all my clothes just so that I can get her some new ones every once in awhile. It breaks my heart to constantly have to tell her ” not today” or “mommy doesn’t have the money right now” when really I don’t ever have the money and she always gets those answers. Standing in those lines is so degrading it just makes me want to give up.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Yes! Absolutely! There are so many ways to feel like a failure as a parent, but this need not be one of them!

Lisa White Opert 2 years ago

I teach in a school that is 97% free lunch. Our kids are awesome, the probably know they have less than others but for most of them are happy, fun kids. Kids are taught to judge if their parents or adults judge around them. Money doesn’t buy happy.

Cinzia Trobaugh 2 years ago

I don’t understand… as “backwards” as people say Louisiana is, we don’t have those kinds of lines to stand in. The public school lunch program is done on paper to be mailed in or turned into the school or done online. Students are given IDs and its all kept track by a computer so there is no paper meal tickets. School uniform vouchers are done by private organizations off csmpus. And here in Hammond LA there are numerous opportunities to receive free school supplies during the summer. No one has to know if you can’t afford your stuff here and no one makes you feel bad for not being able to for whatever reason. If you’re there for it, then everyone else is there for it too.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    It sounds like your town has things figured out! I’m so glad to hear that!

Kylie 2 years ago

What’s really sad is that it never leaves you. My dad worked in construction so we were a feast or famine family. We had lots of money one year and the next we couldn’t afford food. Then my parents divorced when I was 8 and we were forever poor. My lunch vouchers were a different color so I knew. Now at 25 years old I still call myself poor. I feel bad because I’m not really anymore. I know lots and lots of families are worse off than us. We’re not swimming in money by any means and we live on a tight budget but we try to be really smart with our money so I can stay home with our babies. But I don’t think I will ever feel worthy of nice things because I will always be that poor kid. All I can do is hope my kids will never feel it because I do know that could be back with any turn of events.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    No, it never does leave you. I grew up thinking we didn’t have any money, I never asked for new clothes, I wore shoes that were too small and I was always picked on because I stood out from the rest of my class. It’s a label you carry with you for life.

Kiwi 2 years ago

I am sooooo grateful that in order to sign my kids up for free lunches, I just have to hand the paperwork to a secretary at a desk with no particular fanfare. But without these programs, my kids would be eating peanut butter and jelly every day all year.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    But even then, why does the school secretary need to know (and potentially gossip) about your family’s financial situation? Why can’t it be done more discreetly even than that?!

    Libby 2 years ago

    I have never once seen our office staff, or any support staff for that matter, make light of these situations. Maybe we just have a solid group of good people…

BW 2 years ago

Thank you. Just thank you.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    You are so very welcome!

Kiinu 2 years ago

I HATE the job and education BS. Vehemently.

I teach Pre-k at a beautiful private day-care and pre-k center. I have a degree. I ALSO, receive food stamps and myself and my son are on State health insurance. I LOVE my job, I knew I wasn’t going to be rich going into education, but nobody goes into education to get rich.

I wasn’t expecting to be below the poverty line though.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    And how sad is that really? I heard this stupid segment on TV a few months ago and the reporter asked Maria Shriver of all people what was the key to staying out of poverty and she quickly responded “stay in school”. It made me so mad! My sister in law has a master’s degree and is working cleaning houses! Her husband has a degree in architecture and he is doing lawn services!

      Kiinu 2 years ago

      My fiance has a BS in Plastics technology and he has a halfway decent job now (nothing to do with his degree), but he flipped burgers at McHells and worked in LOW factory positions for YEARS. Stupid thing did nothing but add to our debt.

      It also make me angry when people refute the minimum wage increases by saying people need to go to school. Minimum wage doesn’t ONLY affect retail. It affects EVERYONE who isn’t in a salaried position. I get paid hourly. I don’t make enough to pay of my student loans, huzzah college!

        Meg 2 years ago

        I left a job to finish my education, which was supposed to land me an even better paying job. While finishing I lived off of savings, a part time job and assistance. Now that I have my degree I could only find a job paying LESS than what I made without the degree, so I am still on assistance trying to work my way back up. I love having my 40K piece of paper, no one can take that hard work and determination away from me….but I call the “stay in school” BS. It is not always the way up that it is proclaimed to be.

Deester 2 years ago

My daughter experiences this from a very different perspective. I am a foster parent and she was removed from her family, along with her siblings, because they were homeless. She was only 20 months old and is now almost 3. It breaks my heart to see how hard her mom is working to try to get things together to get her kids back…and to see how much she is not succeeding. I wonder how long I will be raising this sweet, smart, funny little girl and how her life will be. I know I take for granted the full time job I have, the ability I have to pay my bills, put food on the table, clothes on her back, gas in my car. It is sometimes daunting to me to comprehend how much harder it is for my little girl’s mom to even get to work (she now has a job and either takes a bus or gets a ride), let alone find a place to live for her and her children. I hope that they are together soon.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Bless you for being a foster parent so she has someone to love and care for her during this time in her life! Thanks for sharing!

    Mary 2 years ago

    (((hugs))) My brother has seven kids, and six have been adopted from foster care. God bless you and your beautiful daughter. Prayers for her bio-Mom. It’s not easy to climb back up from that, but it sounds as if she’s doing her best. I hope she appreciates having you to help with her babies until she’s able.

Sarah 2 years ago

I agree so much with what you say about judging, and I think adults are the worst, Facebook gets me so annoyed every time I go on there’s status’s putting other people down, saying awful things like people who like certain things don’t deserve to live and all sorts of awful things!! My main problem with it not just that it’s judgment and bullying it is that like it or not kids of all ages read this stuff on Facebook, we should be setting an example, we should think about what we write, how would it effect a child minor or someone who is feeling vulnerable what example are we setting???

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    I agree completely!! Thanks so much for commenting.

Bridget Walsh 2 years ago

It is such a sad thing that POOR is a four letter word in our country. I work at a district in which 3/4 of students receive free or reduced breakfast and lunch. For some this is their main source of food daily. The lunch program is so beneficial. I’m sorry that the staff was so ignorant and thoughtless in her wording. As parents now we have the ability to shape our kids perspective. My child told me that she wished we could qualify for the free lunch like her friends so she could eat the hot lunch more often! LOL I have hope in our children.

Alicia 2 years ago

I am in the “poor line” for the first time this year. My husband was in a very bad auto accident and is not able to go back to work yet, so we are trying to live on only my income (it’s not easy). My children just received school clothes and supplies yesterday that their school resource center purchased for them. We will overcome and so can you!!!

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    I’m so sorry to hear about your husband, I hope things improve very soon!

Queen of Evil 2 years ago

A thousand times yes. I know that I got free lunches in elementary school for a couple of years after my parent’s divorce. And when my son was born, both of us had lost jobs and the economy had just tanked. We had healthcare and food stamps. But I never told anyone. Because I knew how harshly we would be judged in our upper middle class neighborhood. My mother helped us pay the mortgage so we didn’t lose our house. She paid utilities. She sold the house that she rented so we could use that money to live off of. We wouldn’t have made it without her, or the assistance. We are back on our feet now, both working, but still in debt, and it’s a struggle. We fall into that too much money to qualify, but not enough to get ahead category. It’s frustrating. And unless you’ve been there, or are there too, you just can’t understand.

Jennifer Blankenship Bremner 2 years ago

My childrens’ school has every family fill out the free/reduced lunch paperwork. You fill out your info and if you don’t qualify, you mark a box stating so and don’t complete the rest of the form. There’s no way for anybody outside of the office staff to know which families have filled out the complete form.

Kathy 2 years ago

Why does the school make the parents stand in line like that. Seems that this could be handled more discretely for the good of all the kids..

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    The way the whole registration process works at this high school is there are stations or booths set up all around the perimeter of the cafeteria, you stop at the first station and get their schedule, second station does ID’s, etc. So there are several lines around the room, but everyone knows what this one line is for and they’re told to skip it if they’re not one of the poor kids.

Lisa 2 years ago

My kids are “the poor kids” my husband is self employed but it is seasonal. He goes the whole winter not working. He busts his ass in the summer so that we have enough money to get thru the winter. He is great with the money so wbe get thru every year. I am a sahm and I work part time during the school year. But we qualify for free lunches every year. This also let’s us qualify for free college testing and gets the sports activity fee waived. The school charges $100 per student per sport to play. If we didn’t have the waiver my kids wouldn’t play.
I had such a bad experience this year with a team parent who was putting together a preseason team but needed to be paid right away. I didn’t have the money right then and I knew the people in charge would reduce the rate so my girls would pay. But this parent was relentless in asking me for the money and bringing it up in front of other parents so everyone could hear me say that I don’t have the money. He then sent an email out letting everyone know that I hadn’t paid yet. Then he sent an email to the people in charge saying that ” I wasn’t working as much as I should” so I didn’t have the money and shouldn’t let my girls play. They ripped him apart!!!!! My girls played and I was able to have the money when the games started.

But some adults don’t get it and are assholes!

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    I am so sorry you experienced that, the other parent was a first class jerk and I hope that karma finds them some day!

sara 2 years ago

We live in hard times where jobs are hard to come by.many jobs don’t pay enough to make ends meet and it’s harder to get assistance. Someone doesn’t have enough to pay all their bills but yet make too much for food stamps, and now have to buy medical insurance on top of it. I’m not in that situation by gods good graces, but I have been there. People need to stop judging by how much money a person makes. Money does not make the person….

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    I know so many friends who have gone back to work after being unemployed only to find out that they actually end up with less money in their pocket than they had sitting at home collecting benefits. The same job you had a few years ago may now pay you drastically less than it used to!

      Mary 2 years ago

      Exactly!!! That’s the most frustrating thing about working- if I make “too much”, I lose the food stamps that keep us afloat! It wouldn’t be bad if I could just lose what I earn over- if I make $50 too much, fine, cut $50 off the assistance- but don’t cut the whole $300! :(

      The system could use some common-sense overhauls.

Gabrielle Harrell Butler 2 years ago

I was one of the poor kids in the 80’s and I remember how ashamed I was. We went from my dad having a job that afforded us the ability to build a home by the lake and own several cars, to being the kids on free lunch. Back then they had colored tickets. Red, was regular, blue was reduced, and yellow was free. Everyone knew who was poor just by the color of your ticket. Thank goodness things seem to be changing a little. It breaks my heart to think of kids feeling ashamed over things they have no control over.

Alicia Adams 2 years ago

Powerful!

Danielle Dapp 2 years ago

I was that kid growing up. Now I am a home school Mom to five.

Elizabeth 2 years ago

As one of “those” Moms I have to say that this is spot on. What hurts more than anything is the feeling that I have to apologize to strangers for my status. I’m struggling to run a business and working a job on the side, a single Mom after my ex-husband hit the road several years ago and never looked back. He somehow wiggled his way out of paying child support, so it’s all on me.

I see people bashing anyone of welfare, foodstamps, or government assistance on Facebook all the time. I don’t tell my friends that I get foodstamps, I don’t tell anyone, because of this label attached to them. It’s thought that the smartphone I have should be a flip phone, I shouldn’t have one at all, even though I got it free with an upgrade and rely on it for both business and to make sure I can be reached while my child is in school. I hear complaints about people with tattoos… if they can afford a tattoo, why can’t they afford food? There’s no thought that maybe the tattoo happened before the money struggles. There’s no thought at all. And anyone on foodstamps can’t possibly be working. It’s such a shameful thing, accepting help, it’s almost as if the general public would rather the children go hungry, go without insurance, without hope. Because then it would be socially acceptable. Never mind that any other kind of group receiving assistance is heroic. Disabilities are praised. Working hard to support your family is frowned upon? I just don’t understand.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Things would be a lot better, and everyone would be a lot happier if everyone would just worry about their own lives and stop peeking over the fence to see what’s happening in our neighbors life.

    Mary 2 years ago

    ((hugs)) hang in there, Mama. I’m the bitch on Facebook- I call people out on their bs. Tax fraud costs the US enough to pay for the SNAP program 10x over- so if someone posts one of those assistance-shaming bs memes, I ask them if they paid their full share of taxes this season. You’d be amazed at how many people are looking down their noses, while turning around and cheating the system!

    I refuse to be ashamed of accepting the help we need. I know I did the right thing by staying at home with my kiddos for 12 years, even though it’s put me in a bad place career-wise, now that my ex took a hike.

    I would strongly recommend going back to court for child support, if you haven’t already. There’s assistance available with that, depending on your state. Even if he’s left the state (as mine has), there are programs which will deduct the support directly from his taxes and/or wages. Even if you don’t end up collecting, being able to prove you’re not receiving support is sometimes enough to help with assistance- I filed recently, and when I was able to prove I’m not getting any help, our assistance doubled- and now I’m able to feed my kids without relying on mac-n-cheese dinners 3 nights a week.

    I’m building a freelance business, and for over a year now I’ve been at a level where it wouldn’t be sensible for me to take a job at minimum wage, because I can make more freelancing. Trouble is, I’m still building my business, so I’m not *quite* to the level of success where I won’t need help, yet. Hoping to get there within another year or so, but until then, I’m doing the best I can for my kids, and that’s all that matters to me. I really don’t give a flying rat’s tail what anyone thinks of me, as long as my kids understand how to work hard and how to make good lives for themselves and their families.

    Take care of you, Mama. You’re doing a great job! <3

Cassie 2 years ago

Not only is this important because we need to be more aware. People in this position need to know we are not alone. We didn’t choose this for ourselves and certainly not for our children. I would do anything for this to not be their way of life

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    <3

    june gallagher 8 months ago

    My father wouldn’t allow my mom to ask for help of any sort. Five children and one mom went without while he had what he wanted. Never presume to know anyone’s circumstances.

Anastasia Bodnar 2 years ago

Thank you for this post. A good reminder that we could all be that mom, with those kids, in a heartbeat. Who knows why they are there, it’s much better to show everyone respect all the time.

    Jenn Galbraith 2 years ago

    It’s a rough walk.

Catrina 2 years ago

I just love this post! We have been here. In fact we have been a recipient of the Thanksgiving project and not ashamed to say thank you for the help! Not sure where we would have been without the help! We can all use an extra help and there nothing wrong with that! What is wrong is the people that look down on those who are brave enough to ask! <3

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    The Thanksgiving Project is an amazing thing, so proud to be a part of such an amazing community. Moms can do ANYTHING if we set our minds to it!

    Donealia 2 years ago

    I dont know what the Thanksgiving project is but I am always looking for help in the holiday season. I am a single disabled mom of the most wonderful 9 year old who is becoming very aware of our financial situation now. I try to get her what she wants but she knows not to ask for much because I have trouble paying for what we need and she hears the messages from the collectors.

Megan 2 years ago

I’m THAT mom and my kids are those poor kids. I also wear Prada sunglasses that I was gifted at my $10 per hour job selling sunglasses to make enough money for food. I have the latest model phone that came with my upgrade of my phone contract. What you don’t see is that we visit the food pantry monthly because we are $52 over the limit for food stamps. We live in a rough area with drugs and stabbings and I share a bedroom with my 6 year old. My mattress is older than I am and im grateful for it even though it hurts my back. Yesterday I had to beg help to get my lights turned back on again. I try to avoid driving because the squealing of my brakes is embarrassing and I get anxiety looking at that check engine light with my girls in the car. I used to be a stay at home mom. I used to do play groups and volunteer at my kids’ schools. Now I’ll settle for affording to pay all my bills in the same month and not panic when my phone rings that its another bill collector.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    Megan, thanks so much for sharing your story in this comment. I’m saying a special prayer for you and your children right now. God bless you.

      Niles 8 months ago

      How about instead of praying, you actually do something to help Megan out? Prayer won’t pay a bill. Prayer won’t put clothes on her child’s back. Prayer won’t fill either a stomach or a gas tank. For someone in that situation, telling someone that you’ll “pray for them” is a straight-up slap in the face.

        Cheryl 8 months ago

        Saying a prayer for her IS helping her. Angela might not have the means nor the full contact information to be able to physically help Megan, but by praying for her she might set in motion a chain of events that WILL help Megan. Prayer has a lot more power than most people realize.

Kristen Jensen 2 years ago

This is very well written. It made me cry because my husband works his tail off but insurance premiums are so high even through his job the amount of money he makes is no where near what he brings home. We have to get assistance and I have been where this lady is as a kid. I hated being teased for my payless shoes and wearing the same clothes over and over again. People are just aweful sometimes. They truly r

Tabatha 2 years ago

This post is SO important. We say things off-handedly ALL the time, never thinking about what our kids are hearing. It’s something we *don’t* think about; and that’s part of the problem. A friend mentioned yesterday that something happened, totally a ‘nothing’ event to her and her children, but 24 hours later, there was a mom having her child apologize to my friend and her kids. While it might not have been a big thing to my friend, the other mom used it as a learning experience. We all need to think a little more like that. <3

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    What a beautiful thought, we are all always still learning and growing. Each experience changes us a little, it’s just up to us to make sure that change is for the better!

    Alyssa 2 years ago

    Right. We truly forget to think before we speak all too often. Everyone does it. I’ve mentally kicked myself more than once for saying something that was completely innocent and without guile yet very hurtful.

      WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

      And I know for sure I have caught myself phrasing things the way I always heard my parents saying them and not even thinking about it until I realize how awful it sounded!

Deb Hill 2 years ago

You definitely touched a nerve with this commentary. My daughter knows we get help and she has to wait for things, but she doesn’t really associate us to being poor. A year ago we were not in this position and one day our world came crashing down.One day… that’s all it took. We are still trying to recover. Anyone anywhere can have the same happen to them in a heartbeat.

    WriterMom Angela 2 years ago

    It can absolutely happen to anyone! I remember hearing a statistic from back before the housing market crashed that the average American is two paychecks away from being homeless, two missed paychecks and it starts the snowball effect. We can all be there in the blink of an eye, and I think that’s what scares people!

    Courtney 2 years ago

    Oh, most definitely, it can happen to anyone at any time. A little more than a year ago, we were smooth sailing. My husband lost a big client and it all crumbled. We’re just now catching up. We’re still not quite where we were, either.

      KK 2 years ago

      We’re in a tough spot with the DH being in college and my income being the only one we have. Last month we had $50 for groceries. Couponing and price-matching only go so far. If the baby were still on formula (thank goodness he’s on regular milk and food now), the DH and I would’ve been eating ramen noodles for every meal.

      Times are tough. The judgement makes it worse. I may be the only source of income, but that’s so my hubby can pull a 95% GPA in law school. Hopefully, he’ll put it to good use some day.

Mindy Hagy 2 years ago

I love this!!!!

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