I have to admit I Joined in on the trash talk and I swore that I would never be one of “those” women. As a recently laid off woman and pregnant, my life was turning upside down. I had money in my savings account but not enough to cover all the expensive things I needed for a baby. My chances of getting a Job were slim to none now that I had a baby on the way. My daughter’s father and I had separated so I had no help. For once in my life I was truly stuck. I was twenty-six years old, unemployed, and UN-insured. I only had one option. I had to apply for welfare. I battled myself for several days and cried so much.
My pride was the only thing getting in my way. Finally I realized that I had to do what was best for my unborn child and myself. I went to the Health Department the next day. I forced myself to wait until I saw a worker. Once I was seen by the worker and told her my story she quickly approved me for Attendance health insurance and then sat up appointments for both WICK and DISH to apply for food stamps. I left the Health Department depressed and full of shame. I had become something I had promised myself I would never become. I was a “welfare mom. I quickly became depressed and started to lose weight.
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Being pregnant and losing weight was not a good thing for both the mother and the baby. I refused to use the food stamps that were given to me. I hid the card in my wallet so my friends couldn’t see. I was so scared I was going to be made fun of. The depression and weight loss kept getting worse, and by the time my first doctor’s appointment arrived my doctor noticed the sever weight loss and asked me what was wrong. I broke down in the little office. I explained to the doctor my situation and told him how embarrassed I was about paving to use either WICK or food stamps to buy food.
My doctor could tell that I was severely depressed and he informed me that he was concerned for not Just me but my baby. The doctor asked the nurse to bring in the ultrasound machine. When she came in with it he asked me to pull up my shirt. Once my shirt was pulled up he placed the wand on my stomach and a small object showed up on the screen. I could see the little arms and legs and could see her little heart beating so fast. The doctor then explained to me the importance of me getting to proper nutrition for not only y baby but myself. He then printed off the pictures from my ultrasound and an e teen to me.
He name our placement saying “whenever you get depressed or embarrassed look at these pictures, and know that you have to do this for your baby. ” I left the doctor’s office feeling a little bit better but still overly embarrassed about my situation. As the months passed the depression continue to get worse. I started to use the food stamps but I felt so ashamed when I got up to the check-out line. I felt as though the cashiers were Judging me. The only thing that made me feel teeter about the situation was knowing that my daughter would be healthy.
I had shut out all my friends, not wanting them to find out about my situation. I couldn’t let them find out that I had become a welfare mom. I felt as though my life was Just crumbling to pieces. I finally had a break down in front of my mother about how embarrassed I was about being a “welfare mom” and my mother let me have an ear full. She told me that it was wrong that some of those women that I grew up calling lazy or no good were Judged like that. She said several of those women were working ND taking care of their families the best they could but still needed a little help.
She informed me that me getting government assistance was only a temporary thing, that once I had my daughter and was able to go back to work I would be able to get back on my feet. She said that we as mothers learn to ask for help when it is needed, we do this for our children. My mother then told me that she too had to be placed on assistance while she was pregnant with my sister. She explained that her situation at that time was the same as mine but the only difference was that she held her head sigh and didn’t care what people thought about her.
Her one and only concern was taking care of her baby and unborn child. The pep talk with my mother made me feel better. So from that day forward my whole mind set change about what I once considered a welfare mom. I held my head high when I went into Wall-Mart or whatever grocery store I went into, not caring what anyone thought of me. I was doing this for my daughter and she was my only concern. The love I have for my child outweighs my pride. Having a child has taught me what is important in life, and that I have no time to worry about what other people think of me.
The only person I am here to impress is my daughter. My daughter will know about this rocky part in our lives because she will know that her mother became a stronger woman mentally. That it took a life changing situation to make me see how wrong I was to judge others not knowing the situations that brought them to that rough part in their life. I battle with my pride every day, but when I get the urge to stay quiet and not ask for help when I need it I Just think of my daughter. I bury my pride and ask because it isn’t for me it’s for my daughter. Children will make you do things you never Hough about doing before.
Mothers will go above and beyond to make sure their child has what he or she needs if that meaner suffering a little bit of embarrassment or swallowing your pride or even going without Just so their children can have what they need. I realized that these “welfare moms” had to swallow their pride Just like I did and that we are stronger because of it. There are several women that are in the same situation that I was and still am in that do not ask for help because they are worried about what people will think of them. Just remember it’s only temporary.