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Finance Guru Tells Struggling New Mom Considering WIC To Get A Job Instead Just 8 Weeks After Giving Birth

Photo: Andrey Burstein / Shutterstock
struggling new mom grocery shopping with baby

Few things are as hard as admitting that you need help. Once you make that admission, it’s good to be met with compassion and understanding.

Instead, one woman was told she was doing everything wrong.

A woman called into 'The Ramsey Show' for advice, but came away with more problems.

A woman named Sarah placed a call to "The Ramsey Show" in hopes of receiving financial advice. On the day she called, the show was hosted by Jade Warshaw — an entrepreneur who used Ramsey’s Baby Steps program to eliminate nearly half a million dollars in debt — and George Kamel, co-host of "The Ramsey Show" and "Smart Money Happy Hour."

Warshaw later posted the call to her TikTok, where many people took issue with her out-of-touch advice. 



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Sarah vulnerably opened up to the hosts and shared her situation. “I am trying to determine if we are going to have to go on WIC,” she admitted. “I’ve cut everything I can possibly cut from our budget, but our grocery bill, even though I buy only what we need… It’s just, with inflation, we’re having to dip into our savings and it's getting a little low.”

Kate Kowalczik, a licensed clinical social worker, offered some commentary on the video through a stitch.



“This caller goes on to share that she’s a stay-at-home mom with two kids, a toddler and a two-month-old,” she summarized. “Her husband works full-time in addition to being in the military reserves, and he brings in only about $36,000 before taxes each year.” He's currently also up for a potential promotion that would raise his income to $90,000.

Kowalczik was able to offer a social worker’s perspective on WIC and spoke of it with respect.

“If you qualify for WIC, use WIC,” she insisted. WIC is an acronym for Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children.

“In the social services, we consider programs like WIC to be what we call entitlement programs, and entitlement is not a dirty word here,” she explained. “It’s used to mean that the government has allotted funding to a specific group in the population, and everyone who qualifies is entitled to receive those benefits. If you qualify, they are for you.”

Warshaw and Kamel did not agree with her opinion. “They go on to suggest that this woman, eight weeks postpartum, go out and get a job she can do after her kids are asleep,” Kowalczik said. “Or that her husband, who is already working 40 hours a week and is in the military reserve, find himself a second job.”

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Sarah then stated that she didn’t think these ideas would work for her family, which didn’t sit too well with Warshaw. “Whatever you look for, you’ll find. Alright, Sarah?” she said, frustrated. “And right now, I don’t think you want to find the solution. I think you want to go on WIC, and you want that to be the solution.”

Warshaw even doubled down on her assessment in the caption of her TikTok. "Hard truth: Some folks would rather be right than happy," she wrote. "We're here to offer hope and options and REAL talk. But IF you aren’t willing to embrace the suck, if you have already dug your heels in on what you refuse to change, then no one can help you."

Kowalczik was very upset over Warshaw’s comments. “The tone here really makes it sound like WIC recipients are lazy or stupid, which is absolutely not true,” she argued.

Others in the comments of the original video also took issue with Warshaw's insensitive and tone-deaf statements.

"Imagine shaming a mom for temporarily using WIC while waiting for her husband's promotion to triple their income," one user wrote. "This is insane advice. There’s nothing wrong or lazy about being on WIC," another commented. "She is doing the best she can with two very young kids. These hosts are deeply out of touch."

WIC is a life-saving program that is nothing to be ashamed of.

WIC, also known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, does a lot of good in the world. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, WIC “serves to safeguard the health of low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants, and children younger than five years who are at nutritional risk.”

In 2022, WIC helped 6.3 million people monthly, “including an estimated 39% of all infants in the United States.”

Kowalczik stated that hosts' implications were dangerous, contributing to “fear-mongering” and “stigma.” Others agreed with her. “If I want my taxes going towards anything, it’s helping to feed others,” one person commented. “They are all so out of touch with reality,” another wrote.

Needing help is nothing to be ashamed of. Not everyone can work their way through their problems alone, and that’s okay — they shouldn't have to. Don’t let what others may say or think stop you from seeking the assistance you need.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.