Parenthood
Mom puts sign on daughter's back when in public to stop strangers from commenting
She made the message loud and clear.
Patricia Lynn
10.07.21

As the coronavirus pandemic accelerates across the country, retailers are implementing ways they believe will help customers maintain social distancing. But some of those new rules are not settling well with people and they are surprisingly lashing out at parents, particularly single moms.

Their rants aren’t helpful; they’re hurtful. But one single mom is speaking out.

Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez
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Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez

Many stores have affixed giant arrows on their floors to direct traffic so that people are less apt to be closer than six feet. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention strongly recommend everyone stay at least that distance away from others to help prevent the spread of the deadly virus. That’s understandable.

The CDC also wants people to wear face coverings when out in public. But not everyone is happy about that either and some people have violated President Trump’s rule to not gather in groups of more than 10 to hold protests about having to wear facemasks and being in quarantine.

Flickr/Marco Verche
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Flickr/Marco Verche

Big box stores, as well as small businesses, are capping how many people can be present inside the store and make others stand in line, six feet apart, outside the facility and wait their turn.

Numerous stores are posting signs prohibiting children younger than 16 from entering, such as the Wisconsin-based Menards. Menards even plans to ID patrons who look younger than 16 just to be safe. They’ve made disinfecting wipes available for wiping down carts, too.

Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez
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Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez

In fact, Menards spokesman Jeff Abbott told KVRR Local News, a North Dakota station, that it will take shoppers’ and employees’ temperatures before allowing them to go in. Amazon, Walmart and Sam’s Club, BJ’s Wholesale Club and Home Depot also are taking employees’ temperatures before they can start a shift.

“We absolutely love families, but need to lessen the number of people shopping in our stores, and I think it goes without saying that children need to be protected from people.”

Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez
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Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez

Other retailers are limiting the number of shoppers from each family and only one shopper per cart. All of these guidelines irk numerous shoppers who are targeting parents with their anger.

But some single moms insist they just can’t follow these rules. In Newington, Connecticut, one single mom claims she was told by a store employee that the police would be called if she tried to shop at the Walmart there with her child.

Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez
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Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez

Single mom MaryAnn Fausey Resendez, 41, from Texas, feared how she and her five-year-old daughter would be treated when they headed to the grocery store. She knew that people would speak out against her, even with her young daughter present.

To ward off any negativity and hurtful comments hurled her way, MaryAnn took proactive measures to protect her daughter. She made a sign and affixed it to the back of her daughter’s shirt, then headed off to the store. The sign read:

“I am only five. I can’t stay home alone so I have to buy groceries with mommy. Before you start judging, stay back six feet.”

Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez
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Facebook/MaryAnn Fausey Resendez

The tattoo artist slipped a facemask on her daughter and loaded her into the shopping cart. She braced herself for the backlash that she anticipated being hurled at her.

“The sign I made her wear cuz I just know some dumba** will take a picture & talk s**t on social media not knowing all the facts.”

Flickr/Nik Anderson
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Flickr/Nik Anderson

MaryAnn posted the experience on Facebook where it’s been shared more than 43,000 times. Thousands upon thousands of people have commented and liked her post.

Jennifer Sisson admitted that she doesn’t look twice at parents with children at the stores. While she isn’t a parent herself, she knows that people can’t hire babysitters right now and maybe at a loss of what to do.

Some HAVE to bring their kids – and as an adult – the best I can do is give the child space, make sure we all stay safe. I know a lot of judgments are flying around. I’m the adult – I don’t expect a kiddo at the store is going to know what six feet is when they’re looking at treats, or just being a kid! It genuinely didn’t even dawn on me that someone would judge another for this. I’m sorry to those being judged so harshly – we really don’t know each other’s personal lives. We do know what we can do to keep each other safe. Kindness and compassion – I don’t understand why that is so hard and such an impossible concept when we are ALL in similar circumstances regarding social distancing. – Sincerely, just another human being trying to get through this like you.”

Flick/Nik Anderson
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Flick/Nik Anderson

Dad Troy Acree believes MaryAnn shouldn’t even have to create such a sign but he applauded it.

“People should mind their own business. Your solution was elegant.”

Flickr/Igor Romero
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Flickr/Igor Romero

So many single parents chimed in and said how they have had to take their kids into the store, too, and wished others would show a sliver of compassion for their situation.

Other people have had similar experiences. Dionne Angus posted on Twitter how angry she is with a grocery store chain.

“My daughter tried to go shopping today with her 5-year-old daughter but was told she couldn’t go in with her daughter. She’s a single mother. What is she supposed to do with her? I am beyond angry.”

Flickr/Jessica Mullen
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Flickr/Jessica Mullen

Louise Palmer tweeted that her friend, a single mom, was forced to abandon her children at the store and shop without them.

“A friend visited Aldi this morning and has been told that she had to leave her four kids at the front of the store whilst she does her essential food shop. She’s a single mom and has no choice but to take her kids shopping as she has nobody to look after them.”

Quinn Dombrowski
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Quinn Dombrowski

Single mom Alison Stine penned a piece in The Washington Post that being a single mom is frightening during this pandemic. She already struggles to make ends meet and can’t afford to stock on two weeks’ worth of groceries. She also worries about what will happen if she falls ill.

“When you are taking care of your sick child, you know you’re next. And no one is coming to relieve you.”

Flickr/Matteo Bagnoli
Source:
Flickr/Matteo Bagnoli

MaryAnn also shared on Facebook the numerous steps she takes to keep her daughter safe when she has to go out with her mom.

Step 1: I have all your PPE and sanitizers ready
Step 2: properly don mask and gloves
Step 3: wipe down, sanitize shopping cart
Step 4: if you have to take your child with you, place them securely in the clean shopping cart
Step 5: limit contact with others and only touch what you need to
Step 6: place shopping bags in trunk
Step 7: open vehicle doors
Step 8: remove your gloves and place them in TRASH OR BAG
Step 9: sanitize hands (if possible)
Step 10: (wearing gloves) carry all items onto the kitchen table, remove from bag
Step 11: if possible leave shoes at the door
Step 12: sterilize and sanitize items by spraying them down (alcohol, bleach, Everclear, etc)
Step 13: spray down everything you touched (especially doorknobs, lights, keys, cell phone, credit cards and cash, etc.)
Step 14: Without touching anything dispose of your gloves

What do you think of single moms without anyone old enough in their immediate family to care for their kids so they can run out and grab groceries?

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By Patricia Lynn
hi@sbly.com
Patricia Lynn is a senior writer at Shareably. Patricia is based out of San Francisco and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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