A single mother preemptively shut down the parenting police by taping a sign on her daughter's back that explained why they were at a supermarket during a pandemic.
“I didn’t want to deal with the comments and the looks,” MaryAnn Resendez, 41, told TODAY Parents. “I’m already under so much stress right now. I wanted to avoid judgment."
So before the outing, Resendez, a tattoo shop owner in McAllen, Texas, grabbed a magic marker and explained the situation.
“I am only 5,” Resendez wrote in all capital letters. “I can’t stay home alone so I have to buy groceries with Mommy… Before you start judging, stay back 6’ feet.”
The clever disclaimer did the trick. Resendez and her daughter, BellaRose, didn’t receive one unsolicited comment.
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Wanting to help others in the same situation, Resendez shared a photo of the sign on Facebook, where it quickly went viral with more than 43,000 shares.
“I’m overwhelmed by the response,” Resendez told TODAY Parents. “It’s a lot of, ‘I’m in the same boat as you. I understand.’”
Many commenters have declared that they are “stealing” the clever idea, which makes Resendez happy.
Resendez noted that she's been reading all the messages, some of which are heartbreaking.
“I had to take my son with me once,” one woman commented. “And I was harassed the entire time. We were in and out, and I was even spat at. I legit had no choice.”
Added another, “The looks I got in Walmart today were unreal! I suppose I’m supposed to either leave a 1 & 5 yr old at home alone or starve them and not go to the store.”