It’s Not What It Looks Like

When my son was born things were pretty easy, we all went out to do groceries or any kind of shopping. But now that may daughter is here, grocery shopping with both kids is next to impossible. So we’ve worked out a schedule where every Saturday night my darling daughter and I head out on our own and do groceries, while my hubby stays home with our son. You’re probably wondering why I don’t send the hubby and our son… Our son can ask for things and groceries tend to be more expensive when he’s around. So when little miss and I go out it gives the boys some one on one time, and I get out pretty much by myself for a bit.

My pregnancy this time around was quite different, it was still easy with no complications, but I put on more weight, and dealt with normal symptoms like morning sickness, bloating and swelling. I found my fingers swelled up, not enough to notice but enough that I couldn’t wear my wedding rings. So I had become accustomed to not wearing my rings. Then baby arrived, the swelling went away, but I was so used to not wearing my rings that I never put them back on. Apparently that was a mistake, because when I started doing groceries with just the baby the looks and (not so) whispered remarks that I received were unbelievable.

I do my groceries at Walmart because they’re close, cheap, and they price match. But that also brings with it a certain type of customer in some cases. Our local Walmarts seem to have about 3 different type of shoppers. 1) the people that think it’s ok to wear pajamas outside the house, 2) the penny pinchers who for some reason think they’re better than everyone else, 3) the normal people that go about their business and not give a crap about what’s going on around them.

The second type of shopper are the ones that I’ve come across the most. There’s been a few different occasions where I’ve been out shopping and end up shaking my head after encountering certain people.

The first incident I had was at the end of a quick shopping trip on the way home from a midwife appointment.  An  elderly gentleman apparently felt the need to stop me in the middle of the aisle while I was heading for the door and made sure that everyone around us could hear him. I don’t remember exactly what he said to me, because quite frankly after the way he got my attention I only paid enough attention to know when he stopped talking. But the main idea of what he said was that I was a disgrace. How dare I think that’s appropriate to raise a child on my own, and to do it as a teenager was even worse. I heard enough to just respond with a simple “Actually I’ve been married for a year and a half and I’m 26.” Then I just walked away.

The next incident was actually a humorous pleasant occasion. As I was in line waiting to pay for my groceries a middle aged man joined the line behind me. Of course this was the one time my little sweetie decided to throw a complete fit, so I pulled her out of her seat and continued to unload my groceries with one hand. This delightful man not only helped me unload my groceries so they could be rung in, but then told me how wonderful a job I was doing at being a mom and that it can’t be easy to be so young and to be doing it on my own. The best part… He then offered to pay for my groceries. I filled him in on how my hubby was at home with our son, I then thanked him for the kind words and the offer but I couldn’t let him buy my groceries.

The latest incident happened only just last week. The 4 of us went for a quick shopping trip to get the final things we needed for Easter weekend. We had paid and we’re heading to the car. I had both kids in the cart, and my hubby was making a quick stop at the lottery desk to get a ticket for that night’s draw. So I headed for the car to get the kids in and put the groceries in. My hubby was the one that noticed what happened. After walking past apparently a woman gave me a very dirty look, then turned and rolled her eyes and shook her head to her husband. My hubby said he couldn’t helped but laugh and think “Yeah she’s getting into a $45,000 van…she’s clearly a single mom to 2 kids.”

I can’t decide which is the worst part of any of those encounters was, the fact they all just assumed I was a single mother, the fact that only one was polite and offered assistance, or the fact that 2 of them seemed to think that being a single parent is so terrible.  No one wants to be a single parent, it’s not something someone strives for when they decide to have children. But if that happens to be their situation it’s for a reason that is frankly none of your damn business. So maybe take a page out of the delightful man in scenario 2’s book, be nice, tell them they’re doing a great job you never know they could be in the middle of a terrible day where the kids aren’t listening and nothing is going right. When it happened to me, my day was going just fine, but that didn’t mean I needed to hear those words any less.

So just because you think something is a certain way doesn’t mean it is, and if your one of those crazy judgmental people that constantly looks down at everyone else….. I suggest you just keep your mouth shut, because not everyone will be civil in return.  Believe me, if I was a single parent and had to deal with those situations, only one of the 3 people I encountered would leave with their dignity in place.


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