“At first, I believed I was just like all the other millennials and Gen Z, not playing completely into the panic and craziness. I thought multiple times about purchasing those super cheap flights to go places I have never been and just ‘hope for the best’ while traveling. #YOLO.
However, on Sunday the 15th, the governor of Illinois decided to close all bars and restaurants until March 30th. My family owns a local restaurant and the panic, fear, and just overall emotions my family was going through once that was announced is what ultimately made me realize just how serious this pandemic was. I have heard multiple people say that you don’t realize how bad it truly is, until it affects you. And I truly believe that statement to be correct. I realized that if bars and restaurants were going to be shut down, that panic would consume the state. I figured tons of people would be going to the grocery stores and the big box stores stocking up on essentials because they were in fear that the whole city would be shut down next.
My family was all sitting at my grandmother’s house talking about the pandemic and how this would truly affect our lives as small business owners, as I own a business of my own as well. We were feeling a ton of emotions and it felt like the scariest moment of our lives not knowing how we would survive financially and mentally with the businesses being affected.
Yesterday, I left to go get dinner for the family and while out, I received a call that my youngest, who is 15 months, was out of diapers and unfortunately went to the bathroom…a lot! So I had to go buy diapers before heading back and boy was I in for an experience.
I decided to first go to Walmart and once I got there, there were little to no diapers and wipes on the shelves at all. The diapers that were still there were sizes 1 and 2, while my daughter wears a size 4. I then realized this wouldn’t be easy and decided to go to Target to check there.
Honestly, as a mother, you want to be able to always provide for your children. You want to ensure they have all necessities. You want to ensure they are always taken care of, and not being able to provide such simple items that you take for granted, is the worst feeling. I remember feeling defeated, and like I was the worst mom for not having a backup stock at home. I felt mentally and physically exhausted from traveling from store to store searching for these items that seemed to be like a needle in a haystack.
I have 2 children, Amelia who is 5 and Annistyn who is 15 months and I have never felt more defeated as a mother than I did just trying to find 1 box of diapers. It really does make you feel like you could have and should have done more. Should have stocked up weeks ago just to have them, and it definitely puts it in perspective that being more prepared is better than being in a situation like this.
When I arrived back to the house, I saw my daughter wearing an adult depend, wrapped with tape to keep it on. It looked hilarious, but it was the first thing my family thought of after changing her diaper. While taking the depend off, I was discussing with family about how aside from all the cleaning supplies, that baby items were now in scarce as well.
We wanted to try and make light of the situation and have fun with the different items we could use as diapers if we ran out again and didn’t have the same luck finding them. Randomly, Tupperware crossed my mind. I mean, we all have those lying around, lonely without their lids, right? Right!
I want to say that if you are hoarding these baby items, please take a moment to think of all the other parents out there struggling to find just 1 or 2 packs of diapers or wipes. I made light out of the situation and love to have fun and joke about things. But in the end, this is a serious issue. There are plenty of families out there that haven’t been as lucky to find 1 pack of diapers. Plenty of families who don’t have money to purchase in bulk, or even just 2 packs at a time.
We all have to become a little more aware of the situation around us and a little more considerate at what we are purchasing and hoarding. I am VERY aware of the crisis our nation is in. And everyone does truly deal with these types of situations differently. Upon posting the photo to Facebook, I have received a lot of hate and negative comments on the type of mother I am for putting Tupperware/tape on my child…
But with all of the hatred, I have received a lot of love and laughs. I have people offering to send me diapers, or providing guides to make cloth diapers. I have tons of people laughing along with me as well. Let us continue to be mindful during this time and spread kindness.”
This story and the accompanying photos are exclusive to Love What Matters. For permission to use, email Exclusive@LoveWhatMatters.com.
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Justice Parker. You can follow her journey on Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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