Mom puts up sign to stop dirty looks in grocery stores: 'Just leave me in peace'


An Australian woman with 16 kids has had enough of the disapproving stares she gets whenever she has to go grocery shopping.

Since the start of the pandemic, in an effort to suppress hoarding and stockpiling essentials, some stores have implemented limits to how much a single shopper can buy of each item.

This has created tensions among shoppers who want to make sure others are following the rules and not clearing out all of the stock.

These new rules have also left Jeni Bonell in a pickle. The mother of 16 children reportedly goes to the store once a week and regularly has to pick up 24 rolls of toilet paper and at least nine gallons of milk per trip.

“This pandemic has brought out the best and worst of people,” Bonell told the Sun. “And unfortunately because we have to always buy large amounts of food due to our family size, people can still be rude in the grocery store.”

Bonell’s solution was to pin a sign to her grocery cart, which read, “Not hoarding, just feeding 16 kids. Be kind or go away please.”

“Mainly we just get the judgy looks and the mumbling under their breath as they walk past. I put the sign on as a bit of a joke, in the hopes that people might just leave me in peace to do my regular shop. After all, we need to keep a sense of humor during these times. There’s enough stress as it is,” Bonell explained to the Sun.

Although the sign did not completely eliminate all dirty looks, Bonell said she did get a few laughs from other shoppers.

Several commenters on Bonell’s Instagram post were in awe she was taking care of so many children during a pandemic.

“I take my hat off to you, i have three and wow they can be challenging,” one person replied.

“Bless you and your husband’s heart. I have 6, 3 of each, and omg they are a handful and everything is so chaotic at times,” another commenter wrote.

One parent even chimed in with their experience taking care of a lot of kids.

“We have 18 children and frustrated more with the rationing than peoples looks,” the person wrote. “We’ve developed thick skin to the critics. Always will to share our story as only four are biologically, eight have been adopted through foster care (two sibling groups) and currently have six that are foster placements (two sibling groups and a baby). That’s kids need our help badly!”

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Originally published