"How am I supposed to diaper my child if I can't afford 20 at a time like you can?"
When you have a baby you just can't go without diapers (and cloth diapering, while awesome for some, doesn't work for every family) but as the coronavirus pandemic progresses so does panic buying, which is making diapers scarce in some communities.
Diapers are both expensive and a necessity, and that's why mom of four Lauren Whitney found herself crying in a Walmart this week after bulk purchasers snapped up all the diapers.
As first reported by Buzzfeed, after finding multiple stores were sold out of her child's size, Whitney made a TikTok, capturing herself crying in Walmart.
"How am I supposed to diaper my child if I can't afford 20 at a time like you can?" she says through tears.
The video went viral and Whitney tells Motherly she is now "feeling an overwhelming amount of care and support. I'm super impressed with how many people want to help me in this time."
But as Whitney explained in an Instagram caption, not everyone has been so kind. "I'll be honest, I didn't post the video in hopes that it would go viral. But I did post it in hopes that people would become aware of how all of this panic about the coronavirus is affecting low income families, like my own. I'm glad to say that the majority of the comments are positive, and supportive. But there are a good amount of people that are still very mean, and don't have anything nice to say. I'm trying so hard to let those comments roll off my back, but some of them are just so mean," she writes.
She continues: "I've also been very lucky, and fortunate to have a lot of people try and offer some help, whether it be financially, or by offering to send me diapers... that's not the reason why I posted the video. We are alright. I promise we are doing ok. Thank you to everyone that has been so kind to me by offering your help. Hopefully all of this panic, and craziness will go away soon, and life can just resume as normal."
Even before the pandemic diapers were expensive and they do make up a substantial chunk of the monthly budget for families like Whitney's. That's nothing to be ashamed of. We hope that instead of being mean about this more people will choose to support diaper banks, which can support families like Whitney's during these stressful times.
We're in a pandemic and moms are already stressed, and we know that studies indicate that when mothers don't have the diapers they need for their babies their mental health suffers, but that an "an adequate supply of diapers may prove a tangible way of reducing parenting stress, a critical factor influencing child health and development"
No one should be shamed because they couldn't afford to buy up a ton of diapers at once, but many families are feeling that way right now.
Consider making a donation to the National Diaper Bank Network if you are already stocked up.