Mum writes open letter on Facebook to the shoppers who called her ‘irresponsible’ for letting her toddler cry.

Devastated mum Sammi Ovington, 23, had the day from hell when passers-by called her “irresponsible” for letting her tot cry while she shopped.

After three-year-old Skye had a public meltdown, shop assistants and bystanders in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, made some very hurtful comments.

Young Skye has autism spectrum disorder, pica and hypermobility syndrome, which can make public outings a struggle.

After the traumatic ordeal, Sammi took to Facebook to shed light on the cruel judgement of the public.


She said: “To the lady in Paperchase telling me Skye was naughty, I’m irresponsible and I shouldn’t give her things before I’ve paid for them, thanks for your input.

“Pica is a disorder where she feels the uncontrollable need to eat non edible things.

“Skye’s thing is paper. I’m sorry she ate the barcode before we paid but she isn’t naughty and I am not irresponsible.”

Next, Sammi addressed a Wilko staff member: “No I wouldn’t rather take my child who is in the middle of a meltdown outside and come back in a minute.

“I think that’s what you would rather me do and I am disgusted with your attitude.”

To the woman doing her groceries in Sainsbury’s who told her that Skye was too old to be in a buggy.

Caring mum Sammi responded: “Skye has hypermobility syndrome. Walking long distances for her is painful.”

Finally, Sammi had a message to unsympathetic members of the public.

She said: “To the people just staring at me, whispering to each other and the blatant judging of my parenting, I hope your children don’t have bad days like this.”

“I will not apologise if she is an inconvenience to your shopping trip!”


Note added by Sammi to her original post – “My child was not left for 2 hours crying whilst I just carried on with my everyday shopping.  The time Skye spent crying I was sat on a bench just cuddling her to make her feel safe which was when I was approached by the Virgin guy as stated in my post. When she calmed down I ask Skye if she wanted to go to Wilko to find a new bunny toy and she said yes, so off we went. Got to the shop and it started again so was trying to be as quick as possible finding her a new toy to comfort her. *Please note Wilko have dealt with the issues raised quickly and professionally* See this photo? This was taken whilst we were out shopping. That’s her new bunny. Does it look like I left my child in distress for 2 hours and did nothing?! The whole point of my post is to think before you judge! Thank you for all comments/messages of support. “

Sammi sounds like a great mum doing the best she can. Why can’t we just support each other?

Share your comments below.

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  • I think we need to stop writing these open letters. Just tackle the issue at the time or move on and ignore.


  • People need to think before they speak.


  • Being a Parent is hard enough without the judgment of strangers who know nothing about the situation. Hats off to you & hang in there!


  • People need to keep their opinions to themselves unless they have actual knowledge of the situation. Good on the mother for standing up for herself.


  • Yep. Nobody knows what is really going on.


  • I feel so bad for thus young mother, how horrible to be made to feel like a bad mum. Others can be too judgemental about situations they really know nothing about


  • Nobody has the right to judge anyone else’s parenting. You have no idea where they come from, or what their life is like. Even if your own life is 100% perfect, which I seriously doubt, back off and mind your own damned business! This mum seems to be playing a wonderful hand with the cards she was dealt. Judge not, lest ye be judged!


  • It’s so sad how people have lost their compassion. Not one person stopped to see if Sammi was alright and needed a hand. So so terrible!


  • The poor lady. Even without a disorder sometimes kids cry and you need food for the house. Snappy comments from bystanders don’t help parents


  • My son was a screamer with colic for what seemed like forever and then was diagnosed with Aspergers at 10 that explained many things. When I hear a child screaming now when I’m out I think back and relate this situation to mine. Everything is not always as it seems. And I always hope the child and parent are OK. If I pass them, I often smile at the parent in support.


  • I can’t understand people sometimes. All children will throw a tantrum at times. The people that said hurtful things to you didn’t know the circumstances and therefore should have kept their mouths shut. I’m just sorry that you had to endure that. You are doing everything for your girl and that is all you should think about. Keep your chin up and stand tall and proud.


  • In these times when every one is busy, support seems to have gone out the window. If you talk to the child directly, you are often castigated by the mother, but I always found that asking a crying child if they’d like to come home with me stopped them crying and made them stop for a moment and then it was easy to pacify them and sometimes get a giggle from them. Try it one day.


  • Mothers know best what and how to comfort their child. No one should be so judgemental without knowing the full story to why the child was so upset. I would offer whatever assistance I can. Well done to the mother and well written response.


  • People are so quick to judge without knowing the ins and outs. And the ins and outs are none of their business.


  • Hi Sammi. You have addressed a problem that is more prevalent than people realise. To judge a mum without knowing the whole story is a disgrace. I have worked with kids with special needs and they are mostly beautiful kids, and like all normal children, have meltdowns.

    In fact, I’ve watched more children in shopping centres have them because they are not getting what they want and their parents don’t know how to use the word No.

    Skye looks like a very beautiful little girl who will face many challenges in her development, but with a mum like you, will have strength, love and character that will help her overcome these.

    Keep up the great work.


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