Mother Handed Mop By Supermarket Staff To Clean The Floor After Her Young Son Threw Up

While it was her son who got sick, she is asking why none of the employees lent her a helping hand.

mother, son, vomit, grocery store, employees Danyil Sekunda, Setthawuth / Shutterstock 

While a mother was out grocery shopping with her children, her toddler suddenly vomited on the floor. When an employee approached her with a mop bucket, she did not expect to be told to clean the mess herself.

Now, she is wondering if her feelings toward the entire situation are valid and if there was more the store employee could have done. 

The grocery store employee handed the mother a mop and a bucket to clean up the mess made by her son vomiting on the floor. 

The anonymous Australian mother shared her story in a now-deleted post on the U.K.-based parenting forum, Mumsnet. According to her, while she was grocery shopping with her 5-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter at Woolworths Supermarket, her son suddenly became ill and vomited on the store floor. 


As she was tending to her sick son, store employees approached her with a mop and bucket. “After I settled my son I apologized to staff for having to get someone to clean up,” the mother wrote. However, the employees did not have the same solution in mind. “The worker turned to me and said 'No, you have to clean it up.’”

Mother Handed Mop By Supermarket Staff To Clean The Floor After Her Young Son Threw UpPhoto: Kinga / Shutterstock


Since the woman claimed to be “flustered” and did not want to argue, she began cleaning her son’s vomit without question. While she was doing so, she also had to keep an eye on her children, which proved to be quite difficult. 

“My son was being a real handful the whole time, and we were so close to the front entrance that opened up to a busy road,” she wrote. 

As she continued to clean the mess, one employee instructed another to “stand over” the mother to ensure she cleaned it properly

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All the while, her children were growing rambunctious. “My son was trying so hard to run out to see cars,” she wrote, adding that the chaos of the situation was making her 2-year-old daughter antsy as well. After cleaning up the mess, she still had to check out all of her groceries while her son was covered in vomit. 


Mother Handed Mop By Supermarket Staff To Clean The Floor After Her Young Son Threw UpPhoto: Kattecat / Shutterstock

Now, the mother is wondering if she should file a complaint against the store since she was forced by employees to clean up her son’s vomit, with no assistance from them. 

The woman’s situation left many people online divided. 

Some people believed that since it was her son who got sick, it was solely her responsibility to clean up the mess. 


“If it were my child, I would clean up the vomit myself,” one mother shared. “Also, I wouldn't have worried about getting groceries, I'd have simply wanted to get them home quicker because if they're throwing up, diarrhea might follow.” 

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“That's so gross, you should never expect workers to do your job for you,” another person commented. “It would be lovely if the shop staff offered, however, they're not obliged to and it's 100 percent your responsibility to clean up bodily fluids,” a third user wrote. 

However, others believed that the store employees could have least lent the overwhelmed mom a helping hand. 


“As someone who worked in retail, they should have assisted her by at least scanning her groceries while she tended to the kids,” one person commented. “I've worked in retail for over 20 years and seen so many sick kids/grandparents. Never have I seen someone clean up their mess,” another person shared. 

Mother Handed Mop By Supermarket Staff To Clean The Floor After Her Young Son Threw UpPhoto: BK Awangga / Shutterstock

When you are dealing with young children, they are bound to get sick from time to time, even in public spaces. However, as their parent, it is your responsibility to handle cleaning up their bodily fluids. 


Still, while cleaning up vomit is often not part of the job description of a grocery store employee, helping customers out when they need it is not beyond the scope of their role. Even if the employees did not want to clean the child’s vomit, they could have shown this struggling mother a bit more kindness and empathy.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.