Woman on Welfare Shamed for 'Buying Loaf of Bread' Over Giving Sister-in-Law Birthday Card

Gillian Sisley

How much leniency should be given to others who are struggling financially?

The state of today's economy is making it harder and harder for more people to pay their general bills and make ends meet. The United States is seeing a dramatic reduction in savings funds across the country, even lower than pre-pandemic levels.

As North America prepares to head into one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression, many are scrambling to figure out how they will adapt to these frightening developments.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a woman on welfare is shamed by her mother for not buying her sister-in-law a birthday card.

How much leniency should be given to others who are struggling financially?

A Mumsnet post published on November 20th, reported on by Leonie Helm from Newsweek, has gone viral on the platform.

The author begins her post by explaining that she and her husband are 'seriously struggling for money' right now. She clarifies that they have been getting their food from the local community food scheme, and have left many bills unpaid for months.

She also adds that it was recently her sister-in-law's birthday. She adds that it wasn't a significant one, as her sister-in-law is in her early '50s.

The author then continues that her sister-in-law lives rather far away, and that she literally doesn't have enough money to send a card. She had to choose between ‘a card plus a stamp, or a loaf of bread’ to feed her and her husband. She chose the loaf of bread.

Do actions matter more than words?

Because she and her husband couldn't send a card, the author sent a Facebook message wishing her sister-in-law a happy birthday, and encouraged her husband to send a text. She even adds that while her phone was turned off, her husband's phone and internet are paid by work, so he was still able to send a text.

That said, the next day the author's mother called her saying that the sister-in-law was ‘gutted’ that she and her husband hadn't bothered to send a birthday card. The mother and sister-in-law now feel it's going to be ‘awkward for Christmas’. Her mom is demanding that the author give an ‘apology’, but the author is refusing to do so, simply because of the situation she's in.

What do you think? Is the author entirely justified to refuse to apologize for not sending a card, when she and her husband still went out of their way to wish the sister-in-law happy birthday? Or is their financial situation not nearly as important as her sister-in-law feeling special on her birthday?

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