A Warm Place for All Children

I had a hard time falling asleep last night. Just before going to bed I read a horrifying story about a 3 year old girl who died from exposure after being locked in her frigid bedroom.  Her mother and her mother’s boyfriend opened the windows to air out the room after the girl and her 1 year old sister wet the beds.  The temperature outside was minus 30 degrees.  The boyfriend’s blood alcohol content was twice the legal limit, and the mother (an elementary school teacher!) is now running from the law.

This story haunted me last night, and still does today.  I also have a 1 and a 3 year old, and to think of them shivering together in a locked and darkened room brings tears to my eyes.  I imagine that Evie would do her best to protect younger Mack.  They would be crying and scared and calling for help.   How could a mother let this happen to her children?

Living in Chicago, we have plenty of chilly days during the winter months.  I do my best to keep Evie and Mack warm whenever we go outside.  Little Mack is always taking his mittens off, and as his mother I’m always putting them back on.  He might take his mittens off 12 times, and I will put them back on 12 times. It isn’t an exceptional or heroic act of parenthood – little things like that are what parenthood is all about.

Stories like the one of the little Alaskan girl are a sad reminder that parenthood is not for everyone.  When that mother discovered her child’s wet bed, she should have quietly removed the dirty linens, dressed her growing daughter in a fresh nightgown, tucked her back into bed and kissed her good night.  That’s what a parent should do.

Parenthood is not always convenient or tidy or fun.  There are no vacations or weekends.  Ever. It is a mentally and physically and emotionally exhausting job, but it is loaded with rewards if done with loving intentions.  When I hear stories of parents neglecting their young children I want to cry because there are so many wonderful families who would happily welcome an unwanted or unplanned baby.  There is so much love to go around.

So, I am putting myself out there – if you are a parent and you are too overwhelmed to properly take care of your children, please email me at maureen@homemademothering.com and I will help you find a safe place for your children.  There are options other than neglect and abuse.

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4 Comments for this entry

  1. Karis says:

    I am not allowed to watch the news anymore, because I go to bed in tears every night because of stories like this. Heartbreaking.

  2. Mary says:

    As a person struggling to have a baby for years these types of stories make me furious! Why do people have children only to punish them for things that are a normal part of being a child and learning? So sad 🙁

  3. sheila says:

    You just gotta draw the line at what is acceptable behavior and what is not tolerble for everything you believe in. Unfortunately, this mother in the article you read, does not have the same morals as you and never will. Sadly, she is not alone. It hurts me too when I read and hear such abusive stories. There is good in this world Maureen and you continue to live it!

  4. Lisa says:

    My heart hurts to read this. I am a mom of six ranging in age from 17 to 3. Our 11 y/o son still is having issues with bed wetting because of a sleep disorder and we are battling this every night. I agree with you. The mom should have just quietly and calmly changed her daughter, changed the bed covers, kissed her child on the head and tucked her back in bed all nice and warm. I cannot wrap my head around this. So sad.

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