I honestly think that we need to relax a little. There have been quite a few news stories lately about a kid getting injured, or tragically killed by forces beyond our control and then the extreme backlash that the parents of that child face because (apparently) every other parent in the world knew better and it would never happen to them. Clearly it is the fault of the injured or dead child's parents because they weren't paying close enough attention or they were distracted by their other children or they were just plan neglectful (so say the other "perfect parents").
Here's the thing: You don't know them. You don't know their situation. You don't know what you would do if put into that situation. You might think "oh, I'd do [this] and solve the problem." but in the heat of the moment, when shit hits the fan, you never really know what you're going to do until you do it. If Connor somehow managed to get himself into the GORILLA enclosure with a motherfucking GORILLA, I have no freaking clue what I'd do; other than flip shit and cry. If a croc took off with my son, again I'd flip shit, but I wouldn't know what to do. Fight, if I can, but from what I've read, there wasn't anything they could do. If my son climbed into the car while I was visiting in the house with our friends, and couldn't get back out (upsides and downsides to child locks), I probably wouldn't notice that he was gone right away, especially if it's normal for him to go play in the front yard with the neighbors without me.
Stop judging other parents for being in shit situations that you would never imagine being in yourself, and you can't know, I mean beyond a shadow of a doubt, what you would do. Let's just all take a step back and thank whoever that our kids are alright, that the injured will live, and pray or (at the very least) be considerate to the parents who have lost a child to some unforeseeable tragedy. Because that's exactly what these situations are: unforeseeable.
As parents, we like to think we'd do the right thing, make the perfect decision, in any situation. We like to believe that we can protect our kids from everything and solve every problem they ever encounter. That just isn't true. We need to be grateful for our babies and trust that we will take care of them to the best of our abilities. We really need to stop assuming that it's the parents' fault when some bad happens to a child. Yes, sometimes it is a cause of neglect, and in those cases the parents are dealt with accordingly, but sometimes bad shit just happens.
Sometimes babies get left in hot cars. 100% by accident because mom or dad got off in their routine, and skipped a step. "Perfect parents" think "that will never happen to me" and that's what scares me the most. I guarantee you that the parents who have forgotten their babies in the car and lost them also thought it wouldn't happen to them. No one sits there and thinks "yeah, I'm gonna forget my baby and ultimately be the cause of his/her death." Just be cautious and double check. There is absolutely no harm in leaving your phone/shoe/purse in the backseat with the baby. It won't hurt you one bit and it will keep your baby safe. Isn't that what we all want anyway?
Stop judging those you don't know. Stop blaming people for things beyond their control. And for the love of whoever you believe in, stop picking on those who are already suffering!!
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Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community