Occasionally I get my feelers hurt on the Facespace, and usually I don't talk about it on the blog, but tonight I feel like was one of those "you think I'M THE ASSHOLE?!?" moments.
Apparently some lady forgot one of her four small children in a parking lot in 100-degree heat. And moms all over the innernet are coming out to support her.
I just...no. I don't see this ever happening to "any mom." I had "Irish Twins." The older one didn't sleep through the night until he was twenty-one months old due to recurrent ear infections and a developmental delay. The younger one was allergic to THE PROTEIN MOLECULE, and had a feeding tube from seven weeks of age. My ex started an affair while the younger one was in the hospital, and I had VERY LITTLE SUPPORT.
I still never forgot anyone in a grocery cart for forty minutes, especially in 100-degree heat. In fact, I sought therapy for OCD tendencies because I had health issues that made fainting in public a very real fear, and when I couldn't get someone to go shopping with me I would have panic attacks in parking lots because I would worry about whether it was better to get everyone into the minivan and the AC turned on and then put the cart back in the cart corral or get everyone into the minivan with doors open and then put the cart away. The end result was that the psychiatrist I saw put me on something for anxiety but said it wasn't an entirely unreasonable fear on my part and indicated that I was a good mother who was concerned for her childrens' wellbeing.
I never fucking LEFT SOMEONE IN THE CART CORRAL AND DROVE HOME WITH THE REST OF THE CHILDREN.
Am I saying the woman who did this (notice that I do not say "the woman this happened to," because I do not believe in absolving her of all blame linguistically or otherwise) deserves to lose her kids, go to jail, etc.? Not necessarily. I don't know the situation. Maybe she needs a better support system, maybe medication could help her, maybe she's super sleep-deprived and needs a day off...I don't know. But do I feel like this is a normal thing to do, that could "happen to anyone?" No. No I do not.
To the friend I lost on the facespace: I don't feel like YOU are a bad mother. But for every example of a mother who had something similar happen and turned it around, I worry that there is one (or more) example of a mother who didn't, for whom this was an early warning sign, and maybe I see this differently because I had a neglectful mother growing up, but I feel like we as a society need to worry more about protecting that baby than that mother.
And if that costs me a friend on the facespace, or anywhere else? I'm okay with that.