Mom Who Left Baby Outside So She Could Eat Inside Was Right

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A mom in Massachusetts who left her baby outside of a restaurant in a stroller while she dined inside was being investigated by the authorities on Monday. Her defense? She's Swedish. And guess what else? She is right.

In Scandinavia it's perfectly normal to leave your baby outside. While she wasn't in Sweden, she was in Amherst, Massachusetts, where, perhaps, we're the ones who need to adjust. The fact is, we parents in the US do tend to be the hover-y, overly concerned types. We would sooner wake a sleeping baby and drag him screaming into a restaurant than let him sleep outside. That is just our culture. 

It's sad, really. I would never even think to leave my child outside anywhere, even in my own neighborhood. And the reason is fear.

Our culture is so full of fear that if I lose sight of my little blond son for three seconds out in public, panic sets in. Even if I see him on the fifth second, those two seconds in between feel like an eternity.

I am always waiting for the bogeyman to jump out of the bushes. If I could put my kids in a helmet and knee pads and not feel like a complete moron, you better believe I would.

A similar case won a Danish mom more than $60,000 in compensatory damages from New York City after she was arrested for leaving her baby daughter in a stroller on a New York City sidewalk to go inside a restaurant for a drink.

We US parents wouldn't dream of such a thing. In New York City no less! But realistically, our notions of the dangers are hyped up thanks to overactive imaginations and a 24-hour news cycle that seems to feature only the many horrors that befall children all over the country.

Our sense of danger is all out of whack in this culture, and we will see as the comments roll in just how. My bet is that 99 percent of you will see this mom as wrong. You will say you would never do it yourself. And you know what? I wouldn't either. But that doesn't mean she is wrong. We are. And it's sad.

Do you think this mom was wrong?


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SandM... SandMsMama

WOW that's just irresponsible! kidnapping exsists, and when traveling you need to brush up on the laws of the land. there is no excuse for leaving your child alone in any public space, especially with NO RESPONSIBLE ADULTS AROUND.

sofia... sofia0587

Does someone watch the kids outside though in scandanavia? Im not one to put other cultures down but unless there are 0 kidnappings there I would never leave my kid alone outside.

Lo1427 Lo1427

hmmm... I don't even think it's just about safety for me. I just can't even imagine leaving my baby outside like an animal.

Lulu_B Lulu_B

I agree. We live in a culture of fear. We are taight to think that there are rapists/molesters/murderers around every corner and behind every bush. However, this culture is too ingrained in me to be able to say that this mom was 'right,' I don't think that she was 'wrong' either.


I am fine and well adjusted. I was left outside to play by myself. I ran around the neighborhood after dark playing flashlight tag. No one that I know was ever kidnapped or molested (except by family memebers, which is a whole different story). Same goes for my parents and grandparents. We are all fine, so why is there so much fear now?

Isabe... Isabella204

Would the child be OK himself/herself with being left outside alone?  Mine would scream bloody murder!  I think most children would not enjoy being left outside by themselves while their parent disappeared inside for any length of time.  Otherwise I agree with you.  Also, what is the benefit of leaving the child outside rather than taking him/her inside with you?

nonmember avatar Eva

See, I can get that it's a Scandinavia pratice or whatnot and that's fine... there. But here she had to have noticed that there wasn't a line of strollers outside of the diner. And though I agree we live in a culture of fear and that we need to lighten up, I just don't think leaving babies out in the heat or that far out of an adult's eyeshot is a good idea!

Polly... PollyMarie

We do live in a culture of fear. At the same time we live in a country that has relaxed laws that does not have strict enough laws on people who break the law. If you look at other countries and cultures they have much more strict laws and less crime. Some countries have very low crime rates. What is culturally accepted elsewhere may not be here and vice versa. I personally would not leave my child unattended even if I knew no one would bother her. She may over heat. A bug may sting her. Her tummy may start hurting. I worked to hard for 9 years to get her to let anything that I can have cntrol over hurt her.

Vicki Fry

Madeleine McCann was left alone in a hotel room because her parents didn't want to bring her and her infant brothers to dinner with their friends and guess what? She was abducted. It's a lot harder to break into a hotel room than it is to snatch a child off the street.

hutch... hutchfam2007

I agree with previous posters that said what bennefit does it stand to you or your child to leave them outside??? To each their own, and every culture is different but it sounds like swedish people treat their kids like 3rd world citizens! Why would you leave your kid sitting outside so you as an adult could go in and eat, drink, and be merry? idk I dont get it I guess....


what about the possibility that your child breaks free of their stroller restraints and walks off into traffic? anything can happen. why take your eyes of your most prized posession and open up the CHANCE of anything bad happening? I cant say I think she was "right" even with the authors justification.

jalaz77 jalaz77

Um yes I do feel she was wrong. This is America and sorry our culture does not do something so lazy, or the law does not allow a parent to be so lazy. It is lazy. If you want to have period of freedom get a damn babysitter or ask hubby to stay home.

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