I read somewhere recently that moms are six times more likely to be called "bad" on the Internet than dads. I'm not surprised. After all, the story of a mom who abandoned her baby at a Texas hospital, then showed up in court to tell the judge she wanted him back has brought out a spectacular amount of hate when you consider the facts of her case.
Authorities say the unnamed mom followed Texas' Moses Law when she took her healthy infant, wrapped him in a blanket, and placed him in a tub, then dropped him off at an urgent care clinic. When she showed up in court a few weeks later, she explained to the judge that she already had three kids at home and was scared she couldn't handle a fourth.
Can you blame her?
The mom has asked the judge to give the abandoned infant to a member of her family so that she can be a part of his life once again. She's explained that her change of heart comes in part because she's found out she does have that family there to support her with four kids.
I can't help but respect that.
I'm about to share something the parenting books won't. The first few days after a baby is born can be the worst of your life. You're exhausted, but you're too scared to sleep. Your child is crying and you can't figure out why, and if you're trying to figure out the whole breastfeeding thing, your nipples feel like someone took a cheese grater to them.
I have just one child and this was my introduction to parenting. Now imagine four kids plus all that. This is why safe haven laws exist at all. Because we don't have many resources for new parents. There is no nurse visiting for free like there is in many other first world nations. There is no break for a new mother.
As a result, parenting a newborn can take you to the very edge of your limits, and some people -- sadly -- have gone over. We have countless stories of kids who were murdered by frustrated parents.
But this mom didn't do that. She did the right thing, the only thing moms can really do under the law.
It may sound cold, it may sound callous, but she did the best she could for that little guy in a pretty crappy situation. To me that counts as good parenting. It's putting a baby's needs ahead of your own.
So why shouldn't she get her baby back?
Image via olivierthereaux/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside