Women With Dangerous Jobs Risk Leaving Their Children Motherless: Could You?

Maria GorrostietaAs Mayor of Tiquicheo, in western Mexico, Maria Santos Gorrostieta survived two assassination attempts, lost her husband in one and was still brave enough to take on the drug cartels in the region. Now, tragically, the body of the 36 -year-old mother was found in a ditch with a blow to the head three days after her family had reported her missing.

It is a heartbreaking end to what was a story of heroism, bravery and unbelievable tragedy. Gorrostieta was first attacked as mayor in October 2009 while the cartels were attacking many mayors. Her husband Jose Sanchez was killed in the cross fire. Three months later Ms Gorrostieta was severely wounded in another attack and had to wear a colostomy bag. She bravely posted photos of her wounds and shared the stories of her attack to highlight the violence and the inability of government officials to stop it. 

Now she is dead and many are wondering whether it was all worth it. Her poor sons and daughter are now left without their mom. And for what? What did she really change?

The question is one for any dangerous profession. Every day military professionals, police officers, fire people and more put their lives on the line for their profession. Obviously it is all to varying degrees.

Not everyone is going up against the danger Gorrostieta was. Not everyone has been hit not once, but twice because of her job. Her activism was brave, but the cost was enormous. Growing up without a mother is not something I would wish on my worst enemy. I know because I lived it. It is something that never gets better.

On the other hand, someone has to stand up to these people who think violence and thuggery are OK. Someone has to be the brave one and put their life on the line.

As parents, we wonder this kind of thing all the time. It's not the same by any means, but as a girl I loved to sky dive and drive fast and do all kinds of dangerous things. As a mom, I tone it way, way back. I would never even think of doing anything to endanger my life. My kids need me. Is it our parental code to keep ourselves out of harm's way?

It's hard to say. It's also not a one size fits all answer. For me, as a mom, my answer is yes. I would never do a job that would risk my life or make my kids risk losing me. And yes, I know I could get hit by a car or fall off a ladder and that life is full of risk. But why take unnecessary ones?

I see my role as getting my kids "launched" and I will do anything to make sure that happens. On the other hand, I admire women who stand up to danger and do the "right" thing for the greater masses, too. It's a personal choice. There is no right or wrong answer. But my guess is that Gorrostieta's children may have another opinion. My heart goes out to them.

Do you think it is bad to do dangerous work as a mom?


Image via jayneandd/Flickr



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nonmember avatar kaerae

So the next time you bash illegals for having the AUDACITY to cross the border, and "Why don't they just fix their own country?" THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY TRY!!!!!

Sierr... SierraLynn

I think its a double standard to men and dangerous work. I used to be in the Army and deployed several times to a warzone. Does that make me a bad parent? No, I had a job to to do. A job I chose before I had children. Even women and men who choose a dangerous profession after children are in the picture are not selfish. They are people trying to right by their families and maybe even following a dream.

EmmaF... EmmaFromEire

I'm with you sierra, when a man does it it's deemed noble, when it's a woman she's demonised. 

Felly... FellyScarlett

Was it worth it? What did she change? Are you honestly judging a woman who died standing up to drug cartels? You've clearly never had anyone close to you die in this conflict, and those of us who have would appreciate it if you would stop posting stupid articles.

Austin Keenan

They assassinated her husband first?!    I'd stop at that point.    You definitely don't want to leave your kids with no parent.    You'd want to plan for it if you did continue so it wouldn't be left up in the air as t who would take care of them.

Tracys2 Tracys2

In a normal situation, any parent should feel free to do what he or she is called to do. Doing any less will teach the child to compromise what they believe in.

The situation in the article is different. When one parent is already gone, there is an additional moral call to remain healthy. Whether the moral call to stay alive for the kids or to try to better the world is the greater, many may debate, but it's definitely more complex than your average "Can a mom be a firefighter or join the army?"

Heath... Heathp721

As a police officer for 7 years and a mom of 5 (2 biological and 3 step kids with no biological mom in their life ages 9 months to 12 years) I have thought about this a lot. I started this job before I had children and I took a lot of unnecessary risks (not waiting for back up, chasing armed drug dealers by myself, ect) all bc I was young and stupid and also bc I didn't want to appear scared or weak to my coworkers. As I've matured I've learned how to do my job as safe as possible but I know if it comes down to it I will be forced to put my life on the line for an innocent person. I have realized though that I will quit if I am ever shot or seriously injured bc the danger will no longer be abstract and I will not be able to do my job correctly always being scared. I know my job can be dangerous but I also know that women (mothers) are needed in this line of work bc we have a different approach and relate differently then men and I can look back and say that I have made a huge difference in the lives of some. I love my kids more than anything and bc of my job I feel like I know more and can protect them better than most mothers so there is an upside.

nonmember avatar Badge83

I've been a police officer for 9 years now (NY), and in that time I've seen a lot and subsequently grown up from being a 21 year old rookie to a seasoned vet. Do I take unncessary risks? Depends. As any other cop knows, half the time central (dispatch) doesn't relay all the job details, and god only knows what you're walking into, or with whom you're dealing. You just have to keep a level head and sharp eye out all the time. Just sitting too long at a red light around here can draw fire or unwanted attention. I don't get the hype about "safe" jobs--anything can happen at any given time that's beyond one's control; by that logic life is dangerous. Auto collisions, natural disasters, disgruntled people shooting up their ex place of employment, terrorism, etc. I'm going to do my job to the best of my ability to make sure you stay protected, and I'll enjoy it. My daughter is proud of both her parents being LEOs, and maybe one day she'll wear the blue. I personally feel that my perspective as a woman, wife, and mother make me a better patrol cop. It's easier to read and interpret people's subtleties and respond to them appropriately. I wouldn't trade my job for anything (well, I would like a gold shield soon, hahahaha).

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