Here's a good reminder that the choices we make are not made in a vacuum -- they're bound to affect the ones around us. A young Alabama mom is in jail, and her 2-year-old is in the foster system after the toddler was found wandering in the woods. In his hands? His mother's suicide note!
Now obviously Katie Halbert is alive -- or she wouldn't be facing misdemeanor charges here. And thank goodness for it. Suicide is never the answer. But then, neither is allowing a toddler to wander around the woods just because you're having a tough time.
I don't want to sound unsympathetic about Halbert's plight here. Being suicidal is no laughing matter. I hope she gets the help she needs -- for her sake and for her son's.
But I'm getting a little tired of parents putting their kids in danger because of their own personal problems. Look at the dad charged this week with attempted murder after he allegedly threw his 2-year-old off a motel balcony. Cops said he'd called the boy's mom and asked her to come home because he was frustrated. When she couldn't, cops say he threw the kid over the balcony and then jumped. Again ... putting the child in danger because he was too wrapped up in his own issues.
In Halbert's case, she doesn't seem to have called anyone at all. It was when the child was found in the woods with mom's note that police were called to look for her. When they did find her, cops charged her with third-degree domestic violence/reckless endangerment.
The thing is, when you have a child -- whether it's your own or one you are simply caring for at the moment -- you don't get to put yourself first anymore. You took on the mantle of being the responsible adult. You OWE it to that child to be there for them, to keep them safe because they can't do it themselves.
If you can't keep a child safe, you shouldn't be in charge of them. Period. And if you don't hand the child over to someone who can keep them safe, well ... expect to land in jail.
Do you have any sympathy for this mom? What do you think should be done with her?
Image via Etowah County Sheriff's Office
If the words someone is using indicate they may be considering suicide, or if you yourself have wrestled with the idea, please reach out to a suicide hotline. There is ALWAYS someone there who wants to listen and who will take you seriously. You can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).