There is never any excuse for a mother killing her children, but as far back as Medea, women have taken the lives of their children in revenge for their husband betraying them with another woman. That may have been what was behind the tragedy that unfolded in Tacony, Pennsylvania yesterday. A man, Ron Smalls, frantically called police to report that his youngest children, 1-and-a-half-year-old twins named Adam and Eve, were dead, apparently by suffocation. He also reported that his wife, Stacey Smalls, had tried to poison their 4-year-old. But she is okay.
The wife had also made numerous attempts to kill herself, and had left behind a suicide note implicating her husband in having an affair with a family member.
In recent weeks, Stacey had also changed her status from "married" to "divorced" on Facebook (even though the couple were not divorced). She had also changed her profile photo to a picture of a car that was scrawled with the words: "I hope she was worth it."
When a friend asked about the photo, Stacey replied that the friend "should see" what she had written on her husband's wall, but the husband had apparently deleted it.
There's no proof that the husband was cheating, but at its most gruesome and tragic, the trauma of infidelity can lead to infanticide. I recently watched an episode of a television show, where a woman killed four children to get back at the two fathers who had left her to raise them alone. She spared her nephew, who was visiting that night, since she had no beef with her brother.
Do not get me wrong, there is never, EVER any excuse for killing your children. Your children were brought into this world by YOU. They didn't ask to be brought into this world. If you bring children into this world, they deserve your love, care, and protection.
But too often people feel distraught by the betrayal of a spouse, and the looming threat of custody battles or the economic and general life hardship of being a single parent. People who cheat may not think about their spouse -- but they need to think about their children. There can be unintended and very tragic consequences to cheating.
Could cheating drive someone over the edge?
Image via LizMarie_AK/ Flickr