Should Distracted Moms Be Punished?


toddler in trafficYet another toddler escaped from his home and ran into traffic. Thank goodness this time the tot was scooped up and not harmed as he wandered into a road near his Staten Island home. But his mother won't be so lucky to escape unscathed. And also, this time, I wonder how much this busy mom should really be punished.

When a mom is passed out and not caring for her toddler, or otherwise unavailable for nefarious reasons, the book should be thrown right at her negligent head. But this mom was working feverishly on her tax return, and didn't notice her 20-month-old son slip out the door. So should she be treated as badly, as say, a drug addict who deliberately places her child's life in danger?

My own toddler tries valiantly to open our front door. Luckily, he's too short and we don't let him out of our sight. However, when I'm trying to get dinner on the table, he has been known to pull a trick or two when I'm otherwise indisposed. And yes, I have been guilty of not making sure the deadbolt is locked. Although most of the time I'm extra careful when it comes to my wily toddler.

The point is, no mom is perfect. And if a mom is trying to get her taxes in by the deadline, she shouldn't be treated like someone who is abusive and negligent. We can all look on in judgment and say we'd never do that. And most of us wouldn't. But one mistake -- one innocent mistake -- can have dire consequences.

The 21-year-old mom was arrested on charges of endangering the welfare of a child. She did do that, but I hope the judge in the case has some compassion. After all, if the family dog had gone with the child, we'd all be saying how heart-warming this story was. Instead, we're blaming a mom who was just trying to take care of family business.

Do you think this mom should be punished?


Image via imcountingufoz/Flickr

child care, safety, working moms


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AngiW... AngiWinters

Yes I think she should be punished....because no amount of $ is more important then a childs life being a mother comes alot of malti tasking but first and for most the child comes first. 

Jak Cast

We have no idea what the real story behind this was.  The article didn't really give any details - does the mother have history with CPS for being negligent, was she drinking or did she appear impaired, did the neighbors report that the toddler was often found outside, etc etc.  All we know is that her baby was on the street and the mother said she was doing her taxes.  Could be that she actually was doing them and this was an innocent but scary turn of events - or it could be that she is a negligent parent who used "taxes" as the first responsible sounding explanation she could get her hands on when asked why she let her baby out the door.  Who knows.

Pishyah Pishyah

Just like in schools, we expect people to be perfect and punish them for not succeeding at an impossible task.  Things will happen.  Children will get hurt.  They will do crazy things.  It isn't always going to be someone's fault and we shouldn't always try to lay the blame on someone.

gbrew... gbrewster

I was in Walmart last night. I heard this crying and sniffling coming from one aisle over. What I didn't hear was anyone comforting the child. So when the little boy emerged from his aisle, I asked him if he was ok, thinking I would see a parent at any moment..... wrong. The little boy said, "I've lost my mommy".  We walked with the child for a good 10 minutes looking for his mother before taking the next 5 minutes to take this kid to customer service so he could be reported and do you know...... CODE ADAM never came over the speaker?

Parents not keeping tabs on their kids regardless of the circumstances should be held accountable when the childs life has been put in danger. 

That toddler could have been hit. The drug addicts kid could have OD'd on whatever the mother left behind. The kid I found in Walmart could have run into the wrong person and been taken, molested, killed..... All sorts of dangers are out there and it is our job as parents to protect our kids from those dangers,

jalaz77 jalaz77

If this is a situation that has happened time after time then yes. Yes this could have ended badly. You cannot put a mother like this one in the same category as a drugged, alcoholic mom. To you perfect mothers who thinks she should be punished, shame on you. I pray no mistake ever happens to you while your children are in your care or while someone elses care. No she should not be punished, this is my opinion with the info given to me in tie article. I had one friend who took a quick shower, didn't hear her kid anymore, saw a chair by the door, he figured out how to unlock the door and open it. She ran outside found him thankfully. Kids are smart....locks on doors are way to low. We have scared oir kids into going outside by themselves by saying a stranger will take you and you may never see mommy and daddy again. So our 5 y/o ALWAYS asks. Point is this mom made a mistake that will probably never be made again and some thinks she should be punished? Give me a break, "perfect" mommies......

jalaz77 jalaz77

Sorry about the typos in my post.....fat fingers this morning I guess.

Saras... Sarasahmof3

I did the shower escape on my mom when I was little.  But this could have happened while mom was going potty.  My one son snuck out while I was changing his brother diaper.  Things like this happen in an instant and NO ONE IS PERFECT. Should she be punished, NO. It happens. Hopefully the judge has the good old common sense that God gave him and throws this case out the window.

Heather Swagga

Based on just what was in this article, no I don't think she should be punished. However, she really could have waited until her toddler was in bed before doing something so consuming like a tax return. Toddlers are known for getting into all sorts of situations. Thank god she/he wasn't hit by a car or taken by some psychopath. 

What really would make a difference for me is if she had a history with CPS, being too busy to be a mom(and to pay attention to your child) can be just as much of a problem as a mom who's hooked on drugs. 

elfis... elfishpirat

Why couldn't she have done her taxes during naptime or after he went to bed? My son can unlock and open the door, so we have to be constantly vigilant, at least until we get a deadbolt for the top of the door, out of reach. The point is that mothers need to pay more attention to their kids.

nonmember avatar KMac

If this turns out to be the fifth (or second) time this has happened... if we find out she was on drugs or drunk... then yes, she should probably be punished. But honestly, if this is an one-time issue, don't you think this mother is punishing herself?

It was a mistake. No mother is perfect. I think the comment about "no amount of money is worth your child's life" from the first commenter is completely sanctimonious. She was doing her taxes, not rolling around in her drug money, for crying out loud. One day, as teenagers, my sister and I were watching our 2-year-old nephew, and cleaning house at the same time. I thought he was with her, she thought he was with me, and in actuality he had gotten out the front door and was playing in the yard. He was fine and we were guilt-ridden and we learned our lesson. I bet this woman has too. Let's not vilify her just because she's supposed to be the all-perfect mother.

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