There’s a lot of scrutiny out there looming for moms today. Gone is the age of parenting behind closed doors and never discussing that time we lost our cool and smacked our teenager across the face the way our mother did to us. We swore we wouldn’t be that mother, and yet here we are. Every move we make is under someone’s magnifying glass these days.
Mothers don’t seem to be allowed any wiggle room. There’s no place for mistakes in motherhood nowadays. If we don’t do it perfectly, people will find out about it, and we will be vilified. Sometimes, the mistakes we make aren’t even truly our fault, but we are still blamed.
Mothers who’ve caught the backlash that comes with publicly wronging their child or making choices that aren’t so PC know all too well what it’s like to try to live in the aftermath of that shame. The embarrassment runs deep, and many of them resort to changing their appearance or even moving to escape the rumors and gossip. Let’s pause to consider just how damaging a little chatter about the neighbors can be, and just how in the wrong we are for discussing it.
14Leaving The Baby In The Back Seat
We’ve all heard this story one too many times. Mom is so hurried trying to get all of the kids ready for school and out the door. If she’s late to work again, it could cost her her entire career. She’s worked hard to get where she is, and she’s determined to prove she can both rock it as a wife and mother, and as a working woman. But life keeps getting in the way.
When toddlers have meltdowns because they want to wear the shoes you can’t find, teenagers oversleep, and babies require twice as much attention as those two combined, a busy mother can feel like she’s being pulled in every possible direction.
By the time she drops everyone off at school and carpools the neighbor’s kids, too, she’s deep in thought about what excuse she’ll give her boss this time and how she’ll handle the presentation that’s due this afternoon that she hasn’t finished. Sometimes, somehow, it slips a parent’s mind that the baby is still in the back seat waiting to be dropped off at daycare.
The media loves to descend on these stories. They capitalize on the parent’s grief. The press will plaster the headlines with words like unfit and world’s worst mother. How would a mother ever bounce back from this? Would we even expect them to? Would they just continue to make poor choices and mistake after mistake? So, are we helping the situation?
13Abandoning The Baby
How many times have we heard this excuse? Some women seem to think that an unintentional pregnancy somehow excludes them from having to follow through and be a stand-up parent. Like mothers who abandon their babies. It happens all the time.
Picture it. Mom gets pregnant. She may or may not even know who the father is. She doesn’t want to give up her lifestyle. She doesn’t want to figure out how to be a mother when she didn’t have a quality example of one herself. She doesn’t want to live with the guilt of not being able to provide for her child the way she thinks she should. Regardless of the reason, it always boils down to what the mother wants.
What about the child who will grow up not knowing their mother? What about the adult that said child will grow into some day? They’ll have no medical information or any knowledge about their mother. The only thing they’ll know is that their mother didn’t want them. Swell!
On the flipside, these women know too much, and wish they could forget it. They know what it felt like to hold their son or daughter. They have every detailed memory intact of their birth. They know the name they gave that child, what their cries sounded like, and how it felt to leave them in a dumpster or outside of a hospital knowing they’d never see their child again. They get to live with all of that.
12Taking Her Baby's Life
We have to tread carefully here. There’s a fine line between compassion and hate. Can we support women suffering from mental illness while simultaneously judging them for the choices they make? How are neurotypical people who don’t suffer from these illnesses supposed to really relate?
Take the case of Otty Sanchez. With a history of schizophrenia and multiple hospitalizations in her past, Otty suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her only son. Her moods were volatile and unpredictable. She would sway from being a loving mother in one moment to a panic in the next.
Hindsight is 20-20 apparently, because it shocked everyone when Otty claimed it was the devil who influenced her to butcher her infant and eat parts of his body. Even with intensive therapy during her struggle with PPD, illness took over and ruined Otty’s life. Afterward, she expressed waves of sincere grief and sorrow. Fluctuations between reality and a far-off place Otty would venture to in her mind are likely the only thing that would keep any mother stable who had realized what she’d done in this situation.
11Force Feeding Baby Illegal Substances
Drug and alcohol abuse are nothing new among parents. In 2009 alone, 23.5 million people sought treatment for a substance abuse problem. Many of them were mommies. Children of substance abusers are far more likely to grow up and develop these habits themselves. For example, children of alcoholics are at a four-fold increased risk of becoming an alcoholic themselves someday, compared to children of non-alcoholics.
But mothers take things to a whole new level when they deliberately introduce their children to booze and drugs. One such case is that of Rochelle Daniels, a 39-year old Pennsylvania mother who was accused of forcing her 5-year old son to smoke crack last year. The likelihood of addiction is far greater the younger a child begins to use drugs.
It’s difficult not to judge a mother that would put her son through this. Whether she was in her right mind or not at the time isn’t up for debate. People don’t care. What they care about is making sure children like these don’t slip through the cracks and grow up to be addicts. What they care about is breaking the cycle. Who has time to care about a mother like that?
10Going Back To The Bad Guy
Around 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys are molested during childhood. Most of the time, the perpetrator is someone they know. That’s just how it was for Anna Cardwell — daughter of June Shannon, a popular celebrity mother from the hit TV show Here Comes Honey Boo Boo.
News broke in 2014 that Anna was molested at the age of eight by June’s ex-boyfriend, Mark McDaniel. One of June’s other daughters was present during the alleged acts that Anna detailed in a 2003 police report. She noted that McDaniel would urinate on her, touch her private parts, and threaten that he wouldn’t like her anymore if she told anyone about it.
Okay. This shit does happen. He went to jail for a decade. The girls seemed to heal from the experience. So, what’s the big deal? The big deal is he served his term and got out of jail, and Mama June was then seen hanging out with the scumbag! What kind of mother does that?
9Taking Anger Out On Her Disabled Baby
When a child is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, we blame the mother. Notably, there is no known safe limit of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Every medical organization warns against it. Thus, mothers who don’t heed that advice are shamed.
Well what about when a home birth goes terribly wrong and the child ends up disabled as a result? When Mariella Frostrup received an angry letter from a woman upset with her sister-in-law for choosing a home birth that ended up causing permanent damage for her nephew, she didn’t get what she was expecting in return.
Mariella’s delivery was on point stating, “Although you admit to carrying huge anger, I wonder if you understand how much that anger is carrying you.” In a nutshell, she put the angry SIL in her place and reminded her that she should be empathizing with her brother and SIL right now in support of them, not placing blame on a mother for choosing a birth that research shows is safe for low-risk patients, which she was. Proof that shaming the mother doesn’t always work out in your favor. It seems as though the SIL was the truly damaged party in this equation.
8Forcing Her Child To Have Plastic Surgery
Ah yes, parents who allow their children — or pressure their children — to get plastic surgery. Don’t you want to look more like Mommy? Or Kim Kardashian? Don’t you want your nose to be paper thin like Michael Jackson’s with a booty like Nikki Minaj? Come on…
Whether it’s a nose job for their son or breast implants for their daughter, many parents have tried to rationalize these choices by saying it was all in the name of love. They were tired of seeing their children being bullied for having a big schnoz or a flat chest, and they decided to do something about it.
What in the hell is wrong with these parents that the oodles of other ways they could’ve proactively diffused this situation didn’t occur to them before they consented to plastic surgery for their children? What message are they sending their kids in the end? That they actually did need to be fixed to be loved?
7Force Feeding Her Baby
Obesity has been a problem that has slowly encroached upon American society in the last few decades. In the 1970s, TV dinners became all the rage. They were full of sodium and kicked off the trend of shelf-stable foods that were readily available for busy families with two working parents.
We’re way past that now, though. Crock pots and microwaves coupled with Pinterest make it all too easy for working mothers to make a quick meal that isn’t completely void of all nutrition. In a nutshell, there’s no excuse for your third grader to weigh 100 pounds!
There is a point in time when baby fat is no longer cute or healthy, and school-aged children who are three times the size of their peers shouldn’t be toting Oreos and PB&J’s to school with a bag of chips and a sugary juice box or soda to wash it all down. These poor children are being set up for failure in the guise of a health catastrophe, and it’s all your fault, Mom!
6Making Her Kids Think Hitting Is Normal
In an age of natural parenting and rules of attachment that parents are shoving down one another’s throats, the word abuse is used pretty lightly. Is a slap on the bottom abuse? Who is the ultimate authority to say so? Truthfully, your child.
They won’t be little forever. As an adult, they’ll most certainly form opinions about whether or not your parenting tactics were up to snuff. Did you lose your cool too often? Did you lash out in anger instead of use those tense times as an opportunity to teach a lesson?
Did you cross the line? Many parents do. Every year, around 700,000 American kids are abused — most often by their own parents. Sadly, very few of these parents understand the error of their ways. Many make excuses, claiming that they too were abused as a child and they turned out fine.
When a mother is publicly crucified for abusing her child, there’s nowhere left to turn. The media will vilify her. The child will likely turn away from her. Her attorney will try to paint a picture of a damaged woman. That’s the key. They’re always damaged. Healthy, stable women don’t abuse their kids.
5Posting Inappropriate Mommy Selfies
For crying out loud, who in the hell is telling these mothers it’s appropriate to take scantily clad selfies and post them online at all, let alone with their children in tow? We’ve seen one too many pictures of moms wearing little to nothing on Instagram and Reddit with their toddler in the background looking awfully perplexed at what Mommy is doing.
Can we say attention wh***? These are the same moms who have no problem posting public images of their children on the Internet half naked in the bath tub for any Tom, Dick or Harry to pick up and do God knows what with. They’re the same women who are so embroiled in their own scam to garner male — or female — attention that they’ll subject their children to their low down, dirty tricks all in the name of a few likes.
4Puffing While Pregnant
Some moms like to lounge by the pool sipping their favorite cocktail when they’re pregnant, and they expect others to mind their own business and not bat an eye. Others will smoke pot laced with crack throughout their pregnancy and cite the benefits of it in treating their anxiety — all the while claiming the negative impact of an anxiety attack would harm their developing baby more than the drugs will.
They’re not doctors. They’re drug users and drunks, and they just happen to be budding mothers, too. One thing’s for sure, the rest of us aren’t cool with it. There may be no stronger contrast than the image of a pregnant mother smoking a cigarette or chasing a shot of Jack. We judge these women at first glance, and many of them seem like they don’t understand why. Or, are they just playing dumb hoping to escape responsibility for their child?
A mother who drinks during her pregnancy may deliver a perfectly healthy baby — and no one will likely ever mention her escapades again. But should that child be born with a disorder or developmental issues present, we’ll give you one guess as who’s to blame — and rightfully so. In the aftermath, these mothers have to live with the fact that their inability to take control of their lives for just nine months could significantly ruin someone else’s.
3Taking Drastic Measures
When Lacey Spears moved to Chestnut Ridge, New York with her 5-year old son, Garnett, her neighbors and fellow area citizens were puzzled. She’d talked for a long time about her son being a failure to thrive baby with multiple mystery diagnoses that left doctors baffled about his condition. He couldn’t eat, said his mom, but locals saw him eating at a local diner. This and many other issues that conflicted with Lacey’s initial reports gave rise to suspicion.
Then, during a hospital stay after Spears had rushed her son to the ER for reportedly having a seizure, the child was suddenly found to be brain dead after several days of passing diagnostic testing with flying colors. The cause of death? A lethal dose of salt administered by dear old mom.
Today, Lacey is serving 20 years in a federal prison — a sentence that only just started in 2014. Since then, she has detailed several accounts of being bullied by other inmates. Many dump salt on her food in an effort to play on her emotions regarding the manner in which she murdered her son. What does she expect? Sympathy?
2Partying All The Time
Maybe they’re just selfish. Maybe they’re lonely. Perhaps they’re self-medicating due to some deep-seeded issues with their own childhood that they’ve left buried and never dealt with. The reasons why some moms refuse to grow up and parent their children adequately rarely matter.
The tale of the mom that can’t quit partying is nothing new. Some of them as Cassey Anthony types whose child could be missing and they’re out boozing it up and dancing on tabletops in bars. Others may put their children’s lives at serious risk all for a good night out. Such as the case of 19-year old Amanda Hawkins, who left her 1- and 2-year old children in a car to cry alone all night for 15 hours while she partied with friends. Both children perished after the long stint in the car in 92-degree weather, and Mom was charged with their deaths.
1Getting A Homemade Abortion
Back in 2016, Tennessee native Anna Yocca was arrested for attempting to abort her baby 24 weeks into pregnancy with a coat hanger. Due to heavy bleeding, Yocca sought medical attention at a local hospital, and it was there that the premature baby boy was delivered via Cesarean section.
Weighing just 1.5 pounds, the baby had suffered extensive injuries that were likely from the coat hanger. Initially charged with attempted murder, Yocca ended up taking a plea bargain accepting one felony count on the attempt to procure a miscarriage.
While abortion rights activists were up in arms over this case insisting that Yocca should’ve had better access to a medical abortion during her pregnancy, the rest of the public across the globe have slammed her for being what they have deemed a murderer.
Sources: NIDA, NACOA, CBS, NSOPW, The Guardian, National Children’s Alliance
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