I am so sick of the news lately. I’m tired of seeing mass shootings, clown politicians, drug overdoses and children dying. It makes me so horribly sad and to be honest, quite sick to my stomach.
The same with social media. I can’t scroll through my Facebook newsfeed without seeing articles plastered throughout, “Child Dies in Hot Car.”, “Child Burned with Water Hose.”, “3-year-old Accidentally Shoots Mother.”. It’s getting completely out of control. Between the Orlando shootings, the poor little boy who was killed by the alligator and most recently, the 3 year old twins found dead in a hot truck – I CAN’T TAKE IT. I can’t even imagine the pain, heartache and sadness associated with such sad events.
I want to talk about something though; I want to talk about accountability. Now, this may rub some of you the wrong way and some of you may agree with me, but I want to talk about PARENTAL accountability. I’m not one to place blame without reading the facts and I’m not one to wag my finger in the face of another parent when I, myself, am not perfect.
As you may know, my daughter, Charlee, is two years old. She’s at an age where she thinks she knows what’s best and she thinks she’s the boss, she pushes limits and tests boundaries; that’s where I come into play. I, as her mother, am present and constantly teaching her and guiding her. When her toddler train comes a’roarin and starts to derail, I’m the one who gets her back on the tracks. What does that mean? It means I am accountable for everything she does and everything that happens to her. That is my duty, right and privilege as a parent.
If Charlee gets a sunburn – I should be held accountable. If Charlee wades into water that’s too deep – I should be held accountable. If Charlee pulls the fire alarm at the shopping mall – I should be held accountable. If Charlee sits in a sweltering hot car because I made a “mistake” – I should be held accountable.
See where I’m going with this? I’m not saying that accidents don’t happen; just this past weekend, I encouraged Charlee to run on a trail while hiking and she immediately took a tumble which resulted in a nice goose-egg on her forehead – totally my fault, I was held accountable. I feel horrible for the parents whose children get hurt, suffer or even worse – die -, due to things that could have been prevented. A mistake is forgetting someones birthday or leaving breastmilk out on the counter after pumping, these things suck. A mistake is NOT forgetting your baby in the backseat of your car while you head into the office for the day. A mistake is NOT allowing your child to play in a restricted area with warning signs. A mistake is NOT taking a nap while your twin 3-year-old children play outdoors on a sweltering hot, Louisiana day and curiously climb into a truck.
Our children’s lives are in our hands. I know parenting is hard, believe me, I have struggles and battles as much as the next person and again, I am not claiming to be perfect. All I’m asking is for people to stop sugarcoating things, stop allowing horrible, preventable acts to be labeled “mistakes”.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go take a particularly adorable little girl who just woke up from her nap to the park.