Monday, August 22, 2011


I am not usually one who comments on another mother's parenting style, but there are somethings that have been going on lately with an acquaintance that have really been bothering me.  I don't want to go into too many details just because I don't was to give her identification away, but I want to make sure that I am not alone in my feelings.  There are hundreds of no-no's that we learn when we first become a parent (or hopefully even before).  We've all heard them before: cover your outlets, protect baby from sharp edges, put breakable items out of their reach, lock up your cleaning supplies, etc...  The list goes on and on and most are common sense things.

However, the one thing that I never though I'd have to advise a new mother against is not to leave your baby outside all alone.  I'm sure that this is never brought up in any parenting classes or books because who would actually leave their baby outside alone?   Well, due to recent personal experience with this acquaintance I will have to recommend this be added to future parenting classes.  It is so frustrating for me because as I come across this situation, i still don't feel that it is my place to say anything, but then at the same time I feel obligated to do something to protect this child. 

I also read an article recently that touched on a similar situation.  A mother left her child strapped to a stroller outside a restaurant while she went in for a bite to eat.  She was investigated and her excuse was, she's Swedish.  Apparently in Sweden it is common practice to leave your child outside the restaurant while you eat.  So with a difference in culture, who is right and who is wrong?   I'm guessing there isn't a correct answer to that question, but I will admit that it is hard not to judge.  We are all raised differently and although we may think that our way is best, others may not agree. 

So what would you do in my situation?  Would you say something to the mother next time the child is left outside unattended?  Or would you mind your own business and hope for the best?  Grab a latte, put up your feet, and join the discussion!


Maura said...

Maybe you could try know knocking on their door the next time this happens and say something like, "You must not have realized the baby snuck out & I'm worried about his/her safety out here alone." Its not your job to watch out for other peoples kids, but I would do the same!

Tammy said...

I'm totally with you on this one. I don't know if its common sense, or if I'm just paranoid, but I just don't leave my kids outside alone either. No telling what they could get into or who might try to get them.

At any rate, how you approach the situation I think depends on what kind of friendship you have with the other mother. perhaps just bring it up casually in conversation. Like: "You really feel comfortable leaving your kids outside alone? I could never do that!"

mamawsplace said...

I have GOT to comment on this. Recently this was on our local news "Around 10:00 pm Monday night, deputies and EMS workers were called to a home on Thorngrove Pike for a possible drowing.

The boy's mother, Wendy Bright, told investigators that while the family was eating dinner, they were not aware that their 19-month-old son, Lucas, went outside and climbed into an above ground pool in the front yard. The family noticed that he was missing and after a search found him floating unresponsive in the pool. Rural Metro transported the boy to Children's Hospital where he was pronounced dead." No charges were expected to be filed. HELLO! This had to be devastating to the family, but do they not keep their doors locked at 10:00 at night. And why did they not hear him go outside and how did a 19 month old get up and go outside without you hearing him. The whole thing was so upsetting to me. Responsibility as a parent should be the #1 thing on your mind. I see people leaving babies strapped in car seats while they go in stores. And the car is not in site of the windows so they can't use that excuse that they could "see them". Sorry about the soapbox but this is a pet peeve of mine.

thegreengirl said...

I'm sure I'm the far extreme, way overprotective, always calling out inside the house.."where are you guys, what are you doing?" I loke Tammy's idea somehow putting it on yourself but bringing attention to it. Also doesn't hurt to say something about the numerous reports of theft and vandalism in the neighborhood. Or you could always warn her that a bear may run off with her baby:)

Danelle said...

I am going to try to control myself while I respond to this. I think no matter how you approach it to the person, they will take it as an atack (that is the way the world is nowadays).

Recently in our news we have had children falling our 6-story windows, killed by becoming pinned under a chiroparctors chair, ran over while in the stroller (keep in mind this mother actually put one of her children in the carseat and forgot this one in front of her car). Now a few were lucky to survive like the two year old that got left by parents at a park while they drove across town to visit with friends. It only took them a few hours to realize they forgot one of their kids. Or the two year old that was able to wander off from a family reunion which took place near a lake.

I am appauld that there are parents out there that actually need to be told not to leave your child by themselves. If we need a license to prove we can drive - how come we have not resorted to this kind of mentality after hearing all these unexcuseable things happening to children?

I am steeping out now, only because this whole topic is a sore point for me.


DysFUNctional Mom said...

I would definitely not leave my baby outside unattended, at any time or place for any reason. But as far as how I'd handle your situation, I need more info (or am I just nosey? LOL). I'm curious as to the age of the baby, if it's outside at home or elsewhere, and WTH the reason is?? Tough situation. People are just ignorant.