We laugh when we see a character in a movie forget their young child (always a child who is 5 or older mind you) in the car.
We never see someone forget the baby… Why? – because that wouldn’t be good TV.
We cringe when we read the stories about someone’s pet being left in the car and we feel the person who broke their car window with a rock or called the police was perfectly justified in doing so. We may even cheer about it. We certainly retweet or share the story so that everyone knows just how serious this problem is!
… but aren’t our children more important than our pets?
Most parents get very angry when someone says they shouldn’t put their children in daycare or public school…
But do those parents stop to consider that these helpful suggestions are not in fact an attack on their parenting, but an effort to make them stop and really think about what is truly best for their child?
This is what makes people forget their children in the car when they carry groceries inside. This is what makes people feel it is OK to leave a child in their car with the engine running while they run in to pay for their fuel. This is what makes people brush off their children when they say they are being bullied in school. And this is what, in my own humble opinion, has led to a most horrific tragedy that is apparently occurring all across the US – across all lines of age, income, education, mental capacity and experience.
If you’re still unsure what I’m referring to, please click on the picture above and read the article.
I would love to say that it is ONLY the parents’ faults but that isn’t true.
I would love to say that we can find a way to end this string of senseless deaths but the truth is – there really is no hope for that until we, as a country, change our ways… change our outlook on parenting… change the way we think and act about our precious children.
I see them every day! Posts begging people to adopt a dog or a cat that is scheduled to be euthanized. Posts demanding the cruelty end at puppy mills. Posts demanding harsher punishments for people who mistreat their pets. Posts calling for us to break windows or call police when we see a pet locked in a car on a warm day…
Where are the posts calling for harsher punishment for the parents who leave their innocent CHILD in a locked car on a hot day!
No. Instead… the article I read, talks about how the lawyers and judges rule that they will punish themselves enough just living with their guilt.
A relative of mine, who shall remain nameless except to the family and friends who already know about it, suggested that I abort my son. I was single, having walked out of an extremely abusive relationship but I was not 16. I wasn’t even 21. I turned 24 the year my sweet little boy was born. And I felt sick to realize that I share blood with this person.
My mother has been essentially shunned by more than a few friends and most of our family over the years because she “allows me to sit at home and do nothing” and she does not “make me put those kids in school“. There is no use wasting our breath in telling them that my children are flourishing – being schooled at home. And there is no point in wasting our breath defending me – although she does. At every turn she tells them that I work harder than she does and that she doesn’t know how I get everything done that I do in a day.
She is my biggest cheerleader, my strongest advocate and my best friend! And without her, my life could be a cold, dark and dreary place with absolutely no joy. (without her, I probably wouldn’t have my precious children… and without her prayers and guidance I would have moved farther and farther away from God, instead of having the close relationship I have with HIM today).
So why do I begin this article with the proclamation that I will never put my children in daycare?
I believe, and I am in the minority I’m sure, that our society has successfully made our children less important to us because they tell us over and over and over again, until it becomes a rhetoric in our own head, that we NEED that extra income… we NEED me-time… we NEED a life that is separate from our family… that we NEED to work because we should not have to give up our own identity just because we have children…
That we NEED to allow a woman to have absolute control over her own body…
And that we NEED to let public schools decide what our children do and do not need to learn.
And that, in my humble opinion, is why we are losing this battle. We have lost sight of the fact that our children are only with us for a short time. Some parents get 18 years, some get 21, some get 2… or less.
… no one knows how many years or days or minutes they will live.
So I have two suggestions…
1. If you want to have your own life before you have children, then DO IT! Get it all out of your system and THEN have children, when you can focus on them and give them ALL of your time. Because you never know how much time you will actually get with them!
2. Do not go around acting like you are married – and you know EXACTLY what I mean, before you are READY for marriage and children! Because there is nothing worse for a child than to think that you did not start out wanting them!
And give home-school a serious consideration. No, it may not be the right choice or the best choice or even a possible choice (at this time in your life) but it is worth every consideration. Your CHILD is worth the consideration!