It's simple, accidents happen.

It’s such a sad thing, when a mom accidentally leaves her child in a car. (It’s a much worse thing, when she does it on purpose. And those stories are two very very different stories.) Not long ago a local mother left her four month old baby in a shopping cart at her local grocery store. She shares her side of the story. I remember when the article hit my facebook news feed and I saw all these woman, some whom I know personally making statements like, “If you can’t remember to get your baby, you shouldn’t even be a mother” and “what kind of mother just leaves her baby”. Wow, just wow. It’s simple, accidents happen. And sometimes accidents lead to tragedies. I am not denying that this awful truth can be avoided by just not always being in a hurry, but let’s talk straight talk. No one should say another mother is not worthy, based on an accident. After watching her tell her side of the story, I believe this was a case of mommy brain, an accident. This was not neglect.

So now I would like to share a story of my own. I have accidentally left my child in the car, in a hot garage. It was shortly after I had my third child. I went to the grocery store with all three children because they were ages 4, 2, & newborn. As any mother knows, shopping with littles is hard, it’s distracting, and it’s exhausting. At that time shopping wasn’t very local for me. I lived about 25 minutes way from the closest grocery store. Everyone was in car seats, and there was little room left for groceries once they were purchased. I wasn’t a stay at home mother either, so my afternoon looked like this… get off work, pick up kids from day care, go to the store, come home and start dinner. Not long after I got home from the store, I immediately started unloading kids, and unloading groceries. My mind was fixated on dinner and I was in a hurry. I started making dinner and when it was nearly done my husband was coming home from work. When he got in, he kissed me hello and greeted the children. Then he asked “where’s the baby?”. For a second I was puzzled, mind you, being a mother of three was still new to me at the time. My husband noticed the groceries and ran out to the car. He was in the car, in the hot garage. He had been in there for probably close to 45 minutes, maybe more. It’s been so long since it happened. My husband wasn’t very happy with me, and I understood why. But he forgave me once I broke down with guilt. It was an accident. Accidents do happen. Now having said that, if this would have happened at a public place, I would have been hauled off to the police station, and then questioned by CPS. I am not proud of this, I am sharing this because I believe I am a good mother. One that deserves every bit of joy that my children bring to me. I deserve to be a mother, but I am not perfect. And neither is any mother out there.

So to those of you mothers that are quick to jump up and judge when you read an article, let me just ask you… Did you win mother of the year this year? Were you mommy brain free this year? Did you successfully complete a year accident free and not let anyone down in your family? I ask this in the harshest way, because I know the answers are no. None of us do, and we don’t need to go beating each other up about it online. It’s easy to pass judgement quickly, but your words hurt. It doesn’t just hurt the mother that is being publically shamed, it hurts the mothers out there like me, that have made these mistakes. It hurts because we love our children just as much as you love yours.

End rant.

8 thoughts on “It's simple, accidents happen.

  1. Thank you for sharing your story. I am guilty of the same. Thankfully it was all of 5 minutes and at my home as well, but being a mom, a wife, working full time, etc can be so stressful at times. I don’t think any mom out there can honestly say they have never had a case of mommy brain once or twice. I have learned to try and slow down… Especially now with 4 kids it is impossible to live up to the idea I have in my head of what a mom should be doing. As long as my kids are healthy and happy that’s all I can pray for. 🙂

    1. Full time motherhood plus full time job equals occasion overload with a side of melt down! And that’s ok, Jen you are a great mother and a beautiful wife and friend. I am happy to know you and share motherhood with you!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing a piece of your heart with us. This is such a hard topic, because none of us want to admit our failures as mothers or how frequently we get lucky by the grace of God. Though I didn’t leave my child outside, I may have recently had a rough trip to the grocery store with both kids and after realizing I left some items inside and was very distracted, forgot to buckle the older one into her car seat for the mile drive home. I was devastated, but I am not a bad mother, and I am so lucky nothing came out of it.

    1. I believe we are given this life to love, and love whole heartedly. Our mistakes as mothers aren’t always the same or equal, but we should all share that fundamental understanding that we all (most of us) love our children. And we all need to do better to lift each other up! You are a great Mom Rennai! I am proud to stand among you!

  3. Love your blog!! Yes, we’ve all messed up. I left newborn JJ in the car while Andrew and I ran into Subway and Jeremy ran over to Greek Island Grill. I didn’t even realize until Drew asked where the baby is. For a second I thought Jeremy took JJ with him and then realized he didn’t. I ran outside to grab the sleeping newborn and came back in Subway. I wondered how many people noticed that and wondered how long until the cops came to take me to jail. It wasn’t very long (I was still in the line to order food), but it was hot (September). I couldn’t believe I did that and I do have a sympathy for people that do that. Thanks for sharing this post.

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