Which brings me to another topic that's been on my mind for the last few days. Last week, here in town, there was a 5 month old baby who died in his carseat in his crib. Officials thought that somehow the baby's death had something to do with the carseat possibly malfunctioning or something like that. The problem was, the seat seemed to be completely intact; nothing wrong with the it, nor the crib. (Of course, it might not be a good idea to leave babies unattended and not monitored). So, what happened to this baby? Turns out, the parents left the infant in a snowsuit and strapped into his carseat (which was placed in his crib) in an overly hot room without food or water for 8 days. The parents purposely left that baby there to starve and cry and die. To make matters worse (I know, how can this possibly get any worse?), the parents were apparently there in the house for the majority of the 8 days. How can one just sit there while a baby cries out for nourishment, care and comfort? We've heard of many cases of parents harming their children. They're all disturbing. Now that I'm a mother these issues affect me more. This really got to me, and I wrestle with the "why?". What happened? I'm not a perfect mom, but I'd like to think I'd never (by my own actions, or by default/neglect) physically, emotionally or spiritually, harm my child. I've got to admit, I've had those moments when my DS is crying or even screaming. I've done all that I know to do. He's fed, clean, and cared for. I've comforted him, held him, rocked him. I've taken his temperature, played with him, and even given him gas drops. I've sung to him, fussed at him, and then just been silent because I'm at the end of my rope and don't know what else to do. I know he's tired and we're both frustrated. And so finally, I've put him safely in his crib, turned on the video baby monitor, put in my earplugs, and sat frustrated, then angry, at myself for not knowing what else to do. Then, I cry. Eventually, DS falls asleep and then we both feel better. I usually feel a little guilty though. I feel that there's this ever-present pressure for SAHMs to appear to be the "perfect mom". This especially seems to be a huge issue for many Christian SAHMs. I know I've felt it. And so have many moms I know. Unfortunately, we as people are never perfect, much less as mothers and wives. We can only do the best that we can and do what we know to do.
Which brings me back to the awful case of child neglect/abuse here in my area. It remains to be seen what exactly was going on with the parents. Where/are they mentally disturbed, at the end of their rope, or are they just not good people? Clearly something was/is wrong. Many are speculating that they just didn't have the skills and support that they needed to cope with the pressures that parenting brings. That may be the case, and is that's not an excuse, but here's my thought: We women, no, we humans, should support/look out for/care for each other. How many of us (if asked and completely unscheduled) would have taken a screaming baby for a few hours or even days? Would I? What if we weren't asked? Would/could I spot a family in need of support? If so, would I help? Or would I be too "busy"? If I needed help, would I ask? I'd like to think that I could positively respond to situations. When I sit here and think about it, of course, I'm confident that I would. But, when I'm up and about...engulfed in my own stress, and drama... How would I respond then?