It was just a few days ago we heard about that fool, Danny Platt in Lousiana who thought it would better to kill his own child rather than pay support to take care of the child. Then I heard this story about a fool not far from me who thought it was a great idea to break both of his child’s legs…a fifteen month old baby. What is this world coming to?
Yet I cannot help thinking that as more folks face uncertain financial futures that we might start to hear about more instances of of parents hurting their kids. Parenting is not for the weak, I have a three year old that I affectionately call high spirited, my girl is a character and tests me but I love her and no matter how far she has pushed me has it ever crossed my mind to hurt her. To say I would lay my life down for either her or her brother is not an understatement…these kids are my heart literally walking on the outside.
That said, I know there are a lot of folks who have kids who are not emotionally, mentally or even financially ready for the stresses that kids can bring and believe me they can and will bring stress. For me though its a joy and I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.
Yet we are living in unprecedented times when it seems we are all on the brink of ruin, and sometimes the stresses of trying to keep the lights on and food on the table coupled with the demands of kids who require we be fully present can be hard to juggle. See, kids don’t care that you are trying to do XYZ, they only know that they need their needs met and frankly there are times as a parent you just want to say shut up and leave me be. The thing is mature folks can realize they still have to focus on their kids and can make time to be present. ( I say this while the lil one is in the background playing and demanding my time now, thankfully Papa is playing with her).
There is no excuse for hurting a child yet as we redesign ourselves as a society, I think we need to go back to a place where we can call one another before we reach that breaking point. We need to be the neighbor who realizes that the young Mama juggling a couple of kids needs a break, I know growing up in my Granny’s old neighborhood we had a couple ladies who always lent a hand to young Mamas. When I was a 19 yo young Mama many years ago, I was blessed to meet an older woman who served as a third grandma to my son until she passed away. We need to get back to the place where we have one another’s back especially when raising kids.
Parenting never used to be a solitary experience yet it has become that as folks move away from the extended family and exist without support….I know because the support I had with my son is virtually nil in raising my girl. Sadly both her Grandmas are deceased, having died before she was born, my own Granny died six weeks after she was born. Instead I found a few online parenting groups to lean on that have actually netted some real life friends locally and across the country so that now at 3.5 we do have a support system.
Raising kids is hard work and if we screw it up, not only do our kids lose but so does society.