Forums home -> General Discussion -> 'Bad Mothers'
By jerseys170 on Nov 13, 2013 05:34 AM
In Brooklyn last week, 26yearold Dalisha Adams reportedly left her toddlers, who are 3 and 4, alone in the middle of a Canarsie housing project. They were each wearing parkas and Ugg boots, and each had a fistful of diapers.
In Denver a few days earlier, Sarah Hatfield is accused of leaving her two sons, ages 4 and 2, in a car at a filling station and just walking away.
In Portsmouth NH last month, Miranda Rifenburgh, 25, allegedly left her three children all under the age of two at home alone and never returned.
And in Indianapolis in December, a mother is said to have hired a babysitter for her 13monthold on Craigslist, then disappeared and left her baby with the near stranger.
The reaction to these recurring tales of maternal abandonment is becoming numbingly familiar as well. "Hopefully these kids will be taken away from this woman and they'll end up with caring people, because this woman clearly has not understanding of what a caring parent is," was one comment left about Hatfield on a local newspaper website. In response to the Rifenburgh story, another reader wrote: "I hope she rots in jail. Mandatory sterilization should be a possible sentence for people like this."
And when the Daily News polled its Cyber Monday ugg boots deals readers about whether Adams deserves "to get her daughters back," 14 percent said "I'm not sure," 15 percent said "Yes, we don't know all the circumstances surrounding why her daughters were abandoned," and 71 percent decreed "No, any parent who can leave their kids all alone on the street should never have custody again."
But as "mundane" as this type of tale threatens to become, and as predictable as the outrage that follows can be, you will probably still not be surprised to learn that in each of these stories, things were not as they first seemed. While the particulars were different, one thread was the same: each of these women, who were quickly labeled "bad mothers," turned out instead to be reminders of the burdens and obstacles that so many mothers particularly those who are young and poor are likely to face while trying to do the best they can. (And as an aside, in more than a few of these tales, where we castigated a mother for leaving, the father of the children was already gone, without headlines.)
Dalisha Adams eventually turned herself into the police, after a friend reached her and said she was the subject of a manhunt. Until then, she says, she was at a friend's apartment because she "needed a break" from what appears to be the frustration and exhaustion of single parenting. But, she says, she did not abandon her daughters. She told police that she dropped the girls off at their paternal grandmother's in the housing project, but did not actually go into the apartment because she feared her exboyfriend might be there. She has an order of protection against the father of her children, who has been arrested three times for violent acts over the past five years, though all the charges were dropped.
Sarah Hatfield, in turn, surfaced twelve hours after she disappeared hysterically calling her husband from a pay phone outside a hospital saying she had no memory of how she'd gotten where she was. That phone was 11 miles from where she'd left her boys and her minivan. Was she abducted? She did not know. Was she suffering from epilepsy? Depression? Postpartum psychosis? A brain injury or tumor? Doctors are still trying to figure that out.
Miranda Rifenburgh turned herself in to police in Massachusetts. She is said to have told police that the children were never actually at home alone, meaning she may have waited by a back door until her fiancee came in, then left unseen. It has been a grueling month for the young mother. Her 22monthold daughter, one of two sets of twins, died a few days after Christmas. Could Rifenburgh have been acting out of grief? Possibly. Cyber Monday ugg boots sale Or maybe not. Perhaps she did callously abandon three children, one nearly two, the others sixmonthsold. That is certainly the tidier solution, allowing us to believe that Cyber Monday ugg boots WE would never do something like that, and that society has no responsibility to help a woman who might be losing her mind to sadness.
As for the woman who left her son in the care of a babysitter she found on Craigslist, that one is still a mystery. But there are hints of a desperate life in the fact that the mother apparently worked as a stripper, and did not have the money to pay the sitter she had hired. Was she a bad mother? Odds are she will not be winning any Mom Of The Year Awards anytime soon. But she did find someone to care for her son, which, with a turn of the lens, can look like a piercing cry for help.
Just yesterday I was shopping in a local dept. store and witnessed security officers racing to apprehend a shoplifter who was well dressed and groomed. A few months ago I saw officers taking a man out of a tech retail store in handcuffs. The cashier told me it was the 4th person that day. When people get desperate, they sometimes do desperate things. Being the full time caregiver of young children is beyond demanding, for a man or a woman. Throw in poverty, mental instability, or yes a limitation in how much one has to give and it's surprising that it doesn't happen more often.
Why aren't grandmothers teaching their granddaughters the issues with parenting? Why is cultural knowledge dead here? We don't need a bureaucracy teaching values. People are not getting education/jobs because of these mistakes.
Until young women learn the politics of procreation, they're screwed. Unfortunately, an irresponsible pregnancy affects the female more than the deadbeat male. But, it starts before pregnancy. Why are women picking deadbeats to have sex with? Unprotected sex at that. Why is sex so important during a phase in life where studying/growing/learning has to be the goal.
Getting pregnant too ugg boots Cyber Monday early is a recipe for structural poverty. There's almost nothing the rest of society can do to help. There is no one listening. If you get pregnant as a poor teen, you will soon feel alone, poor, not helped, limited, drowning, etc. Having worked for many years with parents in the child welfare system, I can say that most parents DO reach out for help many times before a breaking point.
It makes me wonder how we can reach out to our neighbors and friends to provide stronger community support, and help connect these women's to resources for help.
I have noticed more and more stories of parents either "dumping" their children or doing harm to them. It almost seems like the numbers are skyrocketing (or maybe I just hear more about it because we have news 24/7). Anyway, I am a psychotherapist and I teach free parenting classes. One thing that seems to be lacking in this country is a place where parents can turn to in a "parent" emergency. We need more "safehavens" for parents.
Thanks for the thoughtprovoking article Lisa!
The first thought that struck me after reading of these four women was that not one had actually murdered her children. Even when parents actually do kill their children especially as part of an act of murdersuicide there is often a story of quiet desperation behind it.
Some of us readers are parents (adoptive parents) of abandoned children. Some of our children are from countries in which infanticide, especially female infanticide, is widely practiced. We give a lot of thought to the circumstances that might have caused the birth parents to place these children at the side of the road: onechild policy with sanctions for those who violate it, serious medical conditions that the birth parents can't possibly afford to treat, a social order than ostracizes or stones a young woman who gives birth out of wedlock. We're just happy that the birth mothers did not choose infanticide or abortion.
I am a single mother and it is definitely not for the faint Cyber Monday ugg boots on sale at heart. We are still very frowned upon in general and it is so much from other women that judge us. I got pregnant by accident at 32 needless to say that I was horrified, mortified etc. Immediately people started judging me, even my own family. A single mother is branded a slut immediately, no matter how she became that single mother she is judged immediately to be loose. Many also look at us and think, "well you made your bed". When I decided to have my child I did not look at my child as my punishment, and that is what people want from single mothers it seems. Being a single parent (person that parents solely and pays for every thing)is very hard to begin with and other human beings just make it more difficult. Now if I were a man, everyone would be going "oh what a great guy", but since I am a female I should have kept my legs together. People don't care to admit this but for most; the first thought is; oh, she must be a slut. There are those that correct themselves quickly bottom line though the first thought is that.
I, for one,give you my regards and respect. You did what you felt was right and you were old enough to make that decision. You did not have to do that and noone would have ever known so the heck with those who look down on you. You are blessed even though it does not seem so now. Take care of that child and you will have that for life, something never guaranteed from those who choose to judge, Do your best and I wish you well. There are tons of kids having babies just so they can get a welfare check and that's just wrong and they have sex with anyone and I don't see anyone judging them like they Cyber Monday ugg boots outlet do older people. It really makes me wonder. I taught every kid I ever knew not to do that but they do it anyway. It's not fair to the children or society. If ever you need a shoulder to lean on I'll be it, I undersatnd, I do. Be proud, you've done nothing wrong.
Young and poor is the key along with the lack of responsibility these women showed in their inability and/or unwillingness to practice safe/sex birth control. It is difficult to understand how young poor women fail to understand that getting pregnant young is the surest way to insure a life of poverty in most situations. If this is cultural, a product of poor sex education in the school, poor parenting of these women who had children too young, a combo of all of it but it is true that within certain communities, getting pregnant young is acceptable.
Across the board it is tragic for the children as well as the women. It is not too difficult to understand how these women become over burdened, desperate, and clearly they and others simply loose it and walk away. With a sex centered society/culture and an education system that is too heavily influenced by religious concerns/entities, teenagers continue to receive poor sex/reproductive education in the class room. Seeing the casualness and obsessive attitudes towards sex within certain sections of HP reflects this as well. Poor and uneducated parents tend to raise children who do not get the attention and education they need, deserve, and the cycle continues. It will continue unless sex ed/reproductive education is given the attention and support it deserves in school and as long as sex is treated as a casual sporting activity/event.
The health care act and covering birth control is not going to change the situation.
In the grand scheme of things, condoms are not only cheap but free in many places.
Although education on the subject would help, it goes back to parents, family, and parents not being parents. I also believe that many young mothers want to get pregnant. It is difficult to understand the mentality or rationale but it seems so. I see young women with multiple children, can see they are poor, and honestly can not understand why these women do this to themselves.
One can blame men as well and although they share in the process but when it comes down to it, these women are the ones who participated and allowed themselves to become pregnant. How they become pregnant again and again and again is even the much more difficult to believe.