As I read this I had a variety of thoughts. The first one was "Thank God I raised my children in the Bahamas where they do not take your children away from you!" The second thought was "Did she really expect them to sit still while she was gone?" And the third thought was "It would have been really nice if she had been extended some compassion. After all she wasn't trying to abuse the welfare system, she was making an effort to get a job!"
Of course, when you see a story like this, there will be many opinions held by many people. I would venture to say that the majority would probably say that she should have been arrested for being so stupid. But I pose the question... was she being stupid or was she trying to push beyond obstacles to achieve something better for her and her children?
In this situation I see the potential obstacles as being:
Instead of passing judgment on others, I like to ask the question of myself, "What would I have done in her position?" Knowing that in the U.S. there is such an intolerance for leaving children on their own, I think my first choice would have been to take them to the interview with me and explain the situation to the interviewer. Because I am a firm believer that what is for me will be mine regardless, I would have opted to believe for a compassionate or understanding person conducting the interview.
This one however, is a tough one to call not having the full details. That's the problem with the news... they give you one short excerpt, no detailed information, and the power to run with it however you want to. In this I prefer to have a compassionate view. I feel sorry for this mother, and I feel sorry for her children. My prayer is that there is someone who can keep the children so they will not be thrown in the system. But my ultimate question in this situation is why are children so easily taken from their parents if they are not being abused and turned over to CPS and put in the system? Is the situation that they end up in, when that is done, better than it would have been had they been allowed to stay with their mother?
It would have been nice for this story to have read...
"Off Duty Houston Police Officer, extends compassion along with strong, sound advice to a mother who, trying to better her situation for herself and her children, decided to leave her children in a McDonald's for 15 minutes while she attended an interview. He also suggested several resources for her to take advantage of should she find herself in this type of situation again."
It can be very challenging as a single mother. I am grateful that I had support around me when I was raising my children, and lived in a neighborhood that was safe that if I ever had to leave my children alone for 15 minutes, I didn't worry about something happening to them. I will confess honestly here, there were times when I had to leave my children unattended in order to be able to take care of them.
Maybe we need to start looking more seriously into how we, as a community, can offer support to Mother's who may find themselves having to make these kinds of choices. I still believe firmly that if we would raise our children as a community, we would raise safer, happier and more balanced children.
It might be time to start building stronger communities. In any case it is definitely time to start extending more compassion, understanding and help to one another. Do you agree?
BE Love, BE Power!
I am a lover of life and a lover of people. When we learn to connect in our heart space, love will be the driving force behind all we do. BE Love, BE Power!