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  • Keep it closed, for pete's sake!

    I'm a mom. I have three kids. I got hitched straight out of high school, and had a baby the following year. I've never claimed I was perfect.

    Here's why I'm blathering today. I just read a local news story. I felt a bit sorry at first. A 20-year-old woman is in jail because her 10-month-old child is dead, and the police suspect she did it. The baby's father, who lived in the home, indicated he believed she did it as well. No one is saying how the baby died, but that's not the point.

    For a brief moment I was feeling sorry because I went through post-partum depression. It was mild for me, but still pulled me down. I can easily imagine what a severe depression can do to a family. Unfortunately, this isn't what's got me blathering either.

    What's got my knickers in a twist is the fact that this 10-month-old child is not her youngest!! Plus, she has 2 older children. This means that shortly after the birth of the now-deceased child, she helped create another child, who had to have been recently born. This is an assumption I made because there was no mention of the deceased child being a twin, simply that the child was the "second youngest."

    Holy crap!

    After the birth of my children, I told my spouse that if he came near me before the memory of the birth faded, I'd hit him with a stick. I didn't mean it, but damn! No one can be that good, can they? Sex was the last thing on my mind, considering I had just passed a watermelon, and now it needed feeding all day and night, smelly diapers needed changing, sleep was damn near impossible, and I felt like a mushy bean bag (and probably looked about as attractive).

    I would like to think that some social service failed here, perhaps in educating the family on contraceptives, or something like that, but I'm not sure it would have helped. My sister was on a county medical card, and she got free contraceptive pills. Didn't mean she remembered to take them on time, or take them at all. And I know it takes two to tango, but what we have here is personal responsibility. Yes, two people did the tango. But a woman has to live with the results of that tango for a very long time, and therefore, in my opinion as a woman, shares slightly more of the responsibility of pregnancy.

    What else could have been done? A person's private life is just that: private. But when a woman puts herself in this situation, a 20-year-old with her 4th child, born just 10 months after her last child, perhaps society needs to get on board with helping women like her get a more complete education. Surely, a better education and an employable skill is preferrable to an uneducated baby factory?

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