Has anyone else come across one or more of the these memes in their social media feeds recently? They are being shared like crazy on mine, by people who are generally kind and compassionate and would never dream of mom-shaming.
I’m here to say: stop it.
Please, just stop. If you share these with a judgmental spirit, you ARE mom shaming, and you might just shame a mom straight into inadvertently killing their child. Don’t be the person who convinces someone they don’t need to take precautions. That they don’t need a reminder to double check. That only bad parents forget their child in their car.
Parents who lose their children by leaving them in a hot car are statistically not neglectful or abusive. In his 2016 article on this topic neuroscientist David Diamond states “There is no indication in the cases I have studied that these parents demonstrated an act of willful recklessness or gross negligence for the child’s welfare.” Dr. Diamond goes on to explain that stress, sleep deprivation, and change in routine are the main contributors in forgetting a child in the car. In the same article, he explores the differences between “habit memory” and “prospective memory” i.e. the feeling when your brain goes on “autopilot” versus making real time, conscious decisions.
Do me a favor and don’t be so arrogant to think you’re a better parent than those who have lost their child to one horrible, devastating, unforgivable memory glitch. Forgotten Baby Syndrome can, and has, happened to people from all walks of life: wealthy, poor, organized, scatterbrained. . . a veterinarian, a doctor, a school principal, a dentist, a college professor, a rocket scientist. It can happen to anyone and does not reflect what kind of caregiver they are.
So stop with the memes. If someone wants to put their shoe or phone in the back seat as a fail-safe, LET THEM. Don’t you DARE judge a parent who desires to do everything they can to ensure one rushed, hectic morning doesn’t turn into the worst day of their life.