Can We Just Stop Judging?

I have kind of had it with social media as of late. I keep seeing all these articles about people who’ve done something wrong or not socially acceptable and then….

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Just like that the offense takers, judgement makers and perfect people start in on what this person should have done or judging this person for a situation they know NOTHING about and (and this is my absolute least fave) name calling. Honestly.

If you recall, in 2016 a gorilla was shot in a zoo when a toddler fell into the enclosure.  The boys mother literally turned around for a second to tend to a baby and the toddler (Let’s be honest…they have a mind of their own) climbed into the enclosure. She didn’t do anything that any other mother hasn’t done a million times over and yet people were just nasty. I remember people saying awful things about this and even calling into question the past of the mother. Why is that necessary? At the time I had a three year old son and was pregnant with twins. I’m going to be honest here. I could see how this could happen and it was one of my biggest fears.

The most recent example that I can think of is a situation where a family in Utah accidentally left a 3 year old at a corn maze. I have to admit that this does sound negligent and awful but I withheld my judgement because I am not familiar with the family and I don’t know the circumstance behind what happened. If you have no idea what I am talking about you can find the article HERE and if you have ANY doubt as to the viciousness of the judgments and comments just scroll down to the bottom and take a gander at the cesspool of the comments section.

I even had friends that posted this article on Facebook and were awful about this situation. Today I saw THIS article posted on Facebook and the comments were so bad that it made me mad. So…I commented on it and the backlash I got…wow. Just wow!
image1 (003)I guess I don’t understand why it’s so easy to sit back behind the anonymity of our computer screens and judge other people who are just as flawed as we are. How is it ever ok to say the things people say online? Would they ever say these things to someone’s face? Previously to 2016 I would have said no but now everyone seems so emboldened and brazen that they can say anything to anyone anywhere.

So, here is my story as a parent. A bit of background first….

I became a single parent in August of 1994. I was 18 and in NO WAY prepared to become a parent but I don’t believe in abortion for myself (even though I am pro-choice) and I took responsibility for my actions.

When my son was a year old I moved into a house with my mom who helped me parent at the tender age of 19. At that time my youngest brother was 8 years old. He has severe ADHD and ODD and as such he was on many medications including Clonidine and Desipramine. Because he had to take multiple doses a day my mom had his meds separated out in an organizer much like this one. One day my mom, sensing I needed a break said that she would take my son outside to play in the yard while she did some gardening. I laid down on the couch to watch tv and snooze not thinking anything of it.

Only…

She forgot to tell me that she wasn’t going to take him out with her and just left. So my son who was about 18 months old was left unsupervised and I had NO idea. She had left my brothers meds on the table and my son got a hold of them. He opened all the pill compartments and started eating them one by one.

I had no idea this was going on until I got up to go to the bathroom and happened upon him on my way there. I felt sick and dizzy and angry all at the same time. I opened the door and shouted to my mom for her to come in immediately. She came in and saw what was happening and the color drained from her face. I asked her why she didn’t take him with her and she said she forgot to tell me she wasn’t going to. We called 911 and because we lived close to a hospital they said to get in the car and drive because we could get there faster than an ambulance would be able to get to us.

We drove like hell and got there in 10 minutes. The hole time I watched him from the front seat and saw him starting to pass out. I kept grabbing his foot and telling him not to fall asleep. We got there and they were READY for us. We were run back into a room and told very quickly that they were going to have to pump his stomach and then give him activated charcoal to absorb whatever they weren’t able to get. They advised me to leave the room because it was going to be very hard to watch. Umm….leave my baby alone in a room full of strangers doing painful and awful things to him??? NOT A CHANCE IN HELL!!! I stood there holding his hand while he screamed and gurgled and gasped for breath. It was so awful.

Imagine the headlines!!! Imagine the comments calling me a bad mother and calling for my son to be taken away from me or even for me to just kill myself. These are some of the comments I’ve seen on these sorts of articles. The second article about the boy in Utah explained what happened and having had my mishap with the medications I can understand how these things can happen and how they can happen so easily. Especially when there are other family members involved.

Can we just admit that as human beings we are not perfect? Can we take a moment when we read these articles to take a step back and think that there might be more to the story than what the media is telling us? Can we have some compassion and empathy for the people featured in these articles? Can we at the VERY least try to place ourselves in their shoes? Can we ask ourselves as parents (If you are a parent) how we would feel if this happened to us? How would we feel if someone made the comment others were making before WE make the comments?

Also, how about those of us who notice this behavior take a stand to people who are like this to let them know that it’s not ok?

It’s NEVER ok!

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