After seeing a news article today about a 20 year old mother who hit her 13 month old son to death and disposed of his body in a cemetery all because he wouldn’t stop crying and wouldn’t go to sleep I thought what can we do to prevent these horrific crimes against children? We’re seeing far too many of these news stories lately, the most prominent of course the Casey Anthony trial, and my sister the psych and sociology major is convinced it is the economic climate and that it is putting far too much stress on the mother. There was recently a report about women getting far less sleep than their counterparts because they are not only responsible for the home and children but they’re working full time jobs, they’re the breadwinners, they’re everything, resulting in less sleep because of the stress. Less sleep then causes aggravation, moodiness, and lack of tolerance and understanding. They’re quick to anger; they’re quick to react without thinking, only seeing red. What can we do to help; it takes a village to raise a child and even though this mother lives in Indiana I feel that the village reaches as far as New Mexico and we failed her.
If only we could monitor the state of the mother having a child from the very beginning. What are her circumstances, is she happy throughout her pregnancy, is she experiencing any hardships; financial or personally? Is she aware of the many programs out there to help with a dwindling income or with an abusive partner, does she know that if she cannot care for the child she can simply drop them off at a hospital and they will care for the child and find someone who can and is more than willing to do so.
But there are so many questions about where and when to start monitoring these women and probably the most important question is will it work?
I only read this article this morning but I’ve been brainstorming ever since because I don’t want to turn a blind eye any more, I don’t want a child being beaten to death to be a typical news story, we can do better, and we should. We should try and if it saves a child’s life then it was worth it. We need to start on the lowest levels, we need to start asking our friends and coworkers, How are you doing and truly care about the answer, we shouldn’t be anticipating a fine we should be probing for more, yes we may come across as nosy or not minding our own but these children are our own they are the future of this country and I want them all to be happy and safe in their homes and I know you all do too. It’s time to start protecting them and we start with their mamas. We need to ask the neighbor across the street how the new baby is, are you getting rest, do you need help, and what can I do for you? Oh I know I’m talking about taking time out of your busy schedules to help someone else but that’s what we should be doing. What’s one more mouth at the table, what’s a couple of diapers, what’s just sitting and holding a baby for a mom that’s tired and just needs a few hours to herself, it’s nothing when it comes to the safety and happiness of a baby. Plus in the process we will be showing our own children that giving back should be a way of life, a part of our daily routine. We need to start caring about each other; this really is a small world and realizing that helping one helps so many more. We need to start a network of moms helping other moms. We are not alone in raising our kids and sometimes a new mom just needs to hear that.
We could start in hospitals, with OBGYNs, with midwifes, let’s start asking the hard questions, let’s starting asking a mama not just how she’s feeling physically but emotionally. Maybe along with seeing an OBGYN or midwife expecting mothers need to see a psychologist as a standard to help them become aware of some of the obstacles they may find as new mothers. There is a reality, there is a lack of sleep, there is exhaustion never before felt, there is a change in self that some may find hard to accept, especially young mothers.
The time is now, to beat this changing atmosphere of mamas killing their children. We need to start with the mothers to protect our nations little ones.