Where was/is Dad?

Everyone is abuzz with talk about the woman in Hanahan, SC who left her small children in a hot car while she went to work. The children were later found dead in trash bags beneath their kitchen sink, bathed and dressed by their mother. Apparently, she was afraid to lose her job and had no one to help her with the care of her children. No one.

Caught in what psychologists call an avoidance/avoidance conflict, she chose work over the children. Or did she choose work because of the children? Since she was the only breadwinner, Shawn and Triniti depended on their mother for sustenance. I’m not condoning her actions by any stretch of the imagination. I’m just saying that I can sense the agonizing decision that she had to make, wistfully hoping that the children would be waiting for her when her workday was over.

This issue brings to light many social issues, one being deadbeat dads. Where was the father of these babies? Isn’t he responsible too? So many times fingers are pointed at the unfit, neglectful mother while the father of these little ones isn’t even mentioned. In our society, four of ten children are born to single mothers, and many people seem fine with that. Huh??? I just don’t get it. Call me old-fashioned, but I know from experience, observation, and tons of research that children fare better with both parents around to raise them, to tag team.

What are the answers? I don’t know. I’m thinking of the line of a hymn that asks, “Who am I to judge another when I walk imperfectly?” Indeed, how many of us would have helped this young woman with her children that day or any day? Even as I write this, there are thousands of mothers and children who need us. What are we doing…that is, what are we doing besides talking about the issue?

Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

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