Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock this past weekend, you’ve probably heard THIS news story about a 3-year-old who fell into a gorilla cage. Typically, I leave news stories and politics off my blog because I avoid controversy. But this story kept bugging me this weekend. I couldn’t avoid it!
All over my Facebook newsfeed, people gave their opinions about every aspect of the story. Some people faulted the zoo, some faulted the police and others blamed the parents. I completely respect animal rights, but gorilla aside, I imagined what these parents are going through.Strangers, all over the country, are judging them as parents. I have to admit, without much knowledge of the situation, I wanted to blame them too.
But then I thought about my family. As a Mom of a (almost) 3 year old, I know how hard it can be to keep an eye on your child 24-7. It’s a huge relief when my husband is home to help and I’ve got an extra set of eyes for safety.
When I was pregnant with JP, I was judged by strangers over eating turkey sandwiches! Then as a tired and struggling new Mom, I was judged by feeding my child formula. Now I’m being judged for keeping my child at home instead of preschool.
I bet a genius Mom could make a timeline of all the judging that parents have to go through from fetus to high school graduation. But that’ll never happen, because she wouldn’t have time to.
My point is, I just wish we’d stop judging each other. Saying “The parents should’ve been watching their child better” after the incident, doesn’t help. Nobody can possibly know the high energy, intense curiosity, or physical capability of my child. Nor could I know that about anybody else’s child.
Blaming the parents for this sad tragedy may be the easiest finger to point, but none of us can relive that exact moment. I hope this family can eventually find peace again, outside the public eye. It’s a very degrading feeling to feel judged and vilified as parents.