You have to wonder where our priorities have gone when two babies are left to die in over-heated cars by their “stressed” mothers in one week.
We have all done stupid things. I once forgot I had three children shortly after Leo was born and almost left him in the park. The anxiety dreams I have had about forgetting children in supermarkets/at school/in the street cannot be counted. But to forget to take your child to its crèche and come back five hours later to find it dead is worse than any nightmare I ever had.
Apparently this stressed Dutch mother had a pre-school meeting to go to. So she parked the car and rushed in, leaving her 11-month old son in the car. Earlier in the week a five-month old suffocated in a stuffy car after his mother drove to work at a laundry in Belgium and left him there.
“The hectic pace of modern life is the root cause of both tragedies,” said Belgian psychologist Theo Compernolle.
“It’s too much to suppose that a woman can cope with so-called multi-tasking, keeping several balls in the air at the same time.
“The truth is that the brain is not able to cope with both a family’s needs and a responsible job at the same time. The brain can only really focus on one thing at a time.”
Call me old fashioned, but aren’t we all working hard to give our children a nice life? So if by doing so we inadvertently kill them then there really isn’t much point is there? And as for the brain not being able to cope with both things at once, well that’s just nonsense. Millions of mothers (and some fathers) cope every day. OK we may not be perfect and sometimes a school bag gets left behind (like this morning), but we do cope.
And sometimes it’s all worth it. The mortgage may be high, but where would you rather be when a little girl comes wandering into your room first thing, looks out of the window and says: “Aren’t we lucky to be living in the mountains. We got the sun, the sky, the green hills, lovely flowers and trees. Aren’t we lucky mummy?”
Copyright: Helena Frith Powell 2007