The blindness of others

“I can’t believe someone would bring their feral kids to this restaurant” the woman said to her friend.
“I know. Imagine what they are like at home. Some people just shouldn’t be parents” her friend replied in disgust.

The parent in question raised her tired, bleary eyes. She had cried everyday this week and it showed. She was lucky if she managed to check the letter box most days and she was faced with a constant dull headache. Her friends had convinced her that it might be a good idea to get out of the house. They told her it will help and she will feel normal, and not to worry about the kids. It will be fine to bring them along. They didn’t understand that just the thought of taking her children out to a public place full of judgemental eyes was exhausting. She knew she needed to get out though, and so she thought she would give it a shot this once.

What was wrong with this parent? What was her story? Here’s a few scenarios…

* She is a single parent with little or no surrounding family support

* She has been faced with domestic violence or her children have witnessed domestic violence

* She has a child or children with a developmental delay, a disability, ADHD or Autism.

* She has witnessed recent trauma in her life

The above is all fiction. But I’ve seen it so many times. I’ve taught children with Autism, children who have witnessed domestic violence, children with ADHD or developmental delays. And let me tell you, I’ve met some of the strongest parents of these children. They are parents who are trying to do all they can to make it work. Not all of them. But many of them, just want the best for their children. And sometimes, it NOT the parent’s fault that their children are behaving this way.

Once again, the internet has shown me the harshness of judgement, the lack of empathy towards others and the ability to make rash judgements on people on face value.

This blog post is in response to the article and comments online from the Ballarat Courier. The article is pretty bad journalism, but the comments? So many of them are down right shameful.

Children are beautiful. Some are tame, some are wild, some have been sheltered and some have been over exposed to things even an adult should not witness or experience. If you don’t know their story, you don’t know their parent’s story. I wish people would consider this before using words such as ‘vermin’ and ‘selfish feral mothers’

Hands up if you have felt judged in public as a mother by strangers?

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