I read something yesterday that made my blood boil. As you know when it comes to something parenting related that is featured in the press then I usually feel pretty strongly about it, especially if it's something that has affected a child, or worse more than one child.
I read something in The Daily Mail yesterday about a 26 year old mother called Laura Palmer. The article describes how Palmer is a wannabe wag and left her children at home alone so she could go out partying with friends. Sadly this wasn't unusal reading, as I see stories like this springing up more and more. It drives me mad with anger! How can any mother, correction-any parent leave their children alone to go out?! To me doing it for any reason is unjustafied, but to go out and party is the icing on this disgusting cake. I'm living in an area with no friends, no social life and no opportunities for a bit of grown up time with Baby Daddy because we don't have family to ask, or anyone we know to ask, to babysit for us. You don't catch me throwing caution to the wind and putting my son to bed then sauntering off in to the night for hours of drink fuelled entertainment! The biggest adaptation you face when you become a parent is sacrifice, and almost every parent sacrifices their social life almost entirely because having a child is restricting on the social life side of things. However much of a sacrifice, a good parent doesn't bat an eyelid at this change, I know I don't! Much as I would occassionally like a boogie with the girls and to let my hair down it wouldn't even enter my mind as an option to leave my child alone to acheieve this. It's neglectful and selfish and not the actions of a woman who should be entrusted to raise children.
Palmer was caught when her children were seen running around naked, covered in faeces and many members of the public reported it to the police. Neighbours took one of her children back to the home and were shocked to find the house what can only be described as disgusting-faeces everywhere, rubbish in the bath, generally not habbitable for people let alone young children. When the police arrived they found Palmer hiding (still drunk may I add) in her garden shed. Nothing like accepting you've made a mistake (as she says) and standing up to be counted for it is there?
However this isn't what gets me most about this, what gets me most is that Palmer tried to use her past depressive state as an excuse. That was like waving a red rag to a bull with me! Firstly there is absolutely, positively NO excuse in my eyes for any type of child abuse or neglect. But secondly to try and blame a depressive state she previously suffered from-erm, what?! 'Previously' is the key phrase here, as in, she's not suffering from it any more so how can her actions be linked to it?! That's like saying that the hangover you feel after a night on the tiles is because of the drinks you had last month-get real love.
I have suffered with depression for eight years on an off and had a type of break down when I was 18. I wouldn't say I'm an expert but when it comes to depression I like to think I know enough about it to pass judgement on this. Yes depression is a mental illness and therefore can alter your mental state, which in turn can cause you to act differently, do different things and make different sorts of mistakes-the out of character sorts are the ones I'm reffering to. I also accept that depression can come in different levels of severity, crippling depression can swallow your entire being up. However most people with depression would not leave their children alone to fend for themselves with no food in the house or any type of supervision in place.
When I've been suffering from a depressive state I do indeed feel a different version of myself, but I don't feel a totally different person and in that statement is a whole world of contrast. If depression makes you feel like another person altogether I would think it's a different type of mental illness you are suffering from. One in which a person wouldn't be able to raise children without a lot of supervision and aid. So unless she's suffered from this then her excuse is completely unfounded to me. She suffers from depression not schizophrenia or anything like that.
Blaiming depression she once suffered as an excuse to party is alien to me. I've had it, I still get it and yet I don't go around blaming it as my reason for every decesion I make that doesn't quite pan out. To me she's done something awful and would do herself justice if she just took it on the chin. It would show greater strength of character than placing blame at an unjustified door. However to say she has any strenth of character at all is probably a bit too nice for Palmer, considering she allowed her children to wake up, alone and unfed and get in to that state. I can only imagine the heartbreak her children felt upon not finding her in the house and the realisation they were alone. It breaks my heart to think of what those poor children must have been feeling when she wasn't there.
I want to finish this post by directing you to the images the Daily Mail posted of Palmer, and I think it sums her up pretty well-she wore a pink dress to court with matching pink shoes-sombre anyone? Any element of remorse or regret?! Pink doesn't lead me to think so!
Conclusion? Absolute idiot.