Updated: Mar 8, 2020
Disclaimer: The details of Maleah Davis’ case are still unraveling so information in this blog may later be proven to be out of context. It is written from a point in time and I reserve the right to modify it at a later date.
I’ve been sitting with my thoughts for the last couple of days as we begin to see more of the story of Maleah Davis’ disappearance emerge. Yet again I am sickened. I am not here to judge any mother, ok maybe I might get a little “judgey” in this blog but I can because I have been there. I am not going to focus on Maleah’s case specifically but more generally speaking about the safety of our children.
First let me say, I understand that not all the details have been released and I don’t believe I have heard from Maleah’s mom as of yet, but from what I read thus far; she left her daughter with her boyfriend who had already been investigated when Maleah suffered a pretty severe head injury while in his care. The social workers determined it was an accident and sent her back to her mother’s house along with Maleah’s siblings.
When Brittany, Maleah’s mother, had to attend a funeral for her father; she left her children in his care (I will NOT use his name in my post). Apparently, they had some sort of exchange over text messaging that was pretty heated. As I understand it, the relationship was tumultuous at best. So why would she leave her child with someone like that? That is the question that has plagued me and brought me to this topic: Mothers, we HAVE to start being more vigilant about who we leave our children with.
I’ve been there…
Now, before the single mom brigade starts to come for me, I was a single mother too once upon a time. Not only was I single mother but I was a single mother about 1500 miles away from my best friend, aunts, and mother. I was literally in a state BY. MY. SELF! Just me and my daughter. Even now, my husband travels sometimes and I am at home with my 3 girls, all at different stages of “let’s see how we can tap dance on Mommy’s nerves” and I feel I need a break.
All that being said, we CANNOT just leave our children with people who 1. We have already seen are not mentally sound or exhibits behaviors that are questionable 2. Has anger issues 3. We haven’t run a background check on and/or not familiar with their family (namely their parents) 4. Has a predilection to sexual fantasies, namely around “younger adults”
The motherhood conundrum
Motherhood is a choice! Every time I mentor a young lady on this, I explain that to them. In most states, yes I have read about Alabama… another blog for another day, you have options available to you. Even prior to actual conception and until they dismantle Planned Parenthood you have contraception options. Plan B is something you can buy next day; I realize there are some serious side effects with that but MOTHERHOOD IS A SIDE EFFECT as well!
I also realize that sometimes finances prevent women from making certain choices, however lets discuss that. There are 11 years between my middle and youngest child (let’s NOT discuss that now). In those 11 years the prices of “ALL THINGS BABY” have gone up. A box of diapers, on average, is about $40 and that only lasts you about 2 weeks depending on your babies’ dietary health/needs. A small can of formula will run you about the same. Most franchised daycares are about $260/wk for newborns and infants. I won’t do the math but you can see where I am going with this. Having a baby is an EXPENSE, people don’t like to say that but it is. Motherhood is not cheap financially OR emotionally.
Motherhood also changes. You may have been ready and prepared and had a full support system when you had your child/children and now your circumstances have changed. I have been there as well and still kind of in the midst of it. We, as mothers, still have to figure it out. It may not look ideal. It may not look like what other mothers are doing and it may even be unfair to you for a period of time, but it’s what must be done when we are talking about the safety and welfare of our children.
What’s the answer?
So, what are my suggestions when mother’s need a mental health day or an emergency arises and there isn’t a trusted person available to take care of their children? You aren’t going to like this…. You ready? SUCK IT UP! I know that’s not what you were expecting or wanting to hear but it is what it is.
If you can’t find someone to watch your children that you feel 1000% comfortable with, DON’T LEAVE THEM! Until we have more 24/7, fully staffed, safe facilities where we can take our children during an emergency; we simply can’t take the risk. You’d be surprised how showing up to class or work with your child in your arms will garner more sympathy than you anticipated. Take your child with you. I know that sometimes it doesn’t work that way or your job may not be safe for a child. I get it. I understand. You still have to be a parent first.
It’s a conundrum, I truly understand that; especially when we are talking about work and major commitments. It is not easy so I am not going to pretend like it is but it is what must be done when we are mothers. I have had to work 60/hr weeks sometimes as a single mom. I definitely was fortunate that my mother was able to fly into town during those occasions and watch her for me but I also had a friend who I had been around for a while who I was comfortable with leaving my child with.
My husband, when we were dating, used to joke with me and say; “You are a Mama bear for sure. You don’t leave T with anyone!” I SURE THE HELL DON’T. Even when he and I started to get serious and he was at the house all the time, I would watch him like a hawk because you have to make sure ladies. He understood and respected that. He knew if he wasn’t ok with the “probationary period” he would have to go. Love be damned, my child’s safety comes first.
In closing, we have to stick together. We have to build a network. Our arms have to wrap around our sisters that we may see struggling with making sound decisions as it pertains to her children or that just needs a little help. We have to be there for one another. It truly takes a village to raise children so don’t let anyone make you think that you have to be superwoman and do it all by yourself, you don’t.