Mommy Wars - The Ultimate Better Thans

She woke up at 5am and made enough coffee for two cups.  She removed the breakfast dishes from the table that she hadn’t had an opportunity to remove the day before.  The instant grits dried almost as hard as concrete on the plastic bowl.  She picked up her 6 year old son’s toys scattered around the room and put them in the basket she kept by the sofa. Next she folded the sofa blanket and straightened up as much as possible.

When her coffee was ready, she made a cup and took that first grateful sip, walking into the bathroom to start a bath for herself as quietly as possible so as to not wake her son.

Twenty minutes later, she woke her son, got him dressed for school, fed him breakfast and rushed out the door to drop him off to school and then go to her first job.

From 8 - 5, she worked for the state filing papers all day for petty lawsuits.  Her son catches the bus to her parent’s house.  His math tutor shows up and works with him for an hour a day on Monday and Wednesday and his reading tutor on Tuesday and Thursday.  Her parents are on a fixed income so she makes sure there is enough food in the house for all of them to eat during the week.  To afford all of this, she has a second job at the dollar store from 6pm to midnight.

At midnight, exhausted, she drives to her parent’s to pick up her son and she carries him to her car kissing his little neck and cheek softly so as not to wake him.  She puts a sweater over him in the cool night air and drives home.  At the last minute, right before her turn to go home, she remembers they are out of milk and decides to run in and pick up a gallon and a couple of apples.  She briefly debates removing her son from the car and considers letting him sleep with the doors locked, but she didn’t want him to get overheated since she’d recently watched a show about how quickly it gets hot in a car even during mild temperatures.

She only needed milk and eggs so she wouldn’t be in there longer than 10 minutes and she could see the car from inside the store so she left the car running with the air on and rushed in to get the milk and apples because her day started over again at 5am after having only 3 hours of sleep.

That was fiction.  

The real story is one where a single mother left her child in a running car at 1:15am to run into the grocery store and she returned to find her car, and her child, missing.  The car was found 15 miles away from the store with her son inside dead.  A bullet through the brain.

In the hours which followed her finding her car and child missing, back-to-back Amber alerts went out far and wide.  These Amber alerts woke us up in the middle of the night.  We read them, put our phones back on our nightstands and went back to sleep.

The mother did not go to sleep.  She waited for news of her child, terrified.  Hoping for the best but terrified of the worst.  A parent's worst nightmare playing out.  Not knowing where her child was, who had him, was he safe, what were they doing to him.

By the time we were eating breakfast, the news of his murder broke and all our collective hearts broke for that baby and his lost life.

By the time we were all reading the news reports online, the undercurrent of hateful rumors had started.  Speculation about why the mother was out that late started.  Stories of how the mother was in the club partying while the child was in the car.  Theories of how the child found a gun in the car while outside of the  club and accidentally killed himself.  Rumors that the mother was inside the store for over an hour waiting for the car to be fake stolen.  Adamant statements of the mother contacting the murderers and setting up a fake kidnapping so she wouldn't be charged with her child's murder.  And...the most startling of all...DEMANDS, IMMEDIATELY, FOR THE ARREST OF THE MOTHER FOR CHILD NEGLECT FOR LEAVING THE CHILD IN THE CAR.

Whenever I saw one of these statements and comments online I noted that the most vocal of them all were single mothers and, quite frankly, it came across with such an air of the "better-thans" that it was sickening.  "Look at me!  I'm better than her!  My child is still alive!"

Smug, nauseatingly so.  

"I'd never..."

"What kind of mother..."

After a mother lost her child in the blink of an eye.  Her baby in that car terrified, or maybe the baby didn't even wake up.  Just sleep and then dead.  A bullet to his lil developing brain.  Dead.

Why was it so quick that the potential story surrounding the child being in the car at that time of night be so ugly instead of the fictional story above?  Why was it so easy for so many people to jump on the bandwagon of straight damning this poor mother immediately after her child had been murdered?  Sure...she made a life altering decision to leave him in the car...but that woman didn't want her child to die.  SHE LOST HER CHILD!  

I saw pictures of this mother being carried by family members after she collapsed upon hearing the news of her child's murder.  

I saw pictures of her grief-stricken family, horrified. I read the story in the Clarion-Ledger and got so upset I had to walk away from the computer.  I had to walk away from all the perfect mothers who "would never..."

Turns out Ms. Archie, Kingston's mother, was in the store for 10 - 15 minutes buying medicine.  

Turns out the child was murdered after the car was stolen by, in another tragic twist to this horrible crime, 17 and 18-year-olds.

Turns out Kingston was murdered by at least one of the children who stole the car at 1:15am.

Turns out all those rumors were mean-spirited and evil.  Judge and jury in the midst of a mother's grief.  

Turns out...people will do the most to be "better-than" someone...even during the most heinous of times.

As you can tell...this shit has sat on me hard.  *sigh*

I know enough single mothers to know the shit is hard as fug.  I listen to how exhausted they are getting it all done.  I sit back and watch them do every single thing they can do to make sure their child/children have the best life possible.  Because I actually KNOW and interact with single mothers...I can empathize with this poor mother even though I'm not a mother myself.

You'd think that other single mothers would have been able to empathize with her even easier than I did.

But the ones spreading the rumors and calling for her to be charged chose the low road.

How dare you add to this woman's grief in such an ugly, ugly way.  How dare your narrative be so without compassion for another mother.  How dare you.