Facebook and Childrearing—Can the Twain Meet?
A Colorado mother may be sentenced up to 48 years in prison if convicted of child abuse resulting in the death of her 13 month old son who drowned unattended in the bathtub while she was playing Café World and watching videos on Facebook. This was in spite of being warned by the grandmother that he had previously suffered seizures when she had been baby-sitting him a bare month before the tragic incident. Apparently social networking had intruded into the realm of childrearing with fatal consequences for the child.
What if on the other hand, the mother had chosen to give up Facebook for the few minutes required to supervise her toddler in the bathtub? Was there really a choice here, especially in view of the fact that the child suffered from seizures? When parents make wrong choices or claim choices in situations that call for a bit of self-sacrifice, it is undoubtedly the child who pays and often pays dearly. Innumerable incidents of children coming to harm due to the inattentiveness of parents makes you wonder as to what value a child's life when weighed against the freedom of the parent to "have a life." At least in this case and others similar to it, the child lost hands down.
Is a child worth more than Facebook, indulgent you-time, shopping, uninterrupted sleep, saggy anatomy, romantic dinners, smoking, socializing, endless cleaning and feeding routines? If you can honestly answer yes to all of this and more of the same that only you know you might need to give up, it may be an indication that you are indeed ready to include a baby in your life.
When planning on having a baby, you are well within your rights to expect and demand support from spouse, parents, family, friends, and social structures such as childcare. But also consider the possibility that this support structure may become unavailable for any number of reasons.Therefore it becomes necessary to consider carefully if it is at all possible for one individual to care for an infant night and day, 24X7, 7 days a week for at least a period of two years. If you think this is asking for too much, it is – that is the level of investment required to have a child. You will not plan on owning a Mercedes for an investment of $100. You know it asks for a lot more than that.Continued on the next page