Have you ever broken one of those ‘rules’ of motherhood? Like, don’t microwave bottles; don’t go anywhere – even for a second – if your baby is in the bath; or don’t leave your kids in the car. It’s with a mix of guilt and defensiveness that I admit I have flouted each of these commandments – and on more than one occasion.
When it comes to the last of these sins, leaving the kids in the car, I have a number of criteria that need to be satisfied before it’s even considered. I need to be able to park where I can see the car from the shop; the trip needs to be sub-three minutes; and the effort to get both girls out of the car and round the shop in question needs to outweigh the discomfort I feel about leaving them. I don’t do it often, but I do it.
But there are some things I’d never do. I’d never leave them in hot weather; where I couldn’t see them; or for a long period of time. So, I was absolutely aghast to see a story on some tabloid news show which featured footage of a woman leaving her three kids (probably aged 8-12) in an unlocked car…with the keys in the ignition… on the rooftop of a parking lot… in the middle of summer… for 45 MINUTES while she went inside the mall to shop.
Seriously, I pale when I think what could have happened in that time. They could wander off and get lost. Someone could come along and take them. They could start the car and drive it off the roof. So many bad, bad things.
So, do you have mother guilt over breaking the rules? And what’s the worst case of motherhood rule-breaking you’ve ever seen or heard of?