Every mother has her own personal style and philosophy. At this website and others like it, we spend a lot of time discussing choices, making suggestions and debating philosophies. Some parents loved to get involved in those conversations. And some choose simply to trust their gut and listen to their own instinct.
I think both choices are valid and both can produce amazing families and children. But there’s a point when the “Live and let live” motherhood agreement gets pushed too far. There’s a place where it stops being about personal choice and starts becoming a safety issue. And one blogger brilliantly demonstrated the point where that “personal choice” goes too far and endangers the lives of children. And whether it’s from a lack of information or a lack of interest, the results can be disastrous.
Today, a friend of mine sent me the sad story of a young mother, who obviously didn’t understand the responsibility of being a parent. On the blog, “Get Off My Internets” they tell the story of Karlee Malik and her boyfriend Bam. The tragedy is pieced together from both the young mother’s Facebook page and the blog of the girl’s sister Kayla.
Karlee was recently pregnant for a second time. Evidently having never had a prenatal appointment, Karlee had quite a surprise waiting for her when she went into early labor. According to Kayla, who addressed a letter to her own child on the matter:
On June 25th your aunt Karlee had surprise twin boys; Kyle Fly and Miles Trust. They were 6 weeks early so they were very tiny and under a lot of stress. They were both doing pretty good, but Kyle was barely hanging in there. He passed away last night at 4:09am.
This tragic end to a tragically mishandled pregnancy is being dealt with by Karlee the only way she knows how:
Resting up in this hotel with my lover Bam. Glad i got my pain med. Filled i was hurtin 2 badly. Pickin up kyles ash’s tomorrow cant wait 2 get them on necklesses
This young woman had no prenatal care. She didn’t realize she was having twins. On her various social media accounts she talks about living in the woods with her boyfriend and smoking pot throughout her pregnancy. She just seems to have no idea what responsibility is or what a mother should do to take care of her children. And it’s tragic. It’s tragic to think that she wanted those babies, but didn’t realize what she was doing to them.
There are a lot of conversations about parenthood to be had. And there are a lot of people who are honestly trying to be the best parents they can. But we forget about the need to inform and educate moms and dads who aren’t actively engaged in parenthood.
I think about all the readers that I interact with throughout the day. We may disagree on some choices, but we’re all active parents, we’re all engaged in learning more and doing out best. I think we’re all solely concerned with raising happy, healthy and confident children.
We forget that there’s this whole group of parents who aren’t discussing the merits of attachment versus free-range. They’re not debating homemade versus jarred baby food. They aren’t worried about new statistics on discipline techniques. And we spend so much time in those conversations, we don’t think to reach out and try to help new moms who lack basic understanding about pregnancy, healthcare and how to raise kids.
This story wasn’t a mother in a third-world country with no access to adequate medical care. This was a teenager in the US who decided to live in the woods with her boyfriend and never bothered to visit a doctor to see how her pregnancy was doing. This was a girl who simply didn’t understand the gravity of her choices. And the fact that horrible things like this happen while we’re all debating make-up or peanuts in pre-schools is just insane.
It’s so upsetting that I can’t comprehend both at the same time, in the same place. This family’s story is painful. And it makes me want to hop off the internet and find a volunteer organization in my city that helps prepare young parents. It makes me want to reach out to our Church and talk about giving parenting classes. It makes me want to do more. And I hope you get the same kind of inspiration from it. Because if we spent as much time helping others as we do debating with each other, we could do a lot of good.