I’ll start by saying that I’m not a judgy Mummy. I have a ton of failings as a parent and, as such, I realise that I am not superior to anyone else.
I have always maintained that, unless you are a perfect parent, then you can’t lay blame on others for their parenting right?
Today I realised that it’s ok to judge some parents.
But I’m not talking about those little things which some people deem to be inferior parenting.
I’m not talking about bottle feeding or three McDonalds trips a week. I’m not talking about four hours in front of the TV every day or iPads at bedtime. Im not talking about snapping at your kids round Asda because they won’t stay near the trolley whilst you’re picking your broccoli.
I’m talking about parents like the disgusting parents of poor little two year old Liam Fee – Rachel and Nyomi – who, this week, were charged with his murder.
They hit him with such force that his heart ruptured.
But this was only after subjecting him to a string of abuse which is amongst the worst I’ve ever read. I won’t go into details because it’s too harrowing, but you can read the details here.
Today my kids went to nursery. I didn’t have to work so I dropped them off and went to have my hair cut. The eldest had an epic tantrum about putting his coat on which led to me forgetting something and being a bit shouty on the way.
When I’d dropped them off I sat in the car and cried because I’d been a bit shouty. And also because the youngest keeps waking up at 4am and I’m knackered.
Sometimes I’m so tired I want to send them to nursery all week and just sleep all day every day. Sometimes their tantrums make me want to scream. Sometimes I have to grit my teeth and take deep breaths before answering to my name for the millionth time that day. Sometimes I get a bit shouty.
But I would never lock my children in a cage made from fire guards and cable ties or force them to eat their own excrement as a punishment.
When I read the details of their charges I almost burst into tears. I was in the hairdressers so I held it together. But afterwards, I got into the car and cried for the second time today. Not for my own kids this time because Mummy lost her shit a bit because of a coat. But for Liam Fee whose Mummies broke his leg, locked him in a room with rats and snakes and made him eat dog faeces.
I feel physically sick that people can treat children like that.
And I feel angry. So so angry.
I know the most wonderful people, couples with so much love and care and affection to offer a child. But they are struggling to have one. I know amazing parents who endured years of IVF before finally having their own baby. I know brave, resilient people who are going through the heartbreak of having a little one born at 24 weeks and fighting for her life.
I know strong, compassionate people who have miscarried babies. Who have given birth to sleeping babies. Who have lost babies in the first year of their life.
I am angry for all of them. All these amazing people who have not yet been blessed with children or who have lost them whilst there are people blessed with children who they are torturing in every sense of the word.
I am angry for Liam Fee for what he had to go through.
I am angry at the authorities for failing him as he ‘slipped through the net’ (their words).
I am so angry I am crying angry, frustrated tears of helplessness for the Liam Fees of this world.
But I am also grateful for the blessing of my own children. Grateful that they know what it’s like to be safe and warm and loved. Grateful that they know nothing of the horrors other poor innocent children endure.
Today I judged another parent. Two parents. And I found them wanting.
Rachel and Nyomi Fee are inferior to me. They are inferior to all of us. As parents, as people and as basic human beings.
They will soon know what it’s like to be imprisoned.
Sadly, they will be treated far more humanely than they treated their children.
Rest in peace Liam.