Tuesday, March 27, 2007

CHILD NEGLECT

I was doing my usual round of blog rounds last night when I stumbled upon this story on Solomon Sydelle's - (another absolutely cool lady in blogville) blog. A lady in Maryland was being taken to the court and charged on several counts of Child Neglect for leaving her kids in unsavoury conditions as well as Animal Cruelty.

Back home, it is quite a joy when you have a new baby and relatives and friends are practically falling over themselves to help you in one way or the other look after your new baby. This help could be either in the form of one cousin or the other volunterring to come over and stay with you and help you carry the new baby or either set of parents especially the moms being handy with all sorts of tips -bathing, feeding, sleeping etc. But the bottom line is that there is always someone around and ready to help out.

Over in the diaspora - the saying goes you dont suffer fools gladly. Help is more often than not absolutely non existent. Correct me if I am wrong please anybody. But the existent help isnt free either. Child care is downright expensive and you could pay up to £800 or more a month to keep your baby in the daycare while you go off to work pending when he or she (new baby) is able to start proper school or there is always the other option. Stop work, stay at home and look after the baby resulting in loss of earnings from one partner while the other partner now has sole responsibility of all the bills and expenses in the household. Gone are the relatives and friends so readily available back home cos time is money.

Which brings me back to my story about AMARA EDEN. She had 5 kids between the ages of 6months to 6years. Why was she having so many children - or didnt the word "CONTRACEPTION" exist in her everday lingua, vocabulary or dictioanry? Firemen were called to the building due to smoke coming from the building and discovered the eldest trying to feed the younger ones with beans from a pot on the stove from which the smoke was emanating. I feel sad for Amara and angry at her at the same time. Why have so many kids if you are a single parent and knowing that you cant afford to pay for childcare while you are out working and trying to earn a living to take care of the kids you have brought into this world? A video of the start of her apartment can be found as broadcast by the news channels. VIDEO HERE

I am trying to imagine that she came back tired from her place of work each day and that is why her room is in such a state or maybe she tidies the apartment before she goes to work each day and its during the time frame she is away that the kids get the place all scattered all over again while they are playing? Why on earth did she keep a dog too? In the same untidy room as her kids? Faeces, urine all over the place? Where on earth was her husband, partner, boyfriend , or whatever during the happening of all these events? Where ever he is, especially if he is in the US and specifically Maryland also, he too must be brought out to explain why he wasnt contributing his own two cents and helping take care of the kids or babysit while Amara was out at work. Only Amara can explain what was going through her mind and her frustrations that led to all these unsavoury events and circumstances. This post is one of mixed feelings - she must have been struggling to cope but the situation and condition she left her kids in was absolutely appalling.

31 comments:

  1. You are right, living in the diaspora with children is very different from being in Nigeria. That being the case, parents have to keep that in mind. Like you, I feel torn between outright disdain and pain for her. In her defense, I would think she is suffering from postpartum depression. has to be. But, sometimes, there is no rational explanation for human behavior.

    Anyway, thanks so much for the shout out. I appreciate it. Hope to see you again soon. =)

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  2. “Help is more often than not absolutely non existent. Correct me if I am wrong please anybody”

    I can’t argue with this statement, help is practically non-existent, and like you rightly said, very expensive if/and when found.

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  3. You hit it on the head calabargal - the pressures are enormous and it's very difficult for parents over there. But the bottom line is that children, who did not ask to be brought into this world in the first place, just cannot be allowed to live in abysmal conditions as a result.

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  4. I have a 16 month old and I have never had to put her in a creche. My mum takes care of her and my brother even helped out with her for over 3 months when he was home on a break.

    I really do not know how I would have managed if I was away from my folks and had to do it all on my own.

    If she can't cope with living there then she go back home or find some other way to give her children a better life. Not everyone has to live abroad. Besides, she OWES them a better life.

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  5. You know I wonder why people do what they do sometimes. This incident, I really don't know what on earth she was thinking. I have mixed feelings as well. A 6yr. cooking dinner without an adult, come on! Where were the father (s)? No excuse but at the sametime there might of been. Don't know. It's very sad.

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  6. I wud ve 2 read more about this story b4 i conclude, il check out d link.However, from wat u ve written, there are myriad of unanswered questions, how did she get herself involved in this situation? where is her partner? wasnt she educated on family planning?I feel for her but in such developed environments im always inclined to lean towards contributory blame, and wudnt point my finger at amara alone

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  7. The situation is unfortunate, and I really underestand that help is hard to find, but after the first kid, she should have realized that. Calabargirl, you are so right, where the hell is the father? And No, not everybody has to live abroad. I have heard of many children abroad living with relatives in poor conditions just because their parents insist on them living abroad. Meanwhile, in Naija, they could have a normal childhood. I have never understood that. Why do parents do that?

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  8. I feel for her too, i dont know the details of why she insists on being outside nija when she can get help here, its so difficult raising kids as a single mum in a foreign country, she needs to maybe think of going back where she can raise them better with help from home etc.

    Well we can only pray for her and hope all works out well.

    @calabar gal: thanx for stopping by. I thought i was crazy and thanx fot letting me know these "RELATIVES" get as dem be.

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  9. But then, why do Nigerians come over to the diaspora and refuse to adjust/accomodate the environment/ laws of the society in which they now live in. Don't have a baby if you are not ready for it and if you are, let the husband do some babysitting too or find good friends who can provide mutual favours.

    What was Amara thinking? Isn't it illegal to leave kids that young at home? If you cannot conveniently take of many children, don't have them until you are equipped for it.... but not one or two but five !! The house was really appalling too. Let me just assume poverty had something to do with this unless it just does not make any sense.

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  10. you are absoluntely right, children in the western world rarely get to know thier parents. perhaps thats why theres so much angst. Family is not everything. People only care for thier primary family members. the extended family means nothing. In nigeria, whats your family without your cousins, without, your aunts, uncles, etc. I guess its the price we have to pay

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  11. a six year left at home alone with four younger ones,and a pet!wondering how amara got herself into this mess.

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  12. CG- Thank you for reporting. I watched the video by the way, as disturbing as it is. I feel sorry for the woman. I think emotionally she got in over her head and could no longer cope with the kids her life and the dog. Her partner is obviously not an issue or else the kids would not be cooking the meal. I do not think the kids destroyed the home I think it was apparent that she was not cleaning it. I think she needs psychological examination not prison.The DA is only looking to make a name for himself. It is truly a shameful story that this woman is also a caregiver. Somewhere , someone has failed her, and now she is just a part of the system.

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  13. Na wa oh, the story about the oldest child trying to feed the younger ones with beans from a probably dangerous stove is kinda scary...

    That keeping a pet when u can't take care of ur children is kinda common over here in the states...I really wonder why people have to have pets that they can't take care of...

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  14. As A MUM MYSELF I CANT FOR THE LIFE OF ME BEGIN TO UNRAVEL WHATEVER AMARA WAS THINKING BUT I STILL FEEL FOR HER. THANKS AGAIN FOR BRINING THIS UP, SHE SHOULD HAVE TAKEN OUT HER WOMB IF ALL OTHER FORMS OF CONTRACEPTIVES FAILED! HARSH ABI BUT SOME OF THOSE KIDS COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF NOT COMING INTO HER LIFE.

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  15. its not the children's fault that they were brought into the world so this shouldn't happen

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  16. that's just horrible. Too bad for her, but na by force say pesin go live for Yanki and no fit adjust? Hmph...she must have her reasons. I jsut feel bad for the kids...

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  17. I think parenthood needs 100% commitment! Whether unplanned for or planned for that should be essential!
    That's a sad situatin da lady is in

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  18. i feel having children in naija, helps raise the morals.

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  19. i've heard this amara's story for a little bit, and while the questions you raised are valid, I don't think they pertain to her. According to the reports she left her children alone often and for days at a time to be with her "boyfriend," she lived in that squalid apartment yet she drove a late model truck... sorry hers seems more of a case of selfishness than of someone in need of dire help.

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  20. why on earth is childcare so expensive? I remember living and working in Alanta and having police and medical personnel pretty much shut my office building down in Buckhead...Turns out a mother that had no where to keep her child left the 2 year old adorable girl in her car and went to an interview. Baby died and it was all over the news.

    Why on earth is childcare so expensive in the "developed" world?

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  21. This is crazy! I would like to put her down but I dunno her situation. I dunno what may have happened to put her in the place that she is now, so I'll just let it go. My prayer is that God helps her and her children. I cannot say that those children will do better in a foster home because those places r just terrible too!

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  22. Omo,this na real mess oh...I pray the children are not left scarred cos of all these premature responsibilities...but then i dont want to judge her oh...

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  23. Honestly, I really feel bad for her sha. It's rather difficlt to judge her cos non of us know what her situation is. It's just that kai, those kids must have suffered sha with minimal care from their mum cos she has to work all the time and leave them at home.
    Hm... I don't know how or if they'll ever return those kids to her o! doesn't look it at all... I pray God will visit her though.

    Living abroad isn't the easiest thing especially with 5kids... wow!!

    How you dey anyway??

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  24. YA GIRL ONB GOT DUMPED U HEARD

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  25. This is a sad story really! She is probably responsible for the kids all by herself? Wonder how one person's paycheck is supposed to cover all the expenses. I hope she finds some real help soon.

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  26. why have five children when you cant take care of them? This is the problem i have. couldnt she get some birth control. its just sad

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  27. hi there..thank you,

    i'm actually using picasa for the pics.

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  28. hi.this is linda ikeji.tot to check out ur blog.really nice.thanks for all the help.

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  29. i have a new blog...abeg leave comments and broadcast me oh!!!!

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  30. Thanks for the comment on my blog. It is much appreciated. Me and SolomonSydelle will definitely have a baby shower for you. We are always looking for an excuse to have a party. In fact, Solomonsydelle is having a party this weekend for TE. It should be fun. I will be posting pics on my blog so make sure you check back for it.

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  31. Trying to catch up on blogs today-wanted to say hello.

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