The Care Factor


A more serious post from Mumabulous today. My father was a Special Ed teacher for most of his adult life. He specialized in working with kids who were both mentally retarded and emotionally disturbed – a losing combination if ever there was one.  Dad’s former professional life would have made excellent blog fodder. He would come home daily with anecdotes to make you laugh, cry, puke and everything in between. Now that I’m a mother this story is particularly resonant.

A group of his primary school students were having a whinge fest. They were having a one upmanship contest about the inconveniences their mothers imposed upon them. “My Mum wont let me stay up and watch TV” moaned one. “My Mum only lets me have an hour of computer time” chipped in another. “Well my Mum makes me eat peas” yet another whined in disgust. One little boy was becoming visibly agitated the longer this litany of complaints went on. Finally he slammed his fist down hard upon his desk and shouted ” Just shut up! I’m sick of this bullshit! At least your mothers care about you. My Mum never cared about me”.

Unfortunately this child’s mother was a heroin addict and was too caught up in the ravages of her illness to care about him. He had dragged himself up in an environment of utter neglect. On hearing this, I wanted to scoop the young boy up in my arms and invite him to come and live with me. I would care for him.  He’d be a young man in his twenties now and I’ve no idea what became of him. I can only hope that it was something good as he deserved it. For a boy who was supposedly mentally challenged he displayed a lot of wisdom that day.

The care factor.

Sometimes he drifts into my thoughts as I hug and kiss my girls or walk to the park with them in sunshine. His message cuts through all the white noise of the media’s so called “Mummy wars” and I’m thankful to him for teaching me the most important thing about parenting. You’ll never get this gig 100% right 100% of the time but if you care and show it you’ll never be a bad parent.

Mumabulous will be back to her fluffy, frivolous self next time.


photo credit: Robert Whitehead via photo pin cc

Thankful Thursday

16 thoughts on “The Care Factor

  1. It’s so important to remind yourself of stories like this sometimes. Thanks for sharing this. I’ve just been catching up on my recorded episodes of the SBS series ‘Go back to where you came from’. Putting aside the politics re asylum seekers, it reminded me how incredibly lucky my kids are and how little it matters if I get every tiny little thing ‘right’ on my parenting journey. My kids are loved, fed, educated and clean (mostly) which is a lot more than some kids have.

  2. Breaks your heart doesn’t it 😦 I doubt any mother could read this not be touched… xxxx

    • Thanks Michelle
      I dont normally like to write about this sort of thing as I prefer to keep Mumabulous upbeat and humorous. However I do think of this particular young man often and I sincerely hope good things came his way.
      Thanks for bearing with me in a pensive mood.

  3. Wow, that certainly was a different spin on things. I hope that child had someone wo cared enough to be a parental figure for him.

    • I’ve no idea what happened to him. Fortunately the school did wonderful work and most of the kids went on to jobs or TAFE training. I hope he was one of the many happy endings.
      Love Mumabulous

  4. I suppose I surround myself with caring moms…certainly all those in my mothers groups are very caring and you see so many mother showing how much they care in the blogging world…so I often forget that some children aren’t so fortunate.
    I am a nurse and I do sometimes at work encounter newborns who enter this world addicted to drugs or with HIV and it is heartbreaking.
    I think it is important to remember that as long as you demonstrate to your children that they are loved, then that goes a long way towards being a “good mother”

  5. What a story! It’s hard not to be left wondering what’s happened to him. We had a little boy in our play group last year who’s heroin addict mum had given him up to have his aunty look after him instead. It always broke my heart to see him but I knew he was now well looked after and most importantly, loved.
    Thanks for sharing this with us.

    • Yes, that little boy was fortunate to have his Aunty to care for him. Perhaps one day his Mum will get clean and he’ll be able to have a relationship with her to.
      Love Mumabulous

  6. You had me a little choked up there. Beautiful post though. I’d like to think that such a wise little boy went on to have a beautiful life and has perhaps started his own family that he’ll love to the end of the earth. Gorgeous photo too x

    • Thanks Kelly. The school did a fantastic job and most of the students went on to find jobs or get further training at TAFE. I can only hope that this little boy was one of the success stories.

  7. I love this. Great post and a positive reminder that we need to show people we care. As human beings. Full stop. Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a great post! Definitely something to remember. I have a friend who often whinges about how bad his life is and one day I was just so fed up with it I told him there were people out there who were much worse off than him who didn’t complain as much and if he wasn’t happy with his life then he was lucky enough to have the power to change it. Everyone is entitled to have a day of whinging and feeling sorry for themselves but when it happens perpetually we need a wake-up call coz there are people who have it so much worse than we do. I hope that boy grew up to great things.

  9. What a powerful post! And I love the lesson that the most important thing as parents is to care and show.

    • Thanks be Heeled Housewife. That was a rare serious note from me. I’ve already resumed writing stuff and nonsense.
      Hope you are enjoying this wonderful spring day.
      Love Mumabulous

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