Distracted mom almost kills daughter while doing something we ALL do

In this day and age, it's extremely easy to be distracted. At some point or another, we've all been guilty of not giving our full attention to a conversation or the task at hand because we're checking our cells, iPads, etc. That's why I couldn't help but relate to mom Jennifer Meer for what recently happened to her.

In a blog post that's quickly making its way across the Internet, Meer confessed that she--as she puts it-- "almost killed" her daughter when she left the toddler alone for a couple of minutes to check an email. Since its publication, her story, which she entitled "Distracted Living," has gone viral...and it's easy to see why.  


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It all began on a Wednesday earlier this month around 6 p.m., when Meer had just put her 3-year-old daughter in the tub and then left her there alone to get a shower started for her 5-year-old son. According to Meer, her husband was traveling, leaving her to juggle kid duties, and she figured she was safe leaving her daughter on her own for just a couple of minutes. As she writes:

She is coming up on 4 and I am less concerned about leaving her alone in the tub. Plus, the need to get both baths and showers started at the same time feels like a multi-tasking necessity when it's the end of the day and I'm slogging through it on my own. I love them, but I'm just so tired. 

She was on the way back to her daughter, when she saw she had gotten an email from a friend on her iPad. Meer says it was unimportant and there was no real urgency for her to respond right there, but she "inexplicably, felt the need to." So she did, leaving her daughter in the tub for another couple of minutes.

When she did return to the bathroom, Meer was shocked to find her daughter "completely and totally asleep" in the tub. "She was really tired and the water was warm and she just fell asleep," she writes. "By the grace of God, she...fell asleep sitting up, slumped against the side of the tub. But it wouldn't have been much longer (how much longer, seconds?) before she would've slipped under the water."

Thankfully, Meer's little girl was totally fine. In fact, she woke up a few minutes later in bed, refreshed and unaware of what had just happened. But Meer was—understandably—left shocked and it took that feeling of panic for her to make a significant realization: "Becoming a parent during the rapid rise of the era of tablets and smartphones, I have lost the ability to be present and do one thing at a time," she writes. "It scares me."

It scares me too...especially since the truth is, she's hardly alone. I don't have kids, but I can't tell you how many times I've seen parents staring at their cells while their child toddles off alone. And I'm guilty in my own way too—of putting my life at risk when I text and don't look up before crossing the street or when I run to "quickly" check my laptop only to get engrossed and forget I just put something in the toaster. It's dangerous behavior that almost everyone engages in, but it's parents and their kids that have the most to lose.

While it might be easy to judge and point fingers at Meer for not giving her full attention to her child--and I definitely agree that she shouldn't have left her daughter alone--I also think that there's no mom or dad on the planet who hasn't been there. Everyone has lapses in judgements at times, particularly when they're at their peak of exhaustion. Personally, I applaud Meer—both for being brave enough to share her story and for sharing a lesson that we could all benefit from learning: to slow down, pay attention, and be present in each and every moment. 

Image via Thinkstock

Topics: kids  in the news  parents and children  parenting