By now you all know the reasons why I have started this blog. To underline the difficulties single parents face in our society.
Last night I went through an experience, I will never be able to forget, but which highlights again the fact that we need to get heard! So here goes….
I spent the afternoon with the kids at my mum’s house. Mum needed some help, as she wasn’t feeling well and I needed to do some stuff as well online. Around 8 pm we decided to take the bus back home. At one of the busstops a mum tried to get in. She had a three year old boy with her. Clearly this mum had too much to drink. She stumbled to her seat, the little boy in tow. We drove on to the final stop (the station), where the bus stopped quite abruptly. What happened then is actually very hard to tell. The little boy was sitting on his knees in the chair and when the bus stopped, he toppled over (about a meter and a half down) and smacked the back of his head hard against a ledge. About ten people just casually walked off the bus, not caring, while the boy was in tears. Mum, well, she was just sitting there, seemingly unaware what just happened.
I decided to take my own kids off the bus. Told my oldest one to keep an eye on her brother, while I got the screaming boy off the bus to check him over. I noticed he wasn’t bleeding and that he was conscience enough to give me his name. I tried my best to comfort him. His little arms clutching me tight. My heart just broke.
A few seconds later, mum stumbled out of the bus. She grabbed her child off me and started walking. I took my own kids and ran after her. She needed to go to hospital straight away, in case the little boy had a concusion or worse! Her reaction: “I will go to the doctor tomorrow” and off she went. Knowing that there was a chance this child wouldn’t survive the night if he was seriously injured, I kept walking beside her, trying to talk to her. By then another man came to my aid, asking me if I needed help. Thank goodness he was there! I explained what happened and he thought the same as me. We needed to call the police. So he did. I kept talking to the mum. She said: “I am a single mum for a whole year, and it is hard!” This struck me so hard! “trust me, love, I know!” The man next to me: “I am a single dad and I struggle combining parenting and going to school”
So, there we were. Three single parents walking the streets of Hasselt. One mum, who simply drowned her sorrows in liquor and who admitted in a stupour she wasn’t coping. One dad (who became dad at a fairly young age) and me…with my kids.
The universe wasn’t trying to tell me something, it was SHOUTING: “DEBORAH, LOOK AROUND, OTHER PEOPLE LIKE YOU, ALL SORTS OF PEOPLE AND THEY NEED HELP. PLEASE HELP!
A few minutes later, the police came and took mum and her little boy with them to the hospital. I hope, this is mum’s wake up call and that social services find this case severe enough to investigate further. I sincerely hope this mum gets some immediate help.
This experience really shook me to the core. People in government need to start realising NOW they have a HUGE PROBLEM on their hands. It hasn’t even been a week since I started this blog and then this…….Three single parents on the streets of Hasselt. All with their own sets of problems…..and I am not even trying to scratch the surface. I haven’t even tried to reach out to others.
The question now is: What do we need to do to get heard? I am starting here with you, dear people of the net. Share this, if you please. Even if you are not a single parent. We need to defend the weakest of our society, our kids most importantly: support their carers….and it all begins with a bit of compassion and a ton of knowledge!