Mother asks her 14-year-old daughter to babysit her little brother while she's at work: now she faces 1 year in jail
May 02, 2022
Being a parent is not easy and everyone, sooner or later, makes mistakes: this is completely normal and to be expected from time to time. Having to look after a baby, the children and work at the same time can put a strain on a mother's endurance. This happened to Melissa Henderson, a mother of five, who apparently made the mistake of leaving her 4-year-old son in the care of his 14-year-old sister. Of course, Melissa didn't go out to have fun, but to work. Her story is causing a lot of discussion in the local media and her followers around the world, as Melissa now faces a prison sentence. But her alleged "reckless act" is something that many desperate parents have also done in their lives.
via GoFund Me
Melissa Henderson is a mother of five children and being the only one in the family who works to make ends meet by holding down a job, she doesn't easily skip a working day. In fact, she has no choice as to whether she wants to take care of her children or not. As a rule, she has always managed to get by very well juggling nursery schools, homework and personal work, but when a Covid-19 epidemic forced the kindergarten to close for a few days, this is where the trouble began. Who could take care of her little son, Thaddeus, while she was at work? She went through all of her options and, sadly, she ultimately had no choice but to ask her eldest daughter, who is just 14 years old, to look after the baby while she was at work.
Fortunately, nothing bad happened while the young girl was babysitting her little brother, but the situation could have become dangerous at any moment. At one point, while the girl was doing her homework, little Thaddeus sneaked into the backyard to play by himself for about fifteen minutes. His sister, as soon as she noticed this, immediately brought him back inside, but a neighbor had noticed that something was wrong when he spotted the child all alone outside the house. The neighbor, worried about the safety of little Thaddeus, called the national emergency phone number, reporting the situation.
Two weeks after the incident, the police knocked on Melissa's door. "It was the most embarrassing and humiliating day of my life," said Melissa, appalled by what was happening. The accusations against this single mother are that she acted recklessly, endangering the life of her child. In the report, the police pointed out everything that could have happened to Thaddeus in those few minutes while he was outside alone, such as "being abducted, run over or bitten by an animal". On this basis, charges were brought against the mother, who now faces 1 year in prison and a $ 1,000 dollar fine.
"I almost have no words for how bad this has made me feel," Melissa commented. "Deep down in my heart, I feel that I am a good mother and everything I do, I do for my children. But despite this, I was handcuffed by the police in front of my children," said the mother, describing her traumatic experience.
Melissa was put into a police cruiser and taken to the county jail, where they photographed her, fingerprinted her and gave her an orange jumpsuit to put on before being taken to a cell: " I remember being huddled in a ball in the corner of the cell… I just wanted to hide from the world, ”recalls Melissa.
Melissa's sister started a fundraiser after she was arrested. The whole family is waiting for updates on the case. Her followers and public opinion are divided on the matter, but most of the comments all seem to be on the side of this pressured, overworked mother.
What is your opinion?