Parenting is a tough gig ... and if you go in thinking otherwise, you are in for a shock. From that moment that you commit to becoming a parent, you are signing up, unconditionally, to support another human being, and give them the best version of you possible.
Most people are aware, as parents, that regardless of the available funds, their own upbringing, and their individual circumstances, their job is to care and nurture for the children they have brought into the world.
There are a select few that ignore or refuse to accept this role as a parent. I can only make these assumptions from what I have seen and heard, and from what I base my own parenting on.
My latest observations have shocked and saddened me. I have questioned all of the who, what, where and why in my mind.
Why do some children appear to be parentless??
Why are some children seen wandering the street from morning till after dark?
Why are they often not at school, but seem well enough to play all day unsupervised?
How do these children know so much about topics that should never be discussed with a child?
Why do the children use such foul language, and who taught it to them?
Do these children receive the nutrition and care they need at home?
Why, if people do not want to commit to everything that is required to keep your child safe, healthy, educated, fed, clean and nurtured, do they have children? And why, oh why, would they go back and have another, and another?
Sadly, I know that the promise of money is such a big incentive to people these days. The money offered by the Australian Government only goes a small way towards raising a child. That's if the money is even used for the purpose for which it was given.
I am not saying that the case is this open and shut for each "parentless" family. I am well aware that circumstances change, as do people. Some solo parents are so busy trying to get an income that there is little time spent at home. Illness can play a huge role in the family having to fend for itself. Mostly though, I have witnessed a lot of indulgence in addictive substances playing a major role in these people's lives.
Regardless of the who, what, where and why ... I do not want the children to have to pay for their lack of parenting. As much as I want to treat these children just like any other, and welcome them over to play with my children, the circumstances make this difficult. Despite the children mixing at school, I feel that also having the "parentless" children playing at my home would overexpose my children to language, behaviour and topics that we think is inappropriate.
I am not asking every parent to have the same beliefs as I do, or even think that I could advise them on parenting issues. I just ask that parents step up to the plate and commit to what they started.
Have you come across a similar dilemma? What are your thoughts?