We Need to Stop Jumping to Conclusions About Moms on the Internet

Another Week, Another Mom Vilified on the Internet

What would a week be without judging another mom on the internet. This time it’s Jennifer Abma, a single mom who lives in Canada.

Jennifer’s daughters, 3-year-old Anastasia and 1-year-old Ariel, were playing inside on a hot day when Anastasia decided to go take a nap. Abma went to check on her an hour later and found her red hot, and drenched in sweat. She immediately called 911. The temperature in Anastasia’s room was above 100 degrees.

Thankfully, the paramedics came within minutes, treated Anastasia for heatstroke, and she is now completely fine.

In an interview with CBS news Jennifer said officials encouraged her to take a photo of Anastasia to share with friends and family as a warning, so she did.


THIS was my evening, this was the scariest moment I've had to imagine, THIS is severe heatstroke. There is nothing scarier than not being able to wake your baby up. THIS is clear proof a child doesn't need to be in the sun to get heat stroke. It took us 20 minutes to wake her up, when ambulance came, they came with investigators because they didn't know what to expect as did I. This was proof how fast things change. Anastasia put herself for a nap, I had no idea how hot her bedroom was until I went to wake her up soaked in sweat, red face, boiling and unable to wake her for 15 minutes, ambulance arrived faster then I could have ever imagined and took her sugars which were 1.2 and should be above 4, they administered sucrose and in minutes she started crying clearly scared. No it is not my fault this happened to her but it is hard not to blame yourself, this is a lesson learnt & hopefully other parents can take something from this & make sure you are checking the rooms in your house because thy can be as dangerous as a hot car. Still I'm shook and I can't imagine what would have happened if I didn't go check on her. We definitely had god on our side yesterday and I am thankful for emergency services and Jay who came as fast as possible to keep me together. #iloveyou #summertime #heatstroke #reality

A post shared by Jenn (@goalcrushinmama) on

And then it went viral.

Cue the judgement.

There seem to be three types of judgement on this week’s internet shame game.

The first bunch assumed she took the photo before she called 911. Jennifer clarified in a comment on her Instagram account that it was taken after the EMS arrived. But it’s always good to jump to conclusions so you can feel superior to others, right?

The second group felt like they would know exactly the right thing to do in the same situation.

When we were hit head-on by a drunk driver, there was a good 20 to 30 second time frame where I sat without moving completely stunned, then I turned around, saw my son bleeding and raced to get him out of the van. Guess who shouldn’t have moved her son until she knew he had no neck of back injuries?

We all like to think we’d do the exact right thing at any given moment. But what’s closer to the truth is you have no idea how you will react in an emergency situation until you’re in an emergency situation.

For the record, she called 911. She did the right thing.

The last group, and my personal favourite, (read that in a sarcastic voice) were angry because she didn’t know the room was hot.

Oh my, it’s easy to throw stones in our air-conditioned glass houses, isn’t it.

While many of us, myself included, flip on the AC when the temps get to hot, there are many MANY people who don’t have that luxury. And make no doubt about it, having air conditioning is a luxury not everyone can afford.

I grew up in a home where all the windows were open trying to get a breeze generated to break up the stifling heat. Even when we got a window air-conditioner, we kept all the bedroom doors closed so that the kitchen and living room would be cool.

The simple fact is, we’ve all made mistakes on our parenting journeys. I’ve had a few close calls with my own boys and it was simply dumb luck those incidents didn’t turn out in an entirely different way.

It is Jennifer’s first summer in a new house and the rest of the house was cool. She didn’t realize that her daughter’s room was this hot.

Did she make a mistake by not knowing how hot her daughter’s room was? Yes.

But that doesn’t make her a monster, or a bad mother. She’s human, and we all make mistakes. Yes, even all you who felt it was okay to leave sh*tty comments on her Instagram post or in the news story about her daughter.

The next time you go to write a nasty comment, maybe think about those mistakes and grant the person the grace you were given.




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