Imagine getting dumped with six random children to care for for a few days without your consent.
A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for calling children’s social care on my neighbor when she left her children on my doorstep?”. Could you look into this matter?
The Original Poster (OP) (F29) and her husband (M27) live in a cul-de-sac.
“Everyone is too close to one another, and it means people are naturally in each other’s business,” says OP.
THE PROBLEMATIC NEIGHBOR
Right from the beginning, OP had issues with one of their neighbors. She is the type of woman who lets her children wander about without a care, but that is not the worst part. She has an uncanny skill for talking the neighbors into babysitting for her.
“I am normally the type to say no, but even I have been roped into it way too many times,” says OP.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
Yesterday, the problematic neighbor came knocking on OP’s door again. So OP pretended she wasn’t home. The woman outside continued to strike harder, and OP thought she would yank the letterbox right off.
So, OP went to answer. She quickly said a few sentences that OP didn’t quite understand and that she would be back on Sunday. She has six children ranging from 6 months to 7 years old.
“I told her I couldn’t, and she said the black cab was waiting for her. I tried to grab her hand to stop her from leaving. I said I could not, and she ran off and got in the cab,” says OP.
WHAT DID OP DO NEXT?
She (OP) was annoyed, and that is putting it mildly. OP waited 40 minutes, then texted the woman that if she couldn’t pick her kids up in 10 minutes, OP would call Children’s Services.
She didn’t answer the text, so OP called her. She didn’t pick up on the first two rings but picked up on the third. OP told her the same thing again, and she tried to tell OP it was too late for her to come back as she was out of the city and that if OP didn’t want to watch them, she could drop them off at Jennifer’s (the 68-year-old lady with health issues living on the opposite side of me).
“I repeated that if she wasn’t here in 10 minutes, she could pick them up at the local council if they decided she was a fit enough mother. She said a few bad words and told me I would never. So I did as in the moment it felt like she was baiting me,” says OP.
CHILD SERVICES GETS INVOLVED
After phoning Child Services, OP texted her that it was done. She phoned OP back and said she was halfway to Blackpool and would murder OP if it was true. So OP sent her a video when Child Services picked the kids up.
“The police were there too as they said they often tag along for collecting abandoned children in case something criminal has happened, and they asked many questions about the mother,” says OP.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT?
Last night, OP and her husband had a huge fight. OP’s husband was in foster care, and he said, ‘right cow you are.’ He said OP should have declined at the door instead of waiting 40 minutes before calling Child Services when the mother couldn’t reasonably pick them up in 10 minutes.
“He said I had other options, like not opening the door or running after her and throwing the children into the black cab instead of giving silent consent. He also said I did it on purpose as the mother offered Jennifer as an alternative, so why hadn’t I done that?” says OP.
In OP’s defense, I am not comfortable handing over children to a third party, and good manners say you don’t show up on an elderly lady’s doorstep and give her six unruly children to deal with for a few days.
“I would never have lived down that shame. My husband argued that once I had dropped them off at Jennifer’s, it would no longer be my business, but something between the mother and our other neighbor”, says OP.
IS OP THE JERK?
Her (OP’s) husband told OP anything that happens to those children in care is on OP, and then he informed OP of things he experienced and what he knew of others in consideration.
“I haven’t slept much, and my husband left for work without speaking to me. I wonder if I should go back to Child Services and say I overreacted or that it was a misunderstanding and find a way to make it up to the children and get them out of there. I had no idea foster care was that bad. Am I a jerk?” asks OP.
YOU DID THE RIGHT THING
“Not the jerk. You did the right thing. I get that your husband has trauma, but the fact that he’s blaming you for children potentially being hurt in care while also advocating leaving kids with an unsuitable caregiver/leaving them abandoned to wander the street is messed up.
Would he not feel even guilty if he’d left kids with a frail old lady and someone had ended up hurt or dead? Because if not, that’s messed up.”
TIMES HAVE CHANGED
“Not the jerk. Times have changed since your husband was in foster care, and the system is much improved. You have done those kids a favor by alerting the appropriate authorities.
The irresponsible mother will not automatically have her children removed from her neglectful care but will have some supervision and support now.”
MAYBE THIS ACTS AS A WAKEUP CALL
“That woman is such a bad mother to just dump her kids, and care services would be a better option for them. Maybe she will wake up after this.”
THANK YOU FOR MAKING THE RIGHT CALL
“Not the jerk. Thank you for making this tough call, OP. These children need proper care and stability. The mother is not giving that. You would have been wrong not to call. You gave no consent. This is appalling.
Your husband has his issues that are his own. It is not for him to say the kids are better with their mum. He needs to back off. I’m sorry you are being treated this way.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.