Did you guys catch Shanesha Taylor’s exclusive interview on TODAY? In case you’re not familiar with her story, she’s the single mom who left her 6-month-old and 2-year-old alone in her unlocked car, with the keys in the ignition and the windows cracked open just an inch. Cops estimated the temp in the car was 100 degrees. You’re likely thinking exactly what I thought when I first heard about this story: WHAT THE HELL, LADY!
But she didn’t leave them alone to go get her nails done or some other silly errand, like this lady, who left her children in a piping hot car to get her hair cut. Seriously. Taylor claims her babysitter “flaked” at the last minute and she had no choice but to take her sons with her — to a job interview. Here you have an unemployed single mom, not some asshat going for a haircut. But what caused her to act out like this?
“It’s making a choice out of desperation,” she told TODAY’S Matt Lauer. “It’s choosing what is the best option, what is the best thing for me to do in this particular situation — being able to provide food, a roof, clothes, shoes for them, or take this moment and care for.”
What’s heartbreaking about this is that I actually believe her and feel bad for her. Her teary-eyed mug shot suggests that she knows she effed up, unlike other parents who have strange reactions or show no emotion after their baby is found dead in a hot car, like the infamous couple in Georgia. I have to assume that Taylor, a single mom of two, really needed this job and income so she could support her babies.
As a single mom, I have an army of people who want to help me — and do help me, but single motherhood sometimes does make you feel like you’re floating around in the universe with a little person tugging on your jeans.
Still, there’s so many questions I want to ask Taylor, but I know her answer will be “desperation,” like she told Lauer. Aside from leaving the kids in the car, why did she leave the doors unlocked? The keys in the ignition. The babies could have been kidnapped. Was she trying to make it look like it was a quick errand? Just running in somewhere — and not sitting down for a job interview? That’s one theory and who knows if it’s accurate, or just my mom-mind trying to make sense of leaving two babies in the car.
I get why she didn’t bring them in — I doubt a potential employer would be thrilled with a SINGLE mom bringing her kids to a job interview. The employer would likely think … And this one’s gonna be calling out a lot! Or coming in late. Her kids are gonna get sick. Disaster.
I feel awful for this mom and I’m not the only one. It was reported that after news broke of Taylor’s story, support streamed in from strangers across the country, including a Garden State woman who launched an online fundraising campaign — it raised $115,000. At the end of the day this is a sad, sad story about a single mother who needs help.
What do you think of this story? Do you blame or support Taylor?