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Woman Leaves Stepkids Alone In A Café When Their Mother Didn’t Show Up On Time — Now The Mom Is Getting Police Involved

Photo: Ksenia Chernaya, MART PRODUCTION / Pexels
Woman on the phone, kids in a cafe

When a woman was running late for an appointment and had no choice but to leave her stepchildren in a coffee shop for a little while, she never expected the children’s mother to wreak havoc on her life, including getting the police involved and sharing her personal medical information on social media. 

The woman says that the mother was running late when she promised to pick them up at a certain time, and she could not miss her appointment.

However, now she is wondering if she is wrong for leaving them unsupervised in a coffee shop. 

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The woman says that her step-children’s mother took to social media to announce that she was ‘unsafe’ around children following the incident. 

Sharing her story on the U.K.-based parenting forum, Mumsnet, the woman sought the advice of other parents regarding the situation.

She began her post by explaining that her eleven and nine-year-old stepdaughters' mother lives 35 minutes away from her and her husband and that she usually has the kids on the weekends. 

One weekend, the mom had made prior arrangements and asked if her husband and the woman could switch the days and take the children on Saturday. She stated that she would pick them up at 10 am on Sunday.

While the children’s father is usually the one in charge of pick-ups and drop-offs, it just so happened that the woman had an appointment near the children’s mother’s house, and informed her that she would meet her in a local spot 15 minutes before her appointment to collect the girls. 

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The children's mother was late picking them up. 

Although when 10:10 rolled around and the mother was nowhere to be seen, the woman began to grow concerned.

“At 10:10 she hadn’t arrived and I was worried about my appointment, it was important to me and I had prepaid,” she wrote. Feeling as if she had no other choice since she could not bring her stepchildren to her appointment, she dropped them off at a coffee shop next door to where her appointment was taking place. 

“So I drove and parked up and put my stepdaughters in there with hot chocolate and went to my appointment,” the woman shared. Her eldest stepdaughter sent her mother a text informing her where they currently were. 

When she left her appointment and returned to the coffee shop, the children were still there awaiting their mother. 

“I sat with them until about 10:45 when she arrived, she came in she said sorry to her daughters for being late because she ‘got chatting to her friend in Tesco’ and seemed to smirk at me,” the woman wrote. “When they went to hug me bye she told them they didn’t have time and she blanked me.” 

A few hours later, she learned why the children’s mother was being so cold to her.

“She’s been ringing my husband constantly and screaming down the phone about me putting her children in danger,” the woman revealed. The mother threatened to call the police, the woman’s company where she works as a teacher, and social services to tell them that she is “unsafe around children.” 

Additionally, the mother revealed the woman’s infertility issues on Facebook, claiming that it was “God’s way” of protecting children from her harm. Although the woman’s friends have reassured her that she was not in the wrong by leaving the children in the coffee shop, she is not entirely convinced that it was an appropriate decision.

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Some people sided with the mother and believed that the woman should not have left the children unaccompanied in the coffee shop. 

“Nope no way too young to be left on their own in a coffee shop,” one user commented.  “If anything had happened to them the consequences would have been diabolical for you. I'm amazed as a teacher you even vaguely thought that was okay.”

However, others did not see the issue with it considering the mother was late. 

“You did the right thing. It's ridiculous to say they couldn't be in the shop for half an hour alone. Especially considering they had at least one phone and had contacted the mom,” one user shared. “If she was so concerned then she'd have left her chat with a friend and turned up for her kids.” 

“Mine are this age and often pop up to shops on their own for coffee and cake. I'm really surprised at how many said they wouldn't,” another parent revealed. 

According to HealthyChildren.org, parenting experts consider 11 years old an appropriate age for kids to be left home alone unaccompanied. However, when it comes to leaving kids unattended in public there are conflicting factors at play.

On the one hand, it helps to have people around who can step in if something goes wrong. However, you are also exposing kids to strangers and people who cannot be trusted. It is likely unsafe for several people in a coffee shop to know that a child, or children, are there alone.

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.