Woman Feels 'Like An Awful Mother' After Her Young Child Gets Out Of The House On Her Own And No One Notices

Was what happened bad enough to warrant a call to CPS?

little girl smiling while opening front door Pixel-Shot / Shutterstock

Everyone knows that accidents happen. Unfortunately, some accidents can have serious consequences. 

One mom discovered this after making a mistake involving one of her children and a locked door.

A woman said her daughter accidentally got outside without supervision, and she felt terribly guilty about it.

A heartbroken mom took to Reddit to describe what happened when she and her husband miscommunicated about the status of a locked door.


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“My daughter ran out of the house whilst I was bathing my baby,” she said. “There was a misunderstanding between me and my husband who had left for work. He shouted for me to lock the door, but I thought I heard him say he’s locking the door.”


It wasn’t long before the mother realized the horrible truth about what happened.

“After I was done bathing/dressing my baby, I went down and saw the door wide open. I ran out shouting for my daughter. I saw her in the distance with a lady,” she recounted.

“I feel sick and ashamed of myself,” she shared. “I go cold thinking of what could have happened. She was out on the road for 15 to 20 minutes while I thought she was playing in the back garden.”

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The story should have ended there, with a happy reunion between mother and daughter. Unfortunately, it didn’t.


“Two days later, Children’s Services called me and asked me what happened,” she stated. “I explained, and they were very understanding and kind but did say it’s up to the manager if no further action is required or if they have more questions.”

The mother feels absolutely terrible. “I am riddled with anxiety now and scared they’ll take my kids away,” she said.

This mother did all that she could to ensure this never occurred again. “I have taken measures to avoid this happening ever again (top bolt so we can see the door is secured, lock and check doors whenever someone leaves, alarm to alert us),” she explained. “[We’ve had] no prior involvement, but I worry this is enough for them to take the children off me.”

@jafarilegal What to do if the other parent has called Child Protective Services (CPS) on you - get a lawyer! These are difficult cases to defend on your own. Documentation is key. #divorce #divorcetok #divorcecourt #cps #familycourt #familycourts #jafarilegal #attorneysoftiktok #attorneyjafari ♬ original sound - Jafari Law & Mediation Office

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If this mother is truly concerned about her children being taken away, it might be time to contact a lawyer.

One Reddit commenter offered some sage advice to this concerned mom: “If you’re worried that they can take your children away, then you and your husband can contact a lawyer, but I don’t think they’ll do it because [it was] just an accident and not actual neglect.”

This advice was spot on. According to attorney Brett H. Pritchard, “If CPS took your child away, you should reach out to the caseworker, whose name and contact information is on the written notice of removal, as soon as possible. It is equally important to contact an experienced attorney to discuss how you can get your children back from CPS.”

Pritchard did list “abandonment and child neglect” as a reason a child may be removed from their home. However, as this commenter pointed out, there was no intentional neglect in this situation, just a bad mistake.

The American SPCC detailed what constitutes child neglect. “General neglect refers to the negligent failure of a parent or caretaker to provide adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care or supervision where no physical injury to the child has occurred,” they said.


Meanwhile, “Severe neglect … includes those situations of neglect where the parent or caretaker willfully causes or permits the person or health of the child to be placed in a situation such that his or her person or health is endangered.”

The argument could be made that this mother and her husband did endanger their daughter by creating a situation in which she could run outside by herself, but it was not intentional. Lots of kids do dangerous things by accident. That doesn’t mean they should be taken from their parents.

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Mary-Faith Martinez is a writer for YourTango who covers entertainment, news and human interest topics.