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Just a few days ago, I was cooking dinner with the local news as my background noise when a man in a courtroom clad in an orange jumpsuit who was weeping in front of a judge caught my eye. I made my way to closer to the television to catch this story and was immediately angered by his tears after learning he was charged with murder for the beating death of his girlfriend’s toddler while she was at work.

A small part of my heart sank when I thought of how devastated the deceased child’s mother may be along with any siblings he may have had, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. I think it’s safe to assume that the loss of a child in this way is a deeply painful circumstance felt by an entire family – no question.

On the other hand, however, after acknowledging the mother’s grief I do take issue with her decision to leave her three-year-old under the supervision of her boyfriend who she had only been dating for four months. While I’m completely compassionate towards a mother’s need to work because she’s got mouths to feed, I also understand the high costs of childcare and how that $250 to $500 could potentially expand the household budget in a major way. I get it!

But how soon is too soon to leave your child with your significant other? Surely, in a partnership, you are supposed to be able to trust your partner on all levels with all things including your most prized possessions and even, in due time, your children. Personally, I don’t believe you know a person well enough to leave your child alone with him for hours on end after four or five months. I’d prefer to eat the childcare costs and leave my child supervision to professionals, knowing I can tune in and observe my child’s classroom whenever I want, observe his or her behavior amongst his peers and, most importantly, how they’re being treated by hopefully, well-trained staffers.

In no way am I blaming the mother; every situation is different and maybe she simply did not have the money to put the child in daycare, but if it were me I would consider the fact that my toddler son and boyfriend will be spending the entire day together. He’s three-years-old, extremely active and some days extremely irritable and overall quite a handful. It’s hard for birth parents to maintain their own children’s interests everyday and it can undoubtedly be quite frustrating and nerve racking as patience wears thin after a while and unfortunately can end in molestation, abuse or worse – murder.

We took to the streets and asked a few mothers and fathers – how soon is too soon to leave your child alone with a boyfriend or girlfriend? Continue to the next page to see what they had to say and share your thoughts in the comment section.

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