I’m A Parent. I’m Distracted. I Forget. Arrest Me?

Last night our tiny community was in an uproar and absolutely horrified as the news spread about a local mom being arrested and placed in jail for forgetting about her two coffees in her pram as she left Pick n Pay, Longbeach Mall! All this in the presence of her 8 year old AND a baby!!


Now the question to ask is WAS THERE CRIMINAL INTENT!! Surely one can use your professional judgement?

As a parent, I know how distracting it can be when you shop with a child. I know how forgetful you can get when you have the voice of a child nagging in your ears while you try to maintain composure AND your sanity!!

I too have forgotten about items placed in the bottom of a pram while shopping with my son when he was younger. I too have walked out with a child holding onto a chocolate that was not paid for. BUT the management and staff at these stores were always understanding and empathetic when I returned to pay/pointed out that I honestly forgot about the item/s.

In my case, professional judgment and compassion for my situation as a parent was crucial!

Are we as parents’ easy targets for the retail sector while the REAL THIEVES are seldom apprehended or brought to justice? Where was the FAMILY FRIENDLINESS when this mom forgot about the coffees that she placed at the bottom of her pram while trying to carry all her other items, push a pram AND keep an eye on her 8 year old?

Have retailers become so consumed with “CRIME” and “JUSTICE” and a “NO NONSENSE” approach that they forget to use critical reasoning? Imagine how many hundreds of thousands of cases would be on the court roll if ALL retailers did this? Wasting the court and our limited policing resources on a parent’s forgetfulness?

The thought of spending a night in jail and a possible criminal record for BEING A PARENT in a shop makes me want to stop shopping in-store completely! Imagine the impact on profit margins if we, as parents, decided to no longer shop with our children?

Retailers remember that a MOTHER’s VOICE will not be silenced and WE WILL UNITE against this blatant lack of empathy and understanding for the challenges parents face when supporting YOU!  I, along with many other mothers will no longer support Pick n Pay, Longbeach Mall!  I may just be arrested for my forgetfulness while being distracted by my 8 year old!!!