Ready for Unexpected Visitors?

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Journey to Homemaker

Have you ever had anyone show up at your house unexpectedly, at the worst possible time? Your kids were dirty, screaming and fighting, the dishes were piled in the sink, the floor was filthy, clean (or dirty) clothes were piled up, there were toys strewn everywhere, and you looked a mess...or worse, you weren't dressed yet and it was afternoon already. Sound familiar?

A couple of months ago, our neighbor showed up unexpectedly to introduce herself (and complain about my dog). I was soooo embarrassed, because the house was a mess, the kids were in their pajamas, and although I was dressed, I was a total mess because I hadn't had a shower and had just woken up from a late nap with the kids. I was mortified.

I kept her in the front hall (with the dirty floor) and luckily she couldn't see much of the house. She's the nosy type that not only asks a lot of questions, but also gets in your personal space. And she feels the need to come over and chat every time we're in the back yard, even if only the kids are in the back yard (really, coralled on the back porch, with me watching closely while I clean the kitchen). So I was really worried what she might be thinking. And of course, you never know if someone is the type to call Social Services on you just because she doesn't agree with the way you bring up your kids. I've heard stories that would curl your toes! My mother-in-law had CPS called on her by a neighbor because her kids were skinny. Those kids were eating the poor woman out of house and home...they were just skinny kids!

You'd think I'd have shaped up after that experience, but I didn't. Not much at least. There were other times I almost got caught in my nightgown, with a messy house, etc. Last week, my son fell over in his booster chair, slammed his cheek on the floor and bit his tongue really deep. I had to take him to the doctor. My neighbor had to come over to watch the kids. Thank God that the house was reasonably tidy, and we were all dressed and clean. That could have been really bad--neighbors left alone to see a messy house up close!

Not to mention if it had been a different type of injury and the neighbor or an overly zealous doctor had called CPS on us, I could have arrived home to a social worker wanting to inspect our house. (Which will never happen, I'm educated on that topic, and know my rights and the steps to take if ever they show up--go to www.hslda.org for more info, and if you homeschool or are thinking about it, JOIN THEM they will help in these situations!)

If you are struggling with your household duties, as I am, make it your first priority to have you and your family members clean and neatly dressed--nothing fancy, just clean and in decent clothes. Your next priority should be having a reasonably tidy house...particularly the areas of the home visible from the main door, and also the pathway to the main bath, should someone drop by and end up needing to use it. If at least this much is done, you will be much better off for it.

It is also a good idea to have a plan in case of emergencies. If you suddenly become very ill, go into labor, etc., who will be able to get there right away to watch your children if you have to go in an ambulance? How will they know what to do if there's no time to tell them? Here is where a home management binder can come in very handy. You should have emergency numbers in it, and posted on the fridge as well. All your main medical info and insurance info should be in it, as well as your master schedule.

It may even be a good idea to have a separate babysitter binder as well, in case you need to take yours with you. It can have emergency numbers, rules for the children, instructions for the sitter, a master schedule for the children, a list of allergies and medical conditions for the children, the locations of necessary items (diapers, bedrooms, clothing, cleaning supplies in case of a huge mess, extra bed linens in case of accidents, etc.), meal suggestions and preferences for the children, and other necessary info.

It is also a good idea to include contact info for other sitters or relatives that can cover if your sitter has an emergency. For my last child's birth, my sitter's husband had to go to the emergency room just as I was going into surgery for my c-section, and the hospital I was in was an hour away. My sitter had to wait til we got out of the recovery room before we got the message, and then my husband had to leave me and drive an hour home before she could go to her husband in the hospital. There was no room in her car for our kids, and she'd have needed three car seats anyway, which she didn't have. If we'd had back-up sitters lined up, that situation wouldn't have been a problem.

If you have a babysitter binder that you keep near the phone along with a local phone book, the babysitter will have everything they need to care for your children. I already have a babysitter's guide with most of the necessary info, and plan to add other info from my home management binder. That way I can keep personal info in my binder, and take it with me or put it away so the sitter doesn't need to see it...she'll have her own sitter binder to use instead.

I think I finally learned my lesson when my son was hurt. I was very thankful that we were dressed and ready to go, because the doctor's office was already closing and they said they could only wait fifteen minutes for us. If he and I had to get ready, there wouldn't have been enough time, we couldn't have gone in. And the injury really wasn't serious enough for an emergency room visit. Who wants to pay five hundred dollars and wait three hours to be told "he'll be fine, just give him ice cream and pudding for the next 24 hours." Yikes! So being "ready for anything" came in handy. Well, ALMOST ready for anything...we never did find his sneakers. I had to carry him into the doctor's office, lol. I'm glad he's only four!! :-)

2 Responses to "Ready for Unexpected Visitors?"

babygirl_nz Says :
1:19 AM

you seem to be really anti social workers...why is that? they arent evil!

Mommaroo2 Says :
4:12 PM

Well, my guess is that you don't know many people who have had encounters with them. Yes, there are good social workers out there doing the best they can to do the best thing for families. I applaud them, it is a difficult job.

Unfortunately there are quite a few out there who have either been brainwashed by the system, or ARE evil. The evil ones are on a power trip, and will make someone's life a living hell and pull their family apart simply because a parent chooses not to allow an intrusive stranger to rummage through their lives...and yet they will leave children who are truly in danger in bad situations.

I know people who have encountered both kinds--the good and the bad. One person had CPS called by a neighbor for a bogus reason, because they were upset with them for doing something that took away from the asthetic quality of the neighborhood. The CPS worker was very nice, said the complaint was groundless, and left. I've heard quite a few stories of people who had CPS called on them simply because one of their neighbors was angry at them.

I've also known many people who had their kids taken away for no reason at all. Just watch the news. A couple had their baby taken away because the husband took a picture of the wife nursing their baby...they called it a form of sexual abuse, and were reported by the film developer. A couple in Colorado had their kids taken away for homeschooling, even though they were following the laws of the state.

Then there are the kids in danger who get no help at all. I personally know of a woman who got her kid back after admitting to picking the two year old up and throwing him across the room!! This woman was a total psycho, but she got her kid back in a very short time. She also had the cops called on her for vandalism and arson. The system is messed up, big time.

Plus, if your kid gets taken away and placed in foster care, there is an extremely high chance of your child getting abused in some way, the longer they are in foster care. Again, there are many great foster families too...but a lot of horrendous ones. The statistics of abuse in foster care is outrageous.

I know another man who had one of his children taken, was arrested, and lost his lifesavings defending himself. Why? He had a fight with his teen daughter, she told a friend, the friend recommended she lie and tell CPS he abused her so she could get away from him, the daughter refused, and the friend called CPS anyway. Even though the daughter always denied the friend's claims and was angry the friend lied, the social workers took her away. In fact, the daughter said that the social worker tried to get her to say she was sexually abused, which was not even an accusation made by the friend. They bribed her and when that didn't work, they threatened her, and the daughter refused to lie. This poor man's life was destroyed because he had an argument with his daughter and someone called CPS. In the end he not only was released, but received a monetary judgement against CPS...though it was a fraction of the money he lost.

If you knew the guidelines these social workers are given to determine "abuse", you would be horrified. You are "at risk" for abusing your kids if you are religious, or were spanked as a child, or had a parent who was an alcoholic, or homeschool, or had a relative with mental illness, or a number of other ridiculous things.

Did you know that the states get a $9000 "bonus" from the federal government for each child they take custody of who are deemed "handicapped"? This can be anything from retardation to ADD...which is over-diagnosed as we all know. Kids in foster care are drugged at a high rate. But there is no bonus for returning the kids. That seems to me to put an incentive on these social workers to take kids away and ask questions later. The more kids they take, the more funding they get...and the funding pays their salaries.

The problem is, if a social worker shows up to your door, which one are you getting? Usually they all act nice at first...you don't know if they're the bad kind til you've cooperated long enough for them to gather "evidence" against you. Unfortunately you won't know til it's too late. If you let them in, they will write down every flaw in your home, and it may or may not be exaggerated. The dishes in your sink can become "filthy dishes everywhere" in their notes. The little spot next to the litter box where your old, blind cat missed can become "a floor covered in animal feces".

If you let them speak to your children alone, anything they say can be taken and twisted, especially since you weren't there to know what was said. A diaper rash on your daughter's bottom can be interpreted as signs of sexual abuse. This type of lying and exaggeration is documented in court cases and the media, although most social workers who employ these techniques go unpunished.

Why should I have to open my home to strangers just because an angry neighbor called CPS with a lie, or a busybody in a store calls CPS with a false assumption? I just love my kids too much to risk cooperation with someone who may be there to help...or may be there to destroy my family. I would do anything to keep my children out of the hands of a social worker and the homes of complete strangers. I would fear for their health, their life, and their soul. As their mother, it is my duty to keep them safe. Until the system changes and social workers can, as a rule, be trusted, I will remain suspicious and vigilant.

In many states, someone can call social services on you, make up any lie, and not even leave their name. There are no consequences whatsoever for those people. A victim of false allegations can lose their children, their income, their savings, their home, their reputation from such a call...and have no way to sue the liar for slander or punish them in any way for their attack.

Sorry to get on a "soapbox", but you kind of opened a can of worms with your question. It really wasn't a short-answer kind of thing.

Suffice it to say, I am only anti-"bad social worker". As I said, until the system changes and social workers can, as a rule, be trusted, I will remain suspicious and vigilant.

But if there are any good social workers or foster parents reading this, good for you, I wish there were more of you. The children who are truly in danger really need you.

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