Oprah Interviews "Most Hated Mom in America"

Whether you’re a DVR/Tivo user or there’s life yet in the old VCR, you might want to program it to record tomorrow’s (Wednesday, Oct. 1) Oprah.

It’s a full-hour interview with Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby, the Cincinnati mother who forgot her 2-year-old daughter in the back seat of her SUV last year. The little girl died while trapped in that SUV for eight hours as her mom, an assistant principal, was at work.

In other words, every parent’s worst nightmare.

Oprah’s calling the episode “An Overwhelmed Mom’s Deadly Mistake,” with this ominous teaser: “Overwhelmed moms and dads, let this be your wake-up call.” I must say, as a sometimes-overwhelmed mom of a 2-year-old myself, I’m very curious what Ms. Nesselroad-Slaby has to say.

13 thoughts on “Oprah Interviews "Most Hated Mom in America"

  1. Me, too! I’m definitely going to watch. I can’t imagine forgetting my baby was in the car. But, I really sympathize with her if she was really that overwhelmed. I never did hear the whole story, but I’m interested in what she says.

  2. I’ve thought about posting on this topic several times over the past year, but I just didn’t know what to say about it. So many people seized on this and the tragedy that just happened a month or so ago as evidence that working moms are bad moms who are too selfish to remember not to leave their children in deadly-hot cars. I’m not sure I like that Oprah’s seems to be taking this angle as well. I guess I think anybody can make a terrible mistake (though I can’t imagine making one that horrid) and that being a working mom has nothing to do with it. Stay at home moms can be distracted and overwhelmed, too.

  3. In the DC area, a father forgot his two year old in the car during the summer to the same tragic end. What about when a working father does the same thing–is there more or less sympathy (or vitriol) for him than a working mom?

  4. I’ve never left my child in the car, but I do understand how it can happen. Often when it’s happened, it’s because the parent who doesn’t usually drop off at daycare, has that duty on the horrible day. I don’t know about more/less sympathy for dads, but I bet it happens to dads more than moms (see reason above). Here in Central VA a couple of years ago, it happened twice. Both times with dads leaving their kids in cars in the summer, both children died. One went to jail, one didn’t. One was an African American minimum wage worker. One was a white pastor whose church “rallied around him.” There was certainly speculation about the vastly different punishments.

  5. Demmom is right- It almost happened to me, and it was on a day that my routine had changed. I think that organized moms who have it together are at risk because we often get so attached to our routines that our behavior is second nature. I had my daughter with me at a time I normally would not and she had fallen asleep in her carseat. Thank God, I remembered her after taking just a couple of steps away from my car.

    I encourage all parents to keep a purse, briefcase, work badge, or something else they have to take in to work with them in the backseat next to their child. If a routine changes and the other parent drops the child off at the sitters, the parent who normally does the drop off should check in and make sure the spouse remembered to do the drop off.

  6. A little boy just recently died in the San Mateo County while his mother was in the store shopping. He died when a work truck slammed into the car he was in. The boy who’s name was Taylor… if I remember corectly…was 7 years old.

  7. I will not watch. I have a hard time emotionally dealing with this issue (children being hurt/killed). I do not like to imagine what the child must have gone through and been thinking. It is so tragic.

    In all honesty, I can’t imagine going on Oprah to talk about it; especially so soon after the event. I’d think the grief would be overwhelming.

  8. I live in the area where the second tragedy occured that demmom refers to. Many said he shouldn’t go to jail because he’d “suffered enough”. And while that may be true, I think we ought to hold fathers and mothers to the same punishment. If mothers are convicted and imprisoned for this, than so should husbands (personally, I don’t think jail time solves anything here). There have been numerous days where I’ve been driving home from work and suddenly panicked because I couldn’t remember what day it was – a day my daughter was in daycare or at home? I’ve never left my kids in the car nor have I ever forgotten to drop them off/picked them up but there are days when it certainly could have happened.

  9. How sad that at least one of these people posting have to be “reminded” that your child is in the backseat. Routine or not, your child is a person. Amazing, we don’t hardly see these stories about animals being left in the car. Yes, I know there are fewer people who have dogs that ride in cars regularly, but please. Do you ignore your child so well, you forget they are there, because you are so “overwhelmed”? If it’s that overwhelming, maybe you shouldn’t have children.

  10. I was sitting at my computer. The TV is on in the background. I heard, but not saw the Oprah trailer saying, "she calls herself the most hated mom in America."

    I knew instantly who they meant. So I googled those exact words – Oprah, most hated mom in America. And sure enough that name popped up.

    Brenda Nesselroad-Slaby. A name I don't have to look up to spell. A name that does instantly fill me with disgust and loathing.

    I am from Cincinnati. I am a parent. I am black.

    No black female parent would ever have gotten away with "she has suffered enough" and never been charged, arrested and let alone gotten off without so much as a trial.

    And it has happened here AGAIN. Another white woman, Jodie Edwards, left her child alone in a car. The child died. And what happened? Nothing. She was rich and from the right side of town. She has also "suffered enough" and was never charged.

    Black women who leave their children home long enough to catch the schoolbus or to wait for the late babysitter, even if they are left with an older sibling are arrested and charged.

    These two women killed their kids by their negligence. And this heiffer gets a spot on effing OPRAH. WTF is wrong with this country? Don't we believe in infamy anymore?

    I will not watch this show. I do not want to hear what her privileged ass has to say. Oprah has long been the last bastion of privileged white women who think they're not bigoted because they just love Oprah but this….this is beyond the pale.

    Oprah should not have this pitiful excuse for a mother on her show. She should, instead, be talking about the racial and class disparities that allowed her to get away with murder.

  11. CHECK THE BACK SEAT. DON'T FORGET THE BABY. Bumper stickers can be found at http://www.gotthebaby.org Remind your fellow drivers to avoid back seat baby heat-exhaustion deaths. These accidents can be avoided….we just need reminders.

  12. Wow always back to the “racist” card eh??? Judging by how you speak I could see why you would be charged because you are filled with hatred! Hatred only creates more hatred, your letter was not about these poor children it was about the “racism” you seem to think is being progected. Mistakes do happen and although many of us dont seem to understand how we could have done it, anything is possible and I would imagine these parents suffer every day of every minute of every second of their lives!!

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