Lindsey McIver has a message for moms (and dads) with a front loading washing machine and a toddler or two.
In what might otherwise have been a perfunctory Facebook post, McIver shared a story where, she said, she fully expected to be mom-shamed. But said she thought the message was more important than her own feelings.
McIver and her husband Alan, a firefighter, have three young children. She’s a registered nurse and perhaps as a provider of healthcare, was more inclined to embarrass herself to maybe save another kid.
“I’ve been hesitant to write this post. First, because of the inevitable online mom-shaming that is bound to ensue; and second, because it’s just really hard to re-live,” Lindsey McIver posted.
Here’s what you need to know about McIver’s Facebook post now read, reacted to, and shared, by around half a million people:
1. The McIver’s Washing Machine Broke on a Sunday. On Monday, They Got a New One
The McIvers, a family of five live in Conifer, Colorado. Three young kids means a lot of laundry.
“On Sunday our washing machine broke down. On Monday my husband went to Lowe’s and purchased this new front load washing machine,” McIver, originally from Sylvan Grove, Kansas wrote on Facebook.
“We thought it was the ‘new and cool’ type of washing machine and didn’t think anything of it. We spent that evening installing it with the kids underfoot. We told them several times that they were not to touch it. They all replied ‘OK.’
2. Tuesday Morning, Their Nearly Hysterical Son Woke the Couple: ‘Kloe. Inside. Washer.’
McIver described what happened early Tuesday morning.
“…we were woken up by our four-year-old son who was crying so hard he could barely talk. As I was trying to understand what he was saying, my husband flew out of bed and down the stairs. It was then that the realization hit. He had said: Kloe. Inside. Washer.”
What the couple saw when they got the basement laundry room was horrifying.
“…my three-year-old daughter Kloe was LOCKED inside the airtight washing machine. It was tumbling and filling with water. She was screaming but you couldn’t hear her. “
Let’s stop here. Try to imagine this scenario even if you’re not a parent. Incomprehensible and terrifying, sounds like.
3. Kloe Was Saved, But …’What if,’ McIver Said. ‘What if …’
“We were able to quickly stop it and unlock the door and get her out. Aside from a couple of small bumps on her head and wet clothes, she was fine,” McIver wrote. She and her husband likely in a state of shock, went “through all the “what if‘s” and “could have’s” we know we are very blessed and God had mercy on our sweet daughter.”
McIver took the opportunity to also remark on the incredible ingenuity of children: “We are continually surprised at the new, inventive ways our kids come up with to try and die. And this was definitely a new one. “
But she knew it was no joke: “I post this because I can honestly say we did not realize the danger of this machine.”
4. McIver Saw an Opportunity to Help Others Even at the Cost of her Mom Pride
McIver, who at first was criticised for posting a photo of her child in the washer of course did not do that and her post : “I took this picture after we secured the door shut with a child safety lock. We also found a child lock feature on the settings that, as long as it is engaged, will not allow the washing machine to start. But it does not lock the door. We hadn’t even used the machine yet so we hadn’t looked at any of the settings.
Also, it obviously took two curious kids to pull this off. I want to encourage anybody who has this type of front loading washing machine and small children, or even grandkids who visit, to lock the door with a child safety lock and always keep the child lock setting on!
I realize that there are ways we could’ve prevented this from happening. This is the season for swimming pool accidents and kids being left in hot cars and all sorts of other horrible accidents. And that’s what most of them are. Accidents.
5. The Vast Majority of the Hundreds of Thousands Who Read Her Post Were Grateful & Glad She Shared. But Not All
“Shaming the mom doesn’t do anyone any good,” McIver wrote. “We need to be open and honest about our mistakes to help one another keep our kids safe. And trust me, that mom is already beating herself up enough.”
With 170,000 reactions, more than 350,000 shares and thousands of comments, the overwhelming and vast majority of those comments were from grateful parents. The most common refrain: “Thank goodness she’s ok.” “I never knew this. “ “Oh my God, thanks for the warning, I had no idea!” And the like.
“Things happen and luckily your other child could tell you what was happening!! Now a good thing has come out of it. You teach others about the dangers. Stop beating yourself up!! I never shame parents unless they are physically abusing or neglecting their child. Even when you are watching your child they get into things. It is hard!! I am so glad your daughter is ok!! Thank you for sharing and being open and honest.”
And some even questioned the validity of her story:”
“Something tells me this just didn’t happen and you’ve clearly never used a front loading washing machine before. The machine fills before it starts tumbling so if it was tumbling the child would be drowned by now. Also you can’t quickly turn it off and open the door. It has a lock that won’t open when the machine is filled with water. You have to drain first before it will open.”
And boy, there there were plenty of shamers; mom and dad were not spared that.
“People aren’t supervising their young children. How old was Kloe? You were lucky this time. Don’t blame it on the washer. It was your fault. Leaving kids to their own devices? Forgetting to take them out of a car seat?”
“Supervise your kids then. My daughter goes nowhere near the washing machine luckily enough but I don’t need luck because I have eyes in the back of my head. And also I’m one of them protective mothers.”
“Does your basement not have doors leading down to it? Can you not childproof some of those doors if you aren’t gunna get up before your children on a weekday?”