Jury duty is not on many people’s list of favorite things to do. It’s a headache to get time off work and/or get childcare lined up — and in most cases your time at the courthouse is pretty boring. And for one Utah mom of four (a set of triplets and a toddler) it was nothing less than a nightmare for everyone involved.
Torrey Scow posted about her... jury adventure... on Instagram to share exactly what her day was like and how surprised she was that she wasn’t dismissed because of her caregiving situation.
“My day: Jury duty with Triplets 😬 = a nightmare,” she captioned the post. “If only you could have seen the looks of everyone when I walked in…I felt so bad for everyone in there with us! Definitely one of my worst mom moments! But it’s over now thank goodness!For those who don’t know if you don’t show up you are fined $1,000 and you don’t get to choose the day so unfortunately had to take them all since I didn’t have a sitter. But also didn’t expect it to go that long…but we made it and we showed up!”
In Utah, judges can excuse certain people from jury service, but the law also states that they understand that it’s an inconvenience for everyone and that you are expected to make an effort to show up: “Judges can also grant a postponement of jury service when they decide that such service would result in great hardship or inconvenience. But these postponements are rare.”
In many states, nursing moms or parents who would face economic hardship may be excused from service with written permission.
In the voiceover, she walked viewers through a play-by-play of their day.
“Let me tell you about the time that I went to jury duty selection with triple one-year-olds and a four-year-old. Worst idea ever, guys,” she began. “Cory couldn’t get work off because he was covering so many people, so I told him, you know what? Don’t even worry about it, they will see me and send me home. No you guys, I was there for two and a half hours.”
She then explained that she never attempts outings of that length, even when she has back-up from her husband.
“You have to realize that me and Cory haven’t even gone to church with all the babies with me and him for so long because it’s too much,” she said. “But Emory had to go to the bathroom at one point, so we took her and then we were back in the room, where it was dead silent except for us. At this point I got them out of the wagon because they had been in it for over and hour and were screaming.”
It was at this point that she realized how ill-prepared she was for the trip, since she thought she would be dismissed immediately.
“I didn’t bring them shoes, because I didn’t think that we’d be there that long,” she said. “Babies kept walking up near the judge’s table and I fed them more snacks than they had in their entire life to keep them quiet.”
And then all of the babies pooped, filling the courtroom with a smell that you can imagine if you’ve had kids. But the day was made just a little easier due to the kindness of one stranger.
“One of the policemen was so nice. He brought back a bin of toys for them which helped immensely,” she said.
Finally, jury duty was over and they were allowed to go home — although they all got diaper changes in the van first.
“I just knew it was gonna be a crap show so that’s why I’m like, ‘I’m gonna film some of this,’” she told a local news station.
Down in the comments, people had opposing views — some thought she should have had plenty of notice to find childcare. Others were upset with a system that doesn’t support stay-at-home moms or that assumes any family can afford expensive childcare in exchange for jury service.
“Do baby sitters not exist,” one person asked.
“You are not special,” another person wrote. “You are giving plenty of notice to find childcare. This is just an attention seeking ploy. If you can’t be responsible to find childcare, don’t have children.”
Others were more sympathetic.
“The comments about getting childcare is pissing me off,” one mom wrote. “She is the childcare!!! Not everyone sends their kids to daycare or have family that are ready and willing to babysit. & daycare do not allow you to just drop in whenever convenient. If you do not have any kids please do not speak on what parents should do with their kids. It is not easy. Just because you have seen some people find sitters within minutes doesn’t mean everyone is able to.”
“It’s the fault of the court to make you show up with the kids — not yours,” another wrote. “Not a worst mom moment by any stretch of the imagination. They should’ve excused you as soon as you walked in the door with the kids.”
I like to assume that the vast majority of moms are doing the absolute best that they can — and that this mom did a commendable job getting through her day with four healthy kids, while also doing her duty as a citizen. Sometimes that’s all a person can do.