A young mom who faced withering public scorn after forgetting her baby in a shopping cart is now speaking out.
“I'm a good mom who made a horrible mistake,” 28-year-old Cherish Peterson said.
She broke down in tears as she spoke about the incident that's creating a firestorm on social media.
Peterson was shopping at a grocery store in suburban Phoenix, Arizona, last week as the temperature soared to 104-degrees.
She had three of her four children with her - including two-month-old son Huxton - whom she placed in a shopping cart strapped inside a baby carrier.
She told KPHO-TV she was so distracted she didn't realize she left the baby in the parking lot until she got home.
“As I was pulling into the garage, my three-year-old goes, ‘Mom, where is baby Huxton?’ I turned around and looked and realized he was gone. I just totally freaked out,” she said.
In a 911 call, a woman said she found an unsupervised baby in a car seat at a Supercuts Hair Salon.
Fortunately, Huxton wasn't hurt. His mom hurried back to the mall 40 minutes later.
One person remarked online: “I don't understand how a ‘good mom’ could forget her 2-month-old child in a shopping cart."
Of the uproar, Peterson said: “People went crazy thinking that I should have my child taken out of my home, and they should have never given my baby back, and I should be in prison right now. “
But she added: "Nothing they can say can make me feel worse than I did in that moment that I turned around and saw my car seat missing."
She's now charged with misdemeanor child endangerment - sparking yet another social media uproar as those who support her have created the Facebook page, "I Stand With Cherish.”
“This is an honest mistake that this poor mom made!!” wrote one supporter. Another said: “Lay off the poor woman. Tell me who in this world is perfect!!!”
Peterson said: “I count my blessings because my baby was okay."
Her husband Nathan is also standing by her.
"We're not perfect. But we love our family and we love our children," he said.
Peterson added: "There is nothing that I love more in this world than being a mom, and there is no one in this world that can love my kids more than me."
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