A Texas mom had been arrested after leaving her kids on their own in a mall food court to attend a job interview.

Khou reports that Laura Browder was charged with “abandoning” her children at a Houston mall after she left her six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son in the food court on July 15.

Browder, who said she had just moved to Houston, has reportedly stated that she didn’t have enough time to find child care. So, she took her kids with her, sat them near a MacDonald’s, and went to the interview. She said she was never more than 30 feet away and that they were in her line of sight the whole time. When she returned, after accepting the job, a police officer on the scene arrested her. It’s not clear how the arrest will affect the job offer.

In a statement, Browder said:

    This was very unfortunate this happened. I had a interview with a very great company with lots of career growth. I am a college student and mother of two. I would never put my name, background or children in harms way intentionally. I have a promising future ahead of me regardless of what the media tries to portray me as. A judge released my children to me knowing that I was a good mother who just made a not so smart decision. My children weren’t even 30 yards away from me, I fed them and sat there with them until it was time to meet with my interviewer. This too will pass and I am not concerned with outsiders have to say or what they think.

Though there appear to be big differences, this case echoes that of Shanesha Taylor, a 35-year-old homeless single mother, whose tearful mugshot went viral after she was arrested last year in Scottsdale, Arizona, for leaving her children, a two-year old and a six-month old, in a hot car to go to a job interview.

After that story broke, Taylor became a symbol of the single mother’s struggle everywhere, and received more than $114,000 in donations from supporters via a crowdfunding page. She then missed two deadlines to put the money in trust for her children — a condition for avoiding felony child abuse charges – and is reported to have been spending hundreds of dollars a month on “clothes, dining, and recreation.” She has since been sentenced to 18 years’ probation, in addition to which, she will have to complete parenting classes and a treatment program for domestic-violence offenders.

Taylor really blew that chance, and it’s a shame she appears to have taken advantage of all that goodwill.

One really has to feel for Browden, though. What else was she supposed to do? If her story is true, this is a gross abuse of justice and police resources. It also echoes all those recent stories of moms getting arrested for letting their children stay outside.

What are your thoughts on this issue? What’s a mom with a job interview to do with her kids? Share your thoughts in the comments here or on Facebook.

(Image: Houston Police Department via Khou)