Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Can we talk" Thursday - Protecting your children

It's funny that Jen wrote about the situation she's been in to protect her children (note: not funny "haha" and if you ever need a safe place to stay, girl...).  Because something's been bothering me lately with the way the nation or the state or the "man" or whatever you want to call it, has been handling parenting and complaints that come in via DHHS.

Look, here's the thing: I would rather investigate 100 cases and be wrong than miss a case.  But little assholes who can't mind their own business  there are people out there who simply don't know when to butt the fahk out.  People who don't know you or me or what kind of parent we are.  I'm not going to go into any more details than this, but I just handled a complaint against me because my son swallowed a penny.  It was dismissed as unfounded and flagged as harassment, but I have to tell you, that was one of the worst weeks of my life.  My kids were scared and angry.  I was scared and angry.  But I was upfront and honest with them and invited them into my home whenever they wanted because I didn't have one single thing to hide.  Let that fahking sunshine in, bastahds!  My case worker was really nice and was able to recognize a bullshit complaint vs actual abuse.  But then I read in the news that there's that woman who had DHHS called on her because she swore in front of her children (oh holy hell, if that becomes a thing, I might be down!).  And a mother who sent her kid to play outside.  Last time I checked that was called good ole' fashioned parenting.  Kids, especially little boys, need dirt and fresh air to channel their energy so you don't end up in the nutter-bin  grow and thrive.  My boys spend a ton of time outside and I supervise right now because the Hockey Enforcer (who needs a new nickname) is only 3.  But at 6, the age of the boy in the above mentioned complaint?  I'd feel completely comfortable with him playing in our apartment complex's playground by himself or with Stomp.

To answer Jen's question about how far I would go, the answer is always as far as I have to.  People underestimate me and the strength and grit I have, especially when it comes to my boys.  It was a tough week.  Stomp had nightmares about being taken from home, the baby developed nightmares about bad people coming in.  And every time there were footsteps on the stairs, Stomp would yell "they're heeeeeEEEEEEeeere!".  But the thing is that I don't need an anonymous stranger to protect my kids (especially not over a penny), because I have got this.  No one knows my kids like I do.  No one knows the kind of protection they actually need like I do.  No one knows what really terrifies Stomp or how his anxiety manifests itself or what his nightmares are really about.  Just me, just mom.

So I guess what I'm saying is that I'd like to encourage strangers to continue to call DHHS if abuse is being displayed.  But I would also  like to ask people to calm the fahk down.  You disagreeing with a parenting choice (swearing, being left alone outside to play, not chasing a toddler all day long with a broom, whatever) does not mean that that parenting choice is abuse.  There are plenty of monsters out there who deserve to have a nice bright light shined on them and every time you pick up that phone and file a petty complaint over swearing or where a child plays, you are taking time and resources from families that really need intervention and help.   And if you've been targeted by a stranger or DHHS, take my advice and just let the sunshine in.  And for pete's sake, y'all, let a kid play outside.

As for me and my family, we're good.  Stomp is still angry, but his anxiety and his nightmares are gone.  And he learned an important lesson, too.  Namely that his mama is a fahking grizzly bear when it comes to protecting him and no one will ever change that.  I, personally, learned that sometimes you just have to look at your kids and realize that inside them is all the proof you'll ever need about what kind of mother you are.  Keep calm and mama on, y'all.

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