Look, here's the thing: I would rather investigate 100 cases and be wrong than miss a case. But
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.