I read Kim Brooks’ article, “Motherhood in the Age of Fear,” and I realized I have joined the ranks of mothers who have been condemned for being a mother. I am so grateful for her article. It gives me a small bit of comfort to know I am not alone.
I did not leave my kids in the car or let them play unattended at the park. In fact, I have been the mother who raised an eyebrow of suspicion and judgement at other mothers who did this. I am told I am guilty of being too much mother. My son has several emotional and learning issues. I have taken him to therapy, worked closely with teachers, made sure he has routines and boundaries. I am a teacher. I work with children. This is my occupation and my passion. However, my son’s father offers a life with none of these restrictions. No rules. He uses this as bait. Last week, a judge ruled that my 14-year old son would be better off living with his father and stepmother who have openly undermined my motherhood for 10 years. For the next four years, I am the noncustodial parent owing child support to a man who emotionally and physically abused me. He and his wife are a team continuing to brainwash and control my growing son’s heart and mind.
In my nonsensical situation this article made sense to me. For 14 years I tried to be a good mother who searched for balance between enabling and instilling independence for my child. I do not know my role right now. I am broken and defeated but I am understanding I am not alone as I navigate through my new life.