neglect

‘I’m not ‘babying’ my kid. He doesn’t need to ‘toughen up’ or ‘be a man.’ He needs to be LOVED.’: Mom responds to parenting criticism, ‘my child is not a man, I will continue to baby him’

“People always give me unasked advice about my kids. I often hear, ‘You’re spoiling him. He’s got to toughen up and be a man.’ BREAKING NEWS. I am a WOMAN. No matter what I do, I could never raise him to be a ‘man.’ I know nothing about being one. Every chance I get, I will always hug him and feed him affirmations. I want him to always know he is loved.”

‘I ‘killed’ my son, long before he went missing 5 years ago.’: Mother encourages shift in ‘black parenting,’ claims ‘we can change the world with love’

“Growing up, my son loved me more than life, but feared me worse than death. I screamed in his face, threatened him for disturbing me, and dared him to cry when he was hurting. Sometimes, I denied him hugs and loving arms. Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Our sons suffer an invisible death when their mother is the first one to call him ‘bad.'”

‘Are you kidding?’ I opened the front door. The babysitter was asleep. 8 kids were in the living room, awake.’: Mom says no to in-home daycare, ‘there are things going on behind closed doors’

“I signed my 1-year-old daughter up for a local early children center. My coworker shook her head in disbelief. ‘Your husband must make a lot of money, because I send my kids to an in-home daycare. It’s like, two-thirds of the price!’ My husband and I are teachers, so clearly we’re not in it for the fat paychecks. As the $700 monthly bills continued to roll in, I was tempted.”

‘Are you KIDDING? Don’t be a prude. Just take the drink!’ I shook my head no. I was weak. I took it.’: Woman loses father to alcohol poisoning, ‘it is my right not to drink, please respect it’

“At 11, they draped a pale, unfamiliar version of my dad in white. ‘Are you alone?’ I watched a flurry of red and blue police lights dance across my ceiling. Alcohol poisoning. He never returned. You knew my past. Yet, you judged me when I turned down your drink. Did you know, I saw my father in my nightmares that night? Did you know, I was smiling, but dying on the inside? My trauma is more important than your right to a fun time.”

‘How are you?’ a friend emailed. It’s 2 weeks old. I’m parenting young kids, and I suck at being a friend.’: New mom acknowledges parenting has hurt her relationships, ‘this stage doesn’t last forever’

“I stare at a picture of smiling faces. We look happy, relaxed. ‘Remember this day? So much fun!’ she wrote. We were connected then. An unbreakable bond of friendship. Now, we only talk every few months in emails like this, often forgotten by me. I feel guilt wash over me. I’m knee-deep in parenting. I’ve changed.”

‘It was at the hands of his babysitter, who was a family friend. Yes, we knew her.’: Mom ‘petrified’ after learning babysitter abused infant son, insists her shaken baby survivor will still ‘have the absolute best life’

“I was at work and received a phone call. ‘Eli is asleep but kicking his feet and won’t wake up!’ I called the ambulance since the sitter had not, and left work immediately. I was petrified by what she told me, but totally confused. He was fine just a few hours before. When I got to the house, he was seizing with his eyes rolled back. The EMT made a comment I’ll never forget. ‘I’ve never seen anything like this. I have no idea what is going on.’”

‘MA’AM!!! Ma’am stop! Please stop! You forgot your baby in the car!’ I didn’t even realize she was talking me.’: Mom caught off guard when stranger ‘causes a scene’ in grocery store parking lot

“She thought I left my baby in the car. This woman was YELLING. She caused a scene, people turned to look at the commotion. To be completely honest, I didn’t even realize she was talking to me. As I was pushing the cart into the cart return, I turned to look at her. Oh. She was talking to ME. She was waving her hands and started running towards me! I felt horrified.”

‘Are you willing to foster a teen?’ I was 19, single, male. I set up the interview, thinking I wouldn’t be taken seriously.’: Man who grew up in foster care adopts 3 children, ‘I want them to grow up loved’

“At 19, I moved into my own place and worked like a dog. I felt unfulfilled, but wasn’t sure what I was missing. One day, I picked up an employment newsletter. There it was. ‘Become a Foster Parent Today. Must be 18.’ A month later, I got a call asking to take in a 7-year-old boy. Imagine my surprise to see a white child waiting for me at the supermarket! I was internally panicking. I’d never interacted with a white child before and had no clue how to care for one!”

‘When they flinch from the stapler dropping, it’s because they weren’t sure if you’re throwing it at them.’: Foster mom pens powerful note to teacher warning of her children’s trauma

“They come from a really, really hard place. The kind of abuse you think can’t be real. They duck for cover. You’ve heard of fight or flight? There is also freeze. One of my kids responds with ‘freeze.’ Her eyes grow wide and her voice silences. It’s how she’s trained herself to survive. My kids need to know you are safe.”

‘Here we go again!’ My son’s principal called me. He’d been written up.’: Adoptive mom ‘cried and cried’ after learning her ‘trauma-ravaged’ son was rewarded for being ‘courageous’

“‘Ms. Pollard, we’re having another bad day. Can you come?’ My boy is silent. Something seems different. I pull him in close, ask what’s going on. It’s mid-September and he’s asking if he can have a race car for Christmas. But it’s not about the gift to him. It’s about his need to feel safe. If I can reassure him he’ll get that race car for Christmas, he knows he’s safe until then. No one will come pick him up. At least for 3 more months.”

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