Advice from a mom shoved in the system:

My advice to people who have to fight for their right to parent, based on what I have done right and what I’ve done wrong.

1. Never sign your rights away. Don’t sign an unfair mediation agreement, don’t sign a plea if you didn’t commit the crime. Make them take your rights away-that is appealable. Your signature is not. Good luck saying you were coerced. Even if you probably were, no one cares.

2. If you have to deal with a separation from your flesh and blood, your children, don’t let them see your grief. Find ways to let them know you are still home. You are still fun, you are still the boss, you are still the parent, you are still home. For me this has included sending their favorite groceries through amazon, creating structure in our two weekly 20 minute phone calls, singing songs I always sung to them, and always having a space that is theirs even if they have never slept in their new beds. I tell them stories about when they were little, we laugh, I make those moments “home”. Because I am their home. Always. And that is not an accident. It never was.

3. Don’t try and numb the pain. It doesn’t work and it will always make things worse for you. No matter what the battle is to be in your kids life-a clear head is necessary.

4. Go to therapy. This is really just good advice for life. Not just for parental rights battles. Therapy=good for all humans.

5. Find joy. This is a survival thing. My kids aren’t gone. So I can’t give up, or give in. I must survive, in order to do that, I must find joy. People,places, activities, products, food, smells, sights, and more. Find it. Hold it. Allow yourself to feel joy.

6. Don’t give up. This thing failed? Try something else. This person didn’t listen or care? Try someone else.

7. Be “see through”. Vulnerable. Healthy. Have nothing to hide.

Anyway, not sure if anyone needs this list. I hope you don’t. This shit is terrible. But here’s some stuff I’ve learned in the past few years. Happy New Year. Love, abby. (Reblogged from FB)

Minding Hearts is building advocacy and peer support groups in each state.  The groups are created to raise awareness, educate, and advocate for those that might not otherwise be heard. We are here for encouragement, education, and support. We cannot give legal advice, but we can try and direct you in the right direction with your case. Links to legal services are listed with their states. Please share and let’s grow our groups. We are here to support families and develop resources that maintain family integrity. We look forward to your support. If you would rather become active by donating, then visit the donation page.

Related Articles: What I wish I had known. Case Preparation Child Welfare Cases.

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