A friend of mine recently shared an article on Facebook about what to do if Child Protection Services (CPS) showed up at your door. At first glance I thought to myself, um..I don’t really think I need a lesson in this area of parenting..pass. But then curiosity got the better of me since I had really never seen a topic quite like that before, so I checked it out.
I was surprised to find the main fact/point of the article was that (due largely, I’m guessing, to the information age turning ‘minding your own business’ into a lost concept) the number of parents being reported to CPS is on the rise, even though the majority of the claims, which can result in an investigation, are fairly unsubstantiated! Some of the examples they listed were shocking to me, some things I would have never thought of… one being a claim reported by a doctor if you refuse medical advice and he fears his license may be in jeopardy over it. -What a jerk!- This rattled me the most because I am like the queen at rolling my eyes at doctor advice and opting for a holistic approach first. But even so, in my head as I was reading this, I rationalized that CPS would quickly realized the truth in a situation such as this, and leave my home assured that my children’s best interest is foremost in my life. No worries… interesting, though.
Then I started reading the actual “what to do” part of the article and I still found myself really having to squint to comprehend the “why” aspect of it all. Don’t let them in, it says. Know your rights, ask for a warrant, it says. They will use any tactic they can to manipulate you into allowing them inside, it says. Well I’m thinking who in the world cares if they come in or not?!…. if you’ve done nothing wrong? This article is ridiculous and fear mongering, I’m thinking. It’s not anything that would affect me, given the base line fact that I take care of my kids, above and beyond what most parents do even. BUT the article also specifically says not to think ‘this won’t happen to me.’ Ok, while still confused, I’m also officially a little scared now.
I’m a good mom. I have every confidence that I am. And ironically one of my new year resolutions (we moved into a new house in January) was to always keep my home in a condition to where I wouldn’t be embarrassed if someone dropped by unannounced, and I’ve been doing a surprisingly good job of keeping that resolve! But… what if (the anxiety that I battle just got ahold of me good)…they happen to show up on one of my rare few and far between ‘bad mom’ days? Because as much as I love being a mom, as much as I over-invest in it, and even as much as I keep my house pretty darn nice… still sometimes…SOMETIMES…I could be seen as a bad mom. 🙁 A mom whose kids eat cereal for dinner, with a shirt pulled out of the laundry pile that I think is clean to wear to bed, without brushing their teeth or taking a bath, half an hour before actual bed time, so I can have a glass of wine. SOMETIMES!
So I really got to thinking… could something as trivial as that possibly harm my mom character enough to jeopardize my family’s security in the event of an allegation against my parenting?(great, now I’m afraid of our doctors) In honesty, maybe there are some concerns in our life that I’ve overlooked. I keep seeing articles and news stories lately about kids being taken away left and right for seemingly ridiculous reasons, so I’m not going to lie… I’m a little on edge, and also a little perturbed at “the system” if this is really they way they handle things. Now, I’m not downplaying the real issue of child abuse and neglect in the slightest. I have a cousin whose child was a victim of shaken baby syndrome at the hands of a caregiver and it has forever changed the mindset of our family as it pertains to child safety and security. I am not saying that CPS doesn’t have a valid place in our world, and knowing that there are suffering children out there breaks my heart into pieces. But MY family is not in need of such invasive scrutiny. Wasting your time on good people takes you way from the truly bad ones, right?
Ok, so now maybe I see why one who has nothing to hide would get defensive in the heat of the moment if such officials would show up to your door. Now I’m taking this articles advice seriously for what it is; advice to stay calm and think rationally as to not unintentionally set anyone off who already suspects you. They’re doing their job, and I need to be sure I know how to do mine. I guess it’s as important as knowing your rights and how to act toward an officer if you get pulled over on the road. …I guess… ya, ok, can’t help it…I get it but am still a bit confused.
Congratulations, you have survived another session of me talking myself in circles. Wow, we just kind of think too much as moms sometimes…don’tcha think? But this subject caught me off guard and is really scary and deep! In reality, the biggest thing to take away here today is this… good mom’s can have bad mom days, and the only way to not lose your children over them is really by having dumb luck on your side that day someone decides to tattle tale on your mommy fails. Yep… that’s all I’ve got for ya.
Come on. We all fall short of perfection in every aspect of life. To me, my mom fails are learning experiences. For each day my children and I survive, I have another mile long list to be thankful for, to reflect on, and to learn from as I move forward. I will admit I do try to be (or at least try to appear to be) perfect sometimes, but the truth is I probably screw it up more than I get it right. And…I also try to live off of the humor in it. (In hind sight of course) So while I’ll definitely file away my new knowledge from that crazy, unsolicited article, I don’t really have time to worry about who thinks what of me. I’m simply too busy loving my children. That all being said, still, in effort to save myself and my family, here are a few examples of bad mom things that I have..er.. never ever done, (they’re watching!) so that you’re all in consensus that I am perfectly fit and I can use you as a character reference just in case…
+ I have never really done any of that above mentioned dirty shirt cereal for dinner early bed time to drink wine stuff. That was just a joke…hahaha.
+ I have never kept my kids home from school because my cramps were too bad to deal with getting them up on time.
+ I have never had a neighbor bring my toddler to me while I was taking selfies in the front yard with my other kid and not even aware she was missing.
+ I have never let my baby fall off the bed… or even co-slept at all for that matter
+ I have never taken a nap thinking my 3 year old was napping in her room, only to find out she was in the back yard alone playing for an hour.
+ I have never left them all four screaming for me while I hid in the closet with my hands over my ears.
+ And I have definitely never spanked, or even raised my voice. At any of them. Ever.
For toots and giggles, let me know in the comments something you’ve never 😉 done in your parenting adventures, that keeps you on the perfect mom safe list too.
^^I couldn’t help myself!! It was in my head the whole time I was writing!!!