When MTV decided to put Amber Portwood on Teen Mom, I'm guessing they had no idea she was going to go from teenager just trying to do the right thing for her baby to drug addict headed to prison. The Amber we saw on TV was -- at many times -- a bad mom. But now that the Teen Mom is out of prison, things have changed.
Amber is a different woman, and in her first official post-prison interview with In Touch -- basically the go-to mag for Teen Mom exclusives -- she's even claiming that prison helped make her a better mother.
It may sound a little unorthodox, but is it really so far off-base?
We spend a lot of time talking about bad moms in this country and who really "deserves" to have their children. I know that I myself have muttered the "there oughta be a license to have kids" line a time or two out of utter frustration over someone's horrible parenting.
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But the truth of the matter is, most people aren't bad at the core. They may not be making stellar parenting choices at the moment, so they're not particularly "good" moms, but they're not bad people. What they need -- more often than not -- is someone to show them the way to be BETTER.
In Amber's case, she had that someone. She went to prison, it's true, but on the inside, she took parenting classes. She went through rehab and -- it seems anyway -- successfully kicked her drug habit.
As she told In Touch:
Before prison, I never thought about Leah. I was addicted to drugs and didn’t care about anything else. Prison saved my life — and gave me a second chance at being a mother.
Isn't that what we want for kids? Parents who clean themselves up and come back into their children's lives better than they were? Who realize before it's too late that their kids need them to be better? There are few motivators more powerful than that of wanting the best for your child, and it seems like Amber finally saw that.
Some people may be able to write her off as hopeless -- certainly when there was talk of Amber getting custody of Leah again, people were horrified -- but if someone is willing to do right by their child, who are we to say that they don't get another chance? This little girl is only 5 years old; she has 13 more years at home, 13 more years of needing a mommy around (and of course, plenty after that from the "adults need moms too" perspective).
I'm certainly on board with separating kids from bad parents who put them in danger, but bad parents deserve a chance to turn themselves around too. If they put in the work, more power to them.
What do you think of Amber's turn-around claims? Can she do it?
Image via MTV