A homeless pregnant mother of five in North Carolina recently resorted to desperate measures while looking for a job and a place to live. Thirty-two-year-old Moshimalee Johnson reportedly lost her health care agency job in 2013 after her minivan broke down and she was late to work too many times because of the bus. Fast-forward to earlier this month when Johnson posted an ad on Craigslist to find a home for her kids after the Durham Department of Social Services refused to help her.
In turn, the kids -- aged 9, 7, 6, and twins who are 2 -- were taken away and put in foster care.
Johnson's July 9 posting, which appeared in the apartments wanted section of the site, is all sorts of heartbreaking:
I am currently homeless and looking for someone to take my five kids until I can find a job and a place to live. I called DSS, and they won't take them. The shelter has a waiting list and Urban Ministries won't let you work if you come there. I am a certified nursing assistant but can't find work due to numerous doctor's appointments because my 6-year-old accidentally hung himself. Please help anyone.
What a nightmare for this mother. Especially considering that she really took a leap of faith to reach out to the DSS and plead for assistance. Not that Craigslist was the best place to go next, but it does sound like Johnson was stuck between a rock and a hard place.
No mom wants to think that reaching out for help could actually serve to exacerbate her existing problems. To live in fear of making her troubles known. This woman's unnerving circumstances should only serve to remind us how troubling it is when a culture of fear prevents moms from doing anything for their own good and the well-being of their kids. Consider how many women hang back from doing a bevy of things -- from disciplining their child in public to going to a homeless shelter -- because they're afraid someone is going to call CPS.
More from The Stir: Homeless Mom Arrested for 'Child Abuse' Is Really a Hero to Her Family
Johnson's situation may be an extreme example, but it definitely shows how much tip-toeing around many moms are forced to do when they should really feel okay with shouting from the rooftops and waving a white flag. Okay with it because they know they're not only getting the help they so desperately need, but they won't be punished to boot!
What was a time you were afraid to do something or ask for help, because you feared a judgment call on your parenting or getting in hot water?
Image via Tuelekza/iStock