'Teen Mom' Recap: Ryan Deserves Joint Custody

I can't possibly be the only one who is so glad that MTV decided to continue Teen Mom and follow these families so long into their lives. It's so amazing to see these kids evolve as parents and become adults and change in ways that maybe surprise someone like me, who has never even known a teen mom in my real life.

All of the moms (even Amber!) are growing and changing in good ways. Catelynn and Tyler are graduating from high school (although being so happy about a D was pretty depressing) and Farrah is finally coming to terms with the death of Derek Underwood (Sophia's dad). Tuesday night's episode was a good one in every sense of the word good.

Most of all, Ryan is finally stepping up and he is doing the right thing for Bentley and for his family by taking Maci to court.

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In the beginning of the show, Ryan was a mess of a father. He barely interacted with Bentley, he fought Maci on everything, and he whined about everything. The blogs all bashed him, the commenters on those blogs were even worse, and the general consensus was: He's a deadbeat.

Well, he's not. He has changed a lot since those early days, and while he may not be the world's best dad, who is? He clearly loves his son, wants to pay attention to him, and likes the time they spend together. And while it's likely everyone will pounce on this and say, "It's for the cameras," I don't think it is. I think he genuinely enjoys spending time with his child now. Which is why the custody situation has to be legalized.

It's so unfair that Maci can take Bentley away from Ryan on "his day" to trick-or-treat at her parents' house after she already had him on his birthday. She moved away from Chattanooga and told her child's father only two days before. She has a boyfriend living with her and she bashes Ryan far more than is appropriate.

It's not that Maci is a bad mom. She's actually a very good mom. But part of being a really great mom is allowing the father (or other parent) to parent, too. Ideally, kids need their dads, and while Maci gets that on some level, she still seems to think it's OK that she can railroad Ryan because all they have is an agreement signed by a mediator.

Now he will fight for joint custody and it's about time. Good for him.

Dads are often treated like dirt by family courts and the end result is a lot of dads who choose to disengage. We women scream and yell, claiming we are victims and asking why he doesn't just "step up" when the fact is, he is being forced out. Men have feelings too. They just express them differently. Personally, I can understand why a man who is being squeezed for child support with one hand and pushed away on visitation with the other would choose to walk away from his kids.

Luckily, Ryan isn't doing that. He is doing the right thing so Maci can't railroad him anymore. I really hope he gets joint custody. It isn't about Ryan or Maci. It's about Bentley.

Do you think he should have joint custody?


Image via MTV

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