Amber Portwood's decision to ditch rehab and head straight to prison seems shocking. How could she choose prison over her daughter? Little Leah isn't even 4 years old yet. Imagine the trauma of being separated from her mother like that.
But imagine the trauma she's already suffered from Amber's addictions and erratic behavior.
It's pretty clear by now that Amber cannot get clean on her own. I just don't think she can beat her drug habit and be a parent at the same time. She has to save herself first -- or risk ruining two lives. And this decision actually gives me hope that she's finally maturing and doing the best thing for her family.
Is she taking the "easy" way out? Well ... it doesn't look like any of her options are easy. Whatever choice Amber makes would be painful for her and for Leah. But at least she knows herself well enough to admit she can't hack a rehab program if she's not behind bars.
Consider what Amber is giving up. "I want to be together as a family," she says in a preview of the upcoming season of Teen Mom. She's making plans to live with Leah and boyfriend Gary after she gets back from rehab -- but we all know now that's not how it's going to happen.
More from The Stir: Amber Portwood Is No Slacker Mom
Take a look at the place where she was supposed to do rehab: Seasons in Malibu. Who wouldn't want to "recover" there?!? If Amber chooses prison over this little piece of heaven, it sounds like she's pretty damn serious about her recovery. Finally.
Amber needs more structure, more boundaries. Prison can't "cure" her addictions and emotional problems. Plenty of other people go to prison and still struggle with substance abuse long after their release. But I hate to think of the risks she'd be taking if she continued trying to parent Leah while she's still a mess. I think for Leah's sake this is probably the best thing, unfortunately. It's a mother's sacrifice that could ultimately save Amber's life and Leah's life.
We'll see the jail drama leading up to this decision in the new season of Teen Mom.
Do you think Leah is better off with her mother spending a few years in prison?
Image via MTV