Happy Mother’s Day with love and support toward a brighter future

by 24britishtvMay 12, 2024, 2 p.m. 23
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Dear Readers, Today, as we celebrate Mother's Day, my heart is with the countless mothers like myself who are facing unimaginable challenges within the family court system. I was divorced in 2011, maintaining primary custody of my sons who lived with me for more than 12 years, but for 655 days now, we have suffered through the perils of this system. It began when I sought to pursue higher education outside of my immediate county, a decision that should have been celebrated as a step towards a brighter future for my family. Instead, it became a battleground where my rights as a mother were questioned and ultimately disregarded.

So how best to punish a woman like me for striving to fulfill her ambition? Deny access to her children, of course! Get her where it really hurts! How dare she try to achieve upward mobility for her family? Foolishness! She must be stopped, treated like she’s a criminal and completely stripped of her rights! Duh! She should know better than to try and make something of herself. Only dads are supposed to do that, not moms!

The pain of being separated from my children, of not knowing when I’ll be able to hold them in my arms again, is indescribable. It’s a pain that many moth- ers understand all too well. Our legal system, meant to protect the best interests of children, often falls short, leaving families traumatized and our hearts shattered.

I want to believe in a system that values the bond between a parent and their child, that prioritizes their well-being above all else, but it’s been utterly demoralizing and harrowing to experience the realities of the family court system and how it fosters post-separation abuse. I’m such a strong woman — I mean, you heard about how I finished the Texas Water Safari in a solo boat that was broken in half about a quarter of the way into the 262-mile race, right? I absolutely know pain, and I have a deep understanding of what our meat suits are capable of when we can just keep control of our minds to focus on moving forward.

But let me tell you, this pain is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. This perpetual legal battle is the most excruciating thing I have ever endured. I have constant chest pains, and I feel like my limbs have been removed. I am broken much worse than my boat ever was.

I don’t know how to be motivational with this column because I simply don’t feel motivated today. However, as we honor mothers everywhere, let’s acknowledge the urgent need for reform within our family court system, lift our voices and advocate for policies that prioritize the emotional and psychological needs of children and lobby for laws that value the importance of maintaining strong familial bonds even in times of separation.

I just want to hug my babies, y’all. I really, really believed it was an inherent right. But I guess I’m just a silly mom with silly dreams who must keep playing through this pain. Mommas, we deserve better, and we must continue to fight for a system that truly serves the best interests of our children. Hugs, and Happy Mother’s Day.

Kelly Stone is an educator, comedian, mother, and author who loves the heck outta the river. She welcomes e-letters at kellystone. org or [email protected] and adores handwritten notes and postcards via good ol’ snail mail.

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