Jeremy Kyle, Love and Obligation

17 May

On TV today, I saw Jeremy Kyle shouting at a woman who had split up with her partner 7 weeks ago, and left their children with him.

She moved to 150 miles away to Birmingham (her hometown) and visited her children in Portsmouth twice a month.

It’s hard for most parents to understand how someone could see so little of their children (including me). On days when my boy goes to his dads, I tend to feel frivolous and carefree for the first few hours, but once the evening comes, I’m already missing him.

She said she had moved back to Birmingham because she suffered with depression and felt very isolated and persecuted (granted, I’m not quoting verbatim!) by her ex’s family. She felt she’s heal better surrounded by her own friends ad family.

She said she had left her children because she believed they were better off with their father, and her visits were so infrequent because she was looking for work and couldn’t afford to come more often.

It was at this point that Jezza really laid into her; ‘What kind of a selfish mother leaves her children…’ etc .

If she genuinely believes the father could offer a more nurturing and stable environment for the children, what she’s doing is actually very brave, and selfless. Maybe it kills her to be away from her kids, but she knows she’ll do them more harm than good.

Would fathers who saw their children once a fortnight suffer the same public berating? No.

I’m not sticking up for people who have kids without thought, dumping them here, there and everywhere so that they can continue to live a carefree lifestyle. Every baby on this planet deserves all the love the world has to offer. If you’re not trying (it’s the trying that counts, nobody’s perfect all the time), then you don’t deserve them.

But hammering a woman who believes, for whatever reason, that her presence would create more instability and harm for her children than her absence, has got to be detrimental to the child.

Love cannot be forced through obligation; that is a recipe for resentment, bitterness, unhappiness and confusion.

How many parents stay, quietly resenting their children, or worse, openly and wilfully neglecting them or harming them, because they didn’t feel that they could speak out and say they’re not coping?

Or parents that drag their children about for the baby years, losing interest rapidly, until the child does go into care, but is by then far to old to realistically expect the happy ending adoption can sometimes bring?

I think it’s ok to admit you can’t cope. It’s better (less damaging) than pretending. It means you can give your child a real chance of not ending up with the train-wreck psyche that is often the result of being raised by someone who doesn’t want you, or can’t be a functional parent.

P.S Yes i know, i know… i shouldn’t be watching it. It’s a very guilty pleasure, i shamefully admit :s

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3 Responses to “Jeremy Kyle, Love and Obligation”

  1. William May 17, 2012 at 7:59 pm #

    My heart goes out to this woman and I respect her choice.

    Self-Sacrifice is a major part of being a loving parent. To be on the outside of your childrens daily lives so they can be safe, healthy and have a chance for a more full life than you can give them is, to be blunt, it’s Hell.
    Anyone that Judges someone harshly without knowing the full story of it or having no personal understanding of it is a sad , Sad person.

    Btw. Three children, 9 months, 13yrs and 16 yrs and I miss them all every minute of every day that I don’t see them.

    Which is far too many days to count.

    • fringewalk May 17, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

      It must be so hard, i don’t know if i’d cope without my boy, but i guess you find a way for the time when you do see them. I admire your strength, and hope those days when you miss them become fewer and further apart 🙂

      I have a friend who made the very difficult (but ultimately, probably best) decision to stay away from her daughter, because of her own mental health problems and all the things associated with it. I have seen how she has suffered even more because of that decision over the last 14 years, knowing her daughter is somewhere else.

      But she always knew she was safe, safer than she would have been with her mum, and that was why she beared it. It was such a sacrifice.

      Recently, her baby has become old enough to choose to see her, and (VERY happily) they met up recently. She is a very bright, beautiful, well ajusted young lady by all accounts, and alot of that is due to her mum’s sacrifice.

      It was aso sad that she couldn’t cope, couldn’t find the strength or the support at the time, to be with her daughter growing up. But the history, her own childhood, is truly awful, and i’m sure if she had had my life and me hers, maybe i wouldn’t have had the skills i needed to look after my boy. I was lucky, that’s all.

      The happy news is, she is changing her life, now she has met her daughter, she wants so badly to get better, and she is taking the steps to build a better life for herself that hopefully one day her baby can be a bigger part of.

      What does Jezza Kyle know? The worst part is he mascarades as someone who wants to help these people, when really, he just likes the sound of his own voice and the feel of his swelling ego.

      • William May 17, 2012 at 8:50 pm #

        Best wishes to your friend and her daughter, I’m glad to hear she’s pulling it together and re-connecting with her daughter.

        And thank you for the well wish for my own situation.

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