Parenting Decisions, Doing Time, and Amber Portwood

Wow. I do not understand the parenting decisions that some people make. (To be fair, there are people who don’t understand some of my parenting decisions, either.). In this case, I’m trying to understand why Amber Portwood of Teen Mom fame would choose to go to jail instead of rehab.

According to news sources, she was offered the opportunity to go to rehab and get cleaned up as part of a plea deal, allowing her to bypass jail altogether.  Her reasoning for backing out?  She told ABC News that “I felt like that wasn’t the life I wanted to live, I felt like I’d rather do my time, and get it over with, and make the best out of the situation that’s been handed to me.”  Whoa.  Seriously?

I’m just confused.  Rehab = opportunity to get clean, get out, and become a functioning member of society.  It gives her the chance to get her life together and get back with her daughter.  Prison time isn’t going to get you much healing time.  People are in jail as punishment more than rehabilitation.

Not only that, but once you become a mother, you don’t get to live the perfect life that you want to live.  You have to put the needs of others ahead of your own.  As I type this, I’m up at a stupid hour with my daughter in my lap.  I’m up because she needs me.  I need to be asleep.

Additionally, this statement of “make the best out of the situation that’s been handed to me” is just ridiculous because her mess is of her own making.  She chose to have sex as a child that resulted in making a child.  She chose to stay pregnant (regardless of your views on the matter, it is a decision that she personally made), and she chose to keep her daughter.  She chose to abuse prescription drugs.  She chose to get violent.

Nothing is just handed to her.  To say that it’s been handed to her is to suggest that she herself had absolutely nothing to do with anything, and she’s just an innocent bystander in her own life.  And to choose jail over rehab strikes me as an idiotic thing because she’s voluntarily separating herself from her family even more than she already has.

I don’t get it.  Yeah, people make questionable parenting decisions all the time, but I just can’t understand why one would choose to go to jail for five years and miss five years with her daughter over going to rehab and getting healthy.  I don’t have high hopes for Amber using prison to turn her life around.  I suspect she’ll come out worse than she went in.  Oh, don’t get me wrong; I hope that she absolutely comes out ready to be a responsible, functioning member of society.  I just don’t expect it

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.


  1. It is unfortunate that such selfish, irresponsible people receive attentionfor their moronic actions.

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