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Motherhood as a reward?

Michaela's picture

I found much of what I've read about Alliance and Visions in "Offending Women" to be problematic, but, in both cases, I think what has struck me the most is the idea that motherhood is a reward for good behavior, that the women who are part of these "communities" don't deserve to interact with or parent their children until an overseer tells them so. I think what hits me hardest here is the idea that, once you are marked as an "offender" you are then also branded to be an unfit parent, two labels which don't necessarily go hand in hand. Is it not keeping these women from a full recovery to keep them away from their children, or to tell them that they are not fully able to fulfill a responsibility that they have to their child(ren)? It killed me to read that the women went into the bathroom for hours at a time to calm their child down, to have precious few moments where they could be the mothers that they wanted to be, without the intrusion of administrators. They obviously were not perfect parents (but who is?), but to stop these women in a program with "Mothers" in the title from truly filling that role seems cruel to me.