The word “mom” may only have three letters (two if you want to get really technical), but boy does it pack a punch. Moms are strong and steadfast. They’re resilient in the messiness and beautiful in the brokenness. They are our rocks, our shoulders to cry on, our first and closest friends.
A mom is someone you can count on to be there.
But for over 10 million children in the United States who have experienced the incarceration of a parent in their lifetime, mom isn’t always there.
A Shared Sentence
Presently, over 2.7 million children in the U.S. are separated from at least one parent who is serving jail time. The incarceration of a parent can be just as harmful to a child’s well-being as abuse or domestic violence. Thankfully, there are organizations out there who are committed to supporting those left behind.
We Got Us Now, is a movement built by, led by, and about children and young adults impacted by parental incarceration. This Mother’s Day, they teamed up with actress Taylor Schilling from Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” to share powerful love letters written by moms and for moms behind bars.
Mother’s Day is especially hard for mothers behind bars — here’s what these incarcerated moms want to say to their kids
Posted by NowThis Her on Sunday, May 13, 2018
“This is my love letter to the both of you, my two daughters,” one incarcerated mom opens the video. “You are so beautiful and amazing…” she chokes back tears.
Another one fights through tears telling her sons, “Mommy is away from Y’all right now, but I’ll be home soon.”
Several moms behind bars share their love letters to their kids before the video takes a turn featuring kids, who have lived through their mother’s incarceration, and are now reunited. It’s no secret that kids are the most honest people you’ll find. And these kids are no different, sharing how hard it was to be away from their mom while she served time in prison.
“When you told me you would be back, I didn’t think you meant two years,” one teenage boy says. “Please don’t leave me like that again.”
Another young girl explains that while her mom was behind bars, it felt like something was missing.
The video closes with statements from moms who have been incarcerated and are now sharing love letters with their children from the other side.
It’s a powerful three and a half minutes that serve as an important reminder of the many ways we can love our neighbors well — particularly, families who are separated because of incarceration.
A mother’s love is like nothing else on this earth. Yet some kids miss out on the opportunity to experience it.
Children of incarcerated parents often face unique challenges and stresses. Their families become destabilized and often face financial disasters.
It’s the support of organizations like We Got Us Now that are committed to seeing these families succeed and thrive, through life behind bars and beyond.