Casey Anthony Wasn’t Ready To Be A Mom, And Neither Was I

When Caylee Anthony disappeared in 2008, I followed the news coverage with a sick heart. I hugged my then-6-year-old daughter a little tighter and whispered multiple prayers of thanksgiving for her safety. Caylee’s story made me imagine what it would be like to have a child disappear, and those thoughts terrified me on a level I didn’t know existed.

As it became clear that Caylee probably wouldn’t come home safely, the nation learned more about her mother, Casey. A young, single mom with an irresponsible streak, it was obvious that she wasn’t ready to be a parent. And as I held my own child, it wasn’t only Caylee’s story that scared me, it was Casey’s. Just as Caylee brought to mind my daughter, Casey reminded me of myself when she was first born. When I was 21 and in a relationship that I knew wasn’t going anywhere, I found out I was pregnant. I was in college and waiting tables in the evenings. I worked and studied hard and partied even harder. I could write a mean literary essay and nailed all my exams. I did not, however, know what to do with a baby. Regardless, I felt strongly that keeping my baby was the right decision. I had the support of my family and hadn’t yet outgrown the assumption that I was invincible. People had babies every day, and I was close to finishing a college degree, intelligent and fully capable of being the best single mom ever. I was an idiot. Read more…

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