Teen Mom 2‘s Jenelle Evans has battled for years to regain custody of her son, Jace. In a new teaser for an upcoming episode of the show, Evans’s mother admits that it might be time for the young child to return to his birth mom. But is it really what’s right for the little boy?
In the clip shown on Radar Online, Barbara Evans very clearly outlines her concerns about giving back now 5-year-old Jace. Those concerns range from issues involving Jenelle’s current boyfriend, Nathan Griffith, to being afraid that Jace will have abandonment issues. However, Barbara also makes it clear that she feels Jenelle has grown up enough to take on the responsibility of being a parent. Good thing: Jenelle gave birth to her second child in June.
Though Barbara seems confident that her daughter has matured, there are still a lot of red flags around Jenelle’s recent behavior. Just a little over a year ago, she was arrested for heroin possession and assault. The run-in with the law came just one month after Jenelle stayed a mere week in rehab, saying when she left that she didn’t think she needed it. Two months prior to rehab, she was married for less than a month to a man named Courtland Rogers, who was arrested on felony charges the day of their December 2012 nuptials. In May of 2012, she was briefly engaged to another man, who allegedly beat her.
Jenelle may have gotten her act together since her drug possession and assault charges, but that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s ready to take on motherhood. Earlier this week, she came under fire when social media followers revealed that she is continuing to smoke cigarettes while nursing her new baby.
Smoking as you are breastfeeding, while not the best thing a mom can do, is definitely not an offense that should get your child taken away from you. However, there are more disturbing issues raised in the Teen Mom 2 trailer revolving around Jenelle’s current boyfriend’s demeanor when drinking. “I’m trying to tell him, and you, that it’s a huge concern,” Barbara says in the clip of Griffith’s alcohol use. “I just don’t understand. Every time I try to talk to Nathan, he goes on the defense. It’s like, why can’t he just be a man and talk like an adult without getting furious?” Griffith doesn’t deny that there’s a problem. “I will admit, when I do drink, I do drink a little bit too much,” he says. “And that’s why I try to cut down.” So Griffith willingly admits that he drinks too much and Jenelle is a recovering heroin addict. Not a good combo.
Then there’s the heartbreaking question that Barbara raises: how will Jace feel about the custody transition? For virtually his entire life, he’s known Barbara as his mother. “I’ll miss him terribly, but he’s not my child,” the grandmother says through tears. “But it will break my heart to have him feel like I abandoned him. Like I just threw him away.” Custody battles are too complicated for a 5-year-old to understand, but at the same time, Jace is old enough to have developed a strong attachment to the woman who has raised him. Barbara’s fear that Jace will think she’s abandoning him is a valid concern.
While Jenelle has definitely been under the microscope and received some unfair criticism, the cold hard fact is that she doesn’t have an amazing track record. Many of Jenelle’s social media supporters are arguing that she has grown up and that it’s human to make mistakes. However, part of being a grown-up is realizing that you need to let go of something you want intensely for the well-being of your child.