A DISTRAUGHT mum has shared how her two young kids were taken away from her because of the way she handled her toddler's tantrum.
The woman, who goes by the pseudonym Mary, described how she watched in horror as police took her sons, one of which is a baby, out of their beds and away for over two months.'
Mary described how the incident, which occurred in November, has become the "worst moment" of her life and led to an eight-week battle to get her kids back.
On Mom.me, she said that her eldest son, identified only as Vincent, had thrown a tantrum after becoming jealous of his baby brother.
Mary had tried to calm the little boy down and keep him from taking the baby's toys, but her attempts were unsuccessful.
She told how she picked him up and placed him on the patio, telling him he could come back in when he stopped hitting her - all the while watching through an open window inches away.
Things started to go downhill two hours later, when she heard a knock at the door and saw several officers on her doorstep.
Thinking a crime had occurred in the neighbourhood, she quickly opened up, but was gobsmacked to learn they were investigating her for child abuse and endangerment.
She said: "It never occurred to me that putting my kid on the patio was an issue.
"We live in a secure, gated apartment complex, and there are at least four feet of hedges between the sidewalk and our patio.
"We literally know all our neighbours, and I was never more than 12 inches away-even if it was on the other side of an open window."
Mary was questioned by police for several hours, before her and her husband were asked to head to the police station.
At this point, her kids were taken out of their bed and placed in a police car.
She said: "They got them out of bed and didn't even get them dressed. It was the worst moment of my life."
At the police station she was charged with a 237 (a) - misdemeanour child neglect-and her bail was set at £7,671 ($12,600).
She was forced to spend the night in a cell with prostitutes and drug offenders and was reportedly unable to nurse her breastfed baby Marcus.
The next day she was released without having to pay the bail and immediately rang the Department of Children and Family Services to get her kids back.
She later discovered that Vincent had been sent to a boys' home and the youngest son had been taken to a police holding facility.
It took two weeks for the youngsters to be moved to a family friend's house, after the desperate parents applied for temporary custody of them.
Devastatingly, Mary and her husband were only able to see the boys in a public place twice a week during this time.
The only comfort they had was that their friend was permitted to install a baby cam so they could see the boys, their grandparents were allowed to visit the kids regularly and Mary was allowed to send breast milk to Marcus.
Mary and her husband started taking court-mandated parenting classes and prepared to take the case to court.
The initial case was subject to numerous delays, but in January the case was dismissed and their kids got to return home.
Mary said that initially they had told themselves it was positive that "good people" wanted to protect kids, but said towards the end of the ordeal she was "resentful" that their time was wasted by authorities who should be helping kids in real danger.
The family had to return to court to deal with Mary's criminal case, so they could leave the country with their kids as planned.
Again the case was dismissed without a trial, and seven months on, the family are now living in Germany.
When asked what she would do differently next time, Mary said: "Well, I'd let my toddler have his tantrum in the living room."
This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.