Women who kill their children are not born crazy. Sometimes despair and poverty send them over the edge and they commit murder suicide in the hellish depths of depression and fear. But Christy Sheats was not poor, and she had a husband who loved her daughters and was trying to work it out with her. Sheats was a different kind of danger all together.
Mothers like Christy Sheats often have a deep rage and desire for revenge against their kids and the men who fathered their kids. These women try to be good mothers but not because they love their children or their husband but because they want devotion from the children, and the father of the children, and praise from everyone else they encounter for being a great mom. The act of loving sacrifice and motherhood is not something these women can really express or enjoy. They go through the motions, and the really vain ones are almost convincing. The happy family image they present to the world is an extension of their beauty ritual and fashion statement. Christy Sheats is the poster child for these kinds of dangerous, artificial moms.
Artificial moms go through the lifelong masquerade of 'loving mother', always ready to snap and destroy their family. Many times they are bitter because they have career, financial or romantic ambitions that are unfulfilled. Sometimes the misery that colors everything they do is because they allowed social pressure to influence their decision to be a mother before they were ready. Sometimes the anger is because they feel "stuck" with a man they never really felt passionate about in the first place. Sometimes they had the kids just to control the father and keep him in their life, they know his commitment to his children will force him to stay connected to her. These are the women who should not be mothers and they are everywhere. They control their family with emotional blackmail, domestic violence, suicidal threats and homicidal promises to steal the joy from the family, to punish the children "he made" for loving him, and to destroy the father for loving them too.
Once upon a time I knew a family with a lot of daughters and their mother held them hostage with her manipulative emotional games. Luckily for them she was more into wine than guns so her selfishness manifested in her passing out next to a box of wine in her favorite chair. Her family felt guilty that they benefitted when she was comatose from her anger-induced drinking binges. They felt guilty that they could live in peace for a little while. This woman wanted the love of her family but did very little to inspire it or to create a life for her children that they could feel safe in. She smiled when she opened the door to invite you in, and then once inside her home she pouted about every perceived snub, complained about her own shortcomings without doing much to remedy them, threw insults at her children and husband whenever she could, undermining his kindness at every turn with her unimpressed, bitter acknowledgements of him and his efforts. And when guests were not present the tantrums were violent and loud and terrifying. The daughters often wished their dad could just get away from her, but they understood why he stayed, their mom was totally helpless without him, and unloveable and self-destructive in almost every way. No one else would be coming to save her from herself. It would have to be him.
This mother I describe was not the only woman I knew like this, but my exposure to women like this freaked me out for life. I have known one too many women on the verge of being Christy Sheats, Andrea Yates, and Hedda Nussbaum and one too many fathers who leave their children behind with women like these. Bad parents made a huge impact on my decision not to be a mother, they made parenthood seem like the most wretched, horrific thing that could ever happen to a person and I want to be happy and make people in my life feel happy. The partner you need to be a good parent has to be someone you would do any loving, kindness for because they would do any loving, kindness for you. What 's the point of bringing life into the world just to make people miserable or trap a man into fatherhood to avoid being alone? Why be persuaded to get pregnant by society or a biological clock or a church or a man or happily breeding friends. Motherhood is the hardest job in the world. The love you need to have in your heart, for yourself and for your mate, to do it right is a rare gift. When you hear the 911 calls Christy Sheats' daughters made before they were murdered by their mom, and you hear them begging for their life, and you hear her husband and their father promising to do whatever he can to make her happy, and she yells, "Too Late!" several times before shooting her daughters to death, you understand what these murders are really about.
Christy Sheats was an asshole. She was not crazy. She was just a vain, selfish, bitch, who thought she deserved more, in a world that rewards people for being vain, selfish, bitches, and she loved her guns. Her guns made her feel powerful when taking a million selfies and putting them online wasn't getting her the ego boost she needed to feel like she could make an impact in the world. She held a grudge against her family, she blamed them for not making her happy. Her grudge finally exploded into murder.
Even the moms that make it look easy on Facebook are sometimes the worst moms of all.