Amber Portwood’s 9-year-old daughter, Leah, is more than capable of making her own decisions. While speaking exclusively to Us Weekly, Amber revealed that Leah calls the shots when it comes to spending time with her separated parents.
“She’s getting older and it’s becoming to the point where she kind of decides when she wants to go back and forth and what she wants to do, which is a great thing, the Teen Mom OG star, 27, explained to Us. “It’s easier that way, you know?”
Amber added that her little one is quite independent and balances her time well. “Some weekends she wants to go and spend the night with her friends or do something else. I mean, she’s a kid so I can’t really get mad at that,” the MTV personality said. “But I do miss her a lot and I do explain to her that, even though she’s young, ‘Mommy still wants to see you more’ and things like that. She understands, but she’s a kid … As long as she knows that I love her and that we spend time together … that’s really all that matters. As long as she’s happy.”
The Marriage Boot Camp alum shares custody of Leah with ex-fiance Gary Shirley and his wife, Kristina Anderson. As for Amber’s love life? She has since moved on with beau Andrew Glennon and the couple are expecting their first child together. Amber noted that Andrew and Gary, 31, remain on good terms for her sake.
“There’s no fighting, no anything like that. Andrew just wants me to be happy and when he sees Gary saying certain things and I’m crying or I’m really sad about it … it hurts him and it does make him angry, but he stays out of it as much as he can because it’s really not his place to be in between that,” she told Us. “But he does want me to be happy and, you know, he’s a strong man. So he opens up his mouth, but yeah, not anything crazy or anything like that.”
Added Amber, “[Andrew’s] really protective over me especially now that I’m pregnant. He’s super protective over how I feel, so he doesn’t appreciate the things that [Gary] says about me because he feels like he knows me better because, you know, being with me every day.”
Amber also addressed Kristina’s comments about adopting Leah on a previous episode of Teen Mom OG. “I thought it was ludicrous and absolutely ridiculous,” she exclaimed. “I would understand a comment like that if I was an addict again or if I was doing something in my life that was outrageous. However, I don’t think falling in love with somebody is something that’s outrageous. People do it all the time, you know. It’s really hurtful that they connected with me not seeing Leah because of my depression to me being with Andrew … So it’s hurtful and it also makes me angry to make me thing they’re talking behind my back like that as though I’m just a mom who doesn’t care about my child which is absolutely absurd.”
Despite her tumultuous relationship with Gary and Kristina, Amber remains committed to keeping Leah out of the drama. “The good thing for Leah is that she has many people around her that she’s able to talk to and confide in if anything does happen, so that’s all l really care about,” she explained. “If I’m not there, at least another woman is there to be that motherly figure for Leah because that’s what Leah needs. She has a good family around her. And even Andrew being so new, he really does care about Leah and thinks she’s just a neat kid, you know, cause she really is. She’s smart, she’s artistic and [Gary] loves art. She’s just a neat kid to him.”
For more on Amber’s family life, pick up the new issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
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With reporting by Carly Sloane.
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