Jennifer Westfall, 38, was charged with two counts of misdemeanor child abuse for allegedly leaving her 9-year-old and 19-month-old on the side of a Cary, North Carolina, road on Oct. 2.
"I know what I did was wrong, but I just, I was so tired of doing this by myself," Westfall told local station WTVD. "I have the strength to do what I need to do, but I don't have the skills to make the income that I need to take care of my family, and nobody will hire me."
Westfall disputes allegations that she left the children by themselves, insisting she dropped them off outside an elementary school and only left when she saw a woman take them by the hands and lead them away.
But police said the woman who took the children said she saw the mother just leave them by the side of the road and drive "off at a high rate of speed," according to a Cary police arrest warrant. She ended up taking the children inside the school, which then called Child Protective Services.
Westfall told WTVD she believed this was a legal way to divest herself of her children. In North Carolina, infants up to 7 days old can be left with an adult that voluntarily takes the child from the parent, but that does not apply to children that are older.
Westfall was charged Monday and released from jail a day later. She is due in court this month.
"I just don't see how I'm ever getting my kids back," she told WTVD. "I feel terrible about what I did. I've always had my kids' back no matter what. I was just so tired. Absolutely tired."
The children are now in foster care.