difficult child....newborn....chores?

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by Masta, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. Masta

    Masta Member

    I need some good advice when it comes to handling my difficult child (19yrs) who is now living with us till she can get on her feet.

    difficult child does procrastinate, I totally took over for her this week coz her baby was taken (refer to my other post). But when do I stop doing everything that needs to be done. I am taking into consideration she has been through a lot this week.

    I am also thinking I helped her out by taking her in a week before the birth (coz she left her hubby) and told her this would happen with her hubby and gave her advice back then to leave him. she didn’t. her pregnancy and marriage to a guy she just met was totally nuts. She said she doesn’t mind sacrificing to have the baby and hubby. Seems like my hubby and I have been sacrificing.

    This whole situation has cost us approx $2.5 this week. difficult child hasn’t worked since she was pregnant. Her hubby financially got them in debt and never paid anything.

    My biggest problem is that.. difficult child is exercising her rights coz she is a mom and an adult. She has already started talking to old male friends on the phone. Asking them to hang out. She said she doesn’t mind going out late at night when her friends get off work (she will take the baby with her). This morning I told her she needs to be careful.. first of all she doesn’t know if she is being watched.. to make some sort of case against her.. 2nd … I don’t want her friends here late at night its our home. 3rd if she can hang out she can start doing some of the calling I have been doing for her.

    She doesn’t chase up things that need to be done. I don’t thinks she knows what needs to be done.

    She is a good mom. She doesn’t leave her babies side. She wont go anywhere without him.

    My concern is… when is it a good time to introduce rules and what sort of rules do I introduce. She did say today she is waiting for me to give her things to do.. but on the next breath she said she should be recovering. (she has an infected uterus).

    My thoughts are if she can hang out she can do chores too.

    My difficult child is one of the laziest.. untidy, unorganized, sometimes not a very clean person. Im a super neat freak. I know we will clash soon just coz I am used to running my household to be very organized (I do have 3 boys at home helping me keep the home clean). My hubby doesn’t hesitate to say sarcastic remarks if he doesn’t like what he sees.

    I don’t know when to suggest difficult child get a job. Should I babysit? Her hubby has to pay half of childcare etc.

    So moms who have kids at home with their own kids help me please make some guidelines. difficult child has no money or transportation.
  2. ctmom05

    ctmom05 Member


    You said...

    My concern is… when is it a good time to introduce rules and what sort of rules do I introduce

    Introduce the rules? You mean there aren't rules already in place?

    No matter what the maturity level or diagnosis, your daughter needs to be accountable for conforming to house standards and personal responsibilities that are clearly hers.

    Can you help her do a resource search? It sounds as tho she needs a parent aide or mentor; to be taught self care and parenting techniques - life skills coaching from an objective outsider.

    Discuss your options for "supporting" her(both as a new mom and your daughter) with your husband. Then share this information with your daughter. She needs ultra clear, firm, and consistent guidelines as to what you will provide for her and the baby as well as what her responsibilities are as a parent, a daughter, and a house-mate.
  3. ck1

    ck1 New Member

    Masta: I agree, rules should be introduced ASAP and a line you may need to learn quickly..."my house, my rules". If she doesn't like it, she can find a place to live. If you insist that she get a job to pay you rent, I would also insist that she find childcare (not you). The more she does on her own to take care of her baby, the better. Hopefully, it will help her to become more responsible and maybe lose some of those bad habits you described.

    I was 20 when my difficult child was born and my parents enforced a "tough love" approach which was the extreme opposite to how I was raised until then. It was very hard on me at the time but I think they did the best thing for me and my son. Please let me know if you want to hear more about my experience and how I quickly grew up but I don't want to post it here if it isn't helpful.
  4. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I also have a story like CK1, and can/will share it with you if you like. My older daughter was born when I was 19 and I was the difficult child in the situation.

    Rules, written out, your boundaries defined, need to be established. Yes, she went through a tough time, and for that I am sorry. But this is her responsibility, not yours.
  5. Masta

    Masta Member

    ck1, big bad kitty and anyone else who is willing to share their stories or advice please do so. i need all the help i can get.


  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I suggest having her work through independent groups rather than relying on you to help her move forward. We helped "too" much and GFGmom still doesn't feel the responsibilities of parenting although she has been on her home for seven years.

    by the way, maybe her marriage can be annuled rather than facing the expense of divorce?

    It will be complicated, I can guarantee that, but if your goal is for her to be independent now is the time to set the goal and stick to it. As we learned you can end up giving up your life to a GFGmom who doesn't "get it" and continues to reproduce babies that you feel compelled to protect. Hugs. DDD
  7. donna723

    donna723 Well-Known Member

    "My biggest problem is that.. difficult child is exercising her rights coz she is a mom and an adult. She has already started talking to old male friends on the phone. Asking them to hang out. She said she doesn’t mind going out late at night when her friends get off work (she will take the baby with her)".

    I don't mean to be unkind, and maybe it's just me, but some of this is just appalling! Yes, she has certain rights as an adult. But along with exercising her adult "rights", she must be willing to accept adult RESPONSIBILITY! And being the mother of a two-week old baby is just about the biggest responsibility she will ever have! I see a HUGE amount of immaturity here. If she is ever going to be a caring, responsible mother to this child, she MUST get it through her head that HIS needs must come first and that putting his needs first will require a considerable amount of sacrifice on her part. That's part of being a mother! She exercised her "adult rights" when she decided to bring that child into this world and become affiliated with that goofy family. The "responsibillity" part is being willing to live with the consequences - an innocent two week old baby who depends on her and deserves much better.

    I have seen these situations work out, but only when the parents made it extremely clear to the girl that it is ultimately HER baby and HER responsibility. Yes, they help out (giving her a place to live, food, maybe medical expenses for her and the baby) but they DO NOT assume responsibility for the baby, virtually raising it themselves while the girl goes back to her carefree pre-baby life! Two weeks after giving birth, running around and partying with old boyfriends should be the furthest thing from her mind! And to take a two week old baby with her to late night meet-ups with her friends is so far out there, there are just no words! What she should be doing right now is staying home to care for and bond with her child, recuperating from the birth, helping out around the house as much as she is able to as repayment for the room and board she is receiving, and making serious plans for the future for herself and her child so that she is someday able to stand on her own feet and care for her child.

    If she does what she wants to here, late night meet-ups with old boyfriends, taking the baby along, she will end up losing custody of that baby for sure! The "father's" family has already clearly shown that they are sneaky and underhanded and will do anything to get that baby, and you better believe that they will find out she's doing this! She's playing right in to their hands! And when it does get back to them, they will go straight to their attorney and your daughter will have her baby taken from her and given to them! You can bet on it!
  8. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    DDD has some good advice. An annulment might be a better idea.

    As for rules, get them into place fast.

    Mine are:

    1. difficult child takes sole care of the baby
    2. difficult child cleans hers/baby's room
    3. difficult child does all hers/baby's laundry
    4. difficult child cleans up after herself/baby ie dishes, things left lying around

    Then you can add to that of course if you think she should also do household chores. I added the livingroom to Nichole's as she and baby spend almost all of their time home in there and are the one's who mainly mess it up.

    Oh, and Nichole has a curfew. It's still midnight as I don't plan to stay up all night waiting on her to come home. And none of my kids have keys to the house. If she stays out all night she has to find somewhere else to live.

    One thing to remember though, is that if difficult child makes living with her impossible there is always HUD or low cost housing she can move into.

  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Does her hubby have any money to pay half of childcare? L's dad is an attorney specializing in divorce and abuse cases. Let me tell you in no uncertain terms, if she wants full custody with limited visitation to himk she had better start pumping breast milk or introducing formula and looking for at least a part time job.

    It's good that she doesn't leave the baby's side, but has she thought it through what she will do with the baby when she's "hanging out with guys"? A baby doesn't belong there.

    And, in all honesty, I'd get her a depoprovera shot. There'd be no arguments about it. If it affects her breast milk, then she needs to stop breast feeding and change her WIC (she is on WIC, right?) from peanut butter and cheese to formula. But I would absolutely lay down the law that if she is going to be in your home and/or expect you to babysit, she goes on a form of birth control that doesn't have to be administered every time. Period.

    Chores? She could start by folding laundry. If she's up to that, maybe empty the dishwasher or dust. Don't let it go too long since she asked, or she will take it that you don't want her to do anything because she asked and you said nothing!

    Phew! I don't envy you. At least L has been smart enough to not get pregnant yet. She's seen too many of her dad's clients (moms) and girlfriends lose their kids to men with a little more money and a little more clout than the girls. And in all honesty, it doesn't take a lot to have more money and more clout than L.
  10. Star*

    Star* call 911........call 911


    If you re-read what you wrote and take out all the I think my daughter statements - you are left with

    I have a 19 year old daughter who is not facing her responsibilities as a Mother completely because she is already talking to other men, making plans to go out late at night with infant (NEWBORN) in tow, and isn't thinking about a job, paying us back the $2.5 we spent for HER mistakes - and is skirting the rules of my house.

    You are not going to make her listen. You can't use the baby issue to force her to doing what she wants.

    Yes - she is most definitely being watched, yes, she should spend time with her child. Yes - if she screws up that baby is going to go live with psycho x and his great family - yes, you are going to have problems without rules, yes you may end up raising this child - but how many do you want to raise? You have to draw your line in the dirt sometime- and to do that with a difficult child and a difficult child's baby? You better get a BIG stick for the line drawing -


    1.) NO NO NO going out late night with friends - PERIOD - he has a baby and YOU ARE NOT A BUILT IN BABY SITTER. YOU gave them a home not a right to **** on you at will.
    2.) CHORES WILL BE DONE - NO IFs ans or butts
    3.) SHE ALREADY knows she can't do the rent, utilities, etc - so you are - if she doesn't appreciate that - then cut your ties now OR accept that this is the stressful life you have chosen by allowing her to come back with a baby.

    YOU don't have to do A THING - YOU ARE DOING EVERYTHING and it needs to stop right now. I tell my kid all the time - YOU ARE NOT THE PRINCE of the world - and your daughter isn't the PRINCESS - so stop allowing her to behave like you are only there to do for her.


    6 - IF YOU BREAK ANY OF THESE RULES we will file a petition with an attorney and have your parental rights severed.


    (something like that) and MEAN IT! Clearly you have the upper hand here - use it to your advantage

    I am so so so sorry for you.

  11. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Speaking from personal experience, the more I gave to difficult child, and did for him-the less he needed to do for himself. Don't make it a "given" that you'll be right there to pick up after her, and make everything right. I know it 's hard because you love her and your grandchild. She has to follow the rules-whatever rules you need to have in place where your house is a home to you-if she doesn't(and why would she?) (my difficult child thought those rules were a joke)out she goes. I don't mean to be harsh, I had a restraining order against my own child, but that's the only way he learned. The hard way. Think of the goal, to have her be a functioning adult, able to take care of herself and her child. Do what you can to see she gets a hand up from you, as opposed to a hand out that she doesn't appreciate. Like BBK, I had a child at age 20, it was a major wake up call for me- I only had myself. -Alyssa
  12. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Oh gosh, I just read your other post. I am sorry you and your daughter have to go through this. -Alyssa
  13. scent of cedar

    scent of cedar New Member

    All very good advice.

    Also, almost impossible to accomplish the goals you have in mind with a difficult child who has her own ideas about everything.

    I advise you to contact a women's shelter. If they have room for difficult child, I suggest that she be moved there ASAP. Not only will they help your daughter learn to take responsibility for herself and her child, they will protect her from the child's father and his crazy family.

    Because difficult child is "hanging out" during this time, I am afraid that too many rules, however much they need to be understood, will send difficult child out of the house to live somewhere else with her baby.

    And then, she becomes fair game for the mother-in-law.

    If a battered women's shelter is not available to help your daughter, my suggestion would be to call 211 and learn what other options or programs might be available.

    Once you have more information, you will see more clearly what action to take.

    If you do decide to try to do this from your home, can you find a way to present the rules to her not so much as rules as goals? Like "I think if we do it this way....", or "I was wondering whether you think we could each write up a list of expectations, so that we all know what our responsibilities are during this time."

    Something like that.

    Maybe have weekly family meetings to discuss how things are going for her.

    Do you see what I mean?

    Rather than trying to instill rules, approach these issues from the perspective of the goal of establishing a safe and healthy home, and the kind of experience everyone can look back on with enjoyment.

    No matter how far short we fall of our goals, they are a way we can work toward making things better, day by day.

    Wishing you well, Masta.

    You must feel overwhelmed!

  14. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    You know, Barbara's suggestion is right on the money.

    She will get ALL the help she needs, all in one place, if she can get into a DV shelter. There will be counseling there. They can put her in touch with court advocates, if needed. They have contacts with ALL the resources necessary as far as getting new baby furniture. They have very strict rules that she would have to abide by, and the counseling is part of that, all in an effort for her to become self-sufficient. She won't be able to just go hang out with the guys. She will be among other moms that are in the same situation, that she can relate to, and she can begin to network. Possibly even barter babysitting. They will be able to get her transitional housing, her own place, when she is ready.

    She needs to be able to do this. It will help her in more ways than she can imagine. Her self esteem will skyrocket when she sees that she can do this on her own.

    I had Copper when I was 19. I went back to work when she was 3 weeks old. My mom watched her while I worked. I started doing heavy drugs. My mom kicked my butt out of the house and kept that baby. It took me 6 months, but I got my act together. I got clean. By the time she was a year old, I was back at the house, clean and sober.

    She needed to be tough on me. She knew I might sink and I might swim. She just knew that she was not going to sit by and watch me sink.

    Copper will be 20 next week. I hardly know where the time went...