Becoming a grandmother

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by katya02, Jun 26, 2010.

  1. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    Hi, it's been a few weeks since I was here ... husband had a second heart attack in May and has been home since, and a few other stressful things have happened. I miss being here, though. Glad to be back.

    difficult child 1 has been living with his girlfriend for just over a year now. A few months ago he told me he thought he was infertile. Why? Because he and girlfriend had been using no protection for nine months!! I pointed out that there's a name for people who do that: parents. He insisted there was 'no chance'.

    Soooo .... a week later we couldn't get difficult child 1 on the phone all weekend. Then he came to see us on the Monday very anxious and depressed and said his girlfriend was pregnant. He was totally shocked. ????? He really seems to think his actions have no effect on the world.

    I have no positive expectations for this whole situation. He and girlfriend are still living with girlfriend's psycho drug using, prescription drug-addicted mother; girlfriend has the most dependent, avoidant personality I've ever seen. It's like there's no one there. I don't believe she will ever leave her mother in spite of difficult child 1 wanting them to get an apartment together; she agrees with him on things right up to the moment of taking action and then bails. She is now five months along and still hasn't seen a doctor. She never enrolled in her employer's health insurance plan because it cost $20 per month (yet she chain smokes) and she hasn't arranged Medicaid which she qualifies for due to her low income.

    The good news is that difficult child 1 found a job that he has stuck with since early April - a record for him! It's the perfect job for him too, no interaction with customers, a skilled trade, and specific projects that he completes and can feel good about. I hope very much that he'll stick with it. The bad news is he's continuing to drink, not enough to lose his job, but enough. He's in complete denial about it.
    His income is very low; only making $8.00 per hour, which isn't enough for a skilled job but at least he has full-time hours and a good boss. If his girlfriend melts down emotionally and quits her job, which is what we see coming, they won't be able to manage on his salary.

    He has stepped up to the plate and is taking responsibility, wants to provide for this baby, and wants to get a decent apartment before the baby comes. girlfriend is spinning her wheels, not in denial about the baby but about everything else. She chain smokes, only eats fast food and drinks soda, doesn't believe her mother's behaviors are a problem (hoarding, smoking in bed, and driving girlfriend's car without a licence are a few besides the drug use), and won't give up any of the dozen or so unneutered cats she and her mother have roaming around spraying their place.

    I think this baby would be better off adopted, although it would hurt my heart to lose track of a grandchild, but husband is adamant he won't care for the baby at our place (not that girlfriend would ever let that happen, and not that I could handle it). girlfriend won't give up the baby so it's a moot point. Her mother raised her while using multiple drugs, smoking, and having multiple men in and out, and she thinks that's normal. She sees nothing wrong with where and how she lives. Oh, and she's not 18. She's 30.

    It's depressing. difficult child 1 really has a grim row to hoe now. I know it's all his doing and a perfectly predictable situation, but I hate that a new life is now involved.
  2. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    I'm so sorry. This is MUCH on one's plate. (Hugs) for your husband and for your aching heart. Prayers for this unborn child.
    It is great news that your son has held down a job. Certainly a move in the right direction.
    His reasoning continues to be "off," and for some odd reason it is commong for difficult children to think that pregnancy is not in the cards for them...and therefore bc is not either.
    Frustrating, to say the least. What does one poster here ability for cause and effect reasoning.
    Baffling and at times, frightening.
    I agree with- your and him are not in the babysitting business.
    It would be great if they would open their minds to alternative choices and you might suggest this casually. BUT, we all know that difficult children do what they want.
    Perhaps you can later guide them to social service agencies that might provide some support.
    Your husband already has toooo much to contend with. Your energies need to be with him. He needs PEACE not constant drama/turmoil/worry, etc.
    Your adult son is making these choices along with- the adult girlfriend. It is ashame. IT is so hard. But we must survive.
    None of us understand it...but it is what it is.
    YOU and your husband must move forward, hope for the best and put the BULK of your ENERGIES where you KNOW they will most count and that is with YOU!
  3. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    This is when cps is your friend. The cats and the newborn, plus cigarette smoke will probably be enough to have a case open
    so they can keep track of this child.
    I'm sorry that the baby will have to live in filth, unhealthy, unstable environment. Being on the low end of the income bracket is no excuse for babies
    having to survive in this home.
  4. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    Katya, I'm so sorry about your husband's heart attack. You and he don't need this chaos. I know all too well the type of family into which this baby will be born. Our difficult children used to choose that sort over our family. I'm afraid that I will soon be getting a call from Maine that difficult child 1 is in the same predicament.
    Big hugs for you.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry to hear about your husband's heart attack! I hope he can make a full recovery and embrace whatever lifestyle changes are needed to do that.

    Why is it that difficult children seem to think birth control is not important??? And then they are shocked to find a baby on the way??? Sadly some difficult children do this more than once, which truly is mind-boggling.

    This baby already has so many strikes against it, and it isn't even born yet. Sadly, having grown up with an addicted mother, the girlfriend is possibly suffering the effects of drugs/alcohol on her brain as a fetus. It is not always visible to the eye, but it can contribute to exactly the behaviors you are seeing. girlfriend is also quite likely to use illegal drugs at least occasionally. This does NOT mean good things for the baby.

    Fran is right. This is when you must rely on CPS. Just do not ever tell difficult child that you called. You will then lose any ability to see the baby again, so if problems arise later there will be no one who will call cps again.

    Some parents here have made the difficult choice to not meet their grandchildren. It is because they know that the child will be used to hold them hostage to whatever schemes the difficult child parents come up with. It has got to be incredibly hard, but in the long run it may be a choice you have to make.

    Even with-o the situation with your husband's health, you should not babysit. It will just end up tearing you apart emotionally. It will add a huge amt of stress to your life, which you truly do not need.

    What we do and what we "should" do are not always the same. No matter what you decide, you have total support. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. I am so sorry that you have to deal with this baby crisis on top of husband's health and the other stresses in your life. babies should be a joyous addition to a family. Too often they are not because the parents are involved with drugs and alcohol.

  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Becoming a grandmother should never be this hard.

    I know when I learned that Cory was going to be a father I was furious and devastated all at once. I couldnt believe he was that stupid. Ok, yeah I could. I was scared to get attached to the baby for a while. Problem was, baby started staying with us and we all know how that has ended Thankfully in our case, Cory has his dtr frequently even though he isnt with his baby's momma. Or we have her...same difference in our case with our living situations. Our situation is somewhat unique...or maybe not.
  7. judi

    judi Active Member

    Its so very hard when they not only ruin their own lives but bring babies into the mix.

    We are extremely close to our grandchildren - and we are helping out (a lot) with one grandchild in particular.
  8. katya02

    katya02 Solace

    I know we need to let difficult child 1 and girlfriend work out how to handle this situation. With girlfriend's total lack of initiative and inert approach to things, I can tell that she'll end up
    staying with her mother - difficult child 1 will have the choice of whether to stay or go, and he's very dependent on girlfriend at the moment - and she'll figure that imitating her mother's
    methods of raising her will be just fine. I also think she'll have a breakdown and stop working permanently, not that the baby will get better care with her at home. I would
    be prepared to do some child care ... I just don't think I can turn my back ... but it will be such a mess with the drug-using psycho girlfriend's mother. I guess it has to go one day
    at a time and I'll check into local services and inquire how the hospital follows up with new parents. One home visit to that apartment and I would hope there would be an
    ultimatum given to them - no more psycho mother in the household! But we shall see. As I said, I have no confidence that anything would be done.

    I feel bad for difficult child 1, even though he's been so foolish getting into this situation. He wants to take care of this baby, even though he's apprehensive about whether the baby will
    be healthy (he worries about passing on his own mental problems, not to mention his mother in law's, and he worries about girlfriend's chain smoking and poor eating habits); he has gotten a job
    that tires him out and makes him hurt a lot and he's doing it every day no matter what - this is a first for him. So this huge consequence for foolish, thoughtless actions has done
    him some good. But he's going to get hurt because of girlfriend's refusal to take responsbility for herself and her child, and he's going to have to watch his child suffer at least to some extent. He may have to leave girlfriend and sue for custody and I think that stress would send him spiraling downward.