Need Advise (plz)

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by goldenguru, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    My daughter (my difficult child for those who may not remember) had a baby 20 months ago @ 18. She lived with us for about 6 months - married the dad ( a wonderful young man). All went well for about 4 months and she got pregnant again - intentionally. 2nd baby is now 2 months old. My daughter has fallen into a pretty significant postpartum depression. She has a hx with clinical depression.

    So my quandary? I have been trying to finish a bachelors degree for about 6 years. I have had to take whole semesters off to deal with assorted family issues. Lots of mental illness in my family. My first reaction to this latest episode with my daughter was to call the registrar and drop my classes so that I can go in and help daughter until she gets through this. This is my senior year and I am finally doing my clinicals - so it is all or nothing. I can't do a part time student status. I can help daughter on weekends and occasionally in the evenings - but the caseload is huge and I"m going to be busy.

    At what point am I helping? At what point am I rescuing? Her husband is VERY supportive and VERY helpful. But depression is very debilitating - and I wouldn't want to have to care for 2 small babies in the throes of a depression.

    I would appreciate any feedback from wise warriors.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is she getting any help for her depression? I think that would be one of the key decision makers. She really needs to be on medications and having someone to talk to.

    It's a tough call.. you want to be sure those babies ae safe .. but sounds like you've put your life on hold enough times. If her husband is supportive and helpful, it might be time to step back and let him deal with it. Unless you feel the babies are in danger, I'm inclined to suggest you just do your best to let it go and live YOUR life. Help when you can, but don't do so at the expense of your own goals.
  3. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I'm a softie. I would do the same thing, but I'd also tell daughter, if it were me, that if she has any other kids, knowing she has a problem with depression, I can no longer help. I would make a condition of my helping that she seek intensive psychiatric treatment so that she can get back into the swing of things ASAP. Depression is not deliberate. I suffer it myself. But you have a choice to help yourself or not.
  4. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    As a Nana who is also in school..............

    difficult child's husband is very supportive. Now it's time he learn to be pro-active in his wife's treatment as well. He is going to deal with this over a lifetime. He might as well learn the ropes from the get go. What are they gonna do if you're not longer around for some reason?

    Unless you feel those babies are in danger........I'd guide sister in law on what to do and how to do it. If the pp depression is really debilitating it might not be a bad idea for a short psychiatric hospital admit to get a jump start on getting it under control. We had to do it with Nichole, and honestly I know it made a huge difference. You can still help with support and guidance while making your own dream come true. But I wouldn't help unless difficult child is in treatment. She has also got to learn to be pro-active with her illness.

    Is difficult child receptive to treatment? If not, you and her husband are going to have to push the issue. Post partum depression can get serious quickly. Most especially if the person already has a mood disorder or a history of depression.

    I know you're gut reaction is to chuck it all and go help. It would be my first reaction, too. (over active maternal instinct) But YOU also have a right to a life of your own. You've been putting your own life on hold to help those around you. Are you gonna do it forever? It's sounds callous, but really it isn't. These are things they have to learn to be successful adults. I've learned to step back and force Nichole to learn the things she needs to know. Would I step in if she slid over the edge and became danger to self and or others, oh yeah. But up to that point she has got to learn how to live with her dxes. I guide her and let her do the rest.

    So unless you feel those kids are in danger, or will be in the near future, I'd go ahead with plans for school. You deserve it. Mental illness in the family doesn't take away your right to live your life too.

    Just my .02 cents.

  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I am so sorry she is dealing with PPD. It is incredibly debilitating, and from what I understand is much worse in someone who already had mood problems.

    It is incredibly easy for PPD to slip into post-partum psychosis. My sister in law had PPD. It was to the point that ALL she did was sit on the couch next to my niece. She would feed and change her diapers but that was it. No cuddling, cooing, talking - sister in law didn't even change TV channels.

    Have you asked sister in law and daughter what they want? What they feel would help?? Do they have daycare set up for the 2yo?? Is she getting any treatment - medical or otherwise?

    IF you drop this semester when could you start again? Next semester or next year? What happens if she gets so bad that you have to drop everything to help her? Will you flunk, get an incomplete, or something else?

    Can you talk to your advisor and see what he/she recommends?

    I know you ahve put your life on hold so many times already. It stinks that this has come up. Does sister in law have a mom , aunt, cousin or sibling who could help out the way you would if you dropped out of school this semester?

    I really don't know what advice to give. You have to live YOUR life. And some classes may not count if you don't finish your degree in a certain time. After X years teh credits are no longer valid. I think you would be safe at 6 years not losing the credits, but you really have to call the registrar and check.

    I think making ANY help contingent on getting intensive therapy. A psychiatric hospital stay is also something that may help. It helped my sister in law greatly once I bullied my bro into taking ehr to the doctor.

    Hugs to you, kisses to the new baby and her sibling, and prayers to your daughter and sister in law.
  6. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    I have the same question as the others about what your daughter is doing to help herself right now- taking medications? Getting therapy?

    The trouble is as you know, with adult children there's really very little we can do unless they are willing to help themselves. She's not only an adult child, she's also a mother and wife. You sound as if you like your son-in-law; how capable is he to manage? Are his parents in this loop somewhere? Can they help?

    I hate for you to postpone your dream again. Can you look around for support for her that extends beyond you so that you can both move forward? How about her Dad? Her sis? Who else can step up if need be?

    (lol- others were typing at the same time I was and had similar ideas---"great minds..." ;) )

  7. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    To answer a few questions>

    Yes - she is seeking medical help. She got herself into the doctor early last week and got on medications. Therapy might prove more difficult. Their insurance won't cover it - and finding a babysitter is tough. She has had sooo much therapy - infact spend 16 months in a Residential Treatment Center (RTC). She knows the tools - she knows how to use them. And she is trying.

    sister in law is an amazing gentle supportive soul. He is a tender wonderful dad. But - he works 50 hours a week to pay the bills. And it is hard, physical labor. When he is home - he takes over and does a fine job. His family is of absolutely no support. Sad - but true. We are considering hiring a 'mothers' helper' to come in a few mornings a week to help with the 2 year old. Maybe help with a load of wash, etc. We just need to find the right help.

    Thanks you all so much for the imput. I value it and need it.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    GG- given that she is seeking hel pand actively trying to get better, and that her husband is very caring and hardworking, what does your gut tell you to do?

    If you can, take a piece of paper and divide it in half. Write Pros on one column and Cons on the other column. Then write down all the pros and cons of dropping out of school. Practical ones, emotional ones, just everything. Ask your husband what pros and cons he sees and how he feels about it.

    Maybe that will help?

    I hope she gets better very quickly. Having a 2yo and a new baby is a real challenge.
  9. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    All good advice that pretty much covers what I would have said. She needs to stop having children at this point until they are in a financial position to cover therapy and medications should she go into a depression again.

    I found this information on net about Post partum depression resources in Michigan. I'm not sure which part she is in, but it might be a start. I hope that she will come out of it soon and be able to enjoy her children and her life. I'm sorry that you have had to put off your schooling again.
  10. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    It is a terrible feeling to be so low and not be able to help oneself. I'm glad she sought help but so many are so depressed they can not function enough to help themselves.

    I'm sorry to say that I would support her husband and her by asking them their plan as opposed to making a plan for them.

    It's terrible taking care of 2 babies when depressed but the truth most mom's are somewhat depressed after delivery just from hormones and lack of sleep. Her problem is magnified of course but helping her find her own solutions and making suggestions will go a long way to making her feel good about herself instead of feeling incapable. Again.

    She has tools and supports. More than most new moms. I would keep an eye out for the safety of the kids but continue on with your life. Committing to a night or afternoon of babysitting once a week is a gift most of us didn't have.

    Sometimes the struggle is necessary for her to grow into change.
    I would go on with school. Your life has as much value as hers and your goals are as important as your adult childrens goals.

    Letting her be an adult and respecting her struggle is an important part of adulthood for her. Doesn't mean you can't send cooked meals once in a while or offer a mother's helper but let it be her decision.

    It's hard to know what's needed because we all carry a fear of a backwards slide but we have to live in the now and not the past.
  11. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    Thanks for all of the pearls of wisdom.

    I am going to plow ahead with my plans - and offer what I can to do to help. I do agree with whomever suggested that my quitting would add an additional 'burden' to her.

    Witz - thanks for the link. I'm gonna go there next.

    Fran - you always know the right things to say. :)

    Isn't is supposed to get any easier?

    Thanks again.
  12. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I'm relieved difficult child is in treatment. She is really very fortunate to have found a man who not only loves her, but who is supportive will her illness. And to have as great as Mom as you are.

    I'm glad you're going ahead with your plans. :D
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911


    Gosh congrats Grammy! Two little ones! WOW~

    I can only draw on my own experience on PPD. I had it very badly. I should have probably been hospitalized, but never had the luxury. I was in an abusive relationship, with an overbearing, burdening mother in law who did NOT help. My mom came for a visit and basically told me to figure out my own way to solve my problem. My x was gone most of the time doing drugs and drinking.

    I got into mental health, and did some work from home to supplement the income that wasn't there unless I was working 3 jobs. When i quit - that was pretty much the end of the money. And I made it.

    I think it's time for some "What CAN I do" thinking - and mental help. PPD is bad - mine was very bad...but she can make it. And the helper on a few days a week? OMG - send her to MY home. lol. I like that - but other than that help =- STAY IN SCHOOL......and let her figure it out for herself.

  14. Nomad

    Nomad Guest

    Congratulations on being so close to finishing with school! Also, on the arrival of the grandbabies.

    It is a bit concerning to me that your daughter had two children so close to one another when she must have had an inclination that she had issues with depression and needed your support in certain kinds of ways. To me, this is an indication of something.

    Of course, it is what it is and since you are a loving mom and grandmother, you will have a desire to help. At the same time, the sooner she learns to stop over-relying on others...the better off she will be.

    I do like the idea of getting folks to meet you half way. You might offer lots of suggestions, make phone calls, pitch in for emergencies, make compromises here and there, ask Dad to do more, see who else might be able to do more. Remind her that if she is depressed, medications might be of help. Offer to get her to the doctor, pay for a prescription or two. In other words....offer a little managerial advice and a little hands on help for the time being. This is what families do and when we have someone hurting in our family, it seems logical that sometimes we might do a little extra.

    However, I would NOT put your life on hold for your adult child. This is extreme and it does not serve you well, nor does it teach your adult child any wisdom.

    My guess is that you have been putting your life on hold for too long. I agree... put one foot in front of the other and plow ahead with your plans. Good luck and good wishes.