Alcholism and parenting

Tara - posted on 10/07/2011 ( 104 moms have responded )

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I know a mom who drinks a lot. At least 6-8 beers a day, probably more. Her hubby works away from home, comes home about 4 times a year for about 10-21 days at a time. She has 4 kids, youngest isn't yet 2.
She is breastfeeding him still, has all along. She claims that she doesn't nurse him if she's been drinking but she drinks all the time, every day.
Now put that breastfeeding issue aside for a moment and picture this.
Her 9 year old daughter is the one who puts the baby to bed, feeds him and changes him. He goes to her when he needs something. The mom thinks this is great. "what a great bond they have" "she's such a good big sister" the daughter seems to enjoy this role and never complains.
However I had to drop something at her home the other night for swimming classes. She answered the door and then came out for a smoke and to chat. Her daughter shows up two seconds later holding the screaming baby. Daughter - "Mom I found Liam walking standing at the stairs and the gate was open". Mom "I didn't leave it open you must have". Daughter "It doesn't matter mom, he's up now. Are you going to put him back to bed" Mom- "Take him back to my room and lay down with him can't you see I'm busy"
Daughter - "I'm doing homework"
Mom - "Too bad, just do it."
Me - "I should be going anyways, you put Liam to bed, Christa can do her homework and I can drop the rest of these off"
Mom - "She'll be fine, but whatever"

Thoughts on what you would do?

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[deleted account]

Okay, not like me, but I haven't read the other posts. I'm just going to comment on your OP.

What would I do? I'd call children's services. She needs to get help, but more importantly, the children need to be safe, fed and looked after... which is NOT happening right now.

My father was an alcoholic. I had a part time job at a grocery store (bottle clerk) starting when I was 14. At 15, I had an accident on the job that left me with a major concussion. My father was told he had to monitor me for 24 hours to make sure I wouldn't stop breathing, fall into a coma or what have you. He slept on the couch while I slept on the living room floor that night. I saw him fall into a drunk stupor at about 6pm that night and didn't wake until I woke him at 7am the next morning. Even though I could barely see, my head was killing me and I was drugged to the eyeballs (once the neuro determined I was okay, just concussed), I still had to get up in the morning to get my father up, make him breakfast and a bag lunch and get him off to work. Then, instead of resting (since I wasn't going to school because of the injury), I cleaned the house, did the laundry and made dinner. I was the housewife! A few of my friends came to visit and one of my teachers came a couple times a week to help me keep up with school work... they knew what was going on, but no one said or did anything. Gotta love a small town where everyone knows your business, but does nothing to help.

There is no way I could sit by and watch that happening. It would sicken me until I took action and sickens me that so many people tend to just sit by because it's "none of their business".

If you have a close enough relationship (by your OP, you may not) you could try talking to her about her problem. That's the least that could be done. If she doesn't think there's a problem, or refuses to even entertain the idea, then you have to talk to children's services for advice and possibly report what's going on. This woman is neglectful and her daughter is the actual mother of the adult AND the baby!

I hope the kids get some help and love soon and I'm sorry you have to be put into this position.

Johnny - posted on 10/10/2011

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Just because CPS is called does not mean they will swoop in and take the children away. In fact, in our local system, they would be fairly unlikely to do so. She'd probably be pushed into addictions counseling, receive a family support worker, and her daughter and other kids might get some extra help too or money to be enrolled in some kids activities for themselves. And if CPS was to investigate and find that there were other more serious issues too, they might have to take further action.

Stifler's - posted on 10/07/2011

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I just have to say that I disagree with the people who are like "this is not your problem". It's obviously a concerning situation and sitting back and doing nothing is the worst thing to do, especially if one day something drastic does happen and you let it slide. She sounds like she needs help with the hubby being away and 2 little ones she probably doesn't get much time to herself or have much contact with friends if she's drinking at home every day.

Nikki - posted on 10/07/2011

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As adults I feel it is our responsibility to speak up for those who can't. This family needs help now, she is neglecting her children and it is very likely something may happen to those children if the abuse does not stop. @ Becky, neglect is a form of abuse :)

I would call CPS, as a friend it puts you in a difficult position by bringing up this subject yourself plus unless you have the ability and knowledge to really help her it's not going to achieve anything. They won't take her children away for a small amount of neglect but the will help her and give her options to improve her life.

Tara - posted on 10/11/2011

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She is what one would refer to as a functioning alcoholic.
For those who are saying this isn't neglect because her kids do stuff, because there is a gate, because they do homework, fed and are clothed, your view of neglect and/or abuse is skewed, possibly by your own experiences. But there are many levels of neglect and abuse.
I worked in foster care for a long time, and there are some good foster families. And you would be surprised to know that many of the kids we had in the agency we worked for were from upper class homes, their parents drove nice cars, kids were dressed to the nines in brand labels, in hockey, skiing, horseback riding etc. they "looked" like the model family. But guess what? They weren't. They were fed, but they were told they would get fat if they ate, they had a nice house but were never allowed to have friends over because their dad was a raging drunk.
They had a nice car but mom wrapped it around a tree with all the kids in it on her way home from the Casino, where she had just spent all her money gambling while her two youngest were left unattended in the car, they survived the accident but were removed from their home along with their older sibling.
So.... abuse and neglect does not wear a uniform.


Okay now that that's out of the way.... more PTA gossip...
I talked to the principal this morning. Incidentally they are aware of this most recent problem, the 9 year old has been talking to her teacher. They are in contact with the appropriate agencies and will be doing all they can to get this family some help. They thanked me for my call and assured me they are on this.

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Becky - posted on 10/11/2011

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I was going to post essentially the same thing that Johnny did. In Alberta as well, Children's Services will do everything possible to work with a family prior to removing the child from the home. Our mandate is to engage in the least intrusive intervention possible to protect the child. So the children would not automatically be removed. And it is rare that a child is removed prior to an investigation being completed. That only happens in cases where the child's life or safety are deemed to be in danger based on the information that is received. (For example, a child in hospital with severe, unexplained injuries) It would rarely happen in cases of neglect unless the neglect was obviously very severe.

I've worked with many foster parents and they are not all what some of you are making them out to be. In fact, in my experience, few are. Yes, there are foster parents out there who are in it only for the money and who do not treat their foster children well. But the majority of foster parents I have worked with have been wonderful, loving families who treat their foster children like their own children. There is no way that I would agree that a child is always better off in their own family than in a foster family as long as their own family doesn't kill them!! And what if they do...?
Tara, I am glad you talked to the school about this and that they aware of what is going on and are following up on it. If the little girl is talking to her teachers about it, then clearly, everything is not just fine and dandy at home! In my experience, children will go a long way to protect their parents, even when they are being abused and neglected. When a child starts talking to someone about it, you know that they want the situation to change. I hope that the mom does get help this time and things do change for these kids!

Bridget - posted on 10/11/2011

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That is neglect. I would report that to CPS. The 9 year old should not be taking care of the baby it is the mothers job. Trust me my mom was a alcholic and i would have been really greatful if someone got me out of the situation i was in sooner. No child deserves to live in that type of situation its just no fair to the child.

Brittany - posted on 10/11/2011

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My Daddy once told me that no matter how mean, crappy, neglectful or abusive your parents are too you they always teach you a valuable life lesson.

Sometimes I think the youth today has so many issues with Alcohol and Drug Abuse because, they do not see it first hand.

I saw and know what Alcohol and Drug Abuse will do to you, first hand. I am eternally grateful to my Mama for showing me this.

I have a friends whose Dad would beat on his Mom a good bit. He is the most anti-violence person I know. He refuses to partake in violent anything, video games even.

I know this is not everyone's case and I apologize for your family experiences. My Daddy's side of the family is what one may call a "dry drunk". I come from a family of Alcohol and Drug Abusers. My oldest cousin was the first of us to get his High School Diploma. None of my Aunts or Uncles or my Parents have one. My Grandparents all had a High School Diploma but, both of my Grandfathers went into the military right out of high school and marrying my Grandma's.

I am one of the youngest out of all the Grandbabies (except my brother Josh but, he has Down Syndrome) and I am the first one to go to College. My Grandma (on my Daddy's side) was an Army Nurse her whole life and she is an RN but, she does not have a college degree. She earned hers through the military.

My daddy's side of the family (his brothers) stopped talking to him because, I was in college. Two of his brothers have children older than me and their children are still at home with families of their own. They also will not help my Daddy take care of my Grandma.

They are all one heavy prescribed narcotic medications for anxiety and depression. They all talk about each other, steal from each other and lie to each other. I suppose I am not missing out.

Angela - posted on 10/11/2011

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Brittany sorry for the traumas but glad to hear you can have laughter and tears with you Mom. I only wish I could have that with some of my family members including my Mom. Unfortunately my family is still very much in denial.
Most of my family was functional on the outside.... like you said they were not passed out with a bottle of whisky in hand. In fact sometimes people looked at us kids as if we were the problem.

Brittany - posted on 10/11/2011

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Marina,

She did function, like I said she ran a successful restaurant for many many years. When she was home, it was a different story. She also was able to hide her problems until she left my Daddy.

Besides her drinking problem she was not a deadbeat slumped over on the couch. She got REALLY out of control when I got older. The one thing that helped me the most was being able to remember the good family times I did have with my Mom and Dad. When my Mom was not drunk, of course.

In the last she has really been paying for it. I am not saying she deserves it because, I do not think she does but, she is paying for it.

How many 49 year old woman do you know that will be in a nursing home for the rest of their lives?

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/11/2011

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Brittany, from the previous story you told, it doesn't sound like your mother was functioning AT ALL!

Brittany - posted on 10/11/2011

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@ Angela,

My mother is listed as a functioning alcoholic. She ran a successful restaurant for many years, came to everyone of my Cheer meets, every concert, for the first 6 years that I was a cheerleader she was Cheer Mom. We did the whole girl scouts thing, sleep overs ect ect.

We always had a nice home, nice things, taken care of but, our mom was a raging alchoholic. She hid it very well for a long time but, when my Daddy had his accident and we almost lost him, she lost it.

To be honest, I do not think it was the alcohol that made my Mom the way she has been for the last 10 years. I think it was more of the narcotic prescription drugs she was given to deal with anxiety and depression after the accident.

To this day I still believe that my Mom's biggest mistake was leaving my Daddy. That moment that she walked out and left us was the moment that sealed her fate. I love my mother very much and I would never ask for a different Mom.

Since my mom has been sober for the last year she has realized a lot of her mistakes. We have cried and laughed. We can not change the past but, we can look to brighter future.

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And that all happened in LA and the drive was a 20 minute cruise down behind UCLA... A residential area! I'm just lucky that I didn't kill anyone and ashamed to admit that I've done such stupid things that I used to call the cops on my dad for!

[deleted account]

Okay, I've just slogged through all 5 pages and Tara, I'm so glad you did something and that the school will hopefully do something. My heart breaks for this kids and my anger rages at the mother... Probably because I know what it's like to be a kid of a functioning alcoholic.

I can also see why it would have been bothering you, given your working background. It's a job I could never do for long before being arrested... so I commend you on that.

PTA gossip... I nearly woke up the house from laughing so hard at that one! You nasty PTA mum, you! LMAO

Cynthia, you're a champ if you can hold that much liquor. I'm 5'5 and a bit and weigh about 175lbs. 1/2 glass of wine I'm tiddly, 1 glass I'm fully tipsy, 2 glasses I'm slurring worse and staggering, 2 1/2 glasses and I'm full on drunk! Now, I used to weigh 125 and in my 20s and could drink 3 long island iced teas, 2 southern comfort and coke and 3 shots of tequila and appear sober. Could even walk a straight line! Obviously, I would have been well over the limit, but thought that since I could walk the line I must be sober enough to drive... and I hate to admit that I did. A few times. There is one time I remember being at a party, snogging a really cute guy and then waking up in my apartment (no guy, just my roommate). I asked my roommate how we got home and she told me that I drove! I told her my last memory of the night and she said that it happened TWO HOURS before we left, I'd continued drinking but everyone thought I was sober enough to drive my roomie's car home, so I did! That was 22 years ago and I still don't remember a single second of those 2 hours. Never had a hangover either. So, appearances can be very deceiving!

Angela - posted on 10/11/2011

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IDK I was thinking maybe the school could help her make the call if she is afraid to do so. not to matter what however at all cost something needs to be done. Alcoholism runs in my family so I know a lot about it unfortunately. Alcoholism is a progressive disease meaning it only gets worse not better until one gets help and sober or one dies from it.
It is not normal or social drinking to drink 6 to 8 alcoholic beverages a day! It will only get worse. As Marina pointed out it takes at least one hour to metabolise one drink however everyone is different some it can take longer or shorter time.
Alcoholics also develop a high tolerance to alcohol meaning they need more and more to get the same high. So it is very possible for an alcoholic to go to swim meets, drive etc and seem okay on 8 beers when most social drinkers would be on the floor passed out.
It depends on the rate she drinks etc.
The thing is she is driving and breastfeeding the potential of great harm to her children and others is big enough to warrant a call to the agencies that handle this type of situation. She is in very possibly putting herself and other in harms way.
Donna too bad about the cops not helping! Tragic really.

[deleted account]

Wow, Angela he was only just functioning! Sounds a lot like my father... whom I DID call the cops on, a few times. Bastard was never caught though, despite me telling them the make/model, registration and ROUTE of the car he was driving!

Unfortunately, telling the school would probably be akin to throwing a stone into a lake. A few ripples maybe, but no real change. Alcoholics need to hit rock bottom before they begin to see the light.

Angela - posted on 10/11/2011

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I want to add I am not a big fan of CPS but sometimes you have no choice. If she contacts the school maybe it is better. At least the flag is being waved.

Angela - posted on 10/11/2011

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Ever hear the term functioning alcoholic? My Grandfather was one , he held a prestigious job at GM, had a big house, a young pretty wife (who also was a drunk) and 4 kids.
Every time I did see him he was drinking. I can't even see him or his wife in my head with out a drink in hand.
I witnessed him beat his child who was my uncle (he is my age) with a coat hanger, he almost ran me over with his boat when he was drunk and driving a boat towing me water skiing, I saw him piss himself several time too. He was a weekend drinker mostly. But when he drank he did not stop and it was messy.
I am sure none of his co workers or golf buddies thought of him as an alcoholic. On the outside all looked good, big fancy house, gated community with a golf course, nice job, stay at home Mom. His son had everything money could buy, nice clothes, clean house, house keeper and a nanny too.
Finally he and his son were in a terrible car accident, his son almost died in was in a coma for weeks. He got a DWI. This was his wake up call. He started to go to AA and was sober until the day he died.
If I were an adult I would have called CPS on my Grandfather but I was just a child myself and had no idea this was not normal.
People have a duty to protect the children and I think it is fine to all CPS or whomever you can to get help for a child in need. It is far less damaging if they get taken away for short time vs. if the children are in harms way daily.

[deleted account]

CPS is different from state to state and in a lot of case from one county to another. Where I live they are very quick to take children out of the home only to bring them back because there wasn't a valid reason to take them to begin with. Children are supposed to be place with family as long as the family can pass all the back ground check and everything else required but in a lot of cases that doesn't happen. Or you see the kids being separated because not everyone can take on more then 1 extra child. CPS, at least where I live, has a seriously flawed way of doing things so for me that would be the last resort not the first.

As far as alcohol goes everyone has a different tolerance, I'm 5'2" and 110 pounds and can drink like a fish.

Johnny - posted on 10/10/2011

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Well Cynthia, it may be vastly different in Ontario than it is in BC, but having actually worked in child protection, if we had received a report similar to Tara's OP we would have been very unlikely to remove the child. There is no point in inflicting unnecessary trauma into a child's life, and being apprehended is very traumatic. It should really only be used in cases of relatively immediate threat to safety and health of a child. This does not sound like that at all. The mom clearly needs help, support, and her children need to know that someone is going to step in and help their mom mother, not take them from her.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Hell, it may be different from state to state, but sorry, it is not how it goes in all cases.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Not in all cases Cynthia. Once again...if there is a parent that is responsible in the home, that is NOT abusive, or addictive etc.....they will not be taken from the home. Unfortunately, I am well aware of 2 other similar cases aside from my sister. The ironic part? My sister was friends with them, and secretly was one of the people to call CPS on them. She of course heard all about the experience from her friends.

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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i do disagree in most cases the worker will assign a safety plain and place the kids in someone else's care. until the court date or until the investigation was finished it is sad to know that and i wish i did not but i have read over many cases to find that the children were returned to the mother and the case was filed as thereat unfounded. so even with no found thereat the children were still removed...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Thanks Johnny, in the states, it has to be REALLY bad on all levels to just take kids on the spot.

Dana - posted on 10/10/2011

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Thanks, Johnny, I figured as much but, was unsure how your system works. Even here in the states they just don't swoop in and snag the kids either.

Dana - posted on 10/10/2011

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Cynthia, you seem to be hung up on "neglect" when what this woman is doing is ABUSE.
CPS, CAS, whatever...it's not just for neglect you know...

Dana - posted on 10/10/2011

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Lisa, just to be clear, no one here is saying you can't have a drink or two if you have a breast feeding child. There is however a big difference when you're drinking 6-8 beers everyday.

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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lisa, i drink on one day evey year. that the only time since i started having babies. and i get a sitter but it is true. i drink soco straight. lol. idk where i put it. my husband says i drink more then any man he knows, when i do drink. the day i lost my best friend and drinking buddy.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Did you ever even think about her driving drunk with her children in the car????? I know for a fact that my sister has.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Cynthia, you are missing a HUGE point. If CPS is called (I am guessing it is the same in Canada since Tara has not said otherwise..as of yet) If there is one capable parent, then they will NOT take the children into custody. The father would have to come home though. Hell, if he didn't care about his children, then he wouldn't come home....and maybe the mother would get help while the children were in protective custody.

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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i am not saying to give her the mom of the year medal, but to call cps on her is kinda excessive. especially after the op says she don't care enough to help by getting to know the kids or baby sitting. it's sum pta gossip and cps is a real system for real neglect. and for those cases i say yeah, make the call. but this is not even close to that from what is in the post against her. I pointed out way more good. and i come from neglect and foster homes where the neglect is even worse. and group homes where the house parents are so cold. theres no love in those places. not even a little bit. but i have said more then my piece on this topic. too good PTA mom are everywhere... spreading hate and gossip. i like to think moms in the same community would look out for each other and try to help those in need but then who would we talk about. its a shame that that mom drinks even a little bit. but we stopped stoning people a long time ago.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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That is enough to effect a baby though Lisa, then add more alcohol on top of that, they are consuming quite a bit for their little bodies. Alcoholics who are currently drinking have no business breastfeeding.

Minnie - posted on 10/10/2011

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Sheesh, Cynthia, I'm 5' 4" and 115 and I'm reeling after a glass and a half of wine.

Minnie - posted on 10/10/2011

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I was being nit-picky. It was the way it was worded. I have a drink maybe once a week at most. Continuous high levels of alcohol are a problem. However- I -have- nursed my daughter soon after having a drink because we don't use bottles or pacifiers. Although alcohol in milk does metabolize at the same rate as it does in blood only about 2.5% of the alcohol consumed reaches the milk.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Yes and counting beers and drinks are the whole point. If someone is drinking 6-8 beers daily, there is a problem. And quite frankly, if it is public knowledge because she tells people that is how many, most likely it is a lot more. You can believe that or not, but I am dealing with a very similiar situation with my sister. She will tell you one thing, and be drinking twice as much. Alcoholism is no joke, and quite frankly, your approval, if you were her friend IRL is called enabling.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Yes infact I have. Since there is one stable parent, they won't do shit. Notice how I said that earlier about the father???? Yeah....

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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I suppose you think less of him, than her...THAT is laughable.

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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have you called cps on your sister? my point is that your point, counting beers had no effect on the debate

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Well, you seem to think she is a fine parent, so why not?

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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it is almost laughable that you think the dad will show up and save the day...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Cynthia, aside from you telling everyone that we are all making assumptions....so was your entire last post. But the most prevalent thing that sticks out for me is "let me put it this way, neglected kids don't get to go to skate lessons or swim classes. or anywhere... they don't do homework either. and neglectful moms dont breastfeed"



I hope this is a joke, but it is not funny. Once again, my sister is a raging alcoholic. She plays good mommy to the public eye, but you would fall over if you even knew HALF of the things she does. Just because you can "play" good mommy and do all the things that people "think" you should do as a good parent, does not mean that you are. Not sure how else to get that through to you.



I am 4ft 11inches and i cannot drink the way you do. My sister is 5ft 1inch 115lbs and she can drink a liter of Vodka. What is your point? Do you see my point?

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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i highly doubt that the mom in question is either. she said she don't drink when she is feeding. i'm sure a neglectful mom would have the 9 year old make a bottle just to get out of setting for the feeding. it is all assumptions here so why not assume she is not feeding the baby while her milk has alcohol in it. and again to breastfeed alone is a sign that the mom is not neglectful because it takes an amount of care to feed a baby. she would have the sister fixing bottles if that were the case. let me put it this way, neglected kids don't get to go to skate lessons or swim classes. or anywhere... they don't do homework either. and neglectful moms dont breastfeed. i am 5'3 and about 115 pounds and i can take 6-8 shots.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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I highly doubt you were having that much alcohol on a daily basis every time you fed your daughter Lisa, and if you were....then sorry but yes, it is a problem. No one is saying the occasional drink is bad, but we are talking about an alcoholic breatsfeeding a baby. That is indeed and issue if the alcohol does not have time to metabolize out of the breast milk before a feeding, with such a high level of consumption.

Minnie - posted on 10/10/2011

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If having some alcohol and breastfeeding a two year old is abusive you all had better call the cops on me.

I have -never- waited a particular time after having a glass of wine before nursing, because my daughter has always been a sporadic and frequent nurser. I know my research and I know how much alcohol gets to my milk. Breastfeeding and having a drink itself is not the issue here.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Oh, and in the states, if one parent can take the child...they will not just get thrown into the system. The father is going to have to come home and prove he is a capable parent. These children won't just get tossed aside. Not sure how it works in Canada though.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Cynthia, I am a small person too as far as height goes...a little on the heavy side still losing baby weight....and guess what??? 1 beer and I am tipsy....2....I am pretty gone...3...I am drunk.....4.....I cannot stand straight.........5......I will have a serious hangover in the morning.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 10/10/2011

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Mmmmm....nope Liz, I was calculating on the 8 beer side of that....and the op said 6-8, or more. I didn't change the amount....but view it how you will.

Dana - posted on 10/10/2011

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Tara = a gossiping PTA mom...yeah right. lol

And I'm sorry, Cynthia, she does not get a gold medal just because she's "at least feeding the baby". She's feeding the damn baby alcohol basically!
Had it been just the other issues, I might say, leave it be but, it's not. She's slowly killing the brain cells of a developing innocent child. It's fucking disgusting.

Tara - posted on 10/10/2011

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Okay so some would assume that because she brings her children to skating lessons she is not a drunk.
Everyone at skating smells the beer on her breath, and sees the glossy look in her eyes, not to mention the slurring words.
She drops her kids at swim lessons and they get a ride home from a friend.
Either way, there are many people who know about this situation, hence the previous calls to CAS.
I will call the school tomorrow.

[deleted account]

Marina- You just pretty much made my point for me, 6-8 beers just turned into 8+, next thing you know some will be saying its a 12 pack.

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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1 every 2 hours... i'm a tinny person and even i would never get a buzz at that rate... better call cps. thats neglect

Cynthia - posted on 10/10/2011

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they have no idea what they are saying. i have came to that conclusion. no drinking is not good. but at least she is feeding the baby. most foster homes wouldn't. or a group home where 2 moms look after 17 babies. would that be better. no neglect in that system? thats what you say would be better

[deleted account]

Wow! I wish more people understood what the foster system is like because you probably wouldn't be so quick to rip families apart. Besides that I would almost bet that most of what is being said about this mom is from a bunch of PTA moms getting together and gossiping. Everything in this post has been said about me and I have had CPS at my door because people assume they know something!

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