Single mom 36 now facing raising granddaughter...

Amalie - posted on 07/01/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I'm 36 and have struggled for 18 years to raise my two children. There have been moments of joy but everything has mostly been overshadowed by fear, stress, anxiety,affairs, separation and financial struggle. My oldest who will be 19 in July had a baby in January. CPS took the baby from her and asked if I would keep her or she was going to foster care. In the moment, I said I would take her. She is now 6 months old and even though I love her to pieces, I feel the stress of raising a child alone-again, proving to be too much. My youngest is 14 and I was just gaining a sense of who I really am. Truth be told (although I was a good mom) I never enjoyed being a mother. After the devastating break up of my 15 year relationship - I was just learning to cope. I was finally taking care of myself and had lost 60 pounds, felt at one with being alone, my career was taking off and my self esteem increasing daily. I was active and beginning to enjoy my life away from being a trapped isolated mother. I became a fun and happy mother to my 14 year old and saw some real changes in her too. In a moment back in January - I lost it all. I have put the weight back on, my self esteem has dropped, my finances are in disarray and all I want to do is sleep and cry. I knew after a month of having my granddaughter that I was heading back to old patterns and falling apart but the ungodly amount of pressure from my family members to keep this baby in the family made me preservere and not let her fall into the system. I love this little girl to death but I know I am not what's best for her. I just barely survived raising my own kids and in fact feel like I have failed my oldest. There are options and I consider them daily but my own mother says she will disown me if I do not raise this baby. Foster care is the only option as my daughter will not sign off on the child yet won't own up to her either. No one understands. "Walk a mile in my shoes before you pass judgement" is how I feel. I understand that some people could take this on and be just fine but I know myself and I know that I will love this baby to the detriment of everything in my own life and possibly to the detriment of my youngest child. I am still too heartbroken over the loss of my first family unit - how do I embark on starting all over alone right from go. I am unfocused, scattered and severely depressed. I just snapped out of this state. I am in a lose/lose situation. If I hand this baby over, I might never be able to live with the guilt but if I keep her, I know I won't function the way I know I can. I need unbiased words and advice. Please help me.

3 Comments

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Cherish - posted on 07/01/2012

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Hi,
No your not selfish,just honest.The thing is,you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of other people.If your not happy,if you are sad and stressed ALL the time,then everyone around you will "feel" that(does that make sense?I am BAD at explaining)
So she has another year?
Have you talked to CPS about maybe placing her as "legal risk"?You probably already know this,but they can place her as legal risk w/ a family that wants to adopt her,when and if the parents rights get terminated.
You can maybe? talk to the worker and ask her if they can place her temporarily w/a family for respite,so you can get your thoughts together for like a month(unless you are scared that they wont give her back to you which I can understand)
If she was gone for a month,you can see how you really feel.Sometimes it is hard to know how you truly feel when you are in the middle of something.
My youngest son is disabled,and sometimes I get overwhelmed and I will go camping w/my daughter and get my mind right....
I do NOT think it is fair for your family to put everything on you.My family sometimes outs everything on me,and I found out they think I am the only one that can "handle" it,why they think this I have no idea..lol
Have you talked to the dads parents/family,or are they just pretending that baby does not exist?
Have you seen a therapist or talked to your Dr about medications(if that is to personal,than don't answer me..lol)
It is ok to see that you need help.There is NOTHING shameful or wrong with someone asking for help.It is not good or fair to you or the kids to feel lost or alone.
If any of this is too personal for you to talk about in "public"(on here) send a message to my inbox

Amalie - posted on 07/01/2012

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CPS was involved at the hospital due to my daughter's flat affect and took her a month later due to missed doctor's appointments and my daughter's refusal to let them in. Dad is not interested so there is no point in pursuing. Daughter has since been in trouble with the law and keeps heading in a downward spiral. She was diagnosed with PPD but refuses treatment. She will not sign away her rights either so adoption for a least another year is out as CPS needs to give her every opportunity to be a mom. Each day that passes I grow more attached. My family is helpful to a point but ultimately this rests on me. They aren't opposed to adoption just foster care and right now that is the only alternative. I'm trying really hard to rise to the occasion but I'm just not that person who can singlehandedly take on the world. I've already done that, I really have. There is a big part of me who feels defeated. Taking care of your own is ultimately the most important thing in the end but for me that has always come with a big price. Life has been a constant struggle and I had just finally begun to see the light. I had learned to relax and laugh and be healthy. I look in her eyes and see the battles that lie ahead and I don't want that for her or for myself. Am I selfish? Will there ever be happiness for me if I do let her go or will it all just be marred by this horrible choice. Can I do this all over again? I feel so very alone when I had just learned to embrace and enjoy alone. I'm so lost.

Cherish - posted on 07/01/2012

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Hi,
Your situation sounds difficult.Why did CPS take the baby(don't answer if that is too personal).
Is your daughter seeing her baby or doing what CPS told her to do to get her back?
Do you have the baby all the time?Do you get a break from her?
I can honestly see what you are saying,you would feel awful if your gave her back to CPS,yet you feel like maybe its "me" time,you raised your kids and you thought you were done,and babies are alot of work,if your ONLY 2 options are keep her or give her back to CPS,it is a no win situation for you :(
What about the father and his family,are they willing to help?
If the mom is not trying to get her back,is there any way you can force her legal rights to be terminated?
There are SO MANY childless couples that would be THRILLED to adopt a baby.Maybe you can call a adoption agency and ask them for legal help?

If you are seriously depressed and seriously do not want to keep the baby,and if she is a burden,then you probably won't be a effective parent to either of them.

Does your family baby sit for you?I would think if everyone is crying at you to keep the baby then they would be more supportive,if not then tell them THEY should try it,THEY should at LEAST watch that baby for a week or something so you have some time alone to think.

If they are being judgmental then they are OUT OF LINE.Nobody KNOWS what anything is like until they have been there.

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