What is best for my daughter

Rachael - posted on 01/29/2011 ( 18 moms have responded )

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I am 20 and expecting my first daughter around March 18. The father and I have been together for almost 2 yrs and living together for one. We are 9 yrs apart, he is divorced and has 3 kids, all of which live with their mother. This pregnancy was extremely unexpected as he was told he would never have any more kids because of his time in Iraq and fight with cancer a few years ago.



We have a very strong relationship, and he wants to keep this little girl very, very much. He is unready to re-marry because of his divorce situation and is currently going through counseling to work through issues that ended his first marriage. The reason for the end of his first marriage was because they married because of a baby and were told it was the right thing to do at the time. He doesn't want to repeat that same mistake, but he has made it clear he wants to marry me, just not now. He has been extremely supportive the entire pregnancy and is doing his best to prepare for caring for our daughter, even though finances are really tight now. He does not want our daughter to be put up for adoption and has begged me to let him keep her if I feel I am not ready to be a mother.



My family is pressuring me a lot to put her up for adoption or for the two of us to get married. I want desperately to keep her, but I am worried my parents are right that we are risking her future because there is 'no guarantee' that the two of us will work. They tell me I am risking the rest of my life if this relationship does not work, because I will end up being a single mom and live in poverty the rest of my life. They want me to give her up and 'get a fresh start' with my life. I believe my parents want what is best for my daughter, and I so do I - but I don't think adoption is the best way to go, because of the emotional issues it will put on her, when her dad and I had a very strong chance of making it together. I believe the father means all he says and that he is committed to us, but it is a risk, nonetheless. If I give up my daughter, I will 'get a fresh start' as my parents say, to finish college and do something with my life - and they say it is better for her to be in a stable situation with two married parents and financial security.



I need a perspective from someone who is not emotionally attached to this situation and can really give some insight on what they think would be best for this little girl. I do not want to hurt her, ruin her life or emotionally scar her because of a stupid choice I make. I already messed up by not taking more precautions into how and why she was conceived, and I don't want to make things worse.

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Nichole - posted on 01/29/2011

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A married couple in my opinion is not always more stable than a nonmarried couple and niether is always better than a single parent. If you and your partner are willing and capable to provide for her keep her. It's not always going to be easy, but it's not always easy being a parent. Even if your relationship does not last, you can still go to college, get a job, and be a mom. It will be tough, but it is possible. It's really a decision only you can make. Are you ready to be a mom or are you not? It's what you feel is best for her. Just don't get married because you are pregnant. That is never a smart decision, tends to lead to bad or failed marriages.

Yvonne - posted on 02/01/2011

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Here's a thought: Do not marry just because other people think you should! That is your decision to make and to be honest; it's only a piece of paper... You can live as a married couple without being married.

If you both want this child and he takes full responsibility, supporting you and wants to work out any issues he has regarding his previous marriage before committing to you 100%, I'd say keep it! Tell your family to butt out cause in the end it's your choice. Only you can live your life. You can consider the odd advice, but that's all you should see it as; advices.

Good luck! :)

Amy - posted on 01/29/2011

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It sounds like your partner wants the baby, you're on the fence, and your parents want you to put the baby up for adoption. If your partner wants to keep the child I would assume he could get you to sign over guardianship to him and raise the child by himself, which would mean the end of your relationship regardless. No agency is going to let you put the baby up for adoption if one of you is not 100% sure. You've been living on your own for a year, you're twenty your parents can give there opinion but that's all they can do, you're an adult now so ultimately this is a decision you and your partner should make together. Good luck!

Lise - posted on 01/29/2011

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It sounds like you and your partner want to keep your baby but are only considering adoption because of pressure from your parents. You are 20 years old and are old enough to make this decision yourself. Adoption is final and you can't change your mind down the road if you change your mind and want her back. Lots of women finish college with a baby, it is just a little harder but totally doable. You AND your partner have to make this decision together not anyone else because at the end of the day this is your baby. Good luck

Sherri - posted on 01/29/2011

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Only you know the answers to the questions you are asking. You need to weigh out all your options and make the best decision for all involved.

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JuLeah - posted on 02/01/2011

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You are the mother. Do what you feel is right. No one can make you any kind of promise. Even if you were to sit down and plan out the best situation in which to have a baby, and even if you checked off every thing on your list, life happens. Babies arrive when they are meant to. They are born to us if they are meant to be born to us, so it is up to us to do our best (adoption, or raising her)
Most first time mothers don't feel they are ready, and most are not ready, but we learn, we read books, we ask questions, we search our hearts, we take classes on parenting, we stumble and make mistakes, we figure it out.
This is not your parents' choice.
And, you will hurt her ... all parents hurt their children somehow - that too is life. Giving her up will cause it's own kind of pain ... keeping her will too, but those will be the things that shape her as she grows and become part of the amazing women she becomes.
You didn't 'mess up' - BTW - you AND your lover maybe could have taken more percautions if you really didn't wish to make a baby, but this little child is not a mistake you made - she is a gift and her life will be a gift to all who know her just as yours has been.
And, I know a woman who got her tubes tied, and her husband was also cut .... they still made a baby together, so sometimes it is really just out of our hands.

Felicia - posted on 02/01/2011

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i got prego with my first at 20 with a man that was older and new he wouldnt have part n his life my parents did the same thing abort or give it up blah blah blah is all i heard i thought about my own situation and made the decision for me and not anyone else. i chose to keep my son i knew i would honestly b able to forgive myself if i didnt we struggled for a little bit but once he was born my parents were so on board with it all he is a true blessing whom is now 10 years old and i am now married to a wonderful man whom is now his father and have added 5 more children to our amazing family it is all your personal decision i just thought i would share my story to try n help i think no matter what you decide you will struggle with it and with life. life is never easy you will never have enough money. but kids make my life worth living even if we dont have absolutly everything we want we have all we need good luck.

Brandy - posted on 01/31/2011

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I really think you need to read over your post and pretend you are reading from an outsiders point of view and you will find your answer. I think you already have the answer your looking for!! Best of luck!

Kathy - posted on 01/30/2011

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I was your age when I had my daughter. I went to college and have had the same job for the last 13 yrs. I have been married to her father for the last 15. Has it been easy? Oh hell no! Then again-life isn't. My husband and I have been through some very rough patches over the years and have been in and out of counseling. Through of love and stubbornness, we are still going strong. Was being a parent at such a young age easy? NO Of course, I don't think, looking back, that waiting would have made a difference. Being a parent is never easy. My ignorance probably helped alot in those early years. I loved my child, did everything I could to give her the best life while I continued to improve mine.

If you and your partner are committed, do what you want. You are an adult. Keep your child if that is what you want. It will not be easy-it won't be at 20 or 30. Don't be afraid to go to counseling with your partner-this can help so much with solidifying your relationship-with or without marriage. Take some quiet time and reflect on your feeling and desires. When you decide what you know is best for you, stand by your decision. Your family can either be your support or they can set aside and miss out. That is THEIR decision not yours! Good luck!

Angie - posted on 01/30/2011

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There is never a guarentee that any relationship will work out so don't let that be a reason not to get married. On the other hand don't let a baby be the reason you get married. Wait until after the baby is born and make a decision then so you're sure you're not doing it because you are pregnant. As far as adoption is concerned it would be a very difficult decision but not one that you should make because your family thinks it's best. I don't think you could find many single moms who regret keeping their children. You will find that most moms who give their children up for adoption don't regret it either - it is a very selfless and loving act. Take some time, talk with your boyfriend, who has the same rights as you have in making this decision since he is the father, then decide. You didn't "mess up" by not "taking more precautions into how and why she was coneived" she is a precious life that you have been given and should never be thought of as a mistake.

Hayley - posted on 01/30/2011

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I had all of this crap from my parents and I tell you....5 years later I now have two beautiful children and a 3rd on the way (due a couple of days ago but taking her time)
If I'd have done what they had told me to I would have lost my daughter or be spending the rest of my life wondering where she is or who she's calling Mummy and I would have lost the most fantastic man in the world.
Yes we're skint but lots of money is the ONLY thing thats missing from our life right now. My partner and I have been studying around his job and kids and we only have a few months left till we both have degrees.....so missing college wasn't a problem, you can do the same :)
Just because you have children doesn't mean your life will come to an end. I have achieved more in the last 5 years than ever. Since they were born I work part time, study and I gig all over in a band.....socialise lots. I honestly couldn't be happier. Please, please, please dont listen to your parents. You do what is right for yourself. If you let people bully you into a decision that you never wanted to make you'll have to live with it for the rest of your life and all this talk from your parents of college and doing something with your life will probably never happen because you'll be too distraught and racked with guilt for making a decision that wasn't yours. I wish you luck for the future...just please remember whatever you do, make sure it was your choice and not anybody else's xxx

Tracy - posted on 01/30/2011

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A ring doesn't mean jack. Nor does a piece of paper. Is he involved in his other kids' lives? Regardless of papers or rings, if he tries to bug out you can still get him on paternity, IF it comes to that. But a daddy is a man who's there, come hell and high water. Being married in the eyes of the law is moot. Being married, committed, to the woman, the mother of his child(ren), that's key.

What do YOU want? Frankly, if you have a future with this man and he is all about being Dad, yeah it'll be hard but you can make it all happen.

Blackwood - posted on 01/29/2011

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Well first off, I have to give you props for asking such a difficult question and I feel that your asking on the perspective of someone that is not emotionally attached is very mature. I feel for one that marriage doesn't always mean a committed relationship and that with a 50/50% chance of marriages making these days, I wouldn't let anyone or you yourself base your desicion on that. If you do give her up for adoption, I can tell you that your relationship won't make it with your daughers dad feeling so strong about keeping her (the fact alone, that you call her your daughter, is an indication you are alreay attached and lover her very much). Your parents are right that more then likely you will not go to collage NOW, however that doesn't mean down the road you can't or with options like nite schools and home lessons you can't work hard to do it. I totally think that adoption is a great option for people who CAN'T take care of the child or are very young (at 20, you're young, but your not a child). Marriage end after 30 years so as long as you love, care and can at least try to work on things then there is no reason for you to think it won't work, however if it didn't, could you do it, money would be tight and life might be hard, but could you do it. With the support of her father, even if you two couldn't stay together, it seems as if he would still be there for her. You have a hard decision, but in the end we as parents ( and you become a mom as soon as you find out that baby is growing in you) second guess are decisions and how we are raising our children. But you do know what right, you just want reassurance. If you can do this and you love this child, then keep her, grow with her and learn with her. If you know in your heart you can't provide, then maybe it's the best. But it will be the toughest decision you make and it will be a final one. I wish you good luck and I hope that you are your partner can make it, but don't get married for the wrong reason, do it for the right one. You and him are ready too and if you feel that with counciling on his end and patience on your end. Then you two are the only ones in the relationship, so you two are the ones that should make this type of decision and if you feel that he would make a good dad, (even if you guys don't stay together) then let him take her, don't keep her or him away from each other. If you have doubts about him, then that's a different situtation. Good luck, best wishes and don't mind my spelling. lol

Bonnie - posted on 01/29/2011

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You don't need to be married to be great parents. Listen to your heart. If you know deep down inside you would like to keep her then keep her.

Keisha - posted on 01/29/2011

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Sweety I think that if youre thinking like this already you will undoubtedly make an amazing mother, you obviously care very very much for your child already. That being said who can really guarantee an everlasting relationship? Things happen and people change sometimes and marriage really wont change that one bit, but from the sound of it you guys are quite commited to each other and are determined to make this work and be a family... personally I think you should keep your little girl.

Leilani - posted on 01/29/2011

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The fact you are so concerned for the well-being of your unborn daughter already sounds to me like you are thinking like a Mum, My daughter was unplanned and I too am not married but her dad and I are still together, very happy and very strong.
You also say that you desperately want to keep her. That is what matters.
There is no guarantee that any couple will stay together whether they are married or not. Meaning that if your daughter was to be adopted, her adoptive parents could still break up or divorce.
There are no guarantees in life. You don't know what is around the corner. Only you can make this huge decision but all I can say is, after being in a similar situation as your in now, I wouldn't be without my little girl. She would be no happier if her Dad and I were married and no happier if I were able to buy her more. If you want this little girl and you truly believe that your partner will be there for you and wants this little girl too then you are in a very lucky position indeed x

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It sounds like you both love each other and already love and are committed to this baby. I can't tell you what to do cuz that is YOUR choice as this is YOUR life, but in my opinion..... I would keep this baby and work w/ her father on a life together whatever it takes. I fully understand why he is hesitant to get married right now and while I am a big believer in marriage.... the love and commitment is more important than that piece of paper at this moment.



Yeah, you guys might not last forever. Life itself is a risk though. I got married in 2000 and thought it would last forever. Divorce was never an option in my eyes. Then my husband comes to me in 2008 while I am 8 months pregnant w/ our 3rd child and tells me he's leaving.... MAJOR disappointment. Being a single mom is really rough, but you know what.... my kids are worth every single second of every single struggle.



Good luck!!!

Casey - posted on 01/29/2011

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I wouldn't worry about the whole being married things cause honestly being married doesn't mean that your relationship is going last any longer then if your not married, my partner and I are not married and no intentions of getting married for another 2 years but we have a beautiful little boy and another baby on the way and I think we're happier then alot of married couples we know so don't even worry about the whole marriage thing cause it's really not that important. I think you need to decide weather your ready to be a mum or not and don't listen to what everyone else wants you to do cause this is a decision that only you can make and you don't need anyone else to influence your decision.

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