Not A Mom, But A Primary Caretaker That Needs Advice

C - posted on 12/09/2017 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I've been taking care of a child since he was 3 months. The mother works a lot and is there when she can be but other than that I'm with this child 24/7. I get him to bed. I potty trained him. I dress him, play with him, teach him. I've been there for every big milestone. Recently whenever he gets upset with me he won't allow me to touch him or comfort him. Most of the time he'll go to someone else. Is this normal? Also he recently started reaching out for other people to hold him. In the past he would only let me hold him. Maybe it's because he's getting more comfortable around these people. I just feel like when he does this he's trying to escape me because he doesn't want to be around me. I know I sound crazy but so much is changing so fast and I don't know how to handle it at times. I won't lie, sometimes it hurts my feelings and I just want to know if anybody else has dealt with this. I'm only eighteen and sometimes I worry about the most simple things. I might be over exaggerating but I think I'll feel better with a little advice. I'm just really lost on how to feel.

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Cc - posted on 12/11/2017

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How old is he? I've felt this way with my sons as well when they were about 1 or 2. I agree with another member that said he is displaying independence. This is pretty normal in child development as he starts to form bonds with others. He may have a certain need met with these other people that you are not providing, which is not necessarily a bad thing. He may find something more comforting about them physically (different voice, bigger bossom, stronger arms, different scent, etc.). Also, no need to apologize so hard. If you didn't want to give too much information, that's your choice. You don't owe anything to the other people on here. If they feel comfortable giving advice, they will.

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Sarah - posted on 12/15/2017

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What comes as a concern for me is how do you go to school if you watch a two year old; and you have been caring for him since you were 16? I get you are feeling ok with this, but it really isn't ok for you to be parenting. I get that your mom work long hours and you felt obligated to step in, but Michelle is right that is was not and is not your job. That's not a judgement against you. We get questions all the time from people who aren't mothers or even parents to nobody would have even commented about that.

Michelle - posted on 12/14/2017

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It's not you that I am judging.
I am a Mother that has had no family help and I have got 3 children. It was my choice to have children and that means it's my responsibility to raise them. I have been a single Mother as well but have still looked after my children.
It's the actions of your Mother that don't sit well with me. She knew what it would entail having another child since she has raised you.
I also know plenty of single Mothers that are there for their children and don't rely on older siblings or family to raise their children. I get upset when women have children and then palm them off to others. Having children is a lifelong commitment and there are a lot of sacrifices that you make to give your children what they need. I think your Mother needs to reassess her priorities and be there for your brother.

C - posted on 12/14/2017

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And then you might ask "Well, why did you come to Circle of Moms?, it's obviously for moms only." I honestly didn't know where else to go. I looked up various websites and this one seemed the most trustworthy. Sadly there aren't any websites for my particular problem and I understand why.

C - posted on 12/14/2017

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I know that I call myself his sister but I didn't know what to call myself on this website to avoid being judged like I am now. That's why I called myself his primary caretaker so that people wouldn't keep throwing things in my face. I know my parents are supposed to raise him and they would if they could. My mother is the only parent that is present and she's involved as much as she can be. She works long hours and she can't always be there. So when she can't be there, I take over. And I know it doesn't sound right and other people can easily say "that's not your job" but when there's no one else who can do it, then who will? So I stepped up to the plate and I'll never regret it. I shouldn't have to explain myself because I mentioned previously that our mother works very hard for us. So why do you keep telling me that it's not my job. To keep asking the same questions is pretty offensive and I appreciate your concern and advice because I really needed to hear it. Im not trying to be rude to you or anyone else but I know what to call myself. I'm his sister, I just didn't know what to call myself on Circle of Moms to avoid so much backlash. Sorry if you don't understand, most people don't and I'm okay with that.

Michelle - posted on 12/13/2017

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You call yourself his sister.
It is actually his parents' job to raise him, not yours.

C - posted on 12/13/2017

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And he's 2 so maybe he is just displaying independence. It's
just that sometimes I don't know what to think but I'm happy to know I'm not alone. Your comment was very reassuring. So thanks again, it really means a lot.

C - posted on 12/13/2017

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I called myself a primary caregiver because I don't really know what else to call myself. What I do is confusing and I don't feel very comfortable telling you what I do for a living. I just came here for simple advice. So thank you for your concern and advice. I appreciate it.

C - posted on 12/13/2017

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Thank you so much. This really made me feel better. I now understand and am really very grateful for the advice.

Sarah - posted on 12/11/2017

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I am curious as well that you posted the exact post in August as well. You don't need to apologize but your post makes it sound like you are a hired caregiver. Family members have different relationships. Why are you raising your sibling? You are 18, and it is not your job to raise him. Don't you go to school or work? That said as babies grow up their anxiety of being around strangers does and should decrease. Him wanting to be with others and show some independence is a good. thing.

C - posted on 12/10/2017

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I'm sorry. I didn't really think of it that way. I was really just afraid of the judgement my mother and I might receive and in the beginning I wasn't planning on giving out much information. I was trying to be vague in hopes that I would still receive good advice without having to tell my full story. I didn't mean for it to be so misleading. I'm new to this advice thing. I never ask for help or advice and this is my first time reaching out for help with something. But I sincerely apologize and I promise that it won't happen again.

Sarah - posted on 12/10/2017

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Your OP is misleading...why would you call this "a child" instead of my brother, and "the mother " instead of our mother?

C - posted on 12/10/2017

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Sorry, I also forgot to mention that I'm his sister and I live with him and my mother so they can't really get rid of me. But I'm very thankful for the advice, it really helped me ease up a bit.

Michelle - posted on 12/09/2017

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My advice is to step back. This isn't your child and there will come a day when the parents tell you they don't need you and you will have to move on. I understand you have been around for a while but he isn't your child. You can still give great care without being so involved.
In regards to the way the child is behaving, it's completely normal and even happens to parents. Children grow up and become more independent and pushing away those closest to them is the first step.

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