Daughter Dropped a bombshell on Us.

posted 3 months ago in Relationships
Post # 16
Member
189 posts
Blushing bee

I’m sorry for the upset you’re going through Bee. However, your daughter is an adult and now has to lay in the bed she made. You need to stop enabling her and letting her have a means of falling back when shit hits the fan. You can still love your grandchild and your daughter without having to give up your life to support both of them. 

Post # 17
Member
416 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2019 - City, State

honeybeebuzz :  You definitely SHOULD have said everything you said to her, perhaps you probably should have said it sooner! I know it must be fustrating as a mother when you know you’ve done all you can to raise your children to be responsible adults yet they grow-up and get influenced by the wrong people and go in the complete opposite direction. My mother used to always say, “If you make your bed hard, you sleep in it”. So I would recommend not to waste your time trying to convince her of her wrong doings anymore, instead just let her see for herself. I think that is how people like her learn best. You really need to start giving her some tough love, I’m sure she’s not listening because she thinks when things get rough she can just run to you and her father to make it all right again, you should show her that is not true. IMO.

If the guy won’t even take care of the child he already has, what makes her think her baby is going to be any different? Smh, I don’t unstand the logic some young women follow nowadays.

Post # 18
Member
847 posts
Busy bee

In the interest of maintaining some privacy for my son, I am being deliberately vague about some things here. 

I really just wanted to let you know that I totally understand the feeling of thinking that you must have failed as a mother, based on the choices your daughter is making. 

With my son, an only child, the choices he made, the things he got involved in, were mind-boggling to me. How did he live like that, growing up in the home he did?  The things he got involved in, which resulted in a year in jail, were unheard of in our home. 

It made me doubt everything about myself and the life my husband and I had created. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that I considered suicide. 

Fast forward to not quite a year out of jail, when he tells us his girlfriend is pregnant. We didn’t even know he had a girlfriend.  I’m not going to tell you that everything has turned out perfectly & he’s now perfect, but I will tell you that we decided that the only way to do this was to embrace & support the baby, our only grandchild. 

I can see now that all that we taught him was not lost. He struggles with many issues, but he remains close to us and has made so much progress in the 10 months since we got the news about the pregnancy. 

The hardest thing to accept, is that no matter what my child’s choices were/are, I am not responsible for them. 

And neither are you. 

Post # 19
Member
9245 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2012

Honestly it sounds like she is still deeply wounded by giving away her baby, regardless of whether or not you can see it on the surface.

You say she seemed fine after, but quitting your job, not doing any schooling, zero ambition, staying out all night partying or doing whatever, those could all be signs of depression and/or self medicating.

At this point there is really nothing you can do. She has made her choices. She can apply for medicaid, housing assistance, daycare assistance, WIC, food stamps. She probably qualifies for all of it.

I would tread carefully if you want to have a relationship with this grandchild. It sucks to walk on eggshells especially when you don’t approve of the situation, but it is what it is.

Having a child changes many people. I wouldn’t discount her ability to parent just yet.

Post # 20
Member
1594 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Speaking as somebody who had two kids by 22… 

just love her and the baby unconditionally. You don’t have to agree with her choices or give her money. But do love her and the baby. 

If they guy is crap, she will eventually figure it out and be ready for help at that point. She’ll be able and willing to turn to you if she feels your unconditional love in the mean time. 

Post # 21
Member
8724 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

honeybeebuzz :  Some of a kid’s behavior and decision-making comes down to their parents, some of it doesn’t. Mine are adults now and it is really puzzling to see something and wonder “where in the world did that come from?!” — good and bad! I believe that nature is actually stronger than nurture. It sounds like your parenting was healthy and loving. And I don’t think you’ve been “enabling” her — it’s not like she’s 35, she’s only been an adult for 2 years. I see it as giving her a chance to figure out her path, and when you saw she wasn’t doing that, you cared enough to get a professional’s advice. I’m not sure what else you’re supposed to do in that position. 

At this point, it’s important to realize that her making decisions that aren’t what you would have hoped/expected/done yourself, is not a reflection on you. Also, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are bad decisions. Some of them (like the guy) — yeah, probably a bad decision. But even then, she needs to make her own mistakes. You absolutely do not have to act happy, but make sure you are not seeing it through the lens of “what did we do wrong?” or “why is she doing this to us?” 

Regarding the baby: give her a chance. Lots of women grow up and start making different decisions when a baby comes into the picture. Some don’t (as we all know) but some do. It will be harder for her with a deadbeat dad, but this is her path. If you see her neglecting the baby, intervene, but otherwise, give her the chance to grow into this new role. 

How is your younger daughter? Don’t let the drama of the older one distract you from her, even if she’s “easier.” She still needs your attention.

Post # 22
Member
9567 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

I’ll probably catch hell for this but when I was growing up we all had a *little* fear of our parents instilled in us and that little slice of fear seems to be missing in your daughter.

Now, my parents were great people, they weren’t absuive or anything like that. But I knew for a fact if I stepped out of line that I better hope to hell I hid well enough they couldn’t find me cause they would snatch my soul right out of my body if they did. That sliver of fear kept me from making a lot of questionable decisions in life because I just knew if I did something wrong they would find out and I would be in deep shit. I don’t know what they would have actually done if I ever did something bad because I feared it enough that I never tested the theory. So I guess the bluff worked for me! 

I get that you wanted to be loving and supportive and all that jazz, I really do. But that’s led to your daughter walking all over you and using you. It’s a little too late now but maybe a few smacks of the chancla (totally probably mostly maybe joking) would have set her right before this point. 

Going forward, I wouldn’t enable her. If/when she realizes that she is going to immensely struggle raising a baby on low income and with a father who may or may not help I would throw her a life line that has some strong boundaries and repercussions attached. It will only be a matter of time before she has the baby and wants to come home because it’s hard and she’s overwhelmed, when this time comes you need a game plan. Maybe that plan is that she has to hold down a steady 9-5 job and contribute to household expenses and if she doesn’t she’s out. Adjust accordingly and follow through. 

And stop feeling guilty, you NEED to be hard on her right now. You didn’t say anything terrible, you told her the truth and that’s what she needs to hear. 

Post # 23
Member
1197 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree w PP who said she is still hurt by giving away her first baby. I’m guessing that you both have different distinct memories about it, although you were supportive I’m sure you were quite disappointed in the situation and she might have felt you “made” her give away the baby because she knew you were disappointed or she thought you were ashamed (even if you weren’t, she might very well have really felt or believed that- being a teen is hard and confusing).

 

I wouldn’t lash out anymore and don’t give advice unless she asks for it. If you do I worry it will only push her away more and give her some romanticized notion of “us against the world” w her her boyfriend and the baby.

Post # 24
Member
741 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2020 - Hampton, VA

honeybeebuzz :  I only read the first couple of responses to your post, but I wanted to share with you a success story that started out similarish to your daughter’s?

I’m about to turn 27. I was a great student. Got crazy. Partied too hard. Hung out with stupid, stupid guys. Got pregnant at 21 while I was a waitress/bartender and going to college. I was terrified. It was not the ideal time.

But I grew up. Fast. I changed. I dare to say she saved my life. 

I got married to the man I got pregnant by. We were married for 2.5 years. I left him because I knew I could not truly love him. We were not healthy together. I’ve moved on and am now engaged to such a great man. I have a full time job, bought a nice house at 25 in a great neighborhood with the best elementary school in my area. My daughter is thriving. 

I never got a cent from my parents. I just had patience, love, and forgiveness. 

Your daughter sounds ungrateful and honestly scarred. She has to be able to navigate her stuff on her own. I see a lot of my peers as entitled, selfish people. Sometimes they need a big kick in the ass to get their sh*t together. Sometimes it takes a lot longer than it did for me. Let her try to navigate her life on her own terms and I guarantee she will learn real quick how hard it can be if you don’t make solid decisions for yourself. You had to learn that too, I’m sure. Let her learn and just be there with love in your heart for her.

As a mother of a 4 year old girl, I’d be devastated if she ended up in your daughter’s shoes, too. That is nothing you should be ashamed of. YOU DID NOT FAIL. She is just learning the hard way like a lot of us do. 

 

Post # 26
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

What’s done is done, but there is absolutely NO way my parents would have allowed me to bring a dog into their house, especially if I wasn’t already pulling my weight.  Dogs take care and money. Your daughter hadn’t demonstrated she had either.  I think this is what PPs mean about enabling. 

If I needed my mother to take care of my child, she absolutely would. However, there is zero percent chance I could move back in with her if I were living as irresponsibly as your daughter is. 

I think you and your husband will need to decide exactly how much care you’ll be willing to provide your daughter and grandchild.  Your daughter has demonstrated that she will test any limits you have.  Will you babysit? How often? With how much notice?   Will you pay for vacations? Will you help with clothing or childcare costs? Will you pay bills directly, or are you willing to write a check?  Will you take in your grandchild? Will you take in your daughter + child? Daughter+ boyfriend + child? If so, for how long?  

I hope you can work with a counselor separately to decide what your limits will be, and ensure that your and your husband are on the same page.  Taking a hard line will be difficult if you decide that’s what you’ll do. 

On a more somber note, have you worked out your own financial and healthcare plans? Your daughter will not be able to help you.  Your granddaughter may need your financial help.  You may want to look into leaving your assets to your granddaughter in a trust administered by another trustworthy family member.   Many grandparents give generously to their grandchildren and adult children, knowing they will be taken care of later.  It does not appear that this will be the case for you. A little bit of planning will help avoid a lot of heartache later.

Post # 27
Member
8724 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

honeybeebuzz :  It’s possible that she has unresolved feelings about the adoption, but I would be hesitant to give her that as an excuse. Some people just like to slide through life putting in as little effort as possible. She might be one of those people regardless of how your raised her, and it might have little or nothing to do with the adoption. 

Post # 29
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: City, State

honeybeebuzz :  I’m glad you and your husband are organized and on the same page!  Hopefully, this situation will turn around for your family. 

Post # 30
Member
7906 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

It really sounds like you did the very best you could raising your daughter. Maybe you did enable her here and there, but plenty of people spoil their kids way worse than it sounds like you did, and the kids turn out just fine without making any of the poor choices your daughter has. So I would try not to be too hard on yourself (easier said than done). From my perspective, it sounds like you were dealt a very difficult hand with your daughter, and that you really did the best you could.  

I have some relatives who are extremely well off and have two sons. One is extremely successful, well adjusted, has a PHD, married with a child – very stable life. The other is a drug addict who has been in and out of rehab for years, and over the years his parents have given him probably hundreds of thousands of dollars that he has completely squandered, until eventually (after lots of counseling and al anon meetings) they realized they had to cut him off. These two sons were raised EXACTLY the same and could not have turned out more differently, which just goes to show you…as a parent you only have so much control over how your kids turn out. (As a new mother to a five month old myself, this is completely terrifying.)

Anyway, because of the trouble with the addict son, the father spiraled into a deep depression for a few years that he’s only just coming out of. I know that counseling helped them a lot when it came to setting boundaries with their son and learning to accept that they were not responsible for his choices.

Finally…this is obviously a completely different situation, but my own mother feels like she failed utterly as a parent because she is a deeply devout Christian, and I am basically an atheist. My mom believes I will go to hell because of this – which in her eyes is the ultimate failing as a parent. I was raised going to church constantly with our faith crammed down my throat, but it just never took. My cousin, who was raised exactly the same way, is super religious. So again it just goes to show you…you can steer your kid in a certain directio n and instill in them all the right “values,” but at the end of the day they’re individuals who are going to make their own choices and you can’t take responsibility for that.

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