Post # 1
Here’s the backstory: friend got pregnant, kept the baby, left her job to move in with the father, he’s crazy and they broke up a week later. She had nowhere to go and moved in with her grandparents. She was miserable there and crammed into one tiny room. She had to care for her grandma who has horrible dementia and pees and poops ALL over the house. Every day she was cleaning pee and poop from the floors. Then her baby was born and everything was even worse. He was two months early and has had health issue after health issue. He cries all the time. She has to hold him a lot to keep him calm. He frustrates her and she feels so stifled, and now he has taken to pinching her with his tiny fingers while she holds him. He is 7 months old and nobody has helped her with him. She is stuck with him 24/7. She has been living on friend’s couches (she left her grandfather’s house bc she was clearly unwelcome) and her son’s crying is driving everyone nuts. The doctors just say he’s a fussy baby and have no solutions to offer to stop him crying so much. She wants desperately to get a job so she can make money and get her own place but she can’t get childcare. She is trying to get it through the state and it is taking so long. And she fears they’ll refuse to watch him once they realize how needy he is. So, between being poor, having to live in couches and impose on people, not having childcare to get a job, sleeping for 90 mins at a time since he was born, and having no help, she is at the end of her rope. She told me today she fantasizes about dying (but said she of course wouldn’t do anything to hurt herself) because her life is so miserable. What can I say to her?
Post # 3
@bunnyharriet: why would she quit her job right before she was having a baby? Income is crucial when you are adding to your family. Why would she move in with someone she doesn’t know well (he turned out to be “crazy” after a week so clearly they weren’t close). It sounds like she made very poor choices that got here where she is.
Post # 4
@Pinkypez: Probably so but that won’t help her now. I am sure she thinks the same things.
@bunnyharriet: Has she tried to go through housing and the food stamp office? There are places that will help her find a home, esp. since she has a child. Also, is the father not paying child support? Did he sign the birth certificate?
Post # 5
@bunnyharriet: offer to watch the baby so she can have a few hours off, at least once a week? Or try to help set up a network of friends who can do the same thing (watch the baby for a few hours), or better yet, watch the baby while she goes to interviews.
Honestly, I’m preggo myself and hoarding my sick days and personal leave for Mat leave, but if I had a friend in a situation THIS dire, I would take a 1/2 day off if she needed child care to go to a job interview, in a heartbeat.
She could also consider adoption??
You could help her apply for food stamps, or take her to a food pantry? But it mainly just sounds like she needs to catch a break, and she’s going to need help even if a good oppurtunity comes along.
Post # 6
Does she still want to keep her baby since you say she regrets keeping him? There are a lot of couples out there that are likely interested in taking in her baby. People take in babies with special needs and for all intents and purposes, her baby is just “fussy” for now. If she worries she’ll miss him, perhaps she can consider an open adoption.
Do you and she have a bigger circle of friends she can lean on? Even if it’s just giving her a day or two here and there to work, that can be a big help. I’m going to assume that since you only mentioned her grandparents that her actual parents are not in the picture.
Post # 7
Surely a first step would be to get the father to pay child support?
The other thing is I wonder if there are charities which help with this sort of thing, because it sounds like the state support is pretty weak.
It sounds like the pinching is a minor but “last straw” sort of thing, but that will pass.
Post # 8
@bunnyharriet: I am only assuming that you live in New Hampshire? It looks like the waiting list could be a long time. But it is better than doing nothing.
Here is where she can fill out a form for housing assistance:
Here she can apply for food stamps online:
Post # 9
Give her some adoption materials. She doesn’t sound like she wants to raise that child and she is just making herself and the child miserable. Tell her to give the child to someone who can take care of him properly and then help her restart her life
Post # 10
Besides saying something to her, is there anything you can personally help her?
Post # 11
Her parents are in the picture. Her mother reassured her she would help when my friend first found out she was pregnant, but she’s been useless. I wish I could help but I live 2 1/2 hrs away.Her baby is 7 months so there’s no way she could put him up for adoption. She is a great mother but she’s just secretly miserable and feels like she is failing him. She is on foodstamps and is trying to get housing and childcare but it takes forever. She regrets leaving her job to move away and live with the father, but it’s too late to change it now. She is just so depressed and stifled. There is nobody who is willing to help watch him. I would but I can’t. I feel horribly for him. She is getting all the help the state offers and she’s still sleeping on a sofa waiting to get into a nearby shelter. I just don’t know what to say to comfort her.
Post # 12
Btw, sorry for my lack of paragraphs but my phone won’t let me make paragraphs.
Post # 13
@bunnyharriet: Even at 2 1/2 hours away, can you have her come to you for a weekend (with the baby) and watch the baby while she takes a break in another room? Or can you go to her town on the weekend and take her child out for a few hours?
Post # 14
Wow.how sad.hopefully she can find a job and her own place soon.If she can find another single mom in a similar situation,maybe they could babysit for eachother.Has she considered going back to school? Most community colleges have onsite daycare.It would be free for her since she is low income.
Post # 15
That is really sad. Taking care of a child is not easy at all and I could not imagine doing that with no assistance or form of income. I don’t think it is fair on him to grow up in that enviroment.
Post # 16
I couldn’t go to her town bc she can’t have guests and I have no clue where I’d take a screaming baby who requires regular nebulizer treatments and other special care, but I could invite her to stay with us for several days. I don’t know why that never occurred to me. She is so broke she may not have the gas money to drive 2 1/2 hrs to my house, but I’ll offer. Thanks for the idea.