Friday, August 31, 2007

On Grandbabies and Unwed Moms

I'll try to fill in the blanks here. We are not currently raising any of our soon-to-be FOUR grandchildren. All of whom came to us from young, unwed mothers in just over two years. Talk about overwhelmed!

Throughout this journey we are still raising/homeschooling our three youngest. (17/15/13) Over the years they have suffered greatly for the decisions of their four older sisters. Our home has been overflowing with stress throughout the years. Being bombarded with grandchildren has been no exception.

At various times we have had different levels of involvement. Initially, one of the moms lived at home. She was very irresponsible and not a giving parent by any stretch of the means. We had to step in just to get the baby bathed. It was VERY frustrating and exhausting. She was inattentive and down right disgusting with her lack of cleanliness. She thought we should care for the baby and she should be able to run with her friends and not pay bills or work. It was NOT a good situation.

During this time I cared for her baby and one of our other grandbabies both full-time together. This was extremely stressful and exhausting. I had no time for anything. I was on the verge of a breakdown, I'm sure. Maybe I even had one...

The mom that was living at home with baby ended up moving out and ending up homeless. We had to strongly consider going after her for the baby. Through much prayer and counsel things worked far. She is currently living with my step-sister and her family. She seems to be doing okay. We don't see her or the baby very often anymore. She's been very irresponsible, and we've come to terms with the fact that it is highly probable that the baby may end up with his father at some point. We think that would be a good thing.

The other grandbaby that I was caring for, her mom was renting a house from us. Well, her boyfriend is, if nothing else, an emotional/psycological abuser. He is toxic. He's ruined her credit and her self-esteem. We had a VERY BAD falling out. They took advantage of us for two years. Finally, we had to put our foot down. I don't watch the grandbaby anymore. We take her on occassion just to spend time with her and foster our relationship. It's been tough as we have helped raise her since birth. She just turned two in July.

The third grandbaby lives two states away. We don't know him too well, but we do see him a few times a year and "talk" to him on the phone sometimes. His mom moved out of state with her boyfriend and his family. It's been a year. Things aren't working out. Boyfriend can't hold a job and has backed out of his promises. She is managing at a McDonald's and starting at University tomorrow. She will be getting her own place soon.

The fourth grandbaby is due October 26th. Mom is completely irresponsible, immature and unaware of anything to do with parenting or caring for a baby. Dad is into drugs, and we are very worried. They were living with daughter of first grandbaby and took advantage of us financially right along with her. They just moved into an apartment about a week or so ago. I'm terrified of what's to come with them.

Throughout all of this we have learned at least one valuable lesson. There is a time and place where you MUST draw the line. You must be firm once a decision is made. Do anything to directly help your grandbabies, but make the parents grow and learn on their own. In all four instances it's the only thing that's worked for us.

Above all put your family that lives under your roof and still depends on you over and above anything or anyone else, and keep nurturing your relationship...if you're in one. My husband and I have really struggled through this. So, have our younger children. It has been tough all the way around.

We are learning and growing everyday. We have been disappointed, injured and blessed all at the same time. We love our grandbabies. We struggle with our relationships with their parents. It's a tough road to travel.

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