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Is Grandparenting All It's Cracked up to Be?


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#1 rosered135

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 10:28 PM

If you just recently became a GP (grandparent) how has your GP experience been so far? Is it the way you thought it would be? Better? Not as good? Or just different? Please let us know below. Perhaps your experience will help someone else. (And hey, if you're one of the more experienced GPs, please feel free to weigh in, too, as it may benefit others.)

#2 CarpeOmnia1

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:46 PM

I'm a soon-to-be grandparent and for me it is certainly NOT the way I thought it would be. The difference came with which of my children was having my first grandchild. I had hoped that
my married, stable, healthy daughter would. NOPE.

Instead my first experience is fraught with worry/concern. Worry, firstly, over the health of the wee one(drug-addicted parents). Worry over the ability of one or both parents to...well..parent. Watching the mom-to-be chatter on at Christmas and New Years about her plans to hire a maid and a diaper service and get $300.00 hair extensions put in while they are broke and have collections chasing after both of them. Observing the look of impending doom from my son as she frequently brings up "...when we are married"...When he tells me he doesn't want to but what can he do to prevent her from taking his child half a country away from him where there is little employment...etc,

Yup...in my dreams and fantasies, this time would have been a time of excitement and joy. Instead I'm on my knees praying for guidance through this challenging situation. Praying that my
little grand-peanut will arrive healthy and be a strong one as he/she grows up with unstable parents.

There is a phrase that I will be using often, "Lord I look to you for an arm around my shoulder, and a hand over my mouth".
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#3 tedybearnana

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 12:33 AM

hi carpe - welcome to Grandparenthood!

i'm so sorry you are facing this situation. it might have helped a lot to have had the 'stable' daughter deliver lst, so that you could practice up before meeting this challenge. i know this will not be easy for you to watch or be a part of. unless your ds and girlfriend (especially) kick their drug habits long before the birth, it won't be easy. are you prepared to step in, if necessary and get CPS involved, as well as possibly taking the baby to raise until they do get their acts together? it's something for you to start thinking about. also, it might make a difference as to what type of drugs they are on as to the withdrawal symptoms and pain, etc your gc will have to go thru.

i wish the outlook was better, but most of that will depend on what sort of drugs they are doing and if they can get off of them soon. of course, she sounds as if she's living in fantasy land - was she high Christmas and New Year's when she was talking about the nurse, etc they were hiring? it sounds as if that might be the case.

i'm so sorry for your situation, but know that we are here to listen, to help where we can and to be here for you. i also don't know how far along she is, but it sounds fairly early in her pregnancy if they don't know the sex yet. is she seeing an OB anywhere? i surely hope so - but you can't control that, either. i like your attitude with your phrase that you plan on saying often. i'm glad you already know that at this early point, but i hope that, if they don't get off the drugs, you start making plans of what you can do to protect the baby from addicted parents. he/she might rarely get a clean diaper, much less a diaper service! (i didn't know those were still in business! i received a 1 mo service with my oldest - and it was wonderful, but it was gone quickly, and i was left to wash a lot of dirty diapers and hang them on the line.)

good luck to all of you and check in whenever you want to. someone will be around, tho there are several mods who are handling this group at the moment, i believe so it might take a little while to get back to you. hugs to you and try to keep positive thoughts about it all. ~ tedy



#4 rosered135

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Posted 13 January 2013 - 05:43 PM

My heart is with you, Carpe! I remember when you first came to this site, not long ago, so fillied with the joy of excitement of learning that you were about to be a GM, for the first time... And then how your feelings began to go downhill, as you discovered that the parents were both involved with drugs and that GF (girlfriend) was pressuring DS (dear son) to marry her.... sigh...

First and foremost, I hope all is ok with baby when she is born. After that, I hope the parents take good care of her - and by that, I mean I hope they start dealing with their drug addiction, even b4 she is born, get some realistic help with her care, etc. I'm glad you have the support of your fiance through all this and that you also draw strength from your faith.

As Tedy says, we're here for you, too, of course.You and yours will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers...
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#5 Cobaltblue

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Posted 14 January 2013 - 02:57 AM

I am sorry for what you are going through. I do understand some of what you are going through. My daughter has not been married and has two children that I am raising. I have been raising them for close to three years solid and 18 months in the beginning and then babysitting a lot after the first 18 months. My husband and I have custody as of July. We hope to keep custody but the our daugther wants her girls back. I am praying for their protection. God has given me peace that they will be protected but I still do not know what is going to happen when we go to court soon.

I know how you worry for the child's health and safety when it is born. I know you have a lot of worries. The mother of your grandchild is also in dreamland of not really understanding finances. Your son is torn on what to do because it is his child. In many states the boyfriend doesn't have legal rights. I don't know about your state. If he does marry then there are other issues. If he doesn't, he is right, she could leave and he may not get to ever see his child. This is a difficult situation. I am so sorry for the stress that you are under.

I understand you not feeling joyous about the pregnancy. I was not joyous either when my daughter had her babies. I I cried after the birth of my OGD in the hospital by myself in a waiting room. No one knows I cried and cried. This is the first time that I have shared this. I then went into the hospital nursery and held my grandbaby in my arms and just rocked her. It was late at night. I saw her precious face and her bright eyes and fell in love with her. Something that has been special to me was that a few minutes after she was born she heard my voice and knew my voice because she looked right at me when she heard my voice. My daughter had lived with me during most of her pregnancy. I also got to cut her umbilical cord when she was born. When we went home from the hospital I took care of her so many nights through colic. Rocking her, feeding her, finding ways to help her burp to get the gas out of her. Those were tough times but I treasure these moments also. I also knew that I could lose her and my daughter could have moved out of state to go back to the terrible father. This didn't happen. I would just hold her close and sing "You Are My Sunshine" to her. Then I would sing other songs and nursery rhymes.

MY daughter didn't need any children and does not need them today. I do not believe she will ever be able to raise her children in a stable envireonment and meet all their needs. I really wish that she could. I do love my granddaughters. They are the joy of my life. These may be the only grandchildren that I will ever have. I do treasure them.

I do hope that you will get to experience the joy of being a grandmother even though the circumstances aren't starting out well. Just hold on to the fact that your grandbaby is a blessing from God. I do hope and pray that you will find peace and things will get better. I do like your phrase. I have prayed many times for God to put his arms around me and hold on to me. I have never prayed to keep his hand over my mouth. I like this.

Oh, by the way I wrote you the day you posted. But after I wrote it I somehow deleted it before I posted it. I am not sure how that happened. I haven't felt well for this past week. I am feeling better now. So I am now posting again.


#6 rosered135

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 12:19 AM

@ Cobalt - What a beautiful, sensitive post!

#7 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 01:35 AM

My grandparenthood has been a mixture of feelings. There are chunks of time when it's wonderful, but mostly it's just non-existent. It's a very odd feeling!

#8 Cobaltblue

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Posted 16 January 2013 - 10:14 PM

Rosered,
Thanks.

#9 rosered135

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 07:11 AM

@ Kalana - So very sorry about that!

@ Cobalt - You're welcome!

#10 SueSTx

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Posted 18 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

Being a grandparent (like being a parent) mimics life in as that there are good days and not so good days. When we are really lucky the good ones far out weigh the bad ones.
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#11 rosered135

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 05:45 PM

If you're reading this, why not post?



#12 Nannadhutcheson

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 01:13 PM

First, let me say I'm so sorry for all the grandparents, whose children are involved with drugs.  I know several grandparents raising their grandchildren and I marvel at their fortitude.

I am blessed with two grandsons.  I am truly amazed and awed by them, they bring great joy to my life.  This of course doesn't mean our life is perfect or without worry. The g'sons are so much like their mother, she is getting a really good idea of why she is an only child.  They bring new blessing and challenges every day. I am so grateful for them. 

Also I am grateful I found Grandparents.com.  Finally a site where people own being a certain age. 


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#13 CarpeOmnia1

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:16 PM

Thanks Cobalt....for your post, full of understanding and empathy from walking down a similar path as I am starting down.

Yes...I come to the folks here for support and bolstering. So far the pregnant mom is not willing to seek help for her

addiction. My son says that he is. Of course,...he's not been the most honest of persons, so who knows what he's

doing, if anything. My son says he's let the physician know of the drug use...who knows if this is true...or just to shut

me up.

 

My one hard issue in all this is to know how far to go, how much advice to give, when to let it all go so that I don't drive

myself crazy trying to rescue and fix people that don't want it.

I mean....last weekend I get the frantic messages from my son about how she is demanding money from him to get more

cocaine(Friday). I tell him if he does this, then he's hurting his child as much as her. The next day another message that

she spent all her tip money on Ketamine (Special K). He says she's ****** at him for talking to me. Told him that he over-stepped

his bounds.  Says that if he doesn't

stay with her she will abort their four month old baby she's carrying...or barring that she will move to NewFoundland and never allow

him to see the child again.

 

So...I give the best advice I can...again(you know...GET CLEAN, tread water till birth, keep the doctor's informed, inform

her parents that will be arriving in a couple months...have court papers in place going for 50/50 custody upon birth of child and to

make sure she can't take off with the child, etc, etc)....to which he doesn't respond.

And here I wait for another crisis call that I can do little about.

I feel a bit like my son's "garbage dump". 

At some point I will have giving all the good advice I can...and will not want to hear their drama...as it leaves me helpless and angry.

 

To the question about taking the child in myself perhaps. I think on it. I read from grand-parents here that have done it. How many pour

their love and hearts into the wee one for months/years...only to have the child torn from their arms...and often with animosity such that

the grandparent is CO from the child. A heartbreak I'm not wishing to go through.

 

I also have to think. Because the mother is an addict, unstable, easily threatens to go clear across the country and prevent even the dad from

seeing the child. Reading here how the mother is the gate-keeper, and how grandparents have to tippy-toe around them anyways...there's a part

of me that thinks that maintaining a distance from my first grand-child and his mother, might be the smartest/healthiest idea...for me.  If my son gets

the guts to parent 50/50...I will certainly jump in and help with what he needs.

 

BUT...I am fully prepared to call the hospital where they are delivering the baby and giving the unit a head's up about the drug usage. I am also

fully prepared to call child services if I feel this drug usage continues past birth and that they are doing it around the baby.

BUT...this pretty  much guarantees me being CO when the mother gets her child back, or wind that I reported on her and my son.

At this point my concern lay smack dab with the helpless, vulnerable child....not its' parents that may or may not be cleaning up their act.

 

On the advice of a friend, I was starting to read the AA Big Book...to gain understanding.

Plus, leaning on their "serenity prayer".

Thanks for all your good thoughts and prayers.



#14 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 02:25 AM

Another good book is "Codependent No More."



#15 CarpeOmnia1

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Kalana...I have that book...plus "Beyond Codependency" Plus, both books on Languages of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. Guess it's time to read them again. I had to get

rid of a crack addicted husband 5 years ago. I bought a ton of books to learn from. It's funny. I never thought that cocaine would play such a huge part in my life. I've never

even smoked a plain cigarette.



#16 Guest_Kalana_*

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Posted 27 January 2013 - 05:50 PM

Have you ever gone to NarcAnon or AlAnon meetings?  They're for people who love addicts (and in the case of AlAnon, they're for those who love alcoholics, but can give huge insight to others too). 

 

I think such groups could help you alot. 



#17 Cobaltblue

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 04:46 AM

CarpeOmnial,

You are in a tough position.  I hope your son will tread lightly.  If he talks to you maybe he shouldn't tell her.  I understand the position of not wanting the child because you do not  want it be taken from you if you start raising  it.    I thought about raising foster children but knew I would have a hard time giving the children up.  It would hurt too much. Now I may be hurt tremendously from my own daughter.  If my daughter takes the children away and I do not get to see them I believe I would really have a lot of problems emotionally.  I just can't imagine how horrible  I would feel when I hear the stories some of the grandparents tell on this sight about this.  I do know that it is possible that it could happen since we are going to court.  My daughter could get custody and  find a boyfriend and move off and I could never see her or my grandchildren again.  I realize this, but do not think it would happen since she does value family.  But who knows.  I will have to take this chance because the girls' stability and life are worth taking  the risk. 

 

You might want to call the doctor's office and let the doctor know that she is on drugs before she has the child.  Maybe you could block your number.  I know of a case that the doctor called Human Services at the hospital and the grandmother got the child from the hospital but she didn't have custody for a while.  She eventually got custody and is still raising her grandchild.She  adopted her eventually.  The mother is still on drugs and the child is in 7th grade. 

 

Have you talked to the girlfriend's parents?  Do you know them?  Maybe they could take the child to raise. 

 

I do feel for you.  I hope your son will come clean and do what is best for his child.  I have the Serenity prayer on a plaque on my wall.  I do believe this prayer.

 

Keep us posted.

 

 

Kalana,

I am sorry about your grandparenting experience.  I am sure you are very hurt. 



#18 rosered135

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:07 AM

@ Nanad - Welcome! You sound like a very joyous GM!

 

I'm glad you found this website, too, and hope to hear more from you! But what "age" are you talking about? Aren't we all '21+" (just kidding) ;)

 

@ Carpe - I'm so sorry that cocaine has impacted your life so much, even though, as you say, you've "never even smoked a plain cigarette." It must feel sort of like lightening striking twice, etc. when it's not supposed to.

 

But you sound as if you have quite a handle on things. If it's any comfort, I don't think DS is using you as a "garbage dump" - more like a "sounding board." But this isn't just about the "usual" parental disgreements where one can just listen and say, more or less, "I'm sure you 2 can work it out." This is a very serious problem and I can understand that it must be especially frustrating to feel your advice isn't being heeded in this case.

 

Still, I think you might as well stop giving it if DS doesnt' respond. IMO, you would be totally justified in saying to DS, words to the effect of, "Please don't dump these issues on me if you're not going to take my advice." But then he  might pull away from you (it's not always just the mom). So maybe it's better to just listen, at this point and say nothing. Or just, "You'll have to figure this out." You know  what you  are prepared to do - as you know, you can't control anything else and, at this time, may not be able to influence anything else, either.

 

I am so deeply sorry that the mom won't seek help for her addiction and that she makes the threats she does, etc. Unfortunately, you're right - even though she doesn't sound like a "fit" mom, right now she still has the power to pull that baby away from you, etc. If DS were to get 50/50 custody or if baby were to be removed from her hands, that would probably change. But for now,  that's how it is... sigh... Hugs!

 

Kudos to you for putting the welfare of that coming baby ahead of the concerns of the adults and even your own relationship with them! You seem like a very strong and brave woman!

 

Even so, I think Kalana's suggestion of NarcAnon and/or AlAnon is a good one. I hope you take her up on it. And, of course, please keep reaching out to us!



#19 CarpeOmnia1

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

Thanks for your support. I just came back from a crazy night shift and saw the last few posts here. I certainly don't feel very strong and brave. Sometimes a bit like Cobalt with the

whole crying in secret so that the world can't see me stressing out. I think it's time for me to book myself into some counselling...deal with some boundary-building, and how to let

go of my desire to control outcomes...I'm one of those "fixer" people....and this is one thing I just can't "fix".



#20 rosered135

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:43 AM

... And it's so hard not to try to "fix things" when it concerns our children, even if they are adults, and our GC. You've written elsewhere, though, about how you and your DF (dear fiance) have decided to handle this (how cool that he's right in there with you) and that seems to be working out. However, I hope you're still going for that counseling as there may be, I'm afraid, a lot of stress ahead. Good luck!