View Full Version : Is anyone else raising a grandchild?
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:15 AM
I don't want to do this anymore!!! My gd came to live with us in July 2011. Her mom died at Christmas 2009 of breast cancer. Her dad, my son, has his own issues and isn't cut out to be a single dad, especially of a teenage girl (she's almost 14).
GD's mom made arrangements for her BFF to adopt GD, my son said no. BFF started calling, texting, emailing and messaging me on FB about how disruptive gd was to their family and when could we come and get her. (Son and BFF decided she'd finish out the school year b/4 he got her.)
My husband (Bless him!) and I decided here was the best place for her. She would have rules, guidelines, a good home and opportunities she wouldn't have elsewhere.
I KNOW she's had it rough. Her step-dad pretty much "gave away" all the kids (there were 5) within days of the funeral. She was only 10 when her mom died, I can't imagine how that must feel but...what about me???
I get SO tired of hearing about all the places she'd rather live and I have to bite my tongue, HARD, so I don't say that she's here because no one else would have her. The only time she really talks to me is to tell me what she wants.
My kids have been gone for 10+ years, my wonderful husband and I made a life we very much enjoy, I finally had the time and $ for a horse. Now we're buying school stuff, paying for dance lessons, party dresses, birthday parties, etc. Yes, I love her but this is NOT how I envisioned my "golden years."
It's not her fault and I know I probably sound like a horrible person but it's such a totally one-sided relationship. We give, she takes, that's it.
Sorry this is long and rambling. It's been raining for 2 days, supposed to get 2 more days. It's depressing. :cry:
Mar. 30, 2013, 11:17 AM
I have no words for you, except thank you for doing right by your granddaughter.
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:39 PM
I'm no psychologist, but I'd bet there's a decent chance she's testing you to see if you will abandon her too. I think peoples' real feelings leak through even though they may try not to show them.
Is there a compromise, so that both her needs and your needs are met? Can you do something for yourself, or hire a babysitter to help with some things? Although your son is not cut out to be a single parent, can he step up a bit? Take her every Saturday or something? Or be the person in charge of taking her to dance class?
I think it is great you are reaching out -- I think with some creativity you'll be able to find a better path.
You really only have four more years until she's college aged.
Mar. 30, 2013, 01:43 PM
Isn't there some legal way that your son must pay you for child support? Surely he can contribute something to the situation.
I feel for you both. This kid must feel horribly abandoned and alone. Mom dies, Dad can't parent, and she's probably keeping up a front in case you abandon her too.
Do you keep the communication lines open? Do you just sit and talk to her about her day? About all she's been through? Does she have hobbies that you can get involved in?
Just trying to think of ways you can find a common bond.
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:15 PM
How often is your son visiting her?
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:22 PM
OP, my father died when I was 4 and my mom was tired of parenting her 5 kids when I was 12. I was the youngest and alone most of the time, I would never wish that life on anybody. Everybody deserves a childhood and to be wanted. Your granddaughter did nothing but was born into a lousy family. I feel bad for her and yes, if I could take her I would.
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:32 PM
OP, my mother is, well ,let's just say not fit to parent. I spent a lot of time living with my grandparents, like months and years off and on, especially during my teens.
Now at 41, I really miss them, I cherish the times they cared for me, guided me, bent over backwards for me, embarrassed me (they loved me so and showed it publicly, very uncool for a teen!), I really cannot get the words to describe to you how much of an impact they made on me. And still do.
When I was 16 I acted like a spoiled rotten little sass mouth turd :( I was not thankful, I was selfish, I wanted to do everything that did not involve them. I knew I loved them but my teenaged warped emotions did not let me communicate this to them. I took advantage of their love and goodwill, I gave nothing in return (this is my own hindsight, they never indicated as such to me).
I thank the Lord for their loving and good influence on my life often, it really was all I had. I wish I still had them :(
Please remember this when your grand daughter acts like an ass.
Mar. 30, 2013, 02:44 PM
We have quite a few friends raising grandchildren. Mainly because the parent are not fit, in jail, etc. Seems to be a trend that is escalating.
Good luck and one day she will, hopefully, realize how luck she is to have you.
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:00 PM
It isn't the way you envisioned your life, but it isn't how she thought hers would be either. She is pushing you because every time you refuse to discard her, you are showing her you love her. I don't know how long she will need to test you, but you need to know that she does it to prove something to herself. Somebody loves her enough to not pass her on.
Thank you for being there for her.
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:03 PM
First, thank you all for posting. Second, Stolen Virtue - wow. My son has cancer also, which is why he can't raise her, she worries about him dying and she worries about him not taking care of himself. She was not "born into a lousy family." She IS loved, she IS wanted, it just gets too be too much sometimes, for me. Yes, I realize that makes me sound whiny and I also realize an anonymous BB is not the best place for advice.
He lives 3.5 hours away and does take her during spring break, a few weeks over summer and comes to us for holiday get togethers. Money is not the issue. We can afford to raise her, he can't.
I'm sure she is testing me and I don't ever say what I sometimes feel. She's not interested in horses - at all - but we do try to do things together and as a family.
That's what I keep telling myself - it's only 4 more years ;) and, twotrudoc, I do remember how horrible being a teen can be - for everyone.
The rain has let up, I'm going to ride my horse and then go back to lurkdom. Thank you all for "listening."
Mar. 30, 2013, 03:09 PM
Get you and her into counseling.
It's rough, and ir is not supposed to be this way. You are supposed to do the spoiling, and not the raising.
My mom is raising my niece. Yep, breast cancer, yep, 5 years ago.
now, it nearly killed her, losing a daughter....that did not help any.
My nice is a bit younger and had been dumped on G-ma since she was three, because, well, let's just say Sis had issues...so it was not a huge difference there....
but losing a parent is hard on the kid, being shoved around like that, I can't imagine what that does to a kid.
I think it would help both of you to get a better grip on things. S
stiff upper lip: in a few years she'll be headed for college! ;)
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:36 PM
Wow, both you and the granddaughter have had it rough. :( It's not fair to either of you. When it's hard just try to remind yourself that she's your family and she's suffering too.
Mar. 30, 2013, 05:53 PM
I agree that she's trying to find out if you will leave her too. Are you eligible for Social Security for her? Have you checked with your county to find out if there are resources to help? One city I lived in had a ton of county programs for camp scholarships, after school programs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters can be helpful also. Boys and Girls Club might be helpful too. I applaud you and DH for helping this girl, at the expense of your own lives. She may not be happy now, but someday she will treasure the time and attention you gave her. I can't imagine how humiliating it must have been for her to know the BFF wanted her out so desperately, and I'm sure she knew.
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:28 PM
JanM is right. There should definitely be Social Security benefits for her. Call your local SS office and ask to speak to a social worker. Also, I REALLY empathize with you. We have a family situation right now where it appears that my husband and I might end up caring for a baby, which is NOT IN OUR PLANS. I am angry and frustrated and cannot fathom going back to that stage of life.
Good luck with your granddaughter. Teenage girls are the worst, and your situation is so difficult. Please reach out for help.
Please PM me if you want. I do not judge you AT ALL. I have gone through a similar situation thinking our kids had grown up and moved on, but that turned out not to be the case.
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:37 PM
I don't have a lot of advice, but I just wanted to say that I really applaud you OP, for what you are doing for your family. It shows true love and support for everyone involved. I can't imagine what either of you are going through, but in no way is it easy I'm sure.
Can you bring her to the barn? I understand that you probably see it as 'you' time, but maybe it would be a good way to bond with her and introduce her to something stable (no pun intended) and healthy. It might also open up a window for conversation as well. I remember when I was going through my awful teen years, the best talks I had with my Mom were on the drives to the barn. When I got my license, she insisted that we take walks every few days. She never pushed me to talk, never asked questions, but ALWAYS seem to get all the dirt... from gossiping about girls at school to personal issues I was having. Setting aside that time (and she somehow did it for all three of us!) was wonderful and really helped out relationship! As an adult I STILL go to her for all my problems. ;)
Kudos to you OP, and sending massive good vibes that things turn the corner for you quick quick quick!
Mar. 30, 2013, 06:49 PM
No! You do not sound like a horrible person at all. You sound like a wonderful person. It is perfectly OK to feel resentful when you get stuck with a tough situation, not of your own doing. You are 100% entitled to feel the way you do and it doesn't make you a bad person at all.
You've taken responsibility for a 14 year old girl with some tough things going on...I'd like to nominate you for sainthood ;).
I hope things get better soon and THANK YOU for giving that girl a stable family life and lots of love. I really admire you, hang in there.
Mar. 31, 2013, 12:33 PM
You should not feel like a horrible person at all, and good for you for doing the right thing and venting somewhere like here instead of on your granddaughter! I hope that all of you are in counseling, because that is an awful lot for any family to go through, especially for your granddaughter, and just having an impartial person to work through your feelings with can make a huge difference. I would also agree with the earlier poster who thought she might be testing to see if you will abandon her too - certainly understandable for a kid in her situation, and if a counselor plus some more time could help her work through that, she might be a lot more pleasant to live with.
Because of her age, I doubt that she is going to be appreciative any time soon, but I have no doubt that as an adult she will be grateful for what you are doing now. I was raised by my parents and was lucky enough to avoid any of the kind of tragedies she is having to deal with, but I know I still was pretty ungrateful through my teenage years. At 35, I don't go a day without thinking of how grateful I am to my parents. Just one of those sucky things about growing up, I think :-).