Deborah Gander's picture
Deborah Gander

frustrated grandparents

   we are grandparent taking care of our granddaughter on thursday, friday, and saturday.  mom is single and works.  but when she gets off work she thinks its okay for her to go out with friends and leave baby with us.  comes home drunk and thinks its no big deal.  she does this with the other grandma also.  we have tried telling her that she needs to stay home and help with baby, her response is to stop telling her how to raise her child.  I feel so bad for our granddaughter, she wants her mom attention.  mom really only sees her on the 2 days off she has with her and does absolutely nothing with her.  we are at our wits end about this.  maybe someone has some helpfull tips for us  thanks



junieg's picture
junieg

How old are your daughter and granddaughter? Perhaps you could arrange it so that she has one night off. It is important that she has some time with her friends and one night doesn't seem so bad.
Could you find out about parenting groups in her area that she could attend when she has time off with her baby. Some sort of support groups for single parents etc where she could perhaps meet others in the same situation? If she is new to being a mother, there is a lot to learn. Try to tell her about activities that they both could enjoy in a subtle way.
If all else fails you might have to issue some sortof ultimatum. She would not get the same kind of leeway if her child was at a childminders or nursery but unfortunately your granddaughter would not get the same
1: 1 attention from loving grandparents.
Good luck anyway

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

Your daughter shld not be concerned about how she raises her daughter, but how she chooses to be a mother to her! She is not raising her daughter, you are! I'd put my foot down if I were you. I understand how hard it must be working and raising a child on her own, but she has a resposibilty now. Party time is over! Your daughter needs to grow up quickly b/c her daughter needs a mother. Your daughter is very lucky to have you to take care of her child while she's working, and she shld be thankful for that, not take advantage of that. I agree that she shld be able to get out from time to time and socialize w/ friends. But get drunk? Are you kidding me? What if she gets a DUI, then what? She cld end up in jail. If I were you, I'd limit my services and have your daughter get a babysitter. Maybe if she has to pay someone, she'll learn she can't spend nights out partying b/c it's coming out of her pay check. Sometimes people just need to learn the hard way. I know this sounds harsh, but if you don't back off somewhat, your daughter will continue to take advantage of you. You have your lives too. I hope everything works out for you and your family.

tamz's picture
tamz

I agree with junie that your daughter needs some sort of parenting group. I also agree with concerned that party time ended when she got pregnant. Call your local hospital and ask about resources for parenting groups or classes. If she does not want you to tell her how to raise her child then she needs to be there to raise her herself. You need to put your foot down and force your daughter to do what she is responsible for. If not then why not just get custody and raise the baby yourself - your doing it anyway.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

Tamz, you were doing so good, then you brought up custody. There are no grounds for this grandparent to seek even visitation, let alone custody. Advice like that should be given based on the facts and law, rather than something that sounds like a good idea.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

SnglDad,

I think tamz is just frustrated w/ the mother, and that's why she said that. That's the way I took it, anyway. I don't know if it wld be hard or even doable under the circumstances to seek custody, but I think we all agree that something needs to be done about this situation. I agree that parenting groups, along w/ counceling for this mom wld definitely benefit everyone in this family. Getting drunk, however, is not an option, whether it's for social reasons or just used as a deterent b/c things are tough right now.

tamz's picture
tamz

SngleDad,

There are too many women who get pregnant and then dump their responsibility off on their parents. It'a amazing how many grandparents are raising children these days. I guess I was suggesting it would be easier for the Grandparents if they had the right to make decisions for the child. This mother seems so selfish and unwilling to sacrafice for her daughter. Children deserve to have mothers that place them first, after all, the child had no choice in the matter. I can see your point however since the grandparents should not have to take on a child they did not create and the mother may have a chance of rehabilitation. I have to disagree that the grandparents do not have the right to seek visitation or custody. If I leave my child in daycare and do not come for him as ageed, I will be charged with child abandonment and social service will get involved.

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

Lets remember we are hearing just one side of this story. Lets also remember that Daycares are a business, and a grandparent is family. If I were a grandparent I would be a bit offended at the comparison. There is no comparison between a grandparent and a daycare. You may disagree all you like, but the fact is that this grandparent has said nothing that would indicate that the mother has abandoned her child, much less done anything to be found legally unfit. If, the mother were to ever be found legally unfit, the father would be next in line to assume custody of the child. Parental rights are superior to third party rights. Read the decision in the USSC case of Troxel vs. Granville.

If this grandmother wants to take your advice and wishes to file for custody, she runs the risk of the mother removing the child and any relationship she now enjoys, could be severed. Grandmother needs to take a hard stance with her daughter, but doing so through legal intervention is not the answer.

tamz's picture
tamz

OF COURSE, we are hearing only one side of the story, that is the nature of this forum. Okay, I agree that legal intervention is not the answer, at this point .... However, the grandparents ARE acting as childcare for this mother. Yes the Grandparents are family, but that does not mean they shouldn't be treated in equal degree as a daycare. This mother heads for the bar at the end of the day rather than coming for her child. If she agreed to return but did not, she is in some sense abondoning her child. If that is too extreme, she is certainly abandoning her responsibility as a mother. I think the behavior described in this post could certainly be argued as unfit. Grandparents, I believe I was clearly wrong to advise you to attempt custody if all else failed.

concerned mom's picture
concerned mom

SnglDad,
Not to change the subject, but this one side of the story thing is bothering me. It IS the nature of this forum. Are you suggesting we not give advice b/c we're only hearing one side? That's ridiculous. I understand what you're saying, but what else can we do? Is it better to just ignore the post? I don't want to offend anyone here or give the wrong advice, so what do you suggest we do?

SnglDad's picture
SnglDad

The grandparents are enabling this situation by making themselves available to take care of the child. Some strict guidelines need to be in place in order for the grandparents to continue to care for the child. Your definition of “child abandonment” and “unfit” are quite different than the legal definitions.