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What would you do? UPDATE POST#85

post #1 of 88
Thread Starter 
OKay, heres the deal.
I have a friend, 20, who had a son in January. And she made me his godmother. My husband and I adore this little boy and last week we went and took him home with us as him mother is having some issues with money and is having to work over time and can not afford a baby sitter. So we figured we'd help her out. After all, I've known her since I was 14. She gave us gas money to come down there. and then gave us more to come back home on. But none to bring him back on and for us to get back home on. When we got him, he had no coat, no socks (except the ones on his feet) and only a few winter clothing items. No cap either...and he had just gotten over a bad cold. We went and picked him up. We went shopping. GOt him a coat, hat, mittens, some more food, juice, things he needed. We had SO much fun with him....his mom loves him to death. There is no question about it. She called atleast 3-4 times a day almost crying because she missed him. She also discussed with me how she would breakdown at work because Braelyn will not get a Christmas, her phone may get cut off and she is barely making it. Anywho, we took him back this past Saturday and while there, she said (low enough to where dh couldn't here of coruse) "Hey...I need a favor...do you think you could come down and get him again...and keep him longer? " I asked why and she said "Well, I'm barely makin it. I need to find a second job or a new one and I can't do it with Braelyn around." I told her that I would talk to dh about it...well now the phone is ringing off the hook...and I know she wants to know. Like I said, Dh and I love this little boy with all of our hearts, but I feel like we're being taken advantage of. She is using us as her personal baby sitter without pay or anything. I hate to demand pay as she is one of my best friends, kwim? I'm not one to always look for something in return, however I have my own children, life, etc. SO...dh and I talked...and we came up with this. That she should give us legal guardianship of him until she gets on her feet. Instead of us going back and forth (3 hrs away) picking him up, dropping him off. I wouldn't mind doing that. WHen she gets on her feet, she can have him back. I'm not asking her to give him away or anything. Just to let us have him for now.
Please give me honest opinions on this. I have not answered her phone calls yet as I need to know what to say. Am I crazy? I also need an unbiased answer as we have just lost a baby girl in May and I know that naturally I just want him to be mine ....*sighs* What should I do? What would YOU do? Is she taking advantage of us?
Any advice would be great. TIA
post #2 of 88
I think you need to sit down face to face and have a long honest conversation about it. What a hard position for her to be in. How sweet of you two to be able to help. But expectations and concerns need to be on the table up front for this to work.

good luck!

-Angela
post #3 of 88
Thread Starter 
I just don't want her to feel cornered or anything or forced..pressured, kwim?

Also, I have mentioned daycare assistance to her being that she is receiving welfare already and she said that she doesn't want to do that or they will take away her TANF check (money). THAT is why she wants us to keep him because she can not afford a baby sitter and does not want to lose her monthly benefits by receiving assistance for daycare...
post #4 of 88
As to whether or not she's taking advantage of you, I don't know. I would lean towards saying no. It sounds like she's desperate, really loves her son, and trusts you to take care of him. And it's really nice of you to be willing to do it. What I don't understand is why you want legal guardianship. What difference would it make? Why can't you just tell her that you really don't like going back and forth 3 hours each way all the time, so you would like to just keep him with you until she gets on her feet. Please don't be mad at me for saying this, but it does sound like wanting legal guardianship has something to do with the loss of your baby girl. And if it were my son, it definitely would feel like you were asking me to give him away. JMO. I hope everything works out.
post #5 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_b View Post
As to whether or not she's taking advantage of you, I don't know. I would lean towards saying no. It sounds like she's desperate, really loves her son, and trusts you to take care of him. And it's really nice of you to be willing to do it. What I don't understand is why you want legal guardianship. What difference would it make? Why can't you just tell her that you really don't like going back and forth 3 hours each way all the time, so you would like to just keep him with you until she gets on her feet.
i agree with this.
post #6 of 88
I was also wondering why the legal guardianship. As for emergencies, I signed something at the doctors office giving mymom and grandma power to give permission to treat, though they aren't guardians. You have to decide on your role. Are you going to be the parent for a while, or the babysitter. Be honest that you don't want to drive back and forth. But you need to be very clear to yourself, to the baby and to the mom what role you are taking on.
post #7 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_b View Post
As to whether or not she's taking advantage of you, I don't know. I would lean towards saying no. It sounds like she's desperate, really loves her son, and trusts you to take care of him. And it's really nice of you to be willing to do it. What I don't understand is why you want legal guardianship. What difference would it make? Why can't you just tell her that you really don't like going back and forth 3 hours each way all the time, so you would like to just keep him with you until she gets on her feet. Please don't be mad at me for saying this, but it does sound like wanting legal guardianship has something to do with the loss of your baby girl. And if it were my son, it definitely would feel like you were asking me to give him away. JMO. I hope everything works out.

No, I'm not angry, as stated before I need an unbiased view as I, myself feel like I'm possibly (and my husband as well) filling some sort of void. Thank you for bringing that more to my attention...I just don't know what to say to h er. As she is needing us to come get him on this Saturday. She has no car so we willalways have to go back and forth for her...
I want to help her...but at the same time...I don't want to be a baby sitter forever...
I'm so lost:
post #8 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor View Post
I was also wondering why the legal guardianship. As for emergencies, I signed something at the doctors office giving mymom and grandma power to give permission to treat, though they aren't guardians. You have to decide on your role. Are you going to be the parent for a while, or the babysitter. Be honest that you don't want to drive back and forth. But you need to be very clear to yourself, to the baby and to the mom what role you are taking on.

Honestly, I can not find an answer...I don't know. it was just automatic. I think mama_b has the right idea. I thought legal guardianship would let him be more "ours" for the time being....now that I see it on a screen i nwords...that sounds so awful..
post #9 of 88
While I can see traveling 3hrs each way is a pain, if your friend has no money, how can she give any?

Maybe it would be easier to give her what you would spend on gas and supplies of taking care of her son?

Point her in the direction of government assistance?
Lots of people out there are single and barely making it, but they do still get by.

Does your friend know how to budget? How to be frugal? Can you help her in these areas?

I am really sorry you lost your baby in May
post #10 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by momz3 View Post
No, I'm not angry, as stated before I need an unbiased view as I, myself feel like I'm possibly (and my husband as well) filling some sort of void. Thank you for bringing that more to my attention...I just don't know what to say to h er. As she is needing us to come get him on this Saturday. She has no car so we willalways have to go back and forth for her...
I want to help her...but at the same time...I don't want to be a baby sitter forever...
I'm so lost:
I'm glad you're not mad. I was just reading back over my post, and was thinking that it sounded insensitive. I didn't mean it that way, honest. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I'm really sorry.
post #11 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_b View Post
As to whether or not she's taking advantage of you, I don't know. I would lean towards saying no. It sounds like she's desperate, really loves her son, and trusts you to take care of him. And it's really nice of you to be willing to do it. What I don't understand is why you want legal guardianship. What difference would it make? Why can't you just tell her that you really don't like going back and forth 3 hours each way all the time, so you would like to just keep him with you until she gets on her feet. Please don't be mad at me for saying this, but it does sound like wanting legal guardianship has something to do with the loss of your baby girl. And if it were my son, it definitely would feel like you were asking me to give him away. JMO. I hope everything works out.

I don't think so. Giving someone legal guardianship is NOT "giving" your child away. In fact, if the OP and her husband are going to be taking care of this child on a fulltime basis, legally, they need to have guardianship, IMO. This way, they can give permission for things like emergency medical care, etc.

In most places, guardianship is not a difficult thing to obtain. It also can be taken away at any time. At least where I am from, it can. Basically, from a legal standpoint, you are a babysitter "with benefits".

Also, it is not right for someone to keep your child and you still get TANF or whatever. And if you get caught, you can get into serious trouble.

For legal reasons alone, they should get guardianship.
post #12 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama_b View Post
I'm glad you're not mad. I was just reading back over my post, and was thinking that it sounded insensitive. I didn't mean it that way, honest. I can't imagine what you must be going through. I'm really sorry.
Thanks and its ok. What I need is honesty...and a reality check lol.

Rharr, thanks for the input. When we went to get Braelyn last weekend we actually spent the night there and she was going over why she needed us to take him. her bills, expenses, etc. She was doing ok at first because she had a live in boyfriend. They split everything. They broke up and now she is on her own. I've shared with her our budget layout (we get one from finance here on post) and gave her a copy of the spreadsheet. She said she'd get around to it when she got the time as she is working alot of overtime...

Thanks for all the responses...I'm glad I came here to ask for help before I opened my mouth...yikes.,..
post #13 of 88
I would think that if the reason she is sending you her child is that she is having a lot of financial problems, then she definitely can't afford to pay you. She is probably absolutely humbled to ask at all and only does so because she trusts and loves you.

She clearly loves her child very much. So much, in fact, that she is willing to be separated from him so that she can find a way to make their lives better. I think asking for guardianship is a bit much. I think it WILL sound to her as if you want her to give him to you. I think maybe part of you is hoping that she might not take him back. Deep down in your heart, might that be the case? Even just a tiny bit?

I think you are trying to soothe your heart by mothering this little boy. While I think it is wonderful, absolutely sweet and loving, of you to take him in and buy him what he needs, you have to remember that his mother loves him and wants him. He isn't your child. His mother never intended for him to be your child. He won't/can't/shouldn't replace the one that you lost. (And I am so, so sorry for your loss. )

If you aren't emotionally able to care for him on his mother's terms, then just tell her that you can't. Tell her that you just aren't in a good place to do so. Maybe you can help by sending things for the child for Christmas or by buying a grocery store gift card once in a while.
post #14 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
I don't think so. Giving someone legal guardianship is NOT "giving" your child away. In fact, if the OP and her husband are going to be taking care of this child on a fulltime basis, legally, they need to have guardianship, IMO. This way, they can give permission for things like emergency medical care, etc.

In most places, guardianship is not a difficult thing to obtain. It also can be taken away at any time. At least where I am from, it can. Basically, from a legal standpoint, you are a babysitter "with benefits".

Also, it is not right for someone to keep your child and you still get TANF or whatever. And if you get caught, you can get into serious trouble.

For legal reasons alone, they should get guardianship.

Those were our thoughts as well. Especially the TANF part.
post #15 of 88
I hope it all works out for both you and your friend. I just wonder if emotionally you will be OK with having him for awhile and then having to give him back. I am just asking, because I had a miscarriage 1.5 years ago, and it is still very emotional, and I'm not sure I could handle something like that. it would be very hard to not get very attached, and after being attached, I'm not sure how I would feel about giving a child back into a situation that might be tenuous.
I am so sorry about your miscarriage.
post #16 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
I think maybe part of you is hoping that she might not take him back. Deep down in your heart, might that be the case? Even just a tiny bit?
Correct. : Before we took him back Friday, we were hoping that she'd say keep him longer...and when we took him back, she said that she was going to say that....but missed him too much. She loves her little boy to death...she really does.
post #17 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by race_kelly View Post
I hope it all works out for both you and your friend. I just wonder if emotionally you will be OK with having him for awhile and then having to give him back. I am just asking, because I had a miscarriage 1.5 years ago, and it is still very emotional, and I'm not sure I could handle something like that. it would be very hard to not get very attached, and after being attached, I'm not sure how I would feel about giving a child back into a situation that might be tenuous.
I am so sorry about your miscarriage.

I held my tears when we took him back...and my husband cried a little. He clung to my hubby like static lol. When we walked in the door his mom goes "He didn't even reach for me!" LOL...we hated to see him go..
post #18 of 88
Quote:
Originally Posted by TinkerBelle View Post
I don't think so. Giving someone legal guardianship is NOT "giving" your child away. In fact, if the OP and her husband are going to be taking care of this child on a fulltime basis, legally, they need to have guardianship, IMO. This way, they can give permission for things like emergency medical care, etc.

In most places, guardianship is not a difficult thing to obtain. It also can be taken away at any time. At least where I am from, it can. Basically, from a legal standpoint, you are a babysitter "with benefits".

Also, it is not right for someone to keep your child and you still get TANF or whatever. And if you get caught, you can get into serious trouble.

For legal reasons alone, they should get guardianship.
I would like to respectfully disagree with this. I don't see it any different than the baby visiting. When I was young, there were a couple of years where I went to stay with my aunt all summer long. She didn't have legal guardianship of me and I was in her care for months.
post #19 of 88
Could she come to live with you for a while?
post #20 of 88
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Penelope View Post
Could she come to live with you for a while?

Yes. Well I mean we offfered. We have an extra room. It was Alexis' nursery and we would have no problem with that. However, we live on a military post. The rules are no guest can stay more than 30 days in a yr. The only time there is an exception is if DH goes to Iraq (which he may or may not in the next few months, we're not sure). I want her to come live here. Last year, while she was preggo with Brae, she came and stayed for 3 weeks and wanted her to stay longer...she went to apply for housing but there was a long waiting list due to Katrina victims needing places to stay. She went back home to OK...then eventually moved back to Texas (3 hrs away from here) to move in w/her bf after Braelyn was born.
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