I am a single mom who is expecting my first grandson in a little over a month and really am excited to meet him! My daughter has been in a relationship with dad for over two years. They are both seniors in high school - my daughter is highly career motivated and has set goals and taking prerequisites to apply for two year vet program at the local community college and plans to move to university once completed to go for her Phd. Her boyfriend lacks self confidence in even going out to look for a job unless his mother is holding his hand - don't get me wrong he's a nice young guy. I have been a very supportive mom and have tried very hard to make this pregancy as special as I can for them and have encouraged counceling, child development classes, birthing classes, etc. which they have done very willingly. I've even swapped bedrooms with her so that it will accommodate the extra baby furniture...turned her old bedroom into a multipurpose room to get ready in the morning, tv watching, play music or they can visit with baby together - I am sleeping on our living room couch...needless to say, I've made a few sacrifices and I'm not complaining they were my suggestions.
So to get to my point - at the beginning of the pregancy, I mentioned that we could probably work out that daddy could spend a saturday night in the extra room to spend more time with baby and be able to help out if needed since he goes to church with us on sundays....my daughter seems to think that I should accommodate him staying over 3 or more days a week because the baby and dad needs bonding time and he should see what all she is dealing with...she will be breastfeeding and it sounds like she doesn't want to pump right away - I say what's the point if he can visit for a few hours in the afternoon/early evening?
Help...Your input is great appreciated in How other parents of teen moms handle visitations in their home????
Hi! Welcome to mothering.com!
I would have to agree with your daughter, he needs to be there more than just one night a week, especially as it sounds like they are in a strong relationship and you probably want that to continue and get stronger. If they are together then he isn't getting visitation, he should be co parenting, being there as much as possible. If that means just during waking hours, that is your choice. You might find restricting his time with his family pushes your daughter to think about moving out. Just a thought. Sounds like you really need to sit down with them and talk about what they each expect individually and jointly, and then talk about your expectations, and talk until you all have a solid agreement. Good luck!
If the dad is going to partner your daughter in parenting, it makes sense to accommodate him more than one night a week. What is this guy's current relationship with your daughter? If they are having a baby together, and their romantic relationship is ongoing, it makes sense that she would see him as a source of support, and hope that the baby brings them closer together. That does mean making room for him, both figuratively and literally, in the house.
That said - I don't see why *he* doesn't get the living room sofa. I have a multi-purpose room in my house, that we use for getting ready in the morning, watching tv, and visiting/playing with the baby. It's the living room. I can sleep on a sofa when I have to, but every night? My back hurts just thinking about it. More: there will be times when your daughter and her partner need to find their own way as parents. That's harder for them to do if you're sitting by, even if you're sitting by. There's a lot to be said for being able to retreat to your own space and shut the door.
Thanks so much for all your input! I was in a hurry to get as much info written to understand the situation but it was a fail. :) The overnight stays are in addition to dad being with baby each day not only during the day at the high school daycare but after school in our home or my daughter and baby going to his family home dependent on his schedule once he gets a job and my daughters college schedule. I wake up at 4:30am each weekday and appreciate not having to apply make-up, do my hair and clothe myself in a tiny steamy bathroom so that my grandson's daddy can sleep in my multipurpose room - why, so that he can watch my daughter during the night breastfeed?
I set up the multi purpose room so that when he was here visiting they could retreat there having space of their own with baby. Having him live with us is not an option and his mother would agree. although, his mother is excited now that baby's arrival is soon, she has made it quite clear from the beginning that she would not help financially and has not offered to help in anyway. It wasnt my decision or choice to be intimate and I certainly didnt sign up for my daughters boyfriend to become my room mate...this is my (very small) rental home and I enjoy having friends and family here to visit, lounging or walking around the house not too conservatively, additional work of having an extra person, they are young - annoy each other alot of the time and it drives me crazy, there's additional expenses with food, electricity and monthly rent increase. I am sure they will be taking baby out and about (neither drive but we have an excellent transit system) as well as spend time at his family's small apartment.
I sincerely have tried not to be a control freak just that there is so much that I have given unconditionally -- my love, emotional support and creating special memories - that trying to hold onto some of my own identity and low key lifestyle seems difficult - feel the more I give and agree to the more they both expect of and/or assume I should agree to.
so unsure right now...time to talk to God :)
My husband was completely checked out at night while the kids were babies, and it did all kinds of damage to our relationship. We're still together, but it's my firm belief that we'd be a happier couple if he'd gotten up at night with the kids, and that he'd have a better relationship with them as well.
For the most part, the first few months are extremely hard. Lots of night waking not just to feed, but tons of pacing, walking, rocking. Your daughter will appreciate any help. Sounds like with your work schedule you won't be able to do much night time help.
I suggest having the two parents share a room and the op using the other bedroom. Yes your life is changing, but unless you want your dd to move, she is now a package deal of a child and partner.
Hopefully you can get some aid, like food stamps, to help with the extra expenses.
I also think you aren't making the best use of the rooms you have available. A bedroom is not just a place to sleep in, it is a place you can go to for relaxation and privacy. Why use one room for the baby/parents as well as a bedroom for them? If they have a bedroom then that is enough. You should have a bedroom too. I kind of get the impression you are begrudging all these changes and sacrifices, so stop making/doing them! You don't need to make the kids life as easy as possible at your own expense! By doing that you are telling them it is OK to take advantage of you. They need to deal with the consequences of their actions.
I think the next step for the OP is to define exactly what her goals are.
I don't think it's exceedingly crazy that someone might not want to just up and let her daughter's boyfriend move in.
And it's not exactly like her daughter has some big RIGHT to have this living situation served up on a silver platter.
On the other hand, it's true that an involved, competent and helpful father is priceless, both for the mother and child. And making it easy for him to take that role could pay out in the long run, for mother and child.
So, OP, what are you trying to achieve? And try to be more specific than "support my daughter" - but things like (just ideas, may not be your actual goals) "help them form a family unit for the long term" or "help my daughter not depend excessively on others (including myself and her boyfriend)" or "enable my daughter to be independent within two years, move out, etc." or "provide a safe place for my daughter and her child" or "teach my daughter responsibility and not to expect everything to be handed to her" or "ensure my daughter achieves a high school and/or college diploma as a top priority" - etc. Do any of those come close to the mark? Defining it might help you decide on the best course of action.
I would also not give up the bedroom-you deserve a place for yourself too, and it sounds like you are being very supportive and reasonable without having to give up your own space. Are you concerned with him sleeping in your daughter's room at night or is there another reason for the other room being dedicated to them? Frankly, I doubt they will be up to much those first few weeks at night that they couldn't just as easily do when you are not home ;) This may or may not be reassuring!
I also understand that you do not wish to have your teenaged daughter's boyfriend as a roommate-that is reasonable as well. While ideally, parents could be together every night of the week to help each other out with a new baby, this is not that situation. I do agree that the dad can do more than just watch your daughter breastfeed though-I rarely had help at night and when I did it was SO nice to have somebody else deal with the dirty diaper or help cleanign up spills, etc. He could also take turns walking with the baby so your daughter could hopefully get some rest.
Yes, I would personally agree to having him stay there a few nights a week, but it is ultimately up to you. Perhaps you could make a deal that he wouldn't come over until later some of the nights so that you could have your afternoons/evenings to yourself. Is it possible for the family to go spend time at his house a night or two a week so you could have some privacy? It sounds like everyone is going to have to compromise here, not just you, and hopefully your daughter and her boyfriend are appreciative of your help and willing to work with you to make everyone happy and comfortable.
Two things I wanted to add to this...
Firstly. shame on the boys parents for not being more helpful and good for you for being so supportive!!! You rock just for that, and I hope your daughter and her boyfriend appreciate you even more for that!
Secondly, I don't kniow about the other moms here, but having only an 11 month age gap between my first and second children,,,,,you can see I thought I wouldn't be up to much after giving birth (and I wasn't, pregnant first time trying to just have sex, and didn't actually manage to have sex......) so have the birth control discussion now!!! And make sure she carries through with it!!! (I wish I had some one do that with me.)
Was thinking your situation over, and like meepycat, I also has a partner that totally checked out when I gave birth, and also ruined the relationship not only with me but also the child.
You might be thinking this out too far ahead. The father might prefer sleeping at his home. away from the responsibilities of the baby and with the ability to go out and be a teen.
Or it could push the father into thinking it's not his "job". Another thought...
Single mama to DS8 and DD4. Feminist. Queer. Atheist. Poly. Full-time poli sci and econ student.
I agree with PP's - there is way more to nighttime parenting than just breastfeeding. I think if mom is the only one doing it, dad is likely to come to the conclusion that it's "not his job" and since you say he already isnt a super- motivated person, that might not be in your daughter's best interest.
Also, you may find that once the baby is born, there is no way he's going to want to go home. My DH would be beside himself if he had to sleep in a different house than his baby every night. That being said, I'm coming at this from a different kind of situation. My sister had a baby with a guy my mom didnt approve of, and she lived with my mom. My mom wouldnt let her BF spend the night, and within a couple of weeks after the baby was born, the conflict about the fact that her BF couldnt live there became such an issue that my sister chose to move out and live with her BF's brother so that they could all be together. It was NOT a safe living situation, but she insisted that they all stay together. Obviously, your daughter and my sister arent the same person, but remember that becoming a parent changes you and the people you know these two teenagers to be are not likely to be the same people a couple of months after their baby is born.
Holly and David
Adaline (3/20/10), and Charlie (1/26/12- 4/10/12) and our identical twins Callie and Wendy (01/04/13)
I agree with everyone else. The way you have the household set up isn't sustainable and it sounds like it's causing resentment all around.
I think you should move into the second room and forget having a lounge for your daughter and her boyfriend. When the boyfriend stays over he needs to either sleep on the couch or sleep in your daughters room. If a twin mattress on the floor that can be kicked under the bed during the day allows everyone to pretend that your daughter and her boyfriend aren't sleeping together then do that.
Then make it clear that you get up at 4:30 in the morning. You will be getting ready as you normally would. You will not be tiptoeing around the house. If he's asleep on the couch and you wake him up, well, he'll just have to deal. He can go back to sleep once you've left for work. Then I'd just let them work out between themselves how often he stays over. I'd just ask them for the courtesy of a heads-ups whenever he will be there. If it's more than X times per week he'll need to chip in for groceries. If they fight or snip at each other they need to go and do that in their own room or he needs to go home.