I am not/was not a teen mom, but am the adult child of one. I am also Mom to 3ds (13/11/3).
I hope my thoughts don't come across as to "witchy", they are certainly not intended that way....
My mother had me when she was 16. She definately influenced my life and showed me how I did NOT
want to parent.
It sounds like neither your niece, or her boyfriend are ready for this. She wants to be anywhere but with the baby (school, work) and he is telling a newborn to shutup. The reality of a baby is different than fantasy, sometimes people feel overwhelmed by that.
Mandy, you and your DH have more of an interest in the babe than your neice. We, that have parenting as a number one priority, have a hard time understanding how anyone could possibly choose otherwise. The sad part is we can't *make* others do as we would. The position that you are in must be so very difficult.
Here are my thoughts...
|She had the idea that she was going to start working 5-6 hours a day, going to school 8 hours a day and working some weekends.
Does she want all that, or does she just want to be away from her daughter? Has your niece been checked for post partum depression?
|My husband went to talk to her some more and discovered that she didn't even have the baby with her, and had left her to spend the night with her boyfriend and his mom. He went ballistic on her about this.
Sadly, it is not really his place (or yours) to do this. The baby was not where you (or I) would have chosen her to be, but she is your niece's daughter. I think if you hope to engage her in parenting issues, you have to be careful not to alienate her, or shut her down. Hopefully, between Grandma and the Dad, the baby would have been fed and changed and had a warm place to be. If that would be beyond their capabilities, then absolutely, she should not be there.
|I cannot make her understand why it is so important to bond with her baby.
You are right, and I think that may be the most difficult and sad part for you to accept.
|She, who allowed a 16yo runaway to stay at her house for 6 months and get pregnant under her roof. Great parent that she is.
They could have done the deed even if she wasn't living there. The positive is, your niece was safe and not living on the streets. The negative and blame will only hinder your interaction with the Grandma. Perhaps it might help to talk to the baby's Grandma and see if she shares some of your concern?
I suppose the unfortunate reality is the baby is your niece's and not yours. We can not own how others choose to live or parent. We can offer suggestions, support and assistance, but are limited to that. As long as life and limb are not at risk, we don't have the *right* to enforce more than that. (even if we know how it could be done better)
I wish you patience, understanding and courage to help you through this.