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#1 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello. I am a 47 year old grandmother, who has recently become mom to my 3 grandkids. Ages 1, 4, and 6. I am here for support, advice and friendship. This has been a real struggle, as the kids have been through a lot of instability and are having issues that I am also struggling with to resolve. I am fighting back tears as I type this now, because I do not know if I am capable of giving them what they need. But, I cannot live my own life if I do not do this, because they would end up in foster care I am sure. I do not know where to begin, except for this intro. I will try to navigate around here and see how this community works. I work every weekend and it seems that that will be my time to be on here, as my employer does not mind if I am online. Thanks, and hope something good happens soon.

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#2 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 07:26 AM
 
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Hugs! And welcome!  You can do this! 


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#3 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 07:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks emilie! Before all this happened, I was leaning into a natural and healthy lifestyle...trying to eat better, do yoga and all that goes with that. I really want to continue, but as it seems, eating healthy is so expensive.....and I am on an EXTREME budget. There is so much more I need advice on. I wonder if you or anyone here can recommend any particular forums, articles, etc?   thank you

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#4 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 07:39 AM
 
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Yes- there is a frugal and finance forum.

There is a adoptive and foster parent forum.

There may be other grandmothers on here that can help you too.... I would post in the adoptive mom forum to check with them.

Have you gone to fill out to get food stamps yet?  You may be surprised that you could qualify....

I am a single mom and they make all the difference for me to be able to feed my kids relatively healthy


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#5 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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I will be happy to answer any questions you have and offer support... navigate the forum- there are alot of area's to look into here. I hope you find love and support here!!!  But ask away- I have a dd( dear daughter) who is 5 and a ds( dear son) who is 8.  I am a single mom who has been divorced 4 years.


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#6 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 08:15 AM
 
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You are clearly a wonderful, loving grandmother.
Have you seen this link? It might be a place to find support for you and the kids:
http://www.grandsplace.org/gp8/tn.html

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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#7 of 23 Old 11-12-2011, 05:10 PM
 
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Welcome to Mothering!!! I feel your anxiety..I just turned 40 years old this summer and I am raising my 4 year old granddaugter who also would have ended up in foster care if I had not taken her..I have had sole custody of her since she was 2 months old...I don't think there are many of us grandma's raising our grandkids here and if there are I haven't found them all yet:>)  I love the Finace/frugal forum,Nutrition,childhood years and single/adoptive/foster parents...I don't post as much as I used too but I am always around...Message/inbox me if you ever want to talk to another grandma turned mama...

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#8 of 23 Old 11-13-2011, 07:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks everyone...I am having a bit of difficulty finding the frugality and finances forum.....

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#9 of 23 Old 11-13-2011, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having trouble finding the frugality forum...

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#10 of 23 Old 11-14-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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Here is a link to the frugality and finances forum.

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#11 of 23 Old 11-15-2011, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you...looks like a lot of good stuff there. I just got home from a 6 hour wait at the DHS office..30 min of which was standing outside in the rain with the kids.....got a hateful case worker who was obviously disgusted with his job and people in general, especially cranky babies.....I am shaking so bad, just want to calm down. I have had a bunch of blessings and also bad things to happen during this adventure...but right now I am struggling with everything.....I am not sure about anything anymore.

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#12 of 23 Old 11-15-2011, 11:49 AM
 
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I have found that facing things one thing at a time helps tremendously.

 

Right now, it seems the MOST important thing that you could do for your grandbabies - you've already done.

 

It sounds like you're very understandably overwhelmed...  Your responsibility has increased tremendously.

 

When I was single, I faced a lot of red tape and some very ugly case workers or government employees... I learned that where one was not so great, the next visit would be a lot better... It ultimately gets better, and you learn to take the attitudes with a grain of salt.

 

You applied for food stamps and medicaid?

 

Once that is done, your life will get a little easier to process.  Just hang in there and know that while not everything will be easy, their safety and care will, in the end, be worth it all.

 

Give those babies a good squeeze and breathe them all in...  Remember what it's all for, you know?

 

/hug

 

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#13 of 23 Old 11-16-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for all the support and thoughts....Last night actually went better than expected...and my 4 year old actually pooped in the potty! yay for the random blessings. The baby seems like he is getting sick, really fussy, and he is normally really easy...everything that happens questions my beliefs. I do not like the overprescribing of antibiotics, and tend to lean toward a more holistic approach...but now, with a sick baby, i am tempted to run to a MD at every sign of...anything. Never liked TV much and thought it along with too many toys were bad...now...well, TV can be a nice distraction for me to get a moment of housework or peace...such mixed emotions..

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#14 of 23 Old 11-16-2011, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you everyone for all the support and thoughts....Last night actually went better than expected...and my 4 year old actually pooped in the potty! yay for the random blessings. The baby seems like he is getting sick, really fussy, and he is normally really easy...everything that happens questions my beliefs. I do not like the overprescribing of antibiotics, and tend to lean toward a more holistic approach...but now, with a sick baby, i am tempted to run to a MD at every sign of...anything. Never liked TV much and thought it along with too many toys were bad...now...well, TV can be a nice distraction for me to get a moment of housework or peace...such mixed emotions..

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#15 of 23 Old 11-16-2011, 08:20 AM
 
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You are doing great!!!

Yes- I find I have to distract myself with tv or computer a lot to deal with the stress of being a single mom.


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#16 of 23 Old 11-17-2011, 05:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Guilt trip time for me. Got a visit form friends last night that live in intentional communities. They played like wild indians with the kids. Took them outside and played for hours. Gave them food in every room of the house, raided the candy jar. "let the kids be kids"......the kids were happy, laughing and seemed to be truly free. Normally they would have been doing homework, cleaning up rooms, baths, brushing teeth, and hopefully story or movie time with all of us. The baby was up all night, not sure if he is sick or if he is getting spoiled. No fever, but a lot of crying. I do want the kids to be happy, and if we lived in an intentional community with no time restraints, I suppose we could do as we wanted without having bedtimes, and "normal" routines. I am so conflicted, I want the kids to grow up happy and well adjusted. But we DO NOT live in a community where there are no rules, so giving them all that freedom and exploring is not possible for me.  Does anyone have an experience with raising kids in community? Is it better than mainstream society? I found an article on here that talks about all the good things of raising kids in community.... I have so much guilt today...

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#17 of 23 Old 11-17-2011, 06:07 AM
 
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You need to find what works for you and your kids. Maybe on weekends you can run like wild but during week keep more to a routine. I think routine is good for kids.


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#18 of 23 Old 11-17-2011, 06:29 AM
 
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Please don't be so hard on yourself. I can feel where you're coming from--you have all the new mama guilt times 3 and it's impossible to avoid second-guessing yourself. Take a deep breath. You will be OK. They will be OK.

 

Occasional days of frolicking are fun, but what children need, and especially children whose lives have been turned upside-down, is a little structure. By making a home environment that is safe, predictable, and rhythmic, you are really going to help these little ones' sense of security. And when friends visit and they have a wild time, that's good too, but in the day-to-day they need their life to be predictable. Which is absolutely not to say that every minute of their day should be rigidly scheduled, but that they just have a sense of what's coming next.

 

Best of luck to you! You can do this!! hug2.gif

 


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#19 of 23 Old 11-18-2011, 04:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evandy View Post

Please don't be so hard on yourself. I can feel where you're coming from--you have all the new mama guilt times 3 and it's impossible to avoid second-guessing yourself. Take a deep breath. You will be OK. They will be OK.

 

Occasional days of frolicking are fun, but what children need, and especially children whose lives have been turned upside-down, is a little structure. By making a home environment that is safe, predictable, and rhythmic, you are really going to help these little ones' sense of security. And when friends visit and they have a wild time, that's good too, but in the day-to-day they need their life to be predictable. Which is absolutely not to say that every minute of their day should be rigidly scheduled, but that they just have a sense of what's coming next.

 

Best of luck to you! You can do this!! hug2.gif

 



I absolutely agree with this.

 

I once asked my daughter how she knows I love her - she told me "because you don't let me do whatever I want. You know when to say when"

 

Apparently it makes her feel safe.  Which, in theory, I already knew... However, to hear her say that was HUGE.

 

I have another little girl and once when she rolled her eyes at me and didn't want to go to bed, I said... Fine... I've had enough.  If you know what you need and what you want, do it.  I just don't care what you do anymore.

 

Her words back to me were "but... we want you to care. we want you to say no when we need it."  It had shocked the little girl's system (of course she is 9, and not 4... She likely would have been thrilled at 4).

 

My only point in sharing these stories is that they appreciate structure and flounder without it.

 

It lets them know you care when you have boundaries.

 

HOWEVER... We don't have a strict bed time, we home school at all times of the day, and for the most part I let them do whatever they want within reason during their play/free time.


We have a schedule in that once we start school, it goes until it's done... And, they know what to expect.  The times we start may differ but what I expect daily doesn't change, for the most part, if you know what I mean.

 

I know you're overwhelmed but, really you need to give yourself a quick pat on the back and not stress too much over that kind of thing...

 

You will find a groove, and everything will work itself and smoothe itself out in time... Iron out the details later.  Right now, they're much better off than they were, and the other stuff will sort itself out. 

 

It might help to make a list of priorities for you and work on ONE at a time.  Try not to look too far ahead or think too much about the additional stuff.  This sort of stuff doesn't get planned and ironed out over night, you know?  You've been thrown into an "instant" situation and right now I'd say the best thing for you ALL is to decompress.

 

Find your groove and work around that when developing a schedule...  All one day at a time... If you think about what you ultimately want and don't break it all down into steps, you'll become overwhelmed.

 

Break it down into steps and work on one at a time... So, you'll feel like you're making progress and not become overwhelmed by it all.


I hope this all helps.

 

The MOST important thing that someone told me was :

 

THEY are better off where they are now with you t.v. or no t.v. than they were where they came from...  That's what I think is important...  It puts stuff into perspective.  The t.v. is secondary to their health and emotional well-being, you know?

 

Also, do some searching for a more holistic pediatrician and in the mean time just follow your mommy gut... If it's serious, or you think it could be... GO!  You've done this before, and clearly you're experienced!  Don't doubt that... You might be out of practice, but you're not green!  /hug

 

Really, just try to keep it all into perspective... The most important stuff is being taken care of... You can work on the other stuff as you go, right?

 

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#20 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 04:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I sure appreciate all the wonderful posts in response to my thread! Some days, I think things are beginning to be better..others are, well, not quite. I have been really busy with doctor appointments. It seems that the 4 yo boy who is still having trouble with potty training with his bowels may have a medical problem, he had Hirschsprungs Disease at 2 weeks and had part of his colon removed. I am a little fearful of the outcome for this. The baby had Kawasaki Disease at 7 months, so he has a cardiologist appt in the morning...I am very fearful of this one.....Had recent drama fromt he children's mother (my daughter) who is struggling with addiction, so i have been spending more of my online time at the nar-anon site....read how important it is to have a set schedule. The oldest child comes home from school at 3:30 in the afternoon. I am flexible as to what this schedule should be like, but I am curious as to what bedtime does everyone adhere to? I know the little girl is really tired at night, so I keep trying to get her in bed earlier, but she fights it badly. Can someone please share with me what your afterschool schedule looks like? 

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#21 of 23 Old 12-04-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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We come home by 4 and get homework done- ideally,,,, we then start dinner and watch a movie and put pj's on. I try to have them in bed by 8 or 8:30 and have had them down as early as 7:30.


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#22 of 23 Old 12-04-2012, 01:09 PM
 
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This happened to me 12 yrs ago.  My daughter was divorced from the girl’s dad and was raising them on her own (the father didn’t want anything to do with being a dad) until she met a guy who introduced her to drugs.  The girls were 2 and 4 at the time.  She lived around the corner from us and I got a call from my granddaughter telling me she couldn’t wake up her mom.  I rushed over and we couldn’t get the door unlocked because she had bolted it shut.  After what seemed like an eternity (which was really on a few minutes) my daughter came to and opened the door.  Both girls were crying and I could see that my daughter was so high on drugs that I took the girls despite my daughter screaming and yelling at me to my house.  We got guardianship of both girls immediately and have had them up until 6 months ago when they went back to mom.  My daughter has been drug free for two years now and has since met a very nice man who also has two children and they are doing great.  But it has been a very long and hard road that I had to travel on.  Believe me when I say that others will not understand what you are going through unless they traveled this road themselves.  There are sooooo many emotions that you will express and people will at times not understand, get tired of hearing it from us, and abandon us.  Believe me it is o.k. to have these emotions we are only human and it is a big adjustment to us. I was and probably still have anger inside that this was unexpected and caused many sacrifices in my life.  While my daughter was living a carefree life doing whatever, I had the responsibility of raising her two girls. I had already raise my three and was just now starting to experience life with just my husband and I. The hardest part was that I was no longer their nana but had been forced to be their mom.  They rebelled and fought me tooth and nail, because they didn’t understand what was happening and wanted their mom back.  I had lost that “greatness” of being a grandmother where you spoil them, love them, and comfort them whenever they need you to be, no I was the “mean one now” who told them no, they have to go to school, do homework, go to bed, wash their hair, stop fighting.  I thought I would literally die the first times these beautiful children told me they hated me for making them follow rules.  I was there grandmother and these are words that a grandmother should never have said to hear.  I can’t tell you how many tears I shed, most nobody ever saw because they were so many.  I can tell you this, that had I not taken these girls they could have literally ended up dead, been beaten, abused,  only God knows what other horrible things could have happened.  But he chose us to take them, love them, teach them, comfort them and more important to instill in them worthiness and hope.   We were blessed to get the opportunity to share in so many amazing memories that we would not have had the opportunity to witness.  We provided them with a safe home, clothing, medical and dental, friends, and most important the assurance that they were loved and accepted for themselves.  For whatever means that you acquired your grandchildren know this for a fact.  That you were chosen by God to intervene and that he will provide you with the strength and courage to march forward.  You have something special and unique that only you could give your grandchildren by taking on this job.  I am a witness to this as I look at these two young souls that I raised who are now teenagers 14 and 16, the oldest now a junior in high school and I am so proud of these girls and who they became despite the turbulent childhood memories they still have.  If you don’t know God find him!  He will supply you with all you need.  He will not abandon you when the tears fall (and they will) but he will give you peace.   Find other grandmothers whom you can talk to because they will have a great understanding and sympathy for what your experiencing and will have wisdom to share on what worked or not.  Know that you will be tested from these children because their faith in relationships have been affected.  Will you leave too?  Did they do something that made this happen and are they are fault?  Stay strong and be strong because they need those boundaries.  They need to know that you love them enough to choose a life where they will have tools to survive.  You will teach them these tools.  Don’t worry where they will come from, you will be surprised at the wisdom and gifts that are buried inside you.  Even now when I think of the oldest who will next year be a senior in high school and be ready to move on into adulthood tears still fill my eyes and pride beams from my heart.  I will always be here if you need a friend, a shoulder, a strength, I promise to lift you when you fall and know for a fact that I will pray that God’s mercy will show you the way.

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#23 of 23 Old 12-05-2012, 03:32 PM
 
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Welcome 261Mom!  What a joy to have you hear, I hope you find the community helpful and a source of support. No matter what your question, you'll be able to find someone who can give help and support.

 

Warmly,

Shantana
 

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