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  #1  
Old 05-08-2012, 10:22 PM
aboutthemoon aboutthemoon is offline
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single mother of 3-year-old twins seeking advice

hi. I'm new here, seeking some advice.

I had my kids when I was 20 years old (a month before 21). I'd lived out of my house a couple times, but never alone and never responsible for finances. My kids and I have lived with my mom since they were 3 months old. For a year, my ex and I split the kids 50/50. It then dropped to he'd take them weekends, then further down to just maybe one night a week. Since January, it's been a few hours two days a week. He has finally started taking the kids overnight again. My mom helps me out a LOT. She wakes the kids and me up in the morning so I can take them to school and she will let me go out on weekends to "clear my head" but it hasn't been helping.

I've suffered from depression for a long time and lately it has been worse. I question myself a lot regarding raising my kids and pretty much my answer has come to this: I really don't think I would be able to do it without my mom.

I've blamed it on a lot of different things but I think the bottom line is just that I have never experienced taking care of MYSELF. I have talked about it to a few different people and they have mostly given their support for this idea.

The idea would be to have my kids in temporary care (whether foster or with family) for 12-18 months while I: 1) live alone & pay my own way, 2) work full time, and 3) go to school and get some sort of certification.

I am kind of set on this happening. Their father found out through the grapevine and seems to also support it. I guess what I am asking is for some sort of advice regarding who I need to talk to about this becoming a reality.

Oh yeah, I haven't told my mom about this.

I love my kids and I think this would be the best for them. Especially while they are young.

I live in Missouri. The only family I have here is my dad and my mom, who are divorced and have their own separate family things going on. My mom has lupus, so she thinks she wouldn't legally be allowed to care for the kids were it to become an adoption case. She also works nights with my stepdad downtown. The kids are in school during the day from 8-5. My dad's got three kids and owns a business and is possibly slightly mentally insane.

I don't think the father would be willing to take over caring for the kids full-time. About a year ago I had a breakdown in which I seriously thought about giving my kids up for adoption, to the point of speaking to a lawyer, but I ended up not following through. He took the kids for a few days and I went out of town to find out that my mom had taken the kids back two days in and he hadn't come back to get them yet. He came to my house when I came back and we had a talk in which he admitted that he wouldn't be able to do what I do, even with his parents' help and especially not without it. He currently lives in a small studio apartment. Last summer, his girlfriend bought a house for the two of them and our kids. She adores the kids, but I don't know if she would be willing to move him and the kids back into her place.

Besides that, my dad's family is spread out across the country (San Diego, New Mexico, Florida, New York) and all of my mom's family is in the Philippines.

Please. Any advice you have is helpful. Thank you.
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  #2  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:16 PM
Sunshiny Sunshiny is offline
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You are suffering from depression and you need help. Please try to get help and see if your mom and stepdad can help your find it if you cannot find it on your own.

You are the mother your children need. It is much better for you to raise your children with the help of your mother then for them to be ripped from the family they love and be placed with strangers. Your children will suffer unbearable grief to lose you and their family.

Adoption does not promise a better life, only a different one. Because you are suffering from depression things may appear worse then they really are. It is not so bad to rely on your mother for help. Why do you think strangers are better for your children then you their mother or their grandmother? The fact that you think this shows that your depression has affected your ability to trust that you are the mother your children need. But you are!

Your life may not be ideal but you can keep your family together. You just need help. Please try to find the help that keeps your family together. Adopted children and their mothers experience great grief and loss through adoption. I don't think this is something you want to do.

I am going to say this again- You are the mother your children need. You just need help and confidence to help overcome the problems in your life that you are facing.
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  #3  
Old 05-08-2012, 11:43 PM
aboutthemoon aboutthemoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunshiny
You are suffering from depression and you need help. Please try to get help and see if your mom and stepdad can help your find it if you cannot find it on your own.

You are the mother your children need. It is much better for you to raise your children with the help of your mother then for them to be ripped from the family they love and be placed with strangers. Your children will suffer unbearable grief to lose you and their family.

Adoption does not promise a better life, only a different one. Because you are suffering from depression things may appear worse then they really are. It is not so bad to rely on your mother for help. Why do you think strangers are better for your children then you their mother or their grandmother? The fact that you think this shows that your depression has affected your ability to trust that you are the mother your children need. But you are!

Your life may not be ideal but you can keep your family together. You just need help. Please try to find the help that keeps your family together. Adopted children and their mothers experience great grief and loss through adoption. I don't think this is something you want to do.

I am going to say this again- You are the mother your children need. You just need help and confidence to help overcome the problems in your life that you are facing.

I think family would be best for my kids to be with, but I don't have family to take them. I don't want my mother to raise them because I don't think she did a very good job with me.

I don't know if I said this in the post, but I want to be able to live on my own and learn how to work a job and pay for myself to get by instead of relying on anyone. I don't know how I'm supposed to move out of my mom's house and take care of my kids if I can't do that.

Also, I'm not looking for adoption, I'm trying to think of something temporary.

Right now, I'm jobless and feel like even if I were to apply anywhere, my work history would prevent me from being hired. I called a mental health place and tried to get therapy, but the Medicaid I'm on doesn't cover it and I can't afford the $100 for the first visit.

Thank you for responding.
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Old 05-09-2012, 11:16 AM
ruth74 ruth74 is offline
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This varies based on where you are, but in many places social services no longer does voluntary temporary placements, and particularly not for that extended a period of time. You also want to think about how it would be for your kids to be moved to another family and lose you, even if only temporarily, as their everyday parent. Then to lose the stability of the family they are placed with to come back to you.

I can't imagine how hard it must be to be responsible for someone else when you have never had to be responsible for yourself, but you may need to learn how to do both at once. I can't tell from your post if you receive public assistance or not, but if so I would suggest you talk to your caseworker about getting help. In terms of mental health services, there are agencies that can provide services even if you don't have funds. If you talk to your primary care doctor and tell her or him about your struggles, you should be able to get a referral to a program that can help.

If you are looking at going to school so that you can provide a better life for yourself and your children, there is financial aid available and many schools have family housing as well as daycares on campus.

It may seem like you don't have any options, but there may be more options than you think. Even if it is difficult, those options could help you keep your family together.
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2012, 07:49 AM
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CaddoRose CaddoRose is offline
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I agree with Sunshiny. You probably have some level of depression and need medication. Depression isn't about being sad, it is more likely to show up as the feelings you describe where you feel overwhelmed and unable to function the way you want to. Please seeek medical help in this area before you seriously think about doing anything with your kids/family.

As a current foster parent, I would urge you to not voluntarily place your children into care. There are so many issues here and it could turn out that onceyou place them, you would have no control over what happened next. if a family member tookthem and then decided to stop, the state could possible step in and place them in fostercare. Think of what you hope to gain if you were not responsible for your children and how you would navigate them being with someone else. It isn't as though they would be with someone else and you would not be seeing them or involved in their care at all. This type of arrangement can have even more pressure than were you are right now. If your Mom is willing to continue to help you, then work on a plan of action to get yourself where you want to be in the future. Work with your family to set out a plan and how each person will be helping.

I would also suggest that you take a serious look at why you don't believe your own Mom did a good job raising you. If she was abusive, then I would agree with your assessment and say that your children do not need to be in a home with abuse. Is it possible that you hold some responsibility for your actions and you are blaming your current situation on your Mother?(I'm not saying you're fully responsible here) Parents can influence many things and sometimes children will do as the wish and ignore their parents. Some parents simply do not know how to parent, but that does not mean they are horrible people.

I wish you the best in figuring it all out.
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  #6  
Old 05-11-2012, 02:39 PM
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Have you discussed this clearly with your mom and the kid's dad to be sure they don't want to step in and help? Does the kids' dad have family that might be willing to take them? I'd start there first.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:04 PM
LLise8153 LLise8153 is offline
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Check with your local DHR, child services office, and see if they offer temporary placements, but if they do there will be rules and requirements that you will have to follow to try to get them back and they may not even do that sort of thing any more. Here I was working with a family that was afraid of their child and they asked DHR to step in and place him some where and dhr told them that they were responsible for that child and that if they brought him to dhr and "dropped him off" they would be charged with child abandonment and be placed in jail. Also, as a previous poster said you could cause all kinds of damage to the kids if you remove yourself from their lives, place them some where, allow them to get stable again and then show back up wanting them back. Good luck and I hope that things work out.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:13 PM
aboutthemoon aboutthemoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucyjoy
Have you discussed this clearly with your mom and the kid's dad to be sure they don't want to step in and help? Does the kids' dad have family that might be willing to take them? I'd start there first.

I'm talking to my mom about it right now and we are trying to work out details. Their dad does not want to help, judging by his actions and the way he has treated me since he found out I was thinking about this again. I would not want them with his parents.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:14 PM
aboutthemoon aboutthemoon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaddoRose
I would also suggest that you take a serious look at why you don't believe your own Mom did a good job raising you. If she was abusive, then I would agree with your assessment and say that your children do not need to be in a home with abuse. Is it possible that you hold some responsibility for your actions and you are blaming your current situation on your Mother?(I'm not saying you're fully responsible here) Parents can influence many things and sometimes children will do as the wish and ignore their parents. Some parents simply do not know how to parent, but that does not mean they are horrible people.

The only thing I blame my mom for is never allowing me to learn how to be a responsible, independent person.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:03 AM
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It honestly sounds like your mother is doing a decent job, being as you have turned out pretty decent yourself. Parenting is scary, and being a single parent is scarier. I would know. I am a 22 year old SINGLE foster mom. I get scared all the time. It seems as if your mother is supportive of you getting your life together. If she is physically able and willing to do so, check into a guardianship situation with her. You would be able to move into your own place and learn to support yourself, while she would then have the authority to care for the children without CPS interference. There are tons of free ways to get help. Check through local churches like the Salvation Army or your local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. They both have programs that can offer counseling, housing assistance, job assistance, and A STRONG SUPPORT NETWORK for free. Good luck, and know that you are not alone. Being young makes parenting more of a challenge, but we are capable. I went from living with my dad while working at subway and being dependent on his help to renting a 5 bedroom house (steadily for almost 2 years now), raising 5 kids over the past year and a half (2 of which I'm still raising- 8yr girl and 11yr girl), buying my first car, and getting the courage to get out of a bad relationship. If I can do it, so can you.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:33 AM
nikkiwealth nikkiwealth is offline
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you can message me if you just need to talk.
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