- Politics and Social Issues»
- Social Issues
Why am I Raising My Grandchild
Never Say Never
There was a time when I was raising my kids, when I began seeing more and more grandparents raising their grandkids. I remember swearing " there is no way on earth I will ever raise my grandkids". Well I guess the old saying "Never say never" applies here, because here I am, years later doing just that.
I have wanted to journal all of this for a very long time, but never seem to have the time. So I'm going to do this now. I hope I can remember everything.
My husband and I have been married for 26 years. We have had our ups and downs, like anyone else. We had 4 kids, so we couldn't afford to do much when they were growing up. Don't get me wrong, we enjoyed our kids, but somehow we lost each other. We spent most of our time catering to them, running them around, entertaining them, it was all about the kids. We rarely spent any quality time with each other, and so our feeling for each other began to fade. It really only got worse as the years went by. I think we resented each other because it wasn't what we expected.
Then finally a few years ago, we were beginning to have a normal relationship with each other again. Our kids were all old enough that we could leave them without feeling guilty. My son who was 20 at the time, had gone to Florida with his girlfriend. We had extra money, and were actually going on dates. We had finally reconnected.
I remember the day my son called me from Florida to announce that he and his girlfriend were going to have a baby. I wasn't sure how I felt about it, so I just said congratulations. Everything went along just fine until the baby was about a month old and they moved back from Florida, and moved in with us.
On July 5, 2007 my son brought this beautiful little boy into our lives, and basically just left him there. It was painfully obvious right from the beginning, that the mother did not have any maternal instincts, and my son was still just a child himself. It wasn't long before she moved out and took Kayden with her. She and my son had no further contact, but we knew Kayden was going to be in trouble if we didn't intervene. So we kept in contact with her in order to keep an eye on Kayden. He came to stay with us on weekends. During the week we were usually unable to get in contact with her, because she either would not answer her phone or it would be turned off, due to lack of payment. Because we were concerned with his welfare and there was really no other way to contact her, sometimes we would just stop by her house to make sure he was alright. No matter what time of day it was, she was always sleeping, and he was always in the living room in his playpen alone. Usually he was filthy, with a diaper that had been on him for hours longer than it should have been. The result was that he had chronic diaper rash.
When she finally got a job, and found a babysitter, I thought maybe things would get better. That was until I met the "Babysitter". I didn't think anyone could take worse care of him than his mother did, but I was wrong. This was the babysitter from hell. From what I could see, she would put Kayden in a walker when he got there, and that is where he spent the day. I also didn't think his diaper rash could get any worse, but again I was wrong. We picked him up from the babysitter enough times to see what kind of care he was receiving. I couldn't bear the thought of what he was going through. My 13 year old daughter used to beg me to go get him from the babysitter, because she couldn't stand thinking of him being neglected.
I forgot to mention my 13 year old daughter would sit up nights with Kayden when he was living with us. His mother would get up at night with this 1-2 month old baby and prop a bottle up for him and go back to bed. My daughter offered to start getting up with him. His mother didn't have a problem with that. My daughter became extremely attached to him. She would cry when she saw how badly he was being treated.
When Kayden was about 4 months old his mother called to say she was sick, and could we take him for a few days. Of course we figured out a way that we could all take turns missing school or work to take care of him. My 13 year old missed 2 days of school, and my middle daughter missed a few days of school, then my oldest daughter came and took him for a few days. Even my sister who lives 2 hours away from us, came to take him for a few days. After about 12 days, his mother had still not called to see how he was doing, so I called her. She didn't seem real concerned and I couldn't believe any mother could leave their newborn baby that long without even checking up on him. I think that's when we knew eventually he was going to have to come live with us permanently.
At this point I knew we needed some help. We couldn't just call off work every time she flaked out and didn't show up to get him when she was supposed to. So I started contacting daycare centers in the area to inquire about rates and such. But because his mother had never bothered to get him any immunizations, the daycare centers were unable to take him. Thus began my long journey to obtain immunizations. Because I'm not the parent or the legal guardian, I have no way of getting any medical care for him.
My son isn't much better than Kayden's mother, but at least I could make him help me if I needed. So I had my son write a letter, stating that I had his permission to get Kayden's immunizations, and any other medical care he might need. I also had to have him go and apply for medicaid for Kayden, as he had no medical coverage. Imagine that....
So when we finally had medicaid and an appointment for immunizations, I took him in and got him caught up on his shots. At least now, I could get daycare if needed. He had to get 6 shots at one time, to catch him up though. I felt so bad for him, and wanted to strangle his parents.
Kayden's Moving In
Kaydens mother was not real fond of me, as you can imagine. Whenever I try to talk to her about being responsible, she gets really irritated with me, and has even hung up the phone on me. She told my husband she just can't deal with me, because I try to tell her what to do. So it has reached the point where my husband is the only one she will really talk to. We have to pretty much relay anything we want to say to her through him.
When we were all just fed up, and decided that Kayden needed to come stay with us permanently, my husband had to try to tell her in a way that she wouldn't freak out. He told her that he knew she was having a difficult time working and taking care of Kayden, so we would like to have him come live with us, as we had an extra room for him. She doesn't even have a room or a bed for him. He told her we would pay for his daycare, and she could have him come down a few days a week and then he would pick him up after work and bring him back to our house. It didn't take much for her to agree.
We painted his room, replaced the carpet and got him a real crib, instead of the travel one we had been using. After about a week his mother said she changed her mind. That only lasted about 3 days, when she called to send him back.
It has been about a year now and she sees him less and less all the time. I won't be surprised if she stops seeing him altogether.
Oct 21, 2009
Well today we were informed by Kayden's mother that she is pregnant again. As far as we knew she wasn't dating anyone. I wonder what will happen now. She can't take care of the one she has, how is she going to handle another one. Well at least this time it isn't our son. I hope someone will be able to help that new little one. I have a feeling mom's not going to want Kayden much once she has a baby to take care of.
Oct 30, 2009
Mom is suppose to have Kayden every Monday and Thursday, from 7AM to 3PM. She agreed to these days so I made arrangements with daycare for Tues, Wed, and Friday only. At least every other week, she comes up with a reason why she can't take him at least one of her days. This week she said Thursday she was scheduled to work. She must have found something better to do. Good thing the daycare he goes to is so great. They have really helped us out. Some days they really don't have room for him, but they always figure out a way to take him anyway.
Tomorrow is Halloween. This will be the first year Kayden will go Trick-Or-Treating and remember it. His mom insisted on having him for the evening. She only wants the fun stuff, nothing else. I really didn't think she would want him, since it is a big party night, and she loves to party. So I didn't buy him a costume, but really wasn't sure she wouldn't back out at the last minute. Then she texted us yesterday saying she might have to work after all. I knew she would find a party that was more interesting than taking her son Trick-Or-Treating. Anyway we got him a costume, and he is so excited about it. We will take him to the local High School for Trick or Treat Street, and then to the shopping center.
Mom didn't show up till 8:00PM, on Halloween. Kayden had already been Trick-or-Treating and was tired and ready for bed. She planned on taking him out again.
When he came home on Monday he was so tired he slept from 3PM till Tuesday morning at 7AM. I don't think he gets much sleep when he's with her.
Today is Thursday, Kayden is suppose to go to mom's for the day. As usual she got out of it. She texted my husband at 4AM and said she thinks she has the flu, and we shouldn't bring Kayden. Oh and sorry for the short notice.
I don't know why we would be surprised at this point. I think we are going to put him in daycare full time. We just can't keep doing this.
Tonight my husband got a text from Mom saying she has enrolled Kayden in daycare by her and he will start in 2 days. We can have him on weekends if we want. Come to find out she is mad because she found out my son filed for child support. When we went to Social Services for daycare help, they made him file for child support also. She said he should be with his mom. I told her I agree, but that it should be a gradual transition for his sake. He has been in our home almost full time for all of his life. He has been in the same daycare for a long time. As far as he is concerned our house is his home, and we are his family. His mom is just someone he visits once in a while. To change his whole life and routine overnight would be cruel, and will probably traumatize him. She said he will be fine, and we are just being selfish.
She never wanted to see him before, even when she is suppose to have him she always finds a reason not to. Now she says she is sick of having to ask to see her son. She rarely asks to see him when it isn't her day, and as I said before, she usually asks not to have him when it is her day. Her days are Monday and Thursday from about 7:30 till 3:30 so she doesn't even have him overnight. I finally put him in daycare fulltime, because she was calling off either Monday or Thursday every week. We were scrambling to find someone to watch him when she did. My husband even ended up taking him to work with him one day, as he was unable to find anyone, and daycare was full. She never asks for him on weekends, even if she is not working.
The bottom line is money for her. A few weeks ago she started telling us she was going to claim him on her taxes.The deal was that since he is living with us about 75% of the time and we are supporting him, my son would claim Kayden on his taxes and he would give us the money. She did the same thing last year. We don't mind taking care of him, but we are not rich and need the money. We paid out of our own pockets for daycare last year, and most of this year. We are getting some help from Social Services now, but we are still putting out $234 a month. I don't know why she thinks she deserves it when she never puts any money or time out for him.
So the holidays were interesting. Of course mom wanted Kayden for Thanksgiving and Christmas. She wants all the fun and none of the responsibility. We let her have Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. She also had him until noon on Christmas day, when my daughter picked him up and brought him home for the rest of the day.
She has been trying to take Kayden more often since she found out she has to go to a hearing for child support. She wants to make it look like she has him at least 50% of the time. I am sure once the hearing is over things will go back to the way they were. She has been ordered to pay temporary support until the hearing. Can't wait to hear what she has to say at the hearing. We have daycare receipts showing he is with us most of the time, so I don't know how she plans to convince them otherwise.
We found out mom's baby is due in April, and as far as we can tell there is no father in the picture. Bet things will change after that. Also Kayden has been telling us "mom is a bad guy" "a bad, bad, bad guy" so I am wondering what she is doing to make him say that.
So the court hearing for child support was on the 16th. The judge was not fooled by her at all. He asked her all the same questions that we are constantly asking ourselves. She had no defense for her behavior other than saying we don't let her take him as often as she would like, which is not true. She also said that she is trying to get custody, but when the judge asked her for details and a case number she didn't know what to say. The judge asked her if she really thought she was going to be able to take care of Kayden and a new baby, seeing that she is not married and barely makes minimum wage. She said it will not be a problem, because her mom and her new babies father are going to help her. I know her mother is not really interested in helping her, and she barely makes enough money to take care of herself, let alone 3 more people. The house they live in only has 2 bedrooms and Kayden has to sleep in his mom's room when he is there. The new baby will also have to sleep in the same room. Not an ideal situation.
The judge has ordered her to pay temporary support until June, when there will be another hearing to establish permanent support. He is giving her a few months to see if she is really going to change her pattern. I think he knows she isn't, but he has to give her a chance I guess.
Today we tried to e-file my sons taxes, and they were rejected. Due to the fact that Kayden's social security number has already been claimed on someone elses taxes. I can't believe his mother claimed him. She agreed to let my son claim him since he is with us about 75% of the time. We pay for most of his support and all of the daycare. The tax money was suppose to be given to us to pay us back for all that we spend. It doesn't really cover everything, but it helps. Now he has to mail his taxes, and they will both be audited at some point. I don't know why she thinks she deserves that money, when she has not spent much time or money on poor Kayden all year.
I haven't updated this for a while so here goes. Everything is basically the same. Kayden's mom took him a little more often while she was on maternity leave but it was only for show. She went back to work and shortly after had her new boyfriend thrown in jail for hitting her. We know how that goes. She is very physically violent with her boyfriends, and then when they get sick of it and hit her back, she calls the cops on them.
Anyway they are not together anymore, I don't know how long she will last without someone to foot the bill. She lost her car due to non payment so she has a hard time coming to get Kayden at all now. She has been taking him about 4 days a month lately.
Our new court date is Oct. 5th. I don't think the judge will change anything, because she has not changed. She even called my son after she broke up with daddy #2 and told him she has changed and they should get back together. Fat Chance.
Things are Looking Up
It has been quite a while since I have updated this hub. So here I go.
Kayden was suppose to start Kindergarten Aug. of last year. We had to make a decision about where he would start school.
I had seen a lot of changes in his mother's attitude in the last year since she had the new baby. She seems to be more mature, and interested in the kids instead of her own needs.
I was getting less and less cooperation from my son and my husband. Everyone wanted Kayden to stay with us, but no one wanted to help with anything that had to do with him. I was running myself ragged and not getting anywhere, due to the fact that I still do not have any legal rights over him. It was starting to affect my health and so I made the decision to let him try living with his mother and her new family, and start kindergarten there.
My husband was not happy with me. He thinks I should raise Kayden. He says "We" but it always means "Me". I really want Kayden to have a chance to have a real family, and since ours is falling apart, I figured why not give it a chance.
Best decision I could have made. When he was with us he was in daycare, and was constantly getting in trouble for being so aggressive. I was not sure what was causing the aggression, but now I think maybe he felt like no one wanted him. His mom had his sister and not him, so maybe he felt unloved. Since he went to live with his mom and her new boyfriend, he has been doing so much better in school. He doesn't get in trouble as much and his grades are really good. He still comes to stay at our house every weekend, and does not have a problem going home. I think he is going to be alright.
Don't get me wrong, I don't believe his mom is ever going to be "Mom of the Year" but she has matured a lot and I give her credit for that. She has become less selfish and is more involved in his life than she used to be. She has let him join boyscouts and is enrolling him in Karate soon. I think she has finally grown up and I am so happy for Kayden.
Oh and he has a new little brother.
As far as my son goes, he has not really acknowledged that he has a son. I don't know if he ever will. He acts as though Kayden is our son. I hope he wakes up, before Kayden is too old to care anymore. He will probably be very bitter towards his dad when he gets older.
At least we will be here for him.