To be struggling with DSIS pregnancy and consider not supporting it?(13 Posts)
DSIS and I have had a rubbish up bringing resulting in me taking on most parenting duties from the age of 10 and her leaving the family home with me when I turned 16 until I was 20 and DM decided once the hard part was done and she would parent again. DSIS is 6 years younger than me. SS have never been involved, looking back it seems hard to believe they weren't.
I then fell pregnant at 21, but had reached where I wanted to be career wise, DP had a house and a good job. I have never relied on the state, and have always had to fight hard to get anything/anywhere.
DSIS is now 21 and pregnant, has only a minimum wage job for 12 hours a week. Has minor learning difficulties, no house, no car etc. Her 'DP' is the same but has more practical skills than her. I.e. Is able to bank, and has better social skills. He is 23 and acts 19ish, DSIS would be like a typical 14-16year old in most areas.
She seems to think because I was 21 and pregnant I should be all on board and support her. She also thinks she will turn out like me, solely because we were the same age to fall pregnant.
I can't, this poor baby will have SS involvement(DSIS has already been told this) they hope to be placed in a council house (I feel this is the reason they are having a baby and fail to see baby does not equal council house) they will never achieve well enough paid jobs to support a child so will rely on the state. If SS decide to remove the baby (possible) she will be crushed. Her DP is also highly volatile and their relationship is strained at best. He has been abusive in the past.
Everyone else seems ecstatic but I can't help but feel there is nothing that will turn out well. Everyone seems to have an 'oh well if anything goes wrong ClutchingPearls will sort it out and fix it' attitude.
DM will not cope with the baby, hopefully DSIS will but I've already made it clear that I will not be able to take on the baby. I now have three DC one with significant medical and developmental issues. At best DSIS will be housed (unlikely anytime soon) and it will change her completely.
I suppose I suddenly feel that despite all my efforts to make thinks better for DSIS she will end up needing alot of support and I just can't give that any more.
I also still feel a parental type tie to her but I plan on distancing myself from her and DM rather than actually telling her I would't support it. And won't get involved with SS decision. but if she was to reach out to me I would find it difficult to not get involved.
I just feel so sick about the whole situation. It feels like her decision to fall pregnant will have impact on me and at the moment I can't cope with anything more.(currently dealing with DC2 issues and the past coming back to haunt me in other areas)
I feel so bad because I feel my lack of support may influence her ability to cope/parent and then also SS decision.
Sorry that was suppose to be quick,.
Her decision to be a parent will only affect you as much as you allow it to. You cant control what she does, or what your Mum does, but you can control what you do.
I think it's ok for you to distance yourself, you shouldn't be expected to give any more support than any other aunt to be would do.
You need to put yourself, your own children and dp before anyone else.
I think the fact that she is only working part time on mw is irrelevant, as is her no house, no car etc. I actually find some of your post rather condescending - they will never achieve well enough paid jobs to support a child, whats a well enought paid job?
Why are ss going to be involved, are they concerned for the welfare of the unborn child? This and the volatile boyfriend are the only aspects that i would be concerned about. It seems you have written her off before she has had a chance. Id be more understanding if you said this was her fifth child and she didn't have custody of any of the previous children.
What kind of relationship do you have with your sister now? Was that my sister i would want to support her and be there for her, bearing in mind that she is carrying your unborn niece/nephew.
How does her financial set up, employment status or mild LD in any way indicate that she will be a less than good mother?
How arrogant of you to assume sue is doing the above in order to in some way emulate you.
Oh for gods sake! The OP is voicing real and genuine concerns that are clearly shared by SS,is there really any need to call her arrogant. There are obviously serious reasons why OP's sister might not be a good parent otherwise SS would not be involved pre-birth. <bashes head on table>
OP - YANBU to be concerned,but the sounds of it you have cause to be. In your situation, I would distance myself and make it clear to SS that you are not able to take on DSis's baby should they decide to remove the baby from her care. You have quite enough on your plate.
I was just trying to give the background that although she thinks our situation is completely identical, it isn't.
Talking to DSIS and her DP they don't expect or strive for any more hours or pay than she already has. They have said she would be giving up her job. Her DP has said he won't work as he's worried that she won't be able to raise the baby without him there.
Her job at the moment she is on her second warning and is only on her basic hours. I can't say what the warnings were for because I don't want to out her but they aren't because of her learning difficulties. (everyone else is on full hours during the run up to Christmas but she's on her contract hours only)
My relationship with her has always been a parental type, she asks me to make appointments, tell her how to get to places, if she gets a letter she doesn't understand its me who sorts it. Her DP recently has taken over more. Our DM is more of a friend than anything else.
According to DSIS SS will be involved because of the medical history (recently had a few unexplained burns, told them DP has hurt her etc) and because of the lack of housing and DP diagnosed SN.
I would support her as much as you CAN make it clear that you can't take in the baby IF ss take the it. Maybe you giving her support and helping will mean she will learn the skills to keep her unborn child?
Babies don't come with handbooks, all help no matter how big or small would help her and that DC will be you DN. Maybe get her parenting classes for Christmas and please support her as best you can
This is a really difficult situation and I'm not surprised you are worried. I think I would try and find a middle way between not cutting your Dsis off and not taking full responsibility.
If your DSis had LD does she have her own SW? Or are SS only involved because of the pregnancy? If the former, count you meet with your DSis and her SW and discuss the support she might need? If the latter, it is much more difficult to have a conversation as often CP SW won't really know the parent.
Is there a Barnardo's near you? Where I live they have a special scheme in place to help parents with LD. They have a Report on this issue here
Her learning difficulties have been largely ignored due to DM lack of involvement when her school wanted to look into it and then because. we avoided too much involvement with the school in case they realised at the age of 10 she was living with me while DM claimed her child benefit. She also changed schools a few times when people got suspicious of DM ability to parent.
There's only so much one person can give to a sibling......you have given a lot already, she's not your child. Sounds a very tough situation
YANBU. Distance yourself, concentrate on your own family and let what ever happens happen. However much of a parental 'pull' you feel towards your DSIS, she isn't your responsibility. You own her nothing and are perfectly entitled to carry on with your life and let her get on with hers.
I am glad SS will be involved as it sounds like it is necessary. It does sound like they (your family) will be trying to rely on you to help them through things but you have to obligation to.
Sometimes pregnancy is not something to be celebrated. There is another one in my family that I feel no joy over. It isn't a good thing. I can see how things are going to end up in the future, yet again.
I think you need to find a way to change your relatioship with SS and actually engage with them. Your Dsis cannot become 'un-pregnant' now that she's taken that decision and she may turn out to be a brilliant mother but it's clear that she will need help and support, from both her family and the authorities.
I think it best if you are able to step back from your pseudo-parent role and somehow support her as a sister, and only a sister. And encourage her to engage positively with the HV and SS etc from the start, they can help.
Situation sounds v worrying for you
Perhaps, even if you don't feel like it, one approach could be to be neutral /practical e.g helping her plan, encouraging her to access services (eg children's centres, benefits advice, antenatal classes, books, homestart), but without taking on too much yourself. No need to get into any gushing that others (eg your DM) are doing, e.g. just go "hmmm" and smile vaguely.
Also maybe decide on what you will/won't do for her if things go badly, and your rationale, and stick to it.
If possible, some counselling for you to talk about your relationship with your sister and the current situation might be good.
Does your DH support you?
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