AIBU (I probably am) or is my mum?(38 Posts)
Hello everyone, I've been coming on this site a lot, since I found out I was pregnant, but I've never actually posted. I just don't know what to do anymore, and I'd love some advice.
I'm 17, I'm pregnant (due in May)... I'm not pregnant due to my own stupidity, it wasn't my fault, but that's a whole different story.
I was attending Sixth Form, from September - October. However, I could no longer continue. I developed depression, and was struggling with my emotions, due to the way my baby was conceived. I was referred to CAMHS and started medication - I also started doing my A-Levels from home, it costs around £1000 and you just get a folder (with the course material in) and an online tutor, who you can text. When my nan passed away, my brother and I, both got £1000 for education; this is how I paid for them. I'm using Birthday/Christmas money to pay for the exams - I still have around £500 left.
CAMHS couldn't do much, do you to my age - I also stopped the medication, due to the baby, and it also didn't help much. However, doing the A-Levels from home, was helping a lot, and I was definitely doing much better. I try to do 5 hours of studying a day, but sometimes I feel awful (due to the pregnancy) and maybe do 2-3, but then do my best to catch up at the weekend. Yes, I'm behind in the modules, etc. but I have worked it out, and I do still have enough time for it/revision, before my exams. This isn't good enough for my mum, and I do see where she is coming from, she wants me to do good in them - however, I do not need them for the job I would like. I know that doesn't mean I shouldn't try my best, I'm definitely trying my hardest, but they're not that important, that they'll ruin my future, if I don't get As, etc.
I try and explain that I'm not having any of the half-terms off, etc. that people get at school, but nope, that's not good enough - she knows loads of people that are doing more hours/working a lot harder than me... However, I am still trying to get over my emotions and pregnancy. She's also telling me I need to get a job, because my brother did. I have £500 to pay for my exams, and my grandad is going to transfer me some money each month, for his grandchild - I'm so very grateful for this. Getting a job is too much for me, right now. I'm struggling to do the hours anyway; adding a job will make it worse - especially when I never ask her for money.
She is telling me that she'll make me homeless at 18, if I don't have a part-time job, and go for full custody of my baby I'm doing 4 hours of volunteering, a month, so I have something good on my CV too.
Please give me some advice x
Wow your mum is a real piece of work!
Firstly congratulations!! You sound like you are doing brilliantly with being pregnant from an unpleasant situation and dealing with your depression etc in a proactive manner.
I think you need to firstly speak to your local council re housing options in case your mum does carry out her threat. And also look at what benefits and support you are entitled to for your education as well as for you and baby. Places like Surestart should be able to advise or speak to CAB.
Sending lots of hugs because although very unmumsnetty it sounds like you could use them!
You poor poor thing! I am so sorry your mum isnt being supportive.
Firstly i think anyone under 18 in full time education shouldnt be put under pressure to have a job. Fine if they want one and can fit it in but IMO studying is your job until the exams are over. You are douing very well and seem very focussed and self disciplined. Keep at it. You will do well. Dont write off your exams as being unneccesary. You have no idea what path your career might take when you get a bit older. You may want to do a degree and A levels are a great bonus to already have if you go back to study later in life.
Fwiw i was a teen mum and left my parents house when my baby was 4 months old although i was working FT then so had an income. But there is housing support available if you need it.
Realistically you do need a job. The more money you have behind you when the baby arrives, the better. You have no idea how expensive this will be. £500 will be gone in a matter of weeks. But you will struggle to find an employer who will take on someone only a couple of months away from giving birth, even just for 1 day a week. You should get forms filled out for benefits where you are entitled to them.
Your mum is really not helping here is she? I don't have any advice re dealing with your mum, I'm better with practical stuff, sorry. You are doing everything you can be doing as far as your depression and your education but if I were you, I would reorganise my time to squeeze in some paid work before the baby comes. You have no idea how much of a weight off your mind it will be come May. It may also help you with your depression as it will get you away from your worries for a couple of hours, I know it helped me.
Alexa - the OP is getting money from her grandad, for the baby - I'm sure she's aware that it'll be expensive, but it isn't her fault. If she gets a job, her A-Levels will probably fail and then she can't ever get a job that's well paid. Which is ultimately what her and the baby will need.
Your mum sounds like a twat.
You sound like you have been dealt a shit hand but are dealing with it as best you can.
Have you got anyone else you could stay with? You don't really have a chance of getting a job anyway because you are pregnant and will be taking 9-12 months off on mat leave, which any prospective employer wouldn't touch with a barge pole.
Your grammar and spelling is marvellous for a 17 year old - you'll have no problem getting a job!
She doesnt have to take 9-12 months of maternity leave. Legally she only has to take 2 weeks. She can work any time after her baby is two weeks old (not saying you should at all just saying that is the earliest you can)
Your mum doesn't sound very supportive but I would say my sisters dropped out of A levels and one of them tried to go back and do them in her 20s as needed for the job she wanted then - she found it much harder when she had a small child. It's probably the case that your mum is really desperate for you to have qualifications as she knows it's a lot harder to get them later on. You CAN do it of course but you're 18, the job you want now may not be the job you want when you're 25. I know you're struggling with a lot and it's not the end of the world but the idea that it'll get easier to get qualifications later on when you're not pregnant etc. maybe a bad assumption.
The OP didn't say it will be easier to get them later?
OP, I know I don't have much advice, as I've never been in that situation, but I wish people would read your OP.
TheSnowFairy I think I knew all I'd ever know about spelling and grammar at 17.
She is telling me that she'll make me homeless at 18, if I don't have a part-time job, and go for full custody of my baby
What a horrible thing to say. Please remember that it is very unlikely that she will get "full custody" of your baby - a court would have to decide that it is in the child's best interests, and they are very unlikely to do that without evidence of abuse / neglect.
As pp said - is there any one else you can stay with? Are your grandparents an option?
is a good place to start.
Also, your midwife should be able to advise you further on maternity benefits.
Your mum sounds horrible. If she does make you homeless you and your child will be very high priority for rehousing. She will not automatically get custody of your child.
It's unrealistic for her to demand you get a job.
It's there any chance your grandad could put you up? He sounds supportive, and I'm sure would be shocked at her statements.
God, your mum isn't making this easy is she! It sounds like you are moving in the right direction with everything. You will likely have a few tough years ahead as you get settled with the baby and get your feet under you becoming independent. But you will get there.
I agree you need to know what you are entitled to benefits wise as this information will help you with your planning. You strike me as really sensible and so I imagine you are already considering the pro's and con's of studying now to obtain qualifications for a better career in future vs the need for a job now to provide immediate income for you and DC.
It's one of those where there is no right answer, only what is right for you.
Would you like to tell us about the career you are interested in? there may be some people on here who can offer some really practical advice about how to access it.
One thing I would add is that it is possible to study later in life. I started Open University the year my first DC was born, and had plenty of naysayers telling me it would be impossible with a new baby, and while I would agree it wasn't easy I did manage it, so don't rule it out.
You sure your not me OP? My mother is very similar to yours.
Any chance you could go and live with your grandad? I have no idea what support you will be entitled to only just being 17- but it's worth contacting Citizens Advice and see what they can do for you. It's hard living in a toxic environment, I am too. I'm not pregnant but I do suffer from MH and I can understand how it feels to have people putting pressure on you when you can't do something.
A Levels aren't always the be all and end all. Yes, if you want to go and study medicine at Cambridge then you need to knuckle down and get the grades. But you know what? Your seventeen- you could very likely have another 70 years in you. I know people in their 30s, 40s and even 50s who are studying at higher levels and going to university etc. One of my oldest friends Mum has just qualified as a nurse aged 47. She did her one year access course and then her 3 years at university. Sure, realistically, she will only have 10-15 years in her "dream" career- but she is living her dream. It's never too late. And it pisses me off this attitude that some people have that if you fuck up at 17 with your A Levels you won't ever get another chance. Maybe 30 years ago- but now? Definitely not.
Please PM me at anytime OP. I can assure you I can relate to a lot of what you are going through.
I did read the Op (could've made the link clearer) - my comment was prompted by op mentioning that it's really hard to study right now, while pg. It's not necessarily going to be easier down the road to study. Dropping out of A levels is consequential, I saw my sister struggle for years as a young mum working around childcare and part-time jobs to get her A levels. She said she wished she'd not dropped out of college.
But I absolutely agree with fly, it is never too late even if it looks a little different. This sister did do them later on, and she did make a successful go of her career, but she just thinks it was much harder that way round.
It's the OPs mistake to make though Gertrude and she shouldn't be put under any pressure from her mother. Yes she is 17 and probably her Mums "baby" but she is an adult who is about to become a mother herself and should be allowed to make her own decisions and have support from her mother without the threat of her child being taken away from her.
I dropped out of college six years ago due to my MH- looking back if I had stayed I would be out of university and hopefully in a stable career. But do I regret dropping out? No. I made the best decision for me and my life at the time. I didn't do it just because I thought it would be "cool" or because I couldn't be arsed- it's because I felt it was the right decision at the time.
And OP, if you do that, then rest assured your doing the right thing.
She is telling me that she'll make me homeless at 18, if I don't have a part-time job, and go for full custody of my baby
She IBU just for that and as you're due pretty soon, looking for a job right now doesn't really seem that feasible. I think if she's so desperate for you to do well in your exams then she should be wanting you to concentrate on them rather than getting a job in the short term.
I would speak to your midwife about this, she should have contact details for the relevant agencies who can help you.
I'm pretty sure we're past the days when people could "get full custody" just because "well, she refuses to get a job as well as study!" Sorry OP but your mum sounds like a nasty bully who's trying to use your baby as a tool to force you to do whatever she thinks you should be doing.
No practical advice, others are better equipped to make suggestions than I am. I just want to say you sound like you have your head screwed on, so trust yourself and what you're doing and think you are capable of. Don't let anyone else's problems or assumptions change what you know about yourself.
When I went through some difficulties in my early twenties a very kind tutor said to me "There's no right way to do life" and it was so freeing.
Best of luck.
Op I'm so sorry youve so much to deal with and your mum is being unsupportive. If your in the south italk offer amazing pre and post natal support.
If not talk to your midwife if they aren't helpful speak to the supervisor of midwives. You need better support and they will be able to help you access it.
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