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AIBU?

21 year old daughter pregnant - help please

539 replies

MacciesApplePie · 02/02/2024 21:48

I’m fairly new to this so thought I would post where there’s most traffic.
As the title said my 21 year old daughter has told me tonight that she’s pregnant. She has talked it over with her boyfriend and they would like to keep it. I said I will support her whatever
She has just started a zero hours contract as a waitress and he is self employed as a gardener.
Her dad and I don’t have huge amounts of money but we do have a flat that was left to us by his mum (shared with his brother) that is currently rented it
Could anyone please advise me where to look for any benefits they can claim, and advise if they could potentially live in the flat (we can’t afford for them to live there rent free so maybe benefits). This is a big shock to me but I want to help them all I can. Thank you :)

OP posts:
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Am I being unreasonable?

487 votes. Final results.

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You are being unreasonable
44%
You are NOT being unreasonable
56%
candyisdandybutliquorisquicker · 03/02/2024 22:26

A number of you need to work on your reading comprehension. I was responding to a comment specifically discussing teen parents who end up running offices by the age of 30, some of whom with £100k+ salaries. I stand by my comment that is it vanishingly rare for a teenage parent to achieve that.

I didn't state or even allude to the notion that people need to earn six figures to be decent parents.

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izimbra · 03/02/2024 22:38

JanetareyouokareyouokJanet · 03/02/2024 20:04

So the welfare state is going to pay to house your daughter and you’re also going to get paid. Incredible.

The daughter can always claim housing allowance (if she needs to) to rent out someone else's property, but what's the point?

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HelloWorldItsNiceToMeetYou · 03/02/2024 22:42

candyisdandybutliquorisquicker · 03/02/2024 22:26

A number of you need to work on your reading comprehension. I was responding to a comment specifically discussing teen parents who end up running offices by the age of 30, some of whom with £100k+ salaries. I stand by my comment that is it vanishingly rare for a teenage parent to achieve that.

I didn't state or even allude to the notion that people need to earn six figures to be decent parents.

You seemed to be replying to a quote which suggested that the idea that 'people can make it work' are living in 'imagination land'.
You seem to have interpreted 'making it work' as having a high flying career. And the examples you give are people 'running offices' ( do you mean an office manager- a very odd example as this is not a high flying or especially lucrative job) and earning £100k salaries.
I interpret 'making it work' as having a safe home, loving reciprocal relationships, a support network or family and friends, a job that works for you and your aspirations (for me this is about social value and work life balance not £££ or prestige, for other it might just be something with hours that fit and pays the bills), time and energy to interact with your children and develop warm caring relationships. Some people would argue that a high powered job could actually be a barrier to this due to the inevitable demands.

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candyisdandybutliquorisquicker · 03/02/2024 22:51

HelloWorldItsNiceToMeetYou · 03/02/2024 22:42

You seemed to be replying to a quote which suggested that the idea that 'people can make it work' are living in 'imagination land'.
You seem to have interpreted 'making it work' as having a high flying career. And the examples you give are people 'running offices' ( do you mean an office manager- a very odd example as this is not a high flying or especially lucrative job) and earning £100k salaries.
I interpret 'making it work' as having a safe home, loving reciprocal relationships, a support network or family and friends, a job that works for you and your aspirations (for me this is about social value and work life balance not £££ or prestige, for other it might just be something with hours that fit and pays the bills), time and energy to interact with your children and develop warm caring relationships. Some people would argue that a high powered job could actually be a barrier to this due to the inevitable demands.

I'm replying to this from @Orangeandgold :

"I know many people with teenage children running offices at the age of 30 or running their own businesses and living comfortably. some have 100k salaries."

Many people who had kids at 17 or younger, running offices or businesses, living comfortably and some with £100k salaries.

I'll repeat it for those in the cheap seats - I believe those people are a rarity.

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coursey · 03/02/2024 22:54

Many people who had kids under aged 18, running offices or businesses, living comfortable some with £100k salaries.

Ill repeat it for those in the cheap seats - I believe those people are a rarity.

Well, they're not so common among the had-children-over-18 population either. They're a rarity all round.

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HelloWorldItsNiceToMeetYou · 03/02/2024 22:57

candyisdandybutliquorisquicker · 03/02/2024 22:51

I'm replying to this from @Orangeandgold :

"I know many people with teenage children running offices at the age of 30 or running their own businesses and living comfortably. some have 100k salaries."

Many people who had kids at 17 or younger, running offices or businesses, living comfortably and some with £100k salaries.

I'll repeat it for those in the cheap seats - I believe those people are a rarity.

Edited

So if it is of no relevance to the OP why are you waffling on about it? (For those of us in the cheap seats, with reading comprehension difficulties 🤔)

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Tatonka · 04/02/2024 00:52

OP did your daughter meet her boyfriend at her place of work and is this a first boyfriend and was this a first job? It suggests to me that your daughter hasn't had much opportunity to even explore the wider world yet before tying herself down with a baby forever. Besides the fact they don't have many prospects or much to offer a child given they don't have an education or jobs and their first thoughts are benefits and living in a flat owned by family .... not standing on their own two feet at all! Is this a life you think your daughter will be happy with? I do think some people would be ok with this, but if she is someone who would like to expand her world view a bit, then I think you should discourage her from this path right now. 21 is so young and she can be so much more. 20s are for personal growth not sleepless nights and changing nappies. Life is hard and she should at least enjoy it and make the most of it while she is still young

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Honeychickpea · 04/02/2024 01:55

The OP, an adult, is not thinking about long term, let alone advising her daughter to do so. This has disaster written all over it.

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Honeychickpea · 04/02/2024 02:01

izimbra · 03/02/2024 14:23

Maybe. Or maybe not. Not everyone can use hormonal contraception. Sometimes hormonal contraceptives fail. Not everyone realises they're pregnant early enough to use the morning after pill. Not everyone is able to ethically support getting an abortion. I support the right to choose, but I know people whose spiritual beliefs dictate that a fetus be awarded personhood from the moment of conception. They would see your stance as arguing that they should kill their child to save the tax payer money. How would you refute that?

As for 'your philosophy is flawed' - I think you mean 'your analogy is flawed'. If you want to talk about 'philosophy', well looking at your stance, you're getting dangerously close to the being the sort of person who believes that if you need social support for any reason that could be considered your own fault, you probably shouldn't get it. So people who choose to go skiing or horse riding, who then end up needing tens of thousands of pounds worth of surgery and years of rehabilitation - they shouldn't get it because they chose to go skiing/ride a bike/ride a horse...

And some people plan to get pregnant and pretend that it's accidental. That is extremely common as well.

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Solocup · 04/02/2024 02:02

Get a grip. She’s not 15.
You're making her sound like a child. Help! My adult child is pregnant. 🤦‍♀️

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HelloWorldItsNiceToMeetYou · 04/02/2024 08:50

I can't believe the number of people suggesting that the OP try and convince an adult who is pregnant and planning for the future, to have a termination.
A termination is absolutely fine if that's what the woman wants. Advising her is fine if the daughter is undecided.
But the OP is very clear that her daughter and her partner have already decided they want to keep their baby. They were already living together and had only moved home to save for their own place. She had a job, got made redundant and took a stop gap. All perfectly normal and not in any way indicative that she will now face a life of poverty on benefits.
The fact that she was saving for a place with her partner shows that she considers him her life partner, not some random teenaged boyfriend.
I was 25 when I found out I was pregnant with my eldest. His dad and I had entry level jobs and a modest rented home. Although it was a few years earlier than we planned to start a family (we had planned to buy a house first) we were delighted and excited from the get-go.

If my mum had suggested I should have an abortion because we hadn't (yet) got married or bought a house, or because I asked her advice (which is still do sometimes in my 40s) I would have been devastated. I don't think or relationship would have recovered.

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Sususudio · 04/02/2024 08:59

I hope the Op doesn't quit her job to provide childcare, as some have blithely hinted she do.

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LuckySantangelo35 · 04/02/2024 09:23

Sususudio · 04/02/2024 08:59

I hope the Op doesn't quit her job to provide childcare, as some have blithely hinted she do.

Some posters will think that’s her duty as a parent - daughter didn’t ask to be born and parenting doesn’t stop at 18…so what if op can’t pay her bills?!

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Sususudio · 04/02/2024 09:34

Yes @LuckySantangelo35 I am beginning to realise mums are always wrong on MN, no matter how much they give. And I come from a different culture where family ties are super strong and mums give give give until they are practically dead! Still, the giving expected on here, and the shaming if you can't is too much for me.

I am at the stage where my DD is graduating from uni and will be looking for work soon. I expect her to find it very hard and expensive so I am happy for her to live rent-free with us as long as she wants to. I may even contibute towards a house deposit. Her end of the bargain is that she works hard to be financially independent, and no babies until then. Same for DS.

No way will I give up my job or even reduce my days to provide childcare.

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NcutiGatwa · 04/02/2024 10:31

If my adult child was pregnant and they were going to keep it I'd be delighted to be a grandparent.

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saffy2 · 04/02/2024 18:22

Theyre 21. I think they can find out the benefits they’re entitled to by themselves. This is not your place. You’ve raised her to above adult hood, if she’s not capable of looking after herself now it’s a bit late.
it is not a grandparents role to take control of everything.

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MrsPositivity1 · 04/02/2024 19:15

MacciesApplePie · 03/02/2024 06:20

Thank you for all of the positive comments and good advice. I will read back over agin and make notes.
just a bit of back ground. They rented a house from a work colleague of my husband who was abroad, when he came back just before Christmas they both moved home (the boyfriend to his parents) and planned to save for a deposit for a house. They both worked for the same company and were made redundant at the start of Jan, and took the first jobs they could find. They are both actively seeking new permanent employed jobs.
The flat we own with my husbands brother is let out and our half of the rent covers my youngest son at uni.
im asking about benefits not because I want my rent paid by the state, but as an option. I’ve never claimed benefits so have no clue what they could be entitled to in the short term, so thank you for the advice.
im going to have s good talk with her today about what life will look like with a baby but ultimately it’s their choice. I don’t want to take over but I do want to help.
thanks again, my head is all over the place and this has given me some options to consider.

They will have to pay your husbands brother his share of the rent

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Midwinter91 · 04/02/2024 19:32

You need to leave them to figure their housing out themselves. Otherwise they will expect help with everything.

Surely you can’t kick out your current tenant for no reason anyway?

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ilovechocolate07 · 04/02/2024 19:44

I was pregnant with my first at 21. I was engaged and lived with my DH but we were poor and I was a student. I know we're in a cost of living crisis but it was a recession back then and we managed. Life was hard money wise and we had to budget, claim tax credits, UK camping holidays, cheap/free days out, cheaper meals, supermarket new clothes and only rare nights out but we made it through. Our parents weren't in any position to help us and they never sorted anything out for us. They did babysit on a Fri eve every week was gave us a break. I think it's in a mother's nature to try to fix this and make it easier (I would feel the same) but you need to let them work this out themselves together They're not teenagers, they're adults. A hard life doesn't have to mean unhappiness and things can improve over time. Now I'm approaching 40, studying for a masters and my eldest will soon be an adult and I'm still with their dad. We're earning well.

To those suggesting abortions, and that 20s aren't for being parents... that's your opinion, not a fact. I'm a fantastic parent and thankfully my parents and in-laws have never questioned that.

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OtsyBotsy90 · 04/02/2024 19:49

I had a baby at 20, slightly differently because I was on my own. I was able to claim universal credit. Which topped up my maternity pay so I could rent a flat myself. I would say though, as wonderful as it is you’d like to help them, this isn’t your baby, they need to support themselves. once the baby has arrived they need to ensure they’re earning enough between them so that means getting better work. I took 3 months maternity leave with my son then went back full time. I was an administrator and my parents helped twice a week with childcare that’s all.

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Frostinmyface · 04/02/2024 20:17

I think people are forgetting that back in the 70’s couples having a baby at 21 was the norm. My mom had my brother at 19 and me at 21. All of my friends parents were of the same kind of age too. Your daughter and her boyfriend are adults and will make it work if it’s what they want to. Citizens advice would be my go to. Well done on being such good parents and sticking by them instead of reading them the riot act like some would do. And congratulations to you all! :)

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pitsoffashion · 04/02/2024 21:12

I’m not sure what the benefit system is like now but I got pregnant age 20 in 2013. Unplanned, I was working in a zero hour contract job at the time and hoping to go to university the same year. I was living at home with my parents. I upped my hours at work and took all shifts that I could which meant I could save a bit of money and also make sure I hit the threshold to get maternity pay. My partner had just finished a trades apprenticeship and had a steady job but the money wasn’t great at the time. I got a £500 maternity grant (are those still a thing?? If so your DD may be entitled) which pretty much kitted us out for everything second-hand. We saved hard and moved into a private rental one-bed flat about six weeks before I gave birth!

When baby was born we actually managed fairly well as our income was topped up nicely with working-tax credits, it was possibly 400/500 a month on top of partners wage and my small amount of maternity pay. We’ve not been in receipt of it for years though so I have no idea how different things are compared to 2013. I just know the extra support was there at that time which made it manageable for us.

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newlaptop12 · 04/02/2024 21:36

Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:04

She’s 21, not 15. She’s an adult and she’s making an adult decision to keep the baby. This isn’t a problem for you to sort out, be kind, be supportive, talk things through with her, but be guided by her and please don’t take this all on as if it’s up to you. It’s not. If she isn’t able to do this for herself is she really ready to have a child?

for what it’s worth, at 21 I fell pregnant with my planned dd2. I already had a 2 year old, a house, a mortgage, a job and did not need any parental support beyond the norm for any person of any age having a baby. Let your dd be the adult she is, she isn’t a child and doing everything for her isn’t really helpful.

And this girl has none of that. No mortgage, no job security..........

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Justfinking · 04/02/2024 21:38

newlaptop12 · 04/02/2024 21:36

And this girl has none of that. No mortgage, no job security..........

Exactly. Your age isn't what makes you a competant or capable adult, let alone someone who should be responsible for raising a child

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welliesandcashmere · 04/02/2024 21:41

I am sorry to be so harsh here, but a reality check is needed. I had a child a 21 with my then boyfriend who was "very supportive". What is to stop him from up and leaving when things get tough. She will be left with probably no job, no money, little time. It's easy to DREAM BIG '(oh I will go back to uni or I will start my own business') - the reality is, she is 21 and up until this point, she has not had the responsibility of a tiny baby to look after and she has not finished uni or started a business, or got herself a decent job. The chances of her doing that when she does have such a massive responsibility are nil. She will be poor and miserable and so will her child.
I wish my mother had said this to me when I was pregnant, rather than "trying to be supportive". It is completely irresponsible of you as a parent to see this situation through rose-tinted glasses. Please give her a reality check before it's too late.

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