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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
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You are NOT being unreasonable
56%
Ohhelpicantthinkofaname · 03/02/2024 08:59

MacciesApplePie · 03/02/2024 07:29

I was expecting negative comments, although the positive and helpful far outweigh them thank you.
To the posters saying let them get on with it. It’s a massive thing, I thought any decent parent would want to try and support and offer help.
To the benefit bashers. Isn’t it good that we are all in the fortunate position to not have to claim benefits. My daughter will certainly not be looking to take the piss out of it. They are both hard working young adults who have lost their jobs and the pregnancy is unfortunate timing, but here we are. I’m asking about benefits so we can consider all of their options.
im thinking about our flat as they aren’t really in a good position to be privately renting.
If they get jobs then they may be in a position to raise a mortgage for 75% (BIL 50%, my son 25%, and gift them 25%) and therefore not need to be taking up a council house.

OP you say your dd has a job? A zero hours contract? That’s ok. She needs to work as many hours as she possibly can between now and when they calculate mat leave. She should still be entitled to it if she started the job before she fell pregnant and she earns enough to qualify. If they are on a low income between them the may be entitled to be topped up by universal credit once the baby’s born, but they shouldn’t be reaching for benefits as their first option.

I wouldn’t give them the flat to live in. That’ll just cause issues, as you say it’s covering your sons uni costs and his sisters pregnancy is not his problem.
they’re adults, they can figure out where they live. Her partner needs to find a job that pays a wage they can live on. That’s the priority. I’d be letting her live with me until they had found somewhere to rent that they could afford. But if you have a child young and don’t have much money you have to take what you can afford and work hard for something better. It’s completely doable but THEY need to be in the driving seat. I know you’re trying to be helpful but there’s a fine line between helpful and overbearing and being a young parent often means people look down on you and doubt you. Please give them the credit to be able to sort this out like adults.

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Fern95 · 03/02/2024 09:08

Self employed gardeners can easily charge £25-£40 ph here in London (with insurance and a level 2 qual). Ask him what he's charging and if he is advertising himself in local groups etc because he could be earning great money. I'm literally retraining at the age of 28 to do this as it's my dream job!

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Ferraria · 03/02/2024 09:10

hattie43 · 03/02/2024 06:05

What a sad indictment on society when the first question is what benefits can they claim .
Never mind about making sensible decisions when the good old taxpayer will fund them .
No wonder this country is in such a mess .

I agree with this. Everyone is quick to complain that there isn't enough money to support the vulnerable, elderly, mental health services etc yet here we have two healthy young adults and the first thought is benefits and that others should support them. Yet the parents have a share in a property they rent out. They should be supporting themselves, or turning to family before the state. Perhaps I sound harsh but there really isn't a magic money tree and money spent here can't be spent elsewhere.

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OhmygodDont · 03/02/2024 09:17

Mangerine · 03/02/2024 08:52

You aren't aloud to claim housing element if you rent from family

Yes you can. If the property was not purchased with the sole intention of being rented to family it’s perfectly allowed and benefits will pay. They will look into it a bit more but only to make sure the property was owned and being used for rental prior to the family moving in.

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PrimalOwl10 · 03/02/2024 09:17

I was your dd. Same age but in my final year at university. It was assumed I'd keep the baby but I was naive and I would have liked to explored my options and an insight to the reality of having a baby. My dp left me for another woman and I was left on my own with a 1 year old, he was free to go away on holidays, going out drinking with his friends with miminal responsibility. I ended up with severe depression and lost an insane amount of weight. It took another year and meeting dh to get myself back to normal.


21 year is at the crisp of her adult life, she needs to realise the commitment she will be giving another person and the limitations that come with that. I'd advise my dd to make sure she's in a secure relationship and job before having a baby. That baby is now 15 but it was hard. I'd advise all my kids to explore the world going on holidays enjoy their lives before starting families quickly. I missed out on so much that il never get back.

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SweetBirdsong · 03/02/2024 09:25

YaWeeFurryBastard · 02/02/2024 22:31

In all honesty if you want to help them all you can then I think a frank talk about whether they can afford to support a baby is needed. Your young daughter is not married to this guy and is on a zero hours contract so likely extremely financially vulnerable. Being a good parent is not just blindly approving and encouraging all decisions your child makes.

I think you need to be focussing and advising on the long term implications of this situation instead of trying to work out how the benefits system can pay for your investment property, which comes with a whole host of its own problems.

Yep this. ^ I'm sorry @MacciesApplePie but I would be talking to my daughter if this was mine, and seeing if there is an alternative to keeping the baby! (No easy way to say it!)

Having a baby at 21 - with no proper job or guaranteed income (neither him nor her,) no savings, and not married, and no place to live is utterly bonkers. I know there is never a right time to have a baby, but there is definitely a WRONG time, and this is it IMO.

She is putting herself in a VERY precarious position.

Good luck. Flowers

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VitoCorleoneOfMNMafia · 03/02/2024 09:27

hattie43 · 03/02/2024 06:05

What a sad indictment on society when the first question is what benefits can they claim .
Never mind about making sensible decisions when the good old taxpayer will fund them .
No wonder this country is in such a mess .

The benefits are actually subsidising the daughter's employer by making it possible to pay less than a living wage and offer less than full-time hours.

It's legitimate to complain that the taxpayer shouldn't pay out, but you should take care to identify who is actually getting the handout here.

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Honeychickpea · 03/02/2024 09:27

Neurodiversitydoctor · 03/02/2024 06:15

This, also that baby will grow up to pay taxes to provide health and social care to all the miseries on this thread.

Look at the birth gap.

There are no guarantees of that.

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Chylka · 03/02/2024 09:30

I’ve found a lot of these posts really unpleasant. She’s 21, not a child. And it’s normal to provide advice and support to your (even adult) DD when she has a baby. All of the suggestions to talk to her about “whether she wants to go through with it” - are you suggesting the OP be pressured to terminate the pregnancy? That’s going to do wonders for OP’s relationship with her DD…🤦🏻‍♀️

I had my first baby, unplanned, at 19. We got support and advice from our parents, but otherwise stood on our own feet - E.g my parents helped us find somewhere to live and stood as guarantors, but we had to fund it. I was at uni and had to work out how to defer my place/ extend my student loan etc but our parents supported us.

Our relationship ultimately didn’t last (I got divorced at 25) but I have zero regrets. My DS is now at uni himself, and has been a joy I wouldn’t be without. And I long since graduated uni, got my professional qualifications etc. I claimed tax credits (as they were) for about 5 years after the breakdown of my relationship with my ex. Only ever claimed income support for 5 months! And been a higher rate tax payer for over a decade. People’s inability to look outside their tiny bubble of experience is so depressing.

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Honeychickpea · 03/02/2024 09:30

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.

That really doesn't sound like a good circumstance to have a baby. I wouldn't offer to facilitate it.

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Andthereyougo · 03/02/2024 09:32

I was a teenage mum. We got married and we struggled and struggled financially for years. I’d have paid out more in childcare than I could earn, even if there’d been rural childcare available so was a sahm for the best part of 7 years. No nights out ever, very few clothes, no luxuries for us, every penny went on the children and bills. At 19 I was juggling paying the electricity, buying enough food and paying the rent.
Have a frank talk with both of them, write down realistic expenses of living independently and caring for a child. Don’t sugar coat it.
Eventually I got qualifications, a good job, we divorced but he provided for his kids. My children didn’t go without, but it was an uphill struggle and not how I’d choose for my kids or grandkids to spend their 20s.

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Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 09:39

I was 31 married, with my own house, solvent etc and the shock of my first baby was like nothing else.

Society generally tends to gloss over just how bloody hard it is. I am not sure I could have managed at 21 at all. So be prepared to step in as main caregiver op because until the baby arrives you won’t know if she/they can cope.

I have a dd same age and it’s unimaginable to me - she is still learning very basic life skills at uni and the pandemic has delayed development in adolescents. Well documented..

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Motnight · 03/02/2024 09:41

PyongyangKipperbang · 03/02/2024 04:37

If they think they are old enough to have a baby maybe they need to step up more to support themselves

Remove the word "maybe" from that sentence and it is pretty much perfect.

Step RIGHT back.

I suspect that their "Oh we can have our lovely little baby together!" will be based on assumptions about support/financial help from you and his parents.

You would be doing them the best favour in the world to say "OK, so where will you live and how will you support yourselves? Have you put yourselves on the list for social housing?" and see what their reaction is. If its "This is our plan....XYZ" then good, even if you can see the flaws in their plan you can then help them fill in the gaps. If their reaction is "Well we can live in Grans old flat for a few years and then.....[insert pie in the sky]" shut that down FAST.

I was a young mother who would have succeeded a hell of a lot younger than I did had my (control freak) mother not swooped in and taken over and then, a few years later decided I was to dependent and slagged me off for not coping.....I didnt cope because I was never allowed to learn how to!

Supportive does not mean doing it for them.

I agree with this post, and the other similar ones.

Your DD and her boyfriend have to make responsible decisions now, they are choosing to become parents.

I know that there's plenty of fantastic young parents but I shudder at the thought of my DD when she was your DD'S age becoming a mother.

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SweetBirdsong · 03/02/2024 09:46

Andthereyougo · 03/02/2024 09:32

I was a teenage mum. We got married and we struggled and struggled financially for years. I’d have paid out more in childcare than I could earn, even if there’d been rural childcare available so was a sahm for the best part of 7 years. No nights out ever, very few clothes, no luxuries for us, every penny went on the children and bills. At 19 I was juggling paying the electricity, buying enough food and paying the rent.
Have a frank talk with both of them, write down realistic expenses of living independently and caring for a child. Don’t sugar coat it.
Eventually I got qualifications, a good job, we divorced but he provided for his kids. My children didn’t go without, but it was an uphill struggle and not how I’d choose for my kids or grandkids to spend their 20s.

Edited
Flowers
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ABwithAnItch · 03/02/2024 09:48

I am appalled by the number of people saying they are adults, let them sort it out themselves in a callous tone. 21 is very young to have a baby and the OP is trying to support her daughter, not swoop in and save the day. The whole mentality shift is so shitty. If the OP said my daughter is 42 and finally got pregnant would that be ok??? People have babies is all sorts of circumstances. No one is EVER really prepared for it. They will be fine OP!

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Chylka · 03/02/2024 09:49

It’s funny though, isn’t it @Newchapterbeckons because I had my first baby at 19 and did not really struggle. The motherhood part came easily to me. I didn’t overthink it, and just went with the flow. There are advantages to being young - I hadn’t spent a decade of adulthood doing my own thing, and had no expectations. Just knuckling down to it came naturally.

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Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 09:52

Chylka · 03/02/2024 09:49

It’s funny though, isn’t it @Newchapterbeckons because I had my first baby at 19 and did not really struggle. The motherhood part came easily to me. I didn’t overthink it, and just went with the flow. There are advantages to being young - I hadn’t spent a decade of adulthood doing my own thing, and had no expectations. Just knuckling down to it came naturally.

Agreed 👍🏻 maybe there is more fluidity in the young.

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DonnaBanana · 03/02/2024 09:52

That chat will be very valuable. Only you know your daughter. Was her dream to build a career and move up the ladder and now she’s enamoured with a lad and having her ambitions curtailed? Or is she a more nurturing modest type who will thrive on building a family? If the latter, everything will probably be just fine. If the former, she could hugely regret this one day, giving up her 20s and career options and stuck with a boyfriend in a dead end career. Good luck and god speed

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anyolddinosaur · 03/02/2024 09:55

Renting to family is almost never a good idea and especially if there are 2 family members sharing ownership of the property. What if they are terrible tenants and one of you wants to evict them when the other does not? If you do it there has to be a market rent and normal tenancy agreement.

Can they continue to live with parents and save for their own place? Are either family able to provide support with childcare so your daughter can continue to work? Entitled to will help you see what financial support they may be able to get and how that will change when the baby is born. A life on benefits is not fun for children and your daughter needs to be supported to keep employment going if possible.

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Choux · 03/02/2024 10:02

Newchapterbeckons · 03/02/2024 03:51

Op why haven’t you talked through the consequences and impact to your dds life? A life on benefits at 21 is going to be no walk in the park, tough and miserable and having a baby is extremely hard work and probably not what she imagines. She may well end up a single mother statistically.

I wouldn’t be providing solutions so quickly and would encourage her to have a rethink: she has no security whatever and is highly vulnerable.

This! If she's young and in love she probably has rose tinted spectacles on about how blissful her future will look with her boyfriend and baby. Your job as parent is to give her a reality check and make sure she understands exactly what she might be signing up for if she keeps the baby.

They could make a go if it but she could also end up a single parent with little money, no job prospects watching her friends buy houses, travel the world, start families when more financially stable etc etc.

Support and Enable do not mean the same thing. Don't enable her to make a decision without knowing all the possible outcomes.

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Bubble2024 · 03/02/2024 10:02

They cannot live in the flat and give you the rent. There are rules about claiming housing benefit and renting from immediate family members.

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LuckySantangelo35 · 03/02/2024 10:04

The replies here are really quite refreshing. Usually people post stuff about how the op should let their son/daughter and baby and partner live with them or give them a house, how op should give up work and any social life to provide childcare etc etc because that’s just what mothers do and parenting is a life’s work it doesn’t end when they turn 18!

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Damaged27 · 03/02/2024 10:04

It's not about age it's about circumstances. Lots of couples have a house and stable jobs at 21 and plan to have children. At the same time their are a lot of people in their 30s who are unstable and shouldn't be having children. If someone gets pregnant and the first question is what benefits can I get that means they can't afford this child. Having a baby isn't just Changing nappies and making bottles a 12 year old can do that it's about having the finances and stability to offer the baby a good future

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Daydreamer123 · 03/02/2024 10:05

There's a lot of negativity on this thread🙄
My eldest was an unexpected surprise when I was 21. I wouldn't say that life has always been a walk in the park. There were times where money was tight, but bills were always paid and there was food in the cupboard.
My son is now 14 and my husband and I have now been married for 11 years.
Why does everyone assume that by having children young you automatically throw away all your career prospects!? At 21 I had dropped out of college twice, I had a job but I didn't have any high flying career goals, or sensibility with the money I was earning. Starting a family was the best thing for me, it gave me drive to be the best I could be. I worked as much as I could around childcare but I also did an evening access course and eventually went to university and retrained as a midwife.
I have zero regrets and my whole 40's ahead of me to enjoy doing whatever it is everyone says they do in their 20's!

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Dazedandfrazzled · 03/02/2024 10:05

DonnaBanana · 03/02/2024 09:52

That chat will be very valuable. Only you know your daughter. Was her dream to build a career and move up the ladder and now she’s enamoured with a lad and having her ambitions curtailed? Or is she a more nurturing modest type who will thrive on building a family? If the latter, everything will probably be just fine. If the former, she could hugely regret this one day, giving up her 20s and career options and stuck with a boyfriend in a dead end career. Good luck and god speed

This is true too. I'm sure there are many who would be content to settle down young. The risk/danger is I was also this person at 21 my dream was to have many children with my then boyfriend, suddenly at 22 I had very different aspirations. It's important you really explain to your daughter what the future entails (and choosing to have a child so young is likely to be very limiting) as while you feel you are supporting her now, she may resent you later on. She can have this same life in 10 more years time, having lived a little more and growing as a person first

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