My 15 year old is pregnant.

I need some advice. My 15 year old is pregnant. I was so saddened to find this out, and cried for a few days after (though I tried to hide from my daughter how hard I was taking the news). Since then I have come to accept this and am ready to welcome my first grandchild with open arms.

Here's my dilemma. How can I balance being a just a grandmother to the baby, and still mothering my little girl, who is becoming a mother herself? I don't want to take over, but both my husband and I are predicting that she will treat this just as she's treated most things so far..."mom will do it". Typical of a lot of teens and kids, but now she's going to be a mother.

We have let her know that we will be there (she'll be living with us), and will do whatever we can, but we've also told her that she is the mother and she will have to find a balance between being a mother and still having some kind of childhood. We don't want her to completely lose out on that.

Right now, she's not working, and hasn't even passed her driver's exam for her permit. She's not a lazy kid, but she is not a self-starter nor is she confident in her own abilities. She's struggled with severe dyslexia and tends to give up easily.

I know she's going to be a great mother, she's always been good with kids, but she's a kid herself, and we expect that I will end up taking on a lot of the "burden" having a newborn in the house creates. She needs to get a job, but how is she going to balance school, a job, and a baby?

Where are my lines? I don't want to overstep and assume the role as parent to this new baby, and I know that will be difficult to avoid. I am terrified of this part, because I have a very rocky relationship with my own mother. My ex-husband and I leaned on her too much as we started our family, and she took on the role of parent to the point that I can't parent right in her in eyes. I don't want to do that to my daughter.

I would like to know if there are other people in this situation and how they handled things. What do I need to avoid, or do, or do differently to make this have a positive outcome?

Thank you for your help!!!

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I do not have first hand experience with this, but my husband does. His mother was 14 when she had him. His grandmother played a huge role in his upbringing until he was 5 years old. My husband has always had a close relationship with his mother, but it is more of a friendship then a mother son relationship. They grew up together and he has a hard time seeing her in the "mother" role. When my husband first came home from the hospital with his mom, she was not very hands on. She did get up with him a few times at night, and fed him a few times during the day, but it was his Grandmother who did most of the work. His mother was allowed to go to school, hang out with her friends, go out on weekends and nothing really changed for her. I can understand that her mother didn't want her to have to give up her life, but she never had real responsibility for him. It was not until his mother decided that she wanted to get married to a different man at 18 and got pregnant for her second child that his Grandmother said enough and gave her full responsibility of being the mom. At this point my husband was almost 5 and he felt like he lost his real mother when he was forced to move away. I believe strongly and so does he, that if she was given more responsibility for him in the beginning he would have felt as though she was a mom to him.

Let her go to school and be a "kid". If she has after school things she wants to do, or she wants to go hand out with friends, let her know she has to find and pay for a babysitter to do so. Let her get up in the middle of the night to take care of the baby and have full responsibility when she is home. Always be there if she needs you, and I am sure you will be, but let her try to do it first. She needs to bond with her baby as much as she can. Try getting her into parenting classes and birthing classes to give her some idea of what she faces. Going with her to these classes will help her know that she has a great support and that she can do this. As for a job, do you know anyone with small children that she can babysit for? Not only would this help to give her some money till she is old enough to get a real job, but it is experience she will really need.

I know it is probably not the point of view you were looking for, but I hope it helped some.......

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Try as hard as you can not to do stuff for her. My parents were pretty good about staying their distance and i value that so much now. Also, one thing my mother did that I hated when it happened, but I appreciate it now, is she made me clean the house and cook dinner while i was at home with the baby for the summer. I thought she was being so unfair (my older brother was never told to do anything) but now that i have my own apartment, i am able to function.

Decide what the boundaries are and let her know right off the bat. Dont overstep them whatsoever. hope i helped

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I agree that she needs to be told the boundaries. Have specific and strong ones. If you been lenient with her til now, you may have a hard time getting them established, but if you want her to be the Mother, then you will have to do it. Decide now what she will be required to do, even make a list, that way it will be in writing. If you even want to make it a type of "contract", have her sign it.

Another thing, I know it's hard to think about, but, you might even want her to consider adoption. I know the idea of "giving up" a baby is a hard one. But also putting the responsibility of raising one on a possible immature 15 yr. old is even harder. If you don't want to be the one to raise the baby & if you doubt that she is capable, then find someone that has a deep desire to have a baby, but have been unable to do so.

I know that giving up the baby is an extremely hard decision, but you need to think about what is best for the baby.

I know my words are tough, & I'm sorry that you're having to even deal with the subject, but I think you do need to look at all sides.

Rene'

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I agree with all of the posts. I also don't have experience with this and I'm also a huge proponent of adoption. Would you be willing to adopt the baby? Would a relative or friend? Based on my 15 year old and her friends---there is no way that any of them could be a mom. They're OK for a few hours babysitting, but not motherhood. I do like the ideas of having a written contract, parenting classes, babysitting jobs and setting the boundaries now. i wish you the best of luck and please keep us informed.

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I forgot to add------I think you should tell your daughter how you feel about it. anger, disappointment, joy, fear all of it. I know that she's still a 'kid' but she has made adult decisions and should have some adult conversations. No matter what continue to remind her how much she is loved.

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Thank you all so much for your input. My husband and I have discussed the possibility of adoption, but felt this was strongly her decision. We've talked to her about taking responsibility for the outcome of her actions. Choosing to sleep with her boyfriend created a baby, and she's never going to be able to go backward now.

We worry about her young age, but she's also always been a bit ahead of her peers in maturity. We've seen both sides of the coin since this came out. She's very good about her health care and taking her vitamins, watching what she eats, etc. But, she's become horribly stubborn about getting a job and her permit. Telling us to back off and that when people put pressure on her, she becomes even more stubborn and won't do it. And yet, at the same time, she took her permit test this last Spring, and though we'd gently hinted about it, she wouldn't go back on her own.

It's going to be so frustrating. She's also struggling a great deal with her relationship with the baby's father. They are arguing more and more, and my husband and I do not see this lasting till the birth of the baby, or for him to stick around very long after it's born. We'll just have to see.

I thank you so much for all of your input. It really helps to see what others suggest or have gone through. I know I'm going to want to jump in a lot once the baby is born, but having heard about the 14 year old mother, makes me feel a little better about standing back and making her take on that responsibility as much as possible without my interference.

I also like the other suggestion about making her more responsible around the home because that's what a mother does...and it prepares her for being on her own. And about telling her all of my feelings...wow. I'd never thought of putting like that, "adult conversations". But you're right. She needs to sit down with me and talk about everything she needs to be preparing for, and about how I'm handling all of this. Up until now, I'd been hiding most of my hurt and anger. But I think you're right, she just put herself in touch with the adult world, so now she needs to know what that entails.

Thank you all for your input and support. I greatly appreciate it all!

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