Sunday, July 08, 2012

Immature Women Having Children

It's been a while since I've ranted a little so here goes. I have been inundated with young women from the ages of 15-24 that have been popping out children left and right and not having a CLUE on how to take care of them. Before you start wondering, yes I do give birth control options at most young women's visits. I also speak to the young men who come into my office too. Equal opportunity there folks!
The grandparents are pulling out their hair because these young parents are abandoning them for them to raise and sometimes keep them overnight when they aren't too busy running around with the boyfriends or girlfriends. Half don't have jobs and so the grandparents are supplying the diapers, foods and medicines for these kids.
One girl has 5 kids and told her mother that she just likes being pregnant and doesn't like to take care of them. WTF? My head spins and the urge to slap the crap out of them is very difficult to control. The grandparents love these kids so they won't deny their care but it is at a huge risk to their health and sanity. It's pretty sad when I have to give the grandparents Prozac in order for them to cope with the stress of this situation.
The big issue is the fact that these kids are in the middle and are torn between who the parent really is. The Mom shows up when she feels like it and gets angry when the children call Grandma "Mommy". She will keep one or two at the time and never give G-ma a break totally. Often, G-ma gets the call at 1:00 am to come get them because they are getting on her nerves.
It boggles my mind! How to we change this mindset in our young adults? Any suggestions beyond telling the grandparents try to get sole custody because they won't sign them over. Being a shitty parent isn't enough to involve DCF because they kids aren't being beaten, just neglected.
Ready? GO!


  1. Anonymous12:47 AM

    I certainly agree but I have seen this kind of behavior in ALL ethnicities. These young people can be just horrible. My sister who is in her early 30s has done this since she has had my niece who is now 13 years old and stays most of the time with her grandparents. I have raised my kids to be responsible which I pray that they remember how to do. I really do not know how I would handle such a situation but it surely makes you upset to watch the grandparents be burdened with parenthood in their retirement years. But some of these grandparents did the very same thing when they were younger and the apple does not fall too far from the tree. All that we can do is provide the best possible service and care because when we do so 'with an attitude' we are practicing unethically and will be held liable if such behavior causes some sort of harm to the patient. I wished so bad that I had the answer. Hey, if NPs held classes on what dysfunctional and undesirable behavior this is for the grandparents of the teenaged/adult children maybe this would help to curtail this immoral and damaging way of life. Obviously with this type of behavior there could be some underlying abuse issues too. They run the risk of being incompetent parents because they are in the mindset 'to run the streets' instead of parenting their children. Such leaves some children at risk for abuse. It may help to be aware of these circumstances as you care for the parents and their families.....

    1. I agree that the apple doesn't fall far and I don't give my patient's an attitude when I'm giving them medical care. If I have a comment to make it's only after they have asked my opinion. I ask them if they want the NP version or the regular woman version and go from there.

  2. Seems like the situation has some parallels with drug/alcohol users in that they'll continue the behavior until it has deep negative impacts on them. I would encourage the grandmothers to cut off any financial assistance and repeatedly call DCF on them until they can win sole custody. Of course their own child will "hate" them, but they may thank them later...and the grandchild certainly will. Its a crappy situation no matter what.

    1. I agree about calling DCF, but unless the children are being physically abused, they say that there is nothing that they can do.

  3. It's really a tough situation as the grandparents really love these grandchildren and want to see them taken care of. It's easy to say tough love and not supply their kids with babysitting or other necessities but what would happen to the children and grandchildren? Love to hear some solutions too :)

  4. Anonymous5:12 PM

    The definition of "family" has change over the past generations. Seeing families with the grandparents are the parents or are co-parenting is all too common these days. It is unfortunate that during these "golden years" of looking forward to retirement and enjoying their grandchildren as the definition was intended doesn't always happen. Its hard when its really the kids that suffer when you want to give tough love, I ask those who are in this position and all say, its not the child's fault, I do it for them. When is it enough???

    1. The tough love sometimes hurts the grandkids unfortunately but it's better than the grandma falling over of a heart attack and no one is left to care.

    2. Anonymous5:36 PM

      I couldn't agree more. If taking care of others means we can't take care of ourselves, then tough love is the best option.

  5. I experienced this situation a lot in my old clinic. The majority of my clients were Hispanic, and in this population, there seems to be a greater acceptance and support of the young mother. There is also a strange ambivalence towards birth control, and that used to baffle me. Several of my young adolescents became pregnant, even after we talked about and initiated birth control. So then I was responsible for the newborn and the mother! More often than not, I found that for the initial visits, the mother and father would accompany the baby. After several months, the father would no longer be in the picture, and frequently, it was the grandmother bringing the baby to the visits. I guess I don't have any solutions to offer, just empathy. I don't think we can fix this problem. One of the local high schools that has a large number of young moms has a weekly support group and parenting class for the girls. That seems to be a good thing, I think, helps guide the girls through the baby's growth and development. The girls find other young moms to get support from too.

  6. Nennie Gargard Excelsior College3:38 AM

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    I totally understand your frustration in this situation. It is unfortunate that no laws can be set in place to make birth control for girls around those ages that are sexually active mandatory. I think it will be a great idea. At the end of the day, they get pregnant, have these kids,no job, no father to help with childcare expenses, and they end up on government welfare, with grandma left to babysit while they go out and get pregnant again. If the government can give them assistence, the governemnt should be able to lay down these laws to cut down teen pregnancies. I would like to see health care facilities start a volunteer workshop in different communities, educating young men and women on this issue and providing free birth control options also.
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