Should I call friend out for being a bad parent or suck it up?

  1. There is someone that I love very much who is a bad parent. She is not abusive or anything. It's just that she is not engaged at all. She has 2 kids and both of the fathers have custody. She doesn't see either of them much, if at all.

    This is someone who is very dear to me. She had a less than ideal childhood and she always said she would never make the same mistakes her parents did. And, I guess she hasn't in that she doesn't abuse her children. But she is absolutely clueless when it comes to parenting.

    In spite of everything, her children adore her. I've helped to take care of them over the years. But it rips my heart out to see how distant she is with them.

    About 10 years ago, with the younger child, I tried to help her by taking him while she "got her stuff together." I worked from home to care for the child who was a toddler at the time. I didn't ask for money, but did ask her to put what she would have paid in childcare costs into a savings account. She always had a good reason why she couldn't. A few months into it, she came over and showed me a very expensive formal gown that she bought to go out with her then boyfriend. Her rationale was that she never got to treat herself and she deserved it. While I didn't disagree with her, I was POed because I had taken on the responsibility for her child with NO financial assistance. I fed the baby and her too most days too because she would come over to my house for dinner.
    Anywho, I insisted that she write me a check for $100. The check bounced and I told her I couldn't watch the baby anymore.

    It's not that I minded watching her child. I just was so angry that she saw nothing wrong with someone else taking care of her responsibility while she "treated" herself. Long story short, she lost custody soon thereafter.

    Fast forward 10 years. She has another child after losing custody of the first one. I kept her youngest for a while last summer. She did contribute a small amount but nowhere near the actual cost of taking care of a child for the summer. I put the kid in camp and everything went well. We all enjoyed the summer.

    This summer, I again offered to take the child with the caveat that we enroll the kid in camp. Well, she called at the last minute to say she couldn't afford it but she still expected me to take the child. Meanwhile, the little girl was sooo excited to go to camp again and spend the summer at my house.

    I explained that it would be better for me to come to her house and babysit during the day rather than keep the little child all summer. That way, we would be in the city and could do activities during the day, and she would be able to see her mom in the evening. Mind you, this would mean 2 hours commute for me every day, but I didn't mind. She acted as though I was making a horrible imposotion upon her. She told me her daughter hated staying over there at her house because it was so gross and dirty. She hadn't had time to clean up so it wouldn't be fair to the little girl to force her to stay there. Furthermore, I would really disappoint the child because she had been so looking forward to staying at my house.
    I said OK, bring her over for tonight and we'll come to your house in the morning. I assumed this would give her time to clean and prepare for her daughter. Well... she showed up at almost 11pm with the little girl. The child was dirty and had not had dinner. She had $60 and a bag full of stinky, dirty clothes. She didn't even come upstairs, sent the girl up alone and my SO went down to get her bags.

    So, here I am with an 8 year old and no plan. I live in the suburbs and all the kids are in camp or some other structured summer program. We go to the community pool and the only children around are the toddlers who are too young for camp. So I am pulling my hair out trying to come up with activities for her. I have no choice but to pay for camp myself because I am assuming since she came with all her stuff, her mom expects me to keep her for the summer.

    I am a full time law student. For those of you who are not familiar, law school runs about 50k per year including all expenses. So, yeah, it is a big deal for me to pull $600 out of thin air. And on top of it all, when the little girl cries for her mom, I have to make up inane stories about how busy mommy is with work.

    I guess I'm just venting. But I need some help with what to say to my friend. How can she be this clueless!!!??? My heart is breaking for this kid. She sees her mom maybe, MAYBE 14 days a year. WTF is wrong with her!!!!????

    The last time I said anything when I was keeping her older child, she stopped talking to me for years. Also, I don't want the child to suffer because of all this.

    I don't know what else to do.:crybaby:
     
  2. Sorry that was so long. I guess I just needed to vent. :sad:
     
  3. it sounds like she doesn't want to be involved, so in a way its like why force her? she doesnt seem like she'd do well anyway.
    its a shame people abuse the ability of being able to have children, when there are so many couples who long to have a child but are unable.
     
  4. also:
    that is pretty bad though -- she just doesn't want to be a parent. simple as that.
    and its pathetic that she put the child on you for the entire summer. that is a huge commitment for you and a huge favor of her to ask of you. very disrespectful, IMO.
     
  5. omg you are such an angel!
    I cannot believe your *friend*! Sounds like a pretty careless mother and a horrible friend! Are you still friends with her or are you just doing this for the child?

    This is a tough situation, I feel for you! Sorry I don't have any advice :sad:
     
  6. Wow, la miss! I read your title and said to myself, "No, don't call a friend a bad parent." BUT, after reading that, I would definitely call that a REAL problem, and I'm sure you're just staggered by this and what to do.

    I'm in a crisis situation myself right now, so I'm going to read that again and try to let it sink in. I hope some wise, wise people will advise you, because I can just imagine how you need help with this. ((((HUGS)))) in the meantime! :heart:
     
  7. Your story makes me sad... I would totally disregard her as a friend unless she starts to grow up alittle...(or alot). But for the kids' sake... your doing great as her friend. It sounds like she's too self absorbed right now to see it. I can't tell you a solution to your problem as there will never be a right or wrong one... KWIM? You're a great *auntie* it sounds... I feel for the kids.
     
  8. She seems like an awful parent but you were placed in her life for a reason: not for her, but for the kids. You are their guardian angel. I know that it must be hard for you financially and emotionally, but put your foot down and demand financial assistance from her since she's incapable of supplying emotional support. Break the cycle. While her children is with you, instill in them moral values and emotional strength. They're going to need it. Especially when they're grown and can clearly see the true nature of their mother. Take care!
     
  9. Does this child have a father? I think that is the person you should be talking to. This woman sounds like an unfit parent to me... and unfortunately that is not your responsibility.
     

  10. good point.
     
  11. Wow!! I second that you are an Angel!! The kids must be so blessed to have someone like you. And I agree that she just doesn't want to be a parent. She's not ready to grow up. She's selfish and couldn't care less about what is her responsibility. The kids are better off with out the horrid mother that she is being.

    That is a huge committment that you have stepped up to. And It's a good thing for the kids to be staying with you rather than that woman. But, I think you should call her out on it because she has no concept of what you're going through. Even though you're doing what's best for the kid.

    I feel so bad for the kids who have to be brought through all of this...
     
  12. Another thought here: if this child does have a father who has custody, (and this is a visit with the mother), you better be careful. This could become legally messy for you if the father finds out the child is being dumped on someone like this. Most custody agreements specify that the child should be in a licensed day care or other facility if the parent can't care for them.

    We went thru this with my stepkids when they were little and Mommy was being a flaky parent. She hired a mentally ill relative to babysit them during her time during the summer while she went out drinking at local casinos. We found out and had to go to court to get her visitation changed to supervised... it was that bad.

    Be careful, ok? I know it's sad for the child but you can't fix that situation and you don't want to be held LIABLE if something bad happens.
     
  13. I think you may be legally obligated to contact the father in this case - the mother has no right to leave a child with her acquaintance without confirming that with the father. You're being a saint here, you really are, but the father needs to know where his daughter is.
     

  14. Yes, exactly. I know that my husband would have wanted to know!

    (We found out about the crazy cousin babysitting my stepdaughters when one of them called me hysterically crying because she'd fallen down and the cousin slapped her for crying about it... :cursing: )

    If you can't locate the father or don't know how to contact him, you may have to involve CPS in this situation--- especially if the house this kid is living in isn't habitable...
     
  15. im so sorry for you i wish i had a friendlike you just to get away for 1 hour anyway talk to her tell her you need money for camp that her child has no one to play with all the kids are in camp