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Raising someone else's child, and now I never want kids.

 My husband and I were made responsible for raising his younger brother. During this process my mother in law has become an even bigger night mare, our debt load skyrocketed and I have to postpone my schooling, all for this child and the debt taking him on caused. I used to believe I wanted a family but since having this boy I fear I would regret having kids. I have become a person I don't like, I am depressed, angry, resentful, and generally miserable. We are the only option for this child and I will not ask my husband to give up on his brother but it's hurting me having him. I'm at a loss at what to do, and I fear I've lost who I am. How do I know if I really no longer want children, or if this is just a faze because of the current situation?

Re: Raising someone else's child, and now I never want kids.

  • Can I ask why you guys are responsible for raising your H's little brother? Why is he not being raised by your MIL? And how old is he?
  • He will been 13 this month, and he is with us because the mother was/is neglectful. Because of all she put this child through and how he behaves no other family is willing to take him. He is known to swear, be violent, be abusive of other children and adults, lie, and generally believe the world revolves around him.   We are in our early twenties just starting out while other members of the family are older, have experience with children, and have the time and financial means to raise him. 
  • You can contact your local Department of Child and Family Services and see what kind of support services they offer...counseling and financial assistance. Good luck.
    Anniversary Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thanks for the well wishes. We are closely connected with MCFD, unfortunately they were supposed to help with "start up costs" and did not follow through. When we pointed out the strain this had done they told us "that sucks" and that's it.
  • I have a brother around the same age. H knew and has known that my brother could be a responsibility if something ever happened to my parents. We have a child together and we support my brother randomly. My father isn't making the same kind of money he once did.

    In your situation I'd contact a social worker or the currant government agency you are working with. See if as the child, he doesn't qualify for certain government programs. Heath care and even WICK, he has to qualify for something. If you aren't getting answers, keep calling until you get them.

    I am guessing your young and newly married. Having a difficult teen in your life and house isn't fun. As to a future of a child of your own, it's your choice to make. I'll all I will say, it's very different when it's your own child. I love my brother and family very much but the love I have for my child out weighs them. It's not a sacrifice like it would be with another person. Very hard to explain.
    TarponMonoxide
  • You're comparing a teen to a hypothetical baby.  If you truly did want to have a family prior to taking in your BIL then there still is hope.  Taking on a troubled teenager while newly married is huge.  I think any sane person would go insane but you can't necessarily take this experience to mean that you'll hate having kids.  Like pp said, the love for your child is completely different from any other love you have and will have experienced in your lifetime.  I can't honestly say if I would ever die for DH but I can say with complete conviction that I will, without hesitation, put myself in harm's way if that meant my two kids could live.  As a child that you bring into this world you have more influence into how your future children will be raised and how they may eventually become.  You can't compare that to getting a child that's already been "damaged."  It's not the same. 

    With that said, you are still young and have many years to grow, be married, and sort through this BIL mess.  I didn't have my first child until age 33 so you have easily a decade to come into your own and look at things with a mature outlook.  In the end, yours and your DH's choice is what you make of it.  Whether you decide to have kids or not don't let the decision be solely based on your experience with your BIL. 
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    Manther1222
  • You and your H have full legal conservatorship/guardianship for the youngster?

    If not and this is some sort of agreement between him and the mother, you SHOULD.

    You should also be receiving some sort of "child support" --- if he was placed in your home as per a legal decision by the court, there should be some sort of monetary compensation per month for his support and "upkeep."

    If this was something legal where child services was part of the decision maker, it's very likely he has issues also stemming from the neglect; he probably needs a therapist/mental health professional's care, also.
    Manther1222
  • Since there is no edit button, I'll add this:

    You and your H are very young; you have zero experience raising kids. Sure this is going to be tough for you and your spouse. 
  • You and your H have full legal conservatorship/guardianship for the youngster?

    If not and this is some sort of agreement between him and the mother, you SHOULD.

    You should also be receiving some sort of "child support" --- if he was placed in your home as per a legal decision by the court, there should be some sort of monetary compensation per month for his support and "upkeep."

    If this was something legal where child services was part of the decision maker, it's very likely he has issues also stemming from the neglect; he probably needs a therapist/mental health professional's care, also.
    Exactly. This whole situation is very sad. I feel bad not just for OP and her H for taking on such a huge responsibility, but also I feel bad for the child involved. It's not his fault he has a crappy mother and all of the issues with him misbehaving, swearing, etc def stems from the very obvious neglect/abuse he's suffered. I think counseling for him would do him a world of good, especially now that he's a teenager and going through a lot of changes being the age he is. And OP, obviously the decision is yours if you guys choose to have kids in the future, but remember, you would be the parents and raise your own how you see fit - don't let this experience put you off from the idea of ever having children of your own down the road.
  • There's a difference between raising "someone else's" versus having your own. 

    You got a child when you're not ready, which is putting doubts in your mind. However, given the situation, you had no choice, but I think in time, once you make your way out of debt, you might want children. It's just a struggle right now.

    I hope things work out! Are there any other family members who could pitch in? 
  • There is a huge difference between raising another person's child, especially a child that has been abused and/or neglected and might have all kinds of mental health issues, and raising your own child from scratch with your own values and morals.  It isn't perfect all the time but the two are wildly different situations.  If you decide not to have kids that's totally fine but I wouldn't make my decision solely based on this situation.

    Good luck to you-sounds like an awful situation all around.  I hope you find the help you need.
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    Manther1222
  • duckie1905duckie1905 member
    Fifth Anniversary 500 Comments 5 Love Its
    edited August 2013
    I'm not sure why my comment posted twice, sorry!
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  • You need a signed legal agreement for your protection and for that of the kiddo --- suppose something happened to the kiddo? OR to the two of you?

    Not to mention this is a great deal for the 2 of you to bite off and chew. Caretaking a child is demanding and even more so if there are issues that the child has.

    Get yourselves to an attorney today -- get a social worker to recommend somebody who has good experience in guardianship/conservatorship of a child. 
    catmiss9
  • the boy need counseling, get it for him and please do not give up on him he needs you. 
  • 13 is a tender age for every kiddo.

    He also needs house rules.

    Sit down with him and make it an agreement that he is to do things like be relatively neat in the home, get good grades, don't mouth off to adults, obey a curfew, tell you where he is going and with who and what time he will be back (a time the 3 of you have agreed on), that he stays out of trouble in school and that he gets involved in one sport and one extracurricular activity.

    The extracurricular activity can be anything: a school club, Scouts, something your town sponsors for kids via the rec department, etc.

    The last 2 are for him --- he'll make some good friends and learn to work on an endeavor as a team.

    Derek Jeter had an agreement like the one I described --- it's in his book if you want to read more about it.

    Know his friends and where they live and get to know the parents. If you don'/t like the kid for a very good reason, then he's not permitted to be a friend of that person.

    Every kid's got a cell phone but given his situation, get him the kind of phone that only makes phone calls: no texting, no pictures, just phone calls.  There are many on the market. Jitterbug is one of them.
  • Thanks for all the advice! We are doing better as a family. Still don't want kids, but that's okay.
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