I'm Not Sure What To Think - Teenage Son Going to Be A Father


#1

I’m not sure what to think right now. Today, my 17-year-old told me that his girlfriend is pregnant. Due to his past behavior and his abuse of alcohol and drugs, he has not lived with me for the past two years and is in the care of his father.

When he told me the news today, I didn’t know if I wanted to yell at him or cry. I reconverted back to the Church a couple of years ago (after my son left my home) and I can’t seem to understand why God has placed this new situation in my life. I need some kind of guidance on how to think about this. Part of me is angry at myself for not being able to be the kind of moral example he needed when he was younger, and not being flexible enough to handle nearly-grown child’s problems. But then another part of me is smiling inside because a new life has been created in my family. :o I’m very torn about this.:ouch:

I want to know if there are any parents out there who are or were in a similar situation. How did you deal with it? What role did your faith play in handling the situation? He’s taken steps to join the Navy after he graduates this summer. They don’t have any real concrete plans on how they’re going to be handling this. I’m getting all sorts of advise from my family and they’re all telling me that my son is not ready to be in a commitment like a family and marriage. It’s all so confusing…

Any insight you can give would be helpful…I’ll fill in any blanks you may have questions about…God Bless.


#2

For the same reason He put me at the place where I am today with my daughter…This baby will need to have a strong role model and you are it.
Just remember, your son made choices. You may have done the teaching, but he did the choosing. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Kathy


#3

You can be happy that a child is coming, even if you’re not happy with how the child came in the first place. I’ll be praying for you and your son and I’ll remember you guys at Mass tonight.

I don’t think marriage is recommended until after the baby is born, at least, due to the fact that a lot changes with a baby and marriage is a huge decision. I know a couple who was wondering the same thing and that’s what the priest told them. It all seems so confusing right now, but trust that God will show His hand in this. Be there for your son and his girlfriend in every way that you can and pray that they can sort everything out.


#4

First of all…Congradulations Tonks40 on becoming a new Grandma:)

Second:…Praise God that this young girl chose Life for her child.:thumbsup:

Third: Pray that both parents fully accept responsibility for the upbringing and care of this precious child.

I can sort of relate to your situation though. Two days ago I became a Great Aunt when my teenage nephew and his 16 year old girl friend had a baby girl. I just pray that when the excitment of the birth winds down and the day to day events of rearing a child take place, they will be just as committed. I pray this for Your son and the baby’s mother as well.

Please do not focus on the past concerning your son’s troubles, but focus on the Future and be a Solid and Loving role model for this child and the parents, and enjoy being a Grandma (I sure am:thumbsup: ) God Bless you all.:slight_smile:


#5

I’m not sure if the baby has been born or not, but make sure they know that it is wanted…or that they can adopt it out!

As for the rest - I don’t know what advise I can give you, I honestly don’t, but maybe good can come out of this. I don’t think your son’d tell you if he didn’t feel that he needed you or your imput. Maybe its not too late to set a good example for him. Maybe you could show him the faith you now have. Maybe you could allow him to move back in if that is what he wants. Of course I don’t know the particulars, but maybe…

Catholig


#6

Encourage both of them to go see a counselor at Catholic Charities or a pregnancy help center (crisis pregnancy center). Encourage the whole family to go to counseling-- his & yours.

Help them explore both options of parenting and adopting out the child.

Try had to save your anger for another time and show only love and support to the couple. In today’s society, they are probably getting advice from friends and maybe even family to abort.

So, be the voice of reason and help them in their hour of need. It’s certainly OK to encourage them towards chastity and the Church. But, don’t yell, threaten, etc. Provide as much support as you can. It sounds like your son is trying to turn his life around even though this happened.


#7

God placed this situation in your life? I think not. without going into any details at all about why the boy’s father left the marriage, the fact is it happened, no need to talk about whose “fault” it was, but it happened, so the boy got less than ideal model of faithful husband and father and manhood. he also is a teenager with raging hormones and you probably know little about the girl or the relationship they have.

The emphasis now is on dealing with the situation at hand, not recriminations about how it came about. Emphasize that because he has claimed adult rights he now has adult responsibilities. The Navy will ensure he meets his financial support obligation, and I hope he volunteers it before the girl has to take legal action. Marriage would be completely unwise, and a Catholic pastor, and many other pastors, would advise against it if the pregnancy is the only reason, because it implies force and lact of valid consent.

If it can be done, a meeting with all 4 parents and the teens to discuss the situation rationally, and consider the immediate needs and welfare of the pregnant mom and the baby, are in order. the rest of the family can butt out, and you can politely tell them so, unless they are in a position, professional or otherwise to actually help, not criticize and recriminate.

You ask for help right now to meet this crisis. In raising 3 teens of my own plus fostering, my only answer is the rosary. There simply is no other way for you to get yourself through these parenting crises. It sounds so pat but it is so essential. Put yourself in the place of and in sisterhood with the Mother who faced such crises herself, and for most of the time was utterly helpless to avert any of the threats against her son.


#8

Try had to save your anger for another time and show only love and support to the couple.

This is absolutely the single best piece of advice, IMO. And of course, to pray!

On a side note, your son is ALREADY a father. After all, the baby has become as real as he or she is going to get at conception.


#9

when the shock of this wears off you will have do deal with being a Grandma long before you hoped for it, so prayer to St. Anne is also in order.


#10

Tonks40,

I cannot offer advice but I will include your family in my daily prayers.

I can only imagine your confusion right now. God Bless you and your family.


#11

Twenty-one years ago my 17 y/o brother told me his girlfriend was pregnant. I was incredibly sad for him, because I knew it would put more difficulty in his life. In our family men stand up for their responsibility so it was never a question if he would be involved. It did change his life and he did struggle in lots of ways.

Fast forward 21 years and I have a wonderful grown-up nephew. Five years ago my brother died unexpectedly from a brain infection. It was after his death that I could see God’s great wisdom in allowing my brother to become a father at such a tender age. I am so very thankful that my nephew had 15 years to know and love his dad. I am thankful that my brother had 15 years as a father. And now that he is gone I am thankful that God left a little part of him behind in my nephew. Who knows what plans God has in store for all of you and how this really will be a incredible blessing in the midst of many struggles.


#12

I’m so sorry you are going through this, and that your son has made such bad choices.

I really think that someone who, at the young age of 17, has already had problems with alcohol and drug abuse, is NOT ready to be a father. In AA, they tell you not to count on anything until you have 5 years of sobriety under your belt. And even then it’s not a sure thing.

Any girl who would sleep with a drinking, drug-abusing 17-year-old is also NOT ready to be a mother. She obviously has no idea about responsibility or how serious a matter conception is.

I think the absolute best thing anyone can do is encourage them to give the baby up for adoption. Their pain, the grandparents pain, over the loss of that little person DOES NOT MATTER when it is compared to the right of that child to be raised in an intact family with two parents completely invested in him or her. The baby is the ONLY one with any rights here.


#13

Ok first off I am appaled at some of the responses on this topic.

I cant believe how JUDGEMENTAL some of the posters have been.

we have one calling the teens father less than a man, less than faithful, and less than a Father, all that without even knowing situation or persons involved,but has already ASSUMED the worst for this man.

we have another poster that has already judged the mother to be not responsible and potentially unfit, again never met this young lady and has no knowledge of circumstances of the relationship.

now lets get on to other thins I have had my say about the “judging of others”

I want to ask you (OP) a question, when you had your first child what did you do?how did you treat that child?

you are going to be a grandma, that means you get to do everything all over again, However this time around you get to send the child home when he/she gets on them nerves that kids get on. you are going to love this child, you will hold this child, etc. this child will be no different from any other child that has been born, except its your own flesh and blood as well.

the circumstance around the preganancy are not for us to judge, or look down upon,

My advice to you would be get to know the young lady,treat her as you should treat everyone with love and respect.and as your own child, I agree with everyone else here that you should not push marriage over this, however let this gal know you will be there for her as well as for your son, I do not advocate pushing them to “adopt out” either,sounds all easy and dandy but long term effects from departure last a long long time sometimes a life time, the child will also in many cases feel they were “thrown away” they do not look at it while young as the Birth parents doing what was “best for them” or what needed to be done etc.
its a huge responsibility no doubt, and you as a parent of one of the parents has a certain responsibility as well. what that will be is up to you.

You asked why God would do this to you,we will never know any reasons as to why, BUT I can say I have been witness to many teens prone to troubled situations suddenly grow up Mature and become extremely responsible people from just this type a situation. maybe that is a potential reason, again we will most likely never know.

anyways Congratualtions on the upcoming newest member to your Family may the child be healthy, happy and bring Joy to your world as well…

John
.


#14

What duskyjewel and puzzleannie said. I’ve been in your boat. Keep praying and keep paddling, my friend. It gets easier over time.


#15

God has not “done this to you”. God gives us free will, your son used his free will to have sex with girlfriend resulting in pregnancy. At this moment my bestfriend (since grade school) is at the hospital with her 17 year old daughter (and the daughter’s 16 year old boyfriend) expecting the birth of her first grandchild.

Almost 18 years ago my best friend was in her daughter’s position. She gave birth at 17. Even though she had tried to commit suicide twice as a teen (due to sexual abuse) experimented with drugs and alcohol she very much had a right to be a mother even though the circumstances were less than ideal. She married her 19 year old boyfriend two weeks after her daughter was born. She now has three children and has been married almost 18 years. She gave her daughter everything she didn’t have - a stable two parent family free from abuse, a home in a good community with good schools, she took her daughter to Christian events promoting chasity and still her daughter made the choice to have sex with her boyfriend resulting in pregnancy. It’s called free will.

By the way as a teenager I slept with a drinking, drug abusing seventeen year old and although I didn’t get pregnant, if I did I don’t think that takes away my rights as a mother. That 17 year old is my now 35 year old husband of 16 years who is a fantastic father to our 11 year old and a devout Catholic.

Even though I am an adopted child I resent how easily some people want to take away a mothers rights. My best friend was judged and treated like she was stupid and incapable when in fact she sacrificed everything for her child. While the rest of us enjoyed our youth she had her own home, where she cooked, cleaned and cared for her child -she was a wife & mother while the rest of us were going to prom.

Tonks I’m sorry your going through this. I know how devastated my friend was when she found out her daughter was pregnant. And she too blamed herself because being a teen mom her self she felt as if she gave a poor example. Now as her grand-daughter is about to be born she has moved forward -despite the circumstances a child is always a blessing and should be treated as such. She and her husband have been very supportive of her daughter and have tried to give guidance to the 16 year old boy who comes from a less than perfect family situation. What’s done is done -you can’t change the past, you can only deal with what is to come. Don’t blame yourself. I came from an intact two parent family and I still had sex as a teen (although I contracepted so I didn’t get pregnant).

Your child and his girlfriend have chose life -thank God for that. Do your best to support them. My prayers are with you.


#16

This has to be one of the worst post I have read. I am sorry, but you have no idea who these people are and you are being incredibly judgemental!! ALso, it absoluetly has to be the parents of the chld who make the decision to put their baby up for adoption, that is not a decision for anyone else to make for them. To the OP, I was a single mom at the age of 20, the best thing I ever did was to go to counseling at Catholic Charities, my while family went. ALso, to go back to participating in my faith fully. I now have a 19 year old son that has blessed m y life and many others with his life. I will keep you in my prayers.


#17

That would be me. John, can you explain to me how I am wrong? What we do is who we are. This young woman has shown her willingness to be irresponsible with new life by risking making it with a person who is a drug and alcohol abuser. How am I wrong in calling her irresponsible and saying she is not ready for motherhood? Are you saying that in the name of being non-judgemental, the entire well-being and future of this child should be risked, so that we can feel good about not saying the truth?

We are REQUIRED to judge behavior as either right or wrong, and then to embrace right behavior and reject wrong behavior. We are REQUIRED to correct, in private first, wrong behavior by others. What we are not allowed to do is pretend we are God on Judgement Day and say anyone is going to Hell. That is what “judge not lest ye be judged” means. People like you who think we are bad Christians for calling bad behavior bad behavior are misusing the Bible.

I have absolutely no interest in preserving the rights or protecting the feelings of people who would subject an innocent baby to drug addiction and alcoholism, or who would think a person who accepts these behaviors is an appropriate guardian for an innocent child. The child’s rights and interests must come first. And if anything can be done to get the child out of a situation where he is nearly guaranteed to suffer at least neglect and probably abuse, because drunk/drug addicted parents and their co-dependents are so focused on their own issues and drama that the child comes WAY second, then it should be done.

The child’s best interests come first, fixing the parents’ problems can be done after the child is served. The child only gets one chance. He cannot be expected to put his irreducible needs on hold while waiting around for his parents to shape up. If he is forced to do that, he will be damaged and his chances in life will be unfairly curtailed. Stuff happens in life, and we deal with it the best we can. But to pre-emptively, knowingly force a child to be raised in a situation where we KNOW his needs will most likely not be met is WRONG.

If that makes me uncharitable, well, then I will take the chance of erring on the side of the innocent child and his needs, and answer for it later. I really can’t understand why so many people want to cater to the wrongdoers here and, pardon the language, screw the child. Why are his needs not first on everyone’s list? Why are we so willing to preserve the “rights” of people who do wrong and so willing to sacrifice innocent children and their futures?


#18

Duskyjewel -life is not as black & white as you’d like it to be.

By the time I reached my teens my mother had developed mental illness. I was subjected to vicious verbal attacks almost daily. Should I have been pulled from parents home and placed in foster care?

Although my bestfriend had experimented with alcohol and drugs as teen she did neither while she was pregnant and hasn’t touched an illegal drug since. She does drink socially on occasion. Early in here marriage she experienced physical abuse from her husband. Her and her husband spent several years in marriage counseling and have long had a stable, loving marriage free from violence. Should she have lost custody of her daughter? Would that have been more beneficial for her child? Or should she have divorced him and raised her child as a single parent?

I married at 18, and what I thought was immature binge drinking on my husbands part turned out to be alcoholism. My husband battled to stay sober for the first seven years of our marriage. Should I have lost custody of my child? Or divorced my husband and raised my child without her father? My husband finally (with God’s grace) was able to maintain sobriety and has been sober for over 10 years. My daughter has no memory of the difficulties we experienced. But she does have a close, loving relationship with her father which she would not have if I had chose differently.

You seem quick pass these judgements without even personally knowing the people involved which is very unwise. People can and do change. You don’t know this child’s needs will not be met, you don’t even know the people involved. You don’t have enough information to be passing judgement.


#19

Real quick because I have to go to Mass tonight:

Thank you for the responses, prayers, and encouragement so far. Learning the news about the new baby was a shock for me, though many have predicted that this might happen.

I’ll address some of the concerns that were brought up when I get back tonight.

God Bless!


#20

Good points.

As someone who had to deal with an adult alcoholic family member (and trust me, it was bad - bad enough that it ended up doing such a number on her health that I’m sure it contributed to her death) when I was growing up, I can attest that the normal niceties and rules go out the window until the situation gets back under control - and I wish that someone would have been “judgmental” with her early on - a few lives may have been saved.

And the prohibition against being judgmental is not absolute. Obviously judging one’s soul is beyond our grasp, and criticizing emotions/feelings/motivations should be avoided (since sometimes people do not have sufficient refelction when the emotion hits, or in fact sometimes the emotions are really not sinful), but when it comes to mortal sin behavior, speaking against it is NOT judging - it is the work of mercy called “admonishing the sinner”. And if you ask me, maybe if there was an increase in judgmentalism in society there might be a decrease in promiscuity.

And the etxra scrutiny when dealing with people involved in substance abuse is not so much judgementalism as much as it
is the virtue of prudence. Additionally, the OP stated in the first post that there was substance abuse, so she did in fact give us a window into the situation, even if it was a small window. Although she didn’t indicate how bad it was or if it will take a full 5 years that AA recommends, we do know that there is a history and if it bears mentioning in the post it bears monitoring. It’s simple common sense.

That being said, the first order of business is getting the baby born safely.

And if there is concern about the fitness of the parents, then an alternative to putting the baby up for adoption is for the grandparents to be closely involved in the raising of the baby. It may even call for the grandparents to get some form of custody for a time.


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