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I’m Too Young to Be a Grandma

In just a few weeks, my oldest daughter will be a third generation teen mom. My own mother had me at sixteen. I had my daughter at nineteen. My daughter is now eighteen and the baby will be here in a few weeks.

I’ll never forget the moment she called and told me. She was crying so hard, I couldn’t even understand her. And even when she repeated it, it still didn’t sink in.

It wasn’t my life that flashed before my eyes, it was her future. We were just weeks away from her high school graduation. We had been making plans for her to attend one of the local colleges, discussing finances and whether she would work while she went to school and what kinds of summer job she wanted.

All of that was gone. On the day of her graduation, I think I was the only parent there that was crying out of sadness rather than pride or joy. I pasted on a smile throughout the whole ceremony to conceal my own pain, fear, and anger.

She had struggled through all four years of high school and really started improving during her senior year. I saw promise and hope in her. But after she got pregnant, I saw so much despair and frustration that I could barely look at her, standing there in her cap and gown.

I did everything I could to “fix” it. I begged. I bribed. I threatened. And I cried. A lot. I tried coming to terms with it and getting used to the idea but I just couldn’t. It just didn’t seem real. And every time I thought about it, it just upset me and stirred up so much emotion, similar to those described as the stages of grief.

Her therapist kept telling me I need to support her and reminded me that the decision is hers to make. But how do I support her? How do I do that without lying to her? How do I do that without her thinking I’m condoning her actions?
Part of me wonders if it’s my own fault. I raised my kids to believe they could handle anything life threw at them. Thanks to me, she’s convinced she can do this. I, however, have my doubts. I’m worried about the burdens that will fall on me because I allow them.

It’s going to be a difficult journey for all of us. I’m slowly but surely warming up to the idea. I went to her ultrasound with her, I took her to register for baby stuff, I gave her some ideas for names. But some of those old feelings are still there. Some days I slip back into sadness and anger. I hate the name she picked out, I loathe her boyfriend who isn’t the child’s father, I’ve disowned her, and refused to let her move back home.

I have friends who have been there, done that, and they keep telling me things will change when the baby gets here. I sure hope so.

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