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Re-Mothering, A Growing Trend

August 23, 2010

There is a trend in my community and for that matter, all over the world, that I will refer to as “re-mothering.” This refers to grandmothers raising their children’s children. Thus, they are re-mothering. Why are they doing this? Out of necessity! Their children are drug addicts and not capable of caring for the babies they bring into this world. I personally know five different families in this situation. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg for my little town, there are a lot more that I personally do not know. Then there are also those cases where the grandparents can’t take care of these precious and innocent babies and they end up in foster care. All because of drugs.

The most recent addition to this trend in my community is a 2 week old baby boy. Born to drug addicted parents. The mother used Oxycontin and who knows what else during the pregnancy. The baby had trembles after birth due to withdrawals. It has now been discovered that the baby has a hole in his heart, probably due from his mother’s drug use during pregnancy. My heart breaks and aches for this innocent little child. But my heartache does not solve the problem. As a community, we need to reach out to these drug addicts. We need to offer them another way of life.

If we fail to treat addiction in this generation of parents, the problem will only grow and manifest in the next generation. But how? Do we lock them in cells for a month or two without any type of drug addiction treatment? I don’t think that’s the answer. Our government is failing this segment of the population. There is a frightening future ahead if a solution is not put into action soon. And even more discerning is the impact of the children being raised by grandparents while their own parents continue to use drugs. A great article regarding this ever-growing trend can be found here. It makes some great points about the impact of both the child and the grandparents. There are legal considerations and identity issues involved that can lead to a lot of confusion for the child.

I have found there is a wealth of information available online for those grandparents who are raising their grandchildren. Once such place of wisdom is , http://www.raisingyourgrandchildren.com/. If you know someone who is in the situation, please pass this website along to them. If you are the one doing the “re-mothering”, then I would also like to stand and applaud your generosity and commitment to the care and welfare of these innocent children. They deserve parents but are lucky to have grandparents.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. HerBigSad permalink
    August 29, 2010 7:53 pm

    “If we fail to treat addiction in this generation of parents, the problem will only grow and manifest in the next generation. But how? Do we lock them in cells for a month or two without any type of drug addiction treatment? I don’t think that’s the answer. Our government is failing this segment of the population. There is a frightening future ahead if a solution is not put into action soon.”

    I so agree. I personally feel that if we offered treatment to those incarcerated, with NO time off of the sentence for accepting treatment, that we would have a group of participants who might just be willing and ready. With no ulterior motive (such as getting out early).

    My daughter spent a lot of time sitting playing hangman on the window with soap, with her bunkies. I was able to get a Recovery Bible workbook sent to her. She is now using it in Bible studies with her bunkies. She writes with the clarity of sobriety and her bipolar medications, that she WANTS to stay clean. Obviously, they all do at that point. But, how many might actually succeed, if while they had that clarity and that desire, they were able to persue recovery while incarcerated, instead of having to wait until they got out to get help?

    She will be released, without meds and put on a bus home, on a Saturday morning. I am planning to ask my own doctor to write a Rx for her bipolar meds for a week. She can then keep taking them until she is actually IN the mental health program here, the following week. The intervening days without meds could be enough to make her relapse otherwise. Having the meds won’t PREVENT a relapse, but hopefully will enable her to continue forward motion towards her recovery without having her brain go haywire and trip her up.

    We have so much to learn as a nation, about this disease.

    • August 30, 2010 2:12 am

      Thank you for your insights. Your daughter is the perfect example of how our nation is failing in rehabilitating its citizens. Yes, there are some criminals that are not prone to rehabilitation. But addicts ARE! The majority of crimes committed by addicts are done so in order to support their habit. When these addicts are clean, they are not criminals. Therefore, logic would tell us to help get these people clean! If you and I see this, why does our government not see this?

      I will be keeping you and your family, especially your daughter, in my prayers. She is very lucky to have you in her life, encouraging her and assisting her along the road to recovery. God bless you.

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