The time draws near; Alexandra's baby will be here soon. She is still somewhat conflicted about this new little life. Alexandra understands she has two small children who desperately need their mommy and perhaps the idea of caring for a third child completely overwhelms her. I see how much Alexandra loves her children. She has worked very hard to comply with and compete the many tasks she must finish to regain custody of Nathan and Leilah. She loves her children very much; she loves Nathan and Leilah with all of her being.

Alexandra puts on a very brave and stoic face, but I worry. I think she is anxious about HOW she is going to provide for three small children. Like most parents, Alexandra loves being able to give her children special toys and gifts. I want her to realize, before it is too late, her children really want her - not stuff. It is wonderful to be able to give children stuff. I think the reality is that any child would take his or her parents physical presence, time and love over a toy any day.

Financial security and/or lack of money are huge issues for my daughter. Not having enough money puts stress on any one. I worry Alexandra does not truly understand the future means longer than next month's rent.

Alexandra is so young; her own needs often preempt the needs of her children. She knows this and she also knows she is to put the needs of the baby she carries and her small children before her own. She knows she is supposed to look out for her children's well being. Yet her own survival skills overtake her and she finds herself trying to cope without a good support system.  (Please note: Alexandra has a great support system available to her, should she want it.  Dr. Phil has provided nearly unlimited resources for Alexandra. One of them is counseling for Alexandra and me together.)

I do not think Tony is a good support system. He is an emotional child himself. How is Tony going to deal with the sudden influx of three busy, needy children? What are Tony's coping skills? My limited conversations with Tony were disconcerting.  I am not sure Alexandra would even be with Tony today if she were not pregnant with his child.

As I write this blog, I sound like I know what I am talking about; as though my profound insight will cause Alexandra to suddenly say to herself: "Wow! Mom really knows what is best for me and my family! I better stop everything and follow her orders!" The reality: Alexandra has to figure all this out for herself. We all know I should butt out! Butt - I won't...

I see Alexandra as my ten year old little girl, facing the world with enthusiasm and optimism. I am heartbroken to see her so distressed and unsure.  I want to swoop her up, give her a million kisses and hug and make everything all better!
Replied By: capwtp on Sep 24, 2010, 11:56PM
My daughter is 37 years old and sitting in Arizona Dept of Corrections for crimes related to drugs.  The drug was meth.  She was in drug chase and haze cycles for about 9 years.  During this time she did little to keep in contact with her son who is 12 years old.  Drugs shut down the mothers instinct to care for her children.  Currently, she is serving her second prison term.  
It is very sad for the child never knowing if Mom will ever be there like Mom should be.  
My daughter had a stable home - no alcohol or drugs at all.  She completed high school, had 3 years of college, marriage and a baby by 24 - then it went down in flames.  Alcohol, DUI, Meth addiction as well as other "recreational drugs".  For cash she advertised herself for sex on Craiglist.  
I have lived through hell seeing her son break down and cry.  He has been to counseling to deal with the issues.  Before her last jail term she put twin baby boys for adoption.  They went to a good family.  The twins deserved to be in a home with a Mom and Dad that can love and care for them.  I could not commit to helping raise the twins because I did not see that they would have a future with their birth mother.  There are good families ready for adoption.  Give the kids the best home possible.  I know you love Alexy's children - but everytime you see them you feel angry and pity for them because of their Mom.  The kids do not need that.  You deserve to be Grandma and Grandpa and have fun.     
I know you think it will happen one day that she will get sober - but it might be 10 years - it might be 20 years - or it might be never.  The children should not have that burden of hope on them.  Alexy has been offered the best treatment possible and she refuses it - she is not ready - and will not be for a very long time.  Give the babies the gift of a family through adoption.   
Replied By: sybillealdrich on Sep 20, 2010, 3:41PM
I could not believe my eyes... I was re-living my own nightmare.. I have custody of my daughters 3 children ages 7,8, 12. I am a single grandparent..
Not only was my daughter addicted to meth and whatever else she could get her hands on, now she has a terminal illness, and I have a restraining- order against her. The fathers  of the children are incarcerated.
It has been a unbelievable nightmare for our family ( my other daughter, and  her children). I have been unable to be a grandparent to my other grandkids because I am too busy being a mother to the 3  that I have custody of.. I always thought that my daughter would turn her life around... she never did...
Erin is very fortunate to have Marty to help out with the children.
Please let Erin and Marty know, that they are not alone.. There are so many of us Grandparents  stepping up to the plate in similar situations.
Replied By: ethioflower on Jul 4, 2010, 9:07AM
Erin, Erin, dear Erin,

Could you please stop helping Alexandra?  You have been helping her raising her two children and of course, you will be raising them in the future too.  But are you going to help with this third baby who belongs to Tony?  Of course as you said, it is about the children, but again ?  It is going to be crazy and very difficult for you.  If you are going to feel sorry for Alex and do it again for the third time, she will definitely bring the fourth one.  NO doubt about it. 

As a mother, you have done more than enough.  You are being emotionally tormented by her for all your hard work and generosity.  I think it is more than enough.  So, let her handle it on her own without you involving at all.  Keep taking care of those two, they already belong to you.  I mean there is no way that Alex could raise them.  So, take care of those two and stop helping her with this third one.  Let her feel the pain and she may come back to her senses one day.  Right now, no matter what you say, she is not going to listen to you.  I mean it looks like it.  Only when, she feels the pain, that she will start to go in the right direction.  I mean would you please consider my opinion. 

Finally, I really applaud you for all your hard work and openness inviting your life to the world.  It takes a lot of courage, so, you are somebody to be admired a lot.  Please take good care of yourself, stop being angry and hurt yourself.   Just relax! 
Your admirer
Replied By: merrijig on Jul 1, 2010, 10:36PM
Hi Erin,

you bear the same name as my youngest grand daughter who was born while her mother and 2 year old sister were living with me after her husband told her she was too hard for him. She was too hard for me too coming home in a state of severe depression. But with great medical attention she is now living independantly and is very proud of herself for doing so so well.

I would like you to feel as proud of your daughter as I do of mine. So that you can I would suggest that you allow her to make some mistakes, stop yourself from constantly telling her where she is going wrong and how she should do things. Let her clean up her own messes if she makes mistakes and once she is standing on her own two feet tell her how proud you are of her rather than reiterate where she went wrong. I know it is difficult, but it is important for her to work these things out for herself if she is ever going to be a strong proud young woman. I am sure this is what you want for her.

I had to learn to shut up, button my lip and not criticise when I really wanted to with my daughter as like yours she would get her back up but was a bit more respectful than Alex is to you. Still respect is something earned and perhaps by your constantly telling her she is not up to the mark she has lost respect for you. it can be re earned you just need to treat her as you would like to be treated. If you would not like someone constantly telling you where you are going wrong you don't do it to her. Another hint is to stop yourself always having the answers. As a mother you get to believe that is what is expected of you but if you open the door to discussion saying you really dont' know what to do in some particular situation, you will probably find as I did that your kids will be more than happy to try and help you work out a solution thus feeling they have been a help to you and not always being the one who needs help like a baby.

I hope my suggestions are helpful to you

Replied By: merrijig on Jul 1, 2010, 10:21PM

I know that what we see in Australia is way behind the times on the Dr Phil show, but today I felt the need to offer a suggestion to you in they way you relate to Alexandra.

I know it is very hard not to always have the answers, you think as a mother that is what is expected of you, but dealing with my own now grown up children I learned that sometimes it works better if you can draw them into a conversation about a problem by saying you really don't know what you should do in this situation. It for one thing makes them think, and gives them an opportunity to feel they are helping you and not always being the one NEEDING to be helped like a baby.

Something else I would like to suggest which worked for me, was to not make too many comments or criticisms. If my daughter was making an obvious mistake that was not going to hurt anyone, I allowed her to make it. She learned better that cleaning up the consequences from a mistake than any amount of me dictating to her what the consequences would be if she didn't do what I said she should do.

I think you need to let go, give her more rope but tell her at the same time that you believe she can do it standing on her own two feet. From watching you on Dr Phil, I really believe she wants to please you, but because you tell her all the time what she does wrong, she is at a point of giving up as nothing will ever give you assurance that she is a capable young woman.

She needs to prove to herself that she can do it, and if she stumbles or struggles, let her get back on her feet by herself and praise her and tell her you're proud of her. She will light up like a beakin when she realises that she is just as proud of herself as you are.

My daughter came home to me in serious depression, pregnant and with a 2 year old daughter. I am a widow and had been quietly working my way through living my life a different way without my husband of 23 years. She was sent to me by her husband who told her she was too hard for him. She was too hard for me too but what could I do. Fortunately she landed with good medical treatment and after a few months on suitable meds for a pregnant woman she began to find her feet again. I had to at one point make it clear to her that as she had joined my life, she needed to keep that in mind and make allowances for me not coping with all she was dishing out. She was very selfish and self centred at that time, which was not her usual manner. I was her soft place to land and she landed hard.

After the new baby girl arrived, plans were made for her to move into her own house not because I didn't have the room for them all, but because it was I felt very very important for her to know she could stand on her own two feet. The house she was moving into was the same house (now my rental property) that we lived in when her biological father walked out on our family when she was 5. So she had memories of me standing on my own two feet with two little kids much like she was now faced with doing.

I tell you this so you can see that I understand what you are coping with. She is  now very proud of how she is handling life, I help out sometimes mostly physically, like fixing up shelves or helping lift some furniture. I will babysit when she needs me but she knows I am not going to be oncall or committed to a particular day or pattern. But if she has a party  she is invited to or a wedding to attend, I am happy to have the girls for a sleep over.

The pride she feels in her coping ablilities makes me feel I did the right thing, and being there in the background as a support is all she needs. She is still married, but her husband is not interested in being a family man, more interested in the pub and gambling,but he does pay his child support and they are on friendly terms for the sake of the girls.

I would like to see you initiate this sort of pride my daughter has in her own abilities, in your daughter. So my suggestion is to tell yourself to button up the lips when you feel the urge to tell her how something will work out if she continues doing whta she is doing, let her struggle and get back on her feet then praise her. Tell her even today that you are proud of how she has progressed. You will be amazed at how much this will mean to her.

Good luck Erin, you share the same name as my youngest grand daughter who was born to the daughter I am speaking about after she came home.

Bye for now Adele
Replied By: colby64 on May 22, 2010, 8:58AM
I  am a mother of 3 kids. One girl. Girls can be a handful, no doubt. But NO MATTER what they do, you have  to stand beside them and help them. You don't bash them on t.v. or to anyone. You talk to them and try to help them thru the tough times. I mean, isn't that what you would have wanted.

I do give you alot of credit for taking on those children. I know that isn't easy. I have grandkids too. But, you don't need to throw that in her face everyday either. Life happens.
 You were not there much for your family as we all know when they were younger, so ya, you should be there now and make up for it without all the crying and complaining. You sit there on that stage like you are always right with this big grin on your face, like ya, give it to her Dr. Phil. That makes me sick to see a mother act that way. That does not look like love to me!!!! Not at all! I could never do that to my kids, no matter how mad I was at them. How do you think that makes her feel. Unloved maybe????

You need to step it up and get your temper under control yourself. think about that. Alex, is doing the best with what she was taught. I do think Tony should get out, But she has NO ONE to back her. FOR SURE NOT her family and that truley sucks!
Replied By: stormxwithin on May 21, 2010, 3:27PM
I'll tell you what the future will bring--- Erin gets her plastic surgery, leaves Marty and finds someone new; Alexandra has her baby and Tony will be out of the pic; the state will take this baby; Katherine continues in her crazy, weed-enhanced state of euphoria and SHE gets pregnant.. I see nothing changing, only getting worse, in the terrible situation.
Replied By: nanna2858 on May 20, 2010, 10:40AM
Hi Erin  I feel Tony is putting his hands on your granddaughter and  Alex is looking the other way.  With this test it proves he is doing something.  Stand your grounds and fight for your grandkids because no one else will hear their cries.  I would rally like to e-mail you and talk because I am in the same boat you are in. Take care and God Bless!
Replied By: alexa04 on May 18, 2010, 8:35AM
Replied By: joyswan1 on May 18, 2010, 4:13AM - In reply to nkwoodruff
Wanderful and well said
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