single mom considering adoption for my two year old
I don't know what to do; I wanted to put my son up for open adoption when he was first born but my parents (mainly my dad) talked me out of it. Now i am back to wanting to. I love my son and don't want to put him up but I don't think I am the best choice parent. I don't want to go crazy and harm him or get strung out on drugs and have him witness that. I am trying to clean up my life but I am so afraid I am just one step away from losing it. I have a mental illness sort of and I do right by him for the most part but there are so many things i have done like smoking in front of him. I just want the best for him and because right now I am not the best I dont want to put him through the crap I am going through. I am trying to do school, work, and take care of him. I keep having nervous breakdowns and Im tired of it. My family says worst come they will take him yet last year they didnt take him and I don't want to go through the guilt of them taking over for me when they really don't want to plus they arent in any position themselves to take him. I really don't want to give my son up forever but I need some time to get right otherwise hell continue to see bad things that could affect him later in life. I dont know...I know I can be a great mom to him I just have issues to work through. I am hurting so much I just want to do right by him. I DONT KNOW WHAT TO DO.:grr:
Have you spoken to a counsellor about getting help? Can you get some sort of temporary foster care? Hopefully, there will be other more qualified people on these boards that can help you (I don't live in US so don't know what is available).

Now i am back to wanting to. I love my son and don't want to put him up but I don't think I am the best choice parent.

You are the best choice parent because you are his mum, you just need help.
When I read your post... It sounds to me like you want to be your sons mom.... And you believe you can be a good mom. But things are really tough right now and you are feeling overwhelmed.

School, work and toddler is hard to juggle. It's hard for anyone. Give yourself a break. While you may be disappointed in some of the choices you have made... If you have not abused your son, then he will probably survive your choices. Smile.

How can you help yourself get some relief and start making better choices? I guess I would start there.

Do you have anyone who can help you out on the weekends? Is there a daddy in the picture? A paternal set of relatives?

Take one day at a time. Single parenting is overwhelming.

If you seriously want more information on placing him, we can talk about it.... But your post really seems to me that you want to parent.
I think you should try to find out about what types of support are available in your area. This might be a private social service agency or your state or county social services. Just ask what temporary supports are available to help you get more stable. At the same time, I know others have been on these boards that sought a temporary foster care situation and ended up having to fight to get their kids back, so I would proceed slowly and with as much councel from third party support as possible.
That being said, I'm a single mama too and I hope you get on your feet so you can raise your little one the way you want to (it sounds like you think you could do a better job than you are now- hey that's pretty normal). My current foster kiddo also has a single mom and she put him in voluntary placement so she could get clean and healthy to be the mom he deserves. She's the best mom for him, and I hope she is successful in her improvement plan and that he will eventually go back home to a better situation than the one he left. In the meantime he is doing great and growing in so many ways. In a few months they may both have a whole new lease on life! I wish you and your little one the same outcome.
Call social services in your county and inquire about respite care - from what I dug up online, there is something in your state called the California Child Care Initiative Project, which allows parents to temporarily place their child in the care of's a technical, but informative description of what's apparently available to you in the state of CA:

In addition to the services described in Section 8212,
a child care resource and referral program, established to serve a
defined geographic area, may provide short-term respite child care.
"Short-term respite care," for purposes of this article, means
temporary child care services to do any of the following:
(1) Provide services to families identified and referred by child
protective agencies.
(2) Relieve the stress caused by child abuse, neglect, or
exploitation, or the risk of abuse, neglect, or exploitation.
(3) Assist parents who, because of serious illness or injury,
homelessness, or family crisis, including temporary absence from the
home because of illness or injury, would be unable without assistance
to provide the normal care and nurture expected of parents.
(4) Provide temporary relief to parents from the care of children
with exceptional needs.
(b) Pursuant to the delivery of short-term respite child care
services, priority shall be given for the provision of services to
families identified and referred by child protective agencies

From what you've written here, it sounds like your situation likely falls under #3.

I also located a number of agencies in CA that offer short-term respite care. You can do a Google search for something like "respite/child care agencies" along with your city and state abbreviation and see what comes up.

I agree with others that it sounds like you want to continue parenting, but need a break and some assistance with health/emotional issues, among other things. I'd take advantage of services offered to you in an effort to continue parenting.
Thank You For Your Responses. I Feel Less Overwhelmed After Reading Them. I Will Look Into The California Respite Care. I Really Don't Want To Go Through The Legal Proceedings Of A Temporary Foster Care Especially If There Is A Chance Of Having Difficulty Getting My Son Back; So I Will Leave That As A Last Option. I Think The Best Thing Is To Slow Down And Not Make Rash Decisions. With The Stress And All, I Am Not Thinking Straight And I Dont Want To Jump Into Something That Will Make Things Worse. I Suppose Its Time To Pick School Or Work And More Quality Time With My Son. School I Think I Can Do, In Spite Of Depression And Anxiety. Work Is Harder With The Depression. I Just Need Time To Work Through A Decision With A Counselor...preferrably Christian. So Thats Where I Am At. California Respite Care And Taking A Quarter Off And Just Doing School And Deciding If Work Should Come Into Play Or Not. I Already Quit One Of My Jobs. I Think Ill Quit The Internship In January And Just Do School. Thanks Again Everyone. Feel Free To Comment On My Current Plan And Add Any Ideas.
It does sound like you are way overscheduled and stressed with too many things on your plate. Before making a rash decision to place your child, I would see if reducing other obligations, as you plan to do, will help. School and work are hard enough to do on your own without a child. See if you can get some kind of respite support and cut back on the internship and the job. Get yourself through school, then you will be in a better position to get a good job. Does your school offer some kind of assistance to help single moms? At the least, they should have counseling available to anyone, most likely free of charge. Are you getting proper medical treatment for your depression and anxiety? Managing that will also help. Do you know other single moms through school or in your neighborhood? Perhaps there is an opportunity to form a support system where you can help one another. Good luck with everything and keep us posted.
I was there! I was a single mom at 20, working, going to school and trying to raise my son. I also suffer from depression. I did not always make the right choices and was oftentimes not very patient with him. (He was also a very difficult child - ADD) I look back and feel a lot of guilt about some of the choices I made and the selfishness I often displayed. BUT, I loved him and he is now a well adjusted 23 yr old man who is engaged to a lovely girl and has a great job. He calls me several times a week just to talk and we have a great relationship. It sounds to me like you do love your son, you just have too much on your plate. You might also see about getting some help for depression. I so wish I had done that sooner in life. There is no shame in being on medication for depression if that is what is needed! I hope it helps to know that you are not the only one to go through this. You can make it!
My heart breaks for you...
My heart breaks for you after reading your post. If you need someone to talk to just pm me. I am not a single mom but I am the one who is home with the kids, shuttling, etc...while husband works. I may not understand all that you are going through but I do understand anxiety/depression and worrying about my decisions for my children. From one mother to another, I will be a friend...
If you have family that is willing to take him in for you, how about you move in with them for a while to ease the burden a bit? Whether that's your parents or siblings, or aunts/uncles. It is not ideal, but what's worst is losing your child because right now, you feel overwhelmed. Taking some of that pressure off you will keep you from feeling resentment from your son, and will give him other people he can go to/rely on when you are busy with all you do.

My heart goes out to you.
My area has voluntary foster care -- the mom/dad voluntarily puts the child into foster care for 30 days, and they are set up with mental health services, parenting classes, etc.
Maybe you could do that? If you're not sure about adoption, I would go that route rather than contacting adoption agencies.
First of all it is obvious you love your son and you say you want the best for him but the best for him is being with you.

All you need to do is to get some help in straightening yourself out. You might give him up and you regret it and he resents you for it.

Try to seek help, talk to a counsellor and seek people who can support you and do right by your son by being their for him, a good mother.
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Relax - stop working and be with your child
Please relax - go to the Dr and get some Anti-Ds. You love your child. Loads of people smoke cigarettes - just try to smoke in the garden. No big deal.

If you can, stop work, stop studying, go on welfare and just be with your child for a while until you feel better.

You have the rest of your life to pay the US Treasury back. Have a few food stamps now and just breathe and enjoy your baby for a while.

Do not give him up to someone because they have more money than you.
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