When a woman learned the baby she was carrying had Down Syndrome, her husband abandoned her, leaving her to fend for herself and her two children. Despite the odds, she tried to be a good mom to her kids, but her eldest child claimed things didn't go well.
Parenting isn't always an easy feat. Often, couples struggling to maintain a good relationship might face trouble raising their kids while every child deserves to grow up in a loving and supportive home.
Sadly, many kids might miss out on the tender love, care, and affection of a devoted parent figure, which can impact their personality. Today's story is about a woman who tried to do her best for her children, but things became far more complicated than she had thought.
A woman showing her baby bump. | Source: Unsplash
LEAVING HIS FAMILY
In 2020, a female user took to Reddit and shared a personal story in the "relationship advice" forum, hoping to find sound advice from fellow Redditors to help navigate her situation. The then-21-year-old OP said she lived in Austin, Texas, with her family.
After a heated argument, the two were said to have established some rules.
She was the eldest of two daughters, and her mom was 39 when she fell pregnant with her younger sister, whom she referred to as Mary. A few days later, her mom learned that her baby had Down Syndrome. When OP's dad discovered the news, she said he moved out and filed for divorce.
A woman holding ultrasound result film. | Source: Unsplash
MOVING TO A NEW NEIGHBORHOOD
After her father left, OP said her mom was forced to sell the house, and they moved to a new neighborhood, which wasn't an upper-middle-class community like the one where they had lived earlier. OP also added:
"During her pregnancy, she was committed to being the best mom to my sister (let's call her Mary) and me."
A few weeks after Mary's birth, who, according to OP, had no health problems other than Down Syndrome, her parents' divorce was finalized. Consequently, her mother got full custody while her dad could visit Mary twice a week. But OP said her dad didn't want to see Mary.
A person holding a baby’s index finger. | Source: Unsplash
HELPING AT HOME
Moreover, OP said that because of how her dad treated Mary, she didn't feel like having a relationship with him. She revealed that while she grew up surrounded by many nannies, she never thought her parents would go on to part ways.
Per OP, her mother didn't take the divorce so well and went into postpartum depression. After seeing her mom's condition, OP, a high school freshman then, stepped up to look after her sister.
When she returned from school, she helped her mom with the house chores and cared for Mary for the rest of the day. OP stated that despite having ten weeks of paternity leave, her mother returned to work when Mary was eight weeks old.
A young girl carrying a toddler touching a tree's leaves. | Source: Unsplash
HER MOM STRUGGLED
Once she resumed work, OP said her mother started getting better. However, she said her mom struggled to take care of Mary and found the best daycare for her. Troubled by the situation, OP called her aunt, who offered to find a therapist for her mom.
Shortly afterward, her mom began therapy. Regarding her aunt, OP mentioned that she was married into a wealthy family in Georgia and had three girls and a boy. While she never openly voiced her concerns, OP noted that her aunt was "visibly bothered" by things and pitied Mary.
OP said her father paid around $2,000 in child support for Mary and her, but that money went toward their health insurance, and the remaining amount "would be for me to buy anything Mary and I needed that wasn't food, medicine, or gas."
A baby girl with Down Syndrome. | Source: Pexels
SHE BROKE DOWN
Despite having some developmental delays, OP said her sister could walk, talk, sleep in her bed, and was potty trained by the time she was three and a half years old because she worked with her to ensure she was as independent as possible.
But around that time, OP revealed that her mother stopped going to therapy and taking her antidepressants and struggled to make peace with things. Despite trying her best to be a good mother to her two girls, she broke down, and according to OP, she started disregarding Mary.
After high school, OP knew she had to forgo college and worked for one month at her friend's mother's event planning agency. Then, she found a full-time job with decent pay. But when she turned 18, OP said her child support ended, which stressed her and her mom.
A yellow Sedan parked near the road. | Source: Unsplash
THINGS TOOK A TURN
However, after finding a new job, OP said her mother slashed her own work hours and only worked part-time because she was "tired of being the sole breadwinner and deserved to semi-retire." OP noted that she had to find a second job to meet almost 70% of the monthly expenses.
With her second job, she earned an additional $800 - $1,500 per month, and through her savings, OP said she had saved enough to buy a good used car after a year. She explained that her mom gave her a used car for her 16th birthday but refused to pay for its maintenance.
Things spiraled out of control when OP said her mom posted pictures of her car on Facebook and put it up for sale, saying that she didn't need a fancy car and should be more responsible with her finances.
A distraught-looking woman. | Source: Pexels
A HEATED ARGUMENT
After a heated argument, the two were said to have established some rules. OP recalled:
"From that moment on, our mom became like a roommate to Mary and me. I even stopped calling her 'mom' and started using her name."
Following the argument, OP was said to have had a fallout with her mom, who she said didn't treat her and Mary well. In the wake of everything, OP stated that she tried to give her baby sister the life she deserved, including fun road trips and annual Disneyland adventures.
A person holding two Disneyland passes. | Source: Unsplash
A COMPLETE STRANGER
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, OP mentioned that she and her six-year-old sister had to stay home with their then-46-year-old mother all the time.
While OP said she did her best to take care of Mary and keep her safe, the quarantine period led to another argument — she told her mom they could go their separate ways if she gave her custody of Mary. OP recounted:
"She's not abusive or hostile towards Mary, she's just.. not anything towards her. It's not even neglect because she does pay for a few things and she will babysit if I have to run somewhere, but she's literally like a stranger/roommate to us, not a mom."
An image demonstrating COVID-19. | Source: Pexels
But OP noted that she would lose the case because she wasn't financially strong enough to claim that her mother was an unfit parent. She further added that she would wait a few years to save money to afford a good lawyer and assemble copies of bills and finances to prove she could look after Mary.
However, as Mary's older sister, OP admitted she wanted the best for her and needed someone's honest advice to help her figure things out. Her viral Reddit post garnered more than 6,000 reactions, with many people sharing their thoughts in the comments. One user wrote:
"I’m so sorry, I don’t have an answer for you. All I can say is that you are so incredibly full of love and would make the best legal guardian possible for your younger sister."
A second person shared: "I encourage you to find a down syndrome support group to help you deal with the stress and offer you guidance on how to improve your and your sister's quality of life."
A worried young woman. | Source: Pexels
QUESTIONS TO PONDER
Another user added: "You probably have no idea how rare it is to be so loving and enterprising, and given your parenting, I'm sure you don't value yourself the way you should. Big hugs to you, honey."
In one of the updates to her original post, OP added that she had been contacted by a legal advisor who did pro bono work. She also thanked everyone for their overwhelming support and encouraging comments.
What are your thoughts on this story? Why do you think the husband didn't stay with his wife and child? Do you feel the woman did everything to provide a better life for her kids? Did the eldest daughter do the right thing for her baby sister? Please share your feedback with us on Facebook.
The information in this article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, and images contained on news.AmoMama.com, or available through news.AmoMama.com is for general information purposes only. news.AmoMama.com does not take responsibility for any action taken as a result of reading this article. Before undertaking any course of treatment please consult with your healthcare provider.
Widow with Five Children Feeds Poor Old Man and after a While Receives New Van as Gift – Story of the Day
June 15, 2022
Three Homeless Sisters Inherit $4.7 Million Mansion from Man They’ve Never Met Before – Story of the Day
April 26, 2022
Poor Mom Buys Baby Shoes at Flea Market, Puts Them on Her Child and Hears Crackling from Inside — Story of the Day
May 21, 2022
Poor Boy Becomes Only One Who Needs 86-Year-Old Lady after Everyone Turned Their Back on Her — Story of the Day
June 02, 2022