May 15, 2019

Parenting can be tough, and every mom and dad has moments of feeling like they're in over their head. But for one young couple, the idea of raising their kids without family support is so overwhelming they're considering putting their younger child up for adoption.

The mom, 25, posted about her troubling family scenario to Reddit. She explained that she and her husband, 26, have a 2.5-year-old daughter and a 9-month-old son. They got pregnant with the younger child to appease the mom's family who were upset that she had an abortion shortly after the birth of her first child.

The mom said her "unreasonable thought process" was that she was "making it up to [her mother]" by having another baby. Before this, she and her husband found out they were pregnant eight months after the birth of their daughter. They "weren't ready for another child," so they terminated that pregnancy at 15 weeks.

The mom said she "felt immense guilt for disappointing my mother by having an abortion," and the "unreasonable course of action was to have another child." When she became pregnant again, she told her family she and her husband still "weren't fully ready to have another child" but they assumed they'd get "ample help" from her parents.

When Baby No. 2 was born, though, this wasn't the case at all. The mom said her family "completely left our lives." They moved away, closed their Facebook accounts and cut off all communication. According to the mom, her mother told her severing ties was "punishment for having the abortion" and that she's "not part of the family anymore."

At this point, the mom said her "support system went to zero in a matter of weeks." This has put a strain on the couple's marriage and has the mom questioning whether they ever wanted to have two kids. As she put it, "We weren't ready for a second child and honestly, I'm not sure we ever really wanted more than one."

The mom said she "wouldn't call our lives miserable, but it's close." And she wonders if putting the 9-month-old up for adoption could somehow fix this troubled family dynamic. The boy "could be raised in a better household," she reasoned, and "maybe our marriage would repair itself."

The dad here is "conflicted" and told his wife "to give him a few months to work on us." He would "like to keep both children as he loves them both," but his wife isn't so sure. As she put it, "I think deep down we all know things are in disarray now."

The mom said wanting to put the couple's younger child up for adoption is "not about money or time, [but] about stress and our desire to be a simple family." She pointed out that if they did give their son up for adoption, they could "continue on our original path of just having one child" and give their daughter more undivided attention.

That reasoning didn't elicit much empathy in the comments section. There were countless Reddit users who called the mom and dad here "selfish" and "irresponsible." Others pointed out how confusing and potentially traumatizing it would be for the 2.5-year-old if her baby brother were to suddenly disappear.

But some people recognized the solution wasn't as simple as saying, "Grow up and parent." Several commenters asked the mom if she'd talked to a professional about these feelings and asked if she could be experiencing postpartum depression.

As one user noted, postpartum depression "is a real medical situation and it needs to be treated seriously." And even if the mom here isn't suffering from it, there's a good chance she and her husband could benefit from some professional counseling.

"Please do this, instead of beating yourself up and calling yourself an a--hole," urged one kind commenter. "Give yourself grace, accept your mistakes, and accept treatment...It gets easier. You are in the hardest time now. Just put one foot in front of the other and keep open communication between your husband and yourself."