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I Am a Father

New year, new beginnings. In a short span of time, I've found myself the sole guardian of my 14-month-old niece. And it looks like I'll be her guardian for a significant length of time. It's a lot of responsibility, but I have to recognize that I'm not just her uncle anymore. I'm her dad now. Let me explain...

A little while ago, my sister (my niece's mother) and her husband were arrested and charged with numerous very serious offenses. I don't want to go into detail (due to privacy), but the charges center on illegal drugs and the suspicion that something violent was about to occur. This shocked our family to the core, but we couldn't despair for long, because we were immediately faced with the question of what would happen to my niece.

My sister's husband is an immigrant, the first of his family to arrive here. Because of that, no one on his side of the family was an option, unless we were okay with my niece growing up in a country with fewer opportunities - and we were not. On our side of the family, my mom was not a good option, because she is getting older and, unfortunately, has some early signs of dementia. She has been consulting with doctors about her cognitive decline, and they have told her that she needs less stress in her life, not more. My dad is a non-option - we don't keep in contact with him. I have a little brother, but he is still in high school. Finally, I have aunts and uncles, but they all live out of state. My sister pleaded with us to keep my niece in the family and to keep her close by; if she went to live with one of my aunts or uncles, she'd be all the way on the other side of the country.

So, that left me. I mean, I'm pretty young and don't have much experience with babies, but I do have my own place and a good job that allows me to be financially independent and work from home. I was intimidated by the responsibility, and sometimes I still am. I try to take things one day at a time, and if I'm ever unsure of something (which is very often), I ask someone or do some research. I'm probably not the best parent right now, but I'm trying my best.

So, this year, one of my resolutions is to get even better. Raising my niece could be the most important thing I ever do in my life, and I want to get it right. I have to get it right, because she shouldn't have to suffer from her parents' mistakes.

Thanks for reading. I don't know if I'll try to delete this at a later date. Then again, it was somewhat cathartic to share my story here, so maybe I'll keep it.

Happy New Year~
LyricalOne · F
There truly are angels here on earth. All the very best to you and your precious niece.
Mamapolo2016 · 70-79, F
[@638129,LyricalOne] ☺️ Exactly.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@638129,LyricalOne] Thank you, same to you! Happy New Year
whowasthatmaskedman · 61-69, M
Good Luck (You will need it. Everyone does) As a been there and done that and doing a little tag teaming as a grandparent, the best piece of advice I can offer is that it is far more important to avoid being wrong than it is to get it right every time. Common sense and thinking things through are your friends. Parents set boundaries for the safety and social stability of the child. Spoiling them is a Grandparent thing.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@621893,whowasthatmaskedman] Thank you!
Mamapolo2016 · 70-79, F
Most of us begin parenthood just like you have. Wow! I'm a parent! How did that happen? Hardly anyone has any experience parenting before they ARE parenting, so you're not as far behind the eight ball as you think.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@663519,Mamapolo2016] Thanks again. You're right, I have to remember that I'm hardly the first parent to feel unsure or overwhelmed at times. All I can do is try my best :)
Mamapolo2016 · 70-79, F
[@870243,Swift] If you never feel overwhelmed by parenthood, you're not doing it right.
SW User
Instructions NOT included...also, diapers, formula, sleeeeep...but, it's the most selfless reward you will ever receive simply because you are her hero!
You've got this!!!
[b][i][big]Happy 2019[/big][/i][/b]
Swift · 26-30, M
[@11510,4getmenot] Haha, you are so right :) Thank you, and Happy 2019 to you as well!
ZenPearl · F
Thank you for what you are doing. I wish you all the best, and it's beautiful to see someone step up, and keep her in the family.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@674752,ZenLioness] Thank you so much! Happy New Year :)
ZenPearl · F
[@870243,Swift] Happy New Year to you, and your sweet little niece!
nowic2 · 56-60, M
you've made a courageous choice for a young guy. well done & best wishes.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@333141,nowic2] Thank you - best wishes to you as well!
Mamapolo2016 · 70-79, F
I am so glad you posted this and so glad you are there for that lucky little girl. Make sure she gets well acquainted with your brother. You'll need a babysitter for some you time. Bless you and I will keep you in my prayers.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@663519,Mamapolo2016] Thank you so much!
Daisy50 · 51-55, F
Good luck to you.At that age they need lots of care.I remember being at the drs often with my kids.Get her good insurance. Read books about parenting.Join groups to get support.You can do this.
Swift · 26-30, M
[@485257,Daisy49] Thanks! The doctor has been a great resource so far, just in terms of what to expect at her age, what she can eat, helpful resources for parents and children, etc. I don't have any parenting books, but have found some sites online that seem very informative and reputable. Maybe I should look into buying some books though!
Sunflowerx · 51-55, F
I have a feeling you will do a super job. Yes there are lots of online parenting sites where you will get support. Well done and very best wishes
Swift · 26-30, M
[@738095,Sunflowerx] Thank you. I'm going to try my best :) Happy New Year
Oldfashionedcouple · 41-45, C
Good luck and 14 yo is not easy
ZenPearl · F
[@788664,Jennykhunhan] she's 14 months old, a baby.
Oldfashionedcouple · 41-45, C
[@674752,ZenLioness] sorry. I. Misread. Haha. Thanks

 
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