Just sign her over to us for a bit

So I’m a single mom of one and I’ve been battling depression for going on twenty plus years now. It’s recently gotten worse and it’s just the constant cloud of ‘fml’. Meds don’t seem to help much and I just have a constant sense of everything is pointless why bother. Normal shit I’ve been dealing with forever. Right now I’m living with my parents, unemployed and just not at all happy. My mom came to me last night and was like, ‘I know you’re miserable and I know that until you want to help yourself you’re not going to get better. We can’t help you until you get to that point. So maybe you just need to try something different. Why don’t you give us custody of daughter, and maybe go away. Try moving to Canada or something for a couple years. See if that helps.’ I just had like a week long trip to Canada to visit a good friend and it was amazing and I was happier than I’ve been in a long time, which is probably why she suggested Canada. But I was just kinda dumbstruck. Like, I’m not abandoning my daughter to go live life alone, why the hell would you even suggest that?

Obviously given the forum I’m not looking for advice. I know it’s on me to fix me and I’m trying. I’ve got an appointment today to see if I can get started on yet another kind of antidepressant. But seriously mom…wtf…don’t suggest things like that. It definitely does NOT help my mental state.

I hope you find what you need closer to home because, aren’t there pretty strict regs as to who can move to Canada, non-vacation wise?

It may have been clumsily made but I don’t see the suggestion as radical or insulting. She just saw you come back from Canada, as you say, “happier than I’ve been in a long time.” Why wouldn’t she want more of that for you?
Sometimes when you are struggling, putting down a burden for a little while, even one you cherish, can give you the space to get yourself on an even keel.
No advice, do what you think best, but don’t hate on your mom for wanting to see you happy.

AngelSoft wasn’t asking for advice, but I can tell you that I’ve been involved in dozens of custody cases where a grandparent or other family member made a similar suggestion “for a bit,” and in the overwhelming majority of those cases the suggestion was grounded heavily in judgment of the parent’s ability to care for the kid, and in the majority of those cases, the family member ended up trying to keep the kid permanently. If you think that suggestion was necessarily all about keeping AngelSoft happy, you’re being a little optimistic about humanity, I think.

As a child of a single mom with severe depression and who knows what else, let the kid go. It would be far better for them than forcing them to live your life. Take care of your life. Let your kid live a healthy life without you.

Right. Like that ^

Remember, from our vantage point, we have no way of knowing whether your mother is selfish and scheming or legitimately concerned about how your daughter is holding up. Do you have the sort of relationship with your mother where you can ask her specifically whether something is concerning her about your daughter?

Her mom isn’t asking to take care of her child while she seeks professional help-She is looking to take legal custody of the child from her and telling her to flee to another country. From the outside, this looks to me like “Well, I screwed the pooch on the first one-I’ll just try again with her daughter once she’s out of the way.”

Fwiw I know you can’t just move to Canada. I wish you could but I realize that they have laws regarding immigration that don’t favor unemployed non-trade-skilled people lol Go figure.

As for my mom, I’m not mad at her. Nor do I think she has anything ulterior in mind. They did the same thing for my brother when he was a single dad and having a rough time. That’s probably where she got the idea from. But I just don’t want to do that to my daughter. She’s eight, and she’d know something was up and I don’t think she’d understand why mom just left her behind. I’d never do that anyway. Yeah, sometimes I feel trapped having her, since I have to stay around my family for support with her but I know that’s not her fault. She overall is a happy kid who doesn’t seem affected by our current living situation.

And levdrakon, I don’t what you may have gone through as a kid but I don’t abuse her or completely ignore her or let her see me at my worst. Could I be a better mom? Definitely. But I don’t really think I’m at the point of causing her harm. She’s happy, well adjusted, does great in school and has lots of friends. I think as **Pábitel **said, this is more about my mom being concerned for my happiness. It just…came across really badly to me.

It comes across as really bad because there’s no reason you have to sign over custody of your daughter to do what she suggests (difficulties in moving to Canada notwithstanding). There’s a reason she’s specifically pushing custody. That’s not a temporary thing that you do while someone gets their act together.

Why should signing over custody imply you can take it back willy nilly whenever you feel the urge to parent?

FWIW, I stayed with my grandparents for 4th grade, because my mom was looking for work/housing two counties over, and wasn’t able to find it until after the school year started - so I spent the school year with the grands, and had a good time. I didn’t feel abandoned, I still saw my mom on most weekends and school holidays. I liked my grands, I still miss them, and I’m glad I had that time with them.

That would be a damn good reason to think thrice before taking such a drastic step, wouldn’t it?

I tend to think that motive is everything in these situations. If whatever is happening is being done out of kindness and mutual support, the children will pick up on that and are more apt to thrive even in an unsettled situation, whereas even a setup that seems plush and comfortable can be stressful and divisive to a child if it’s come about for selfish reasons.

Why would you need to sign over custody? They’re your parents, her grandparents. No one would think twice if you left her with them for a couple months in order to take care of yourself.

And children always know when something is wrong. Sometimes they react by hiding their pain, after all you’re doing the same thing.

I wonder if your mother is having trouble taking care of both of you. And she’s triaging by picking the most helpless.

I am not a single parent, but I am the parent of two special needs kids. I have wrestled with feeling completely overwhelmed at times. Feeling happy because you took some time off means you’re human and you, well, needed some time off. People also call this a “vacation”.

My thoughts, being an unknown person on the Internet, are keep trying to find the right combination of meds and therapy that help you start to climb out of depression. I’ve been there and it’s hard. {{{Hugs}}}

Second, try to start building in “you” time. I bet you don’t get a lot. The correct answer to your mother is something like, “What this time away showed me is how really stressed and tired I really am. The best way you can help me now is to give me 4 hours every Saturday while I go (do whatever the heckety-heck you want).” Caregivers really, really need this time to re-charge their batteries. It’s hard to ask for it. Go see a movie. Sit on a bench. Stare at clouds. See a friend. Do not wash clothes, do homework, vacuum, or buy groceries. Be completely “selfish.” It’s hard but it may really help.

The part about giving up custody of your child bothers me. I wonder why your mom suggested that instead of simply saying they’ll care for your daughter while you take care of you (whatever that may be). As others have suggested, I think there’s more there.

I also wonder if your mom thinks you’ll “snap out of it”. As we know, clinical depression isn’t like that.

The best of luck, AngelSoft. Hugs.

So I asked my mom why she specifically asked about me signing over custody. If it was concern over me or my daughter. She’s not worried about my daughter but me. Health wise, I’m toeing the line, even outside of the mental health side of it. She’s worried that if something goes wrong and I just up and die (??) that my daughter’s father is going to try to take her. I…don’t get that line of reasoning because I highly doubt he’d want her or that he’d have any chance in hell of getting her for various reasons. But…that’s what she told me.

I think they have a lot of guilt about this themselves cause I’ve been like this my entire life and they noticed when I was a kid. Apparently when they took me to a doctor he said it was just a phase and I’d grow out of it and to not worry about it. And they took his word on it. I dunno. I’m trying to find a job, hoping that getting somewhat self sufficient will help. I did tell her though I’m not doing what she suggested.

This. The most you should consider signing is a limited power of attorney allowing her to authorize medical care in your absence.

Double down on this.

There should be a way of legally designating your parents as your daughter’s next of kin/your choice for guardians if something happens to you without signing over custody at present. If that truly is your parents’ motivation here then they should help you pay for a lawyer to draw up the legal papers needed for that.