Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Advice regarding my mum with my baby son

Hi so just a bit about me… I’m 23 with a little 6month old. I was raised by my single mum who when I was 7 was diagnosed with acute paranoid schizophrenia / schizoaffective disorder. Growing up things were incredibly difficult and I have a lot of resentment, anxiety and depression towards the illness- I am very awear that my mum is not to blame but it doesn’t stop me feeling the need to place blame on something so that goes on “the illness”. Anyway my question today is more current. My mother has been very involved with my baby son since his birth but she recently became unwell and spent some time in a recover house- I found out this was due to her lowering her medication (every time she has ever done this she has become ill) I now feel apprehensive about her looking after my son. She would only look after him for an hour maximum and I would be within a half hour reach so if he needed me I could get to him very quickly this was also never on a regular basis and has only really happened 3-4 times since his birth. I’m also pretty much a single parent my child’s father has some serious issues… I think I have a major displacement situation as I found a guy who is basically psychotic without the diagnosis… but again that’s not relevant to my question. My mum says that she is taking her medication now and I do believe her but the fact that she broke my trust by not telling me she decreased it has made me really not want her to have my son without me present- not because I think she would harm him in any way shape or form but because I now feel I can’t trust her COMPLETELY. She is the ONLY other person apart from myself that I have let have my son without me being in the house- even with my child’s father I am always present to make sure my child is okay (we don’t live together I live by myself with my son). So I feel if I do say no to my mum from having my son alone I will literally be a full time single mum without a single second to myself- pretty much what I have already as my mum has only taken him 3 or 4 times so I don’t mind too much but she asked me the other day if she could take him out next week to give me an hours break which actually would be amazing BUT I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t want to stop her having a relationship with him because she’s not a danger to him I just feel she really broke my trust with something very important. I’m just not sure how to address this situation without upsetting my mum as she loves my son more than anything else in the world! Any advice would be appreciated.


Parental instinct is a tough emotion to not listen to in a regular situation. While you want some occasional away time, you won’t be able to relax if you are worried the entire time. Is there a close family friend or relative that could stay with Mum and baby son during these visits so you could relax and enjoy yourself?

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I wouldn’t want my mum to feel like she’s being watched though with him if you see what I mean, as I say I have no worry with her capability of looking after him when she is well but I agree I would feel uneasy because recently she has been unwell and more importantly she didn’t tell me that she had reduced her meds to practically nothing and had looked after him during that time. (Just to clarify she was well and completely lucid when she did look after him and I was unawear of her decreased dosage but she showed no signs of illness at that time). I just think that when she is looking after my son I have the complete right to know if she is decreasing her medication because had I have known she had I would not have allowed him to be with her unsupervised- that’s not because she wasn’t lucid at the time it’s because I do not agree with her decreasing her medication unsupervised and every time she has previously done so she has became unwell. I think I will just be upfront with her. I don’t want to upset her but I do want to make it clear that when she reduces her medication it impacts on my ability to trust her.

Am I overreacting I’m really questioning myself on this?

I think that’s the best plan. Just be kind.
Maybe tell her that you need her help, but you also need to make sure she’s healthy enough to help you so you don’t have to worry for no reason.

If you’re sure you can tell when she’s having symptoms, I think you should be OK - just remember, even on their regular dosages, some people have breakthrough symptoms. I am guessing you know that, so you’re probably already looking for that anyway.

It sounds like you guys are doing really well all things considered.


I know how important my time is with my grandson. Maybe she feels the same way and would rather have someone with her if that makes you more comfortable.

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Thanks slw I think I just needed reassurance and yes I’m aware of it but for my mum it’s uncommon that she gets unwell on meds as she usually increases the dosage if she feels symptoms but you’re right still not impossible as we have found in the past- a real mind field of an illness for sure but my mum has gained a lot of self insight over the years and is usually quite good at self management but I guess she always hopes for a drug free life one day that’s why she reduces/comes off the meds. I just feel deep sadness for her but I wish she could see that her quality of life is better on the meds than off them! I will speak to her I don’t want her to feel like she’s lost her grandson for the sake of hoping for a drug free life. Thanks again for both of you this convo has really helped

Trust your instincts. I would try to give your mum some time “alone” with your child while you are actually around, in another room, or cleaning up or gardening outside. This would permit you to see how she does and ensure your child’s safety, too. Tell her that you have trouble letting your child stay alone with anyone, not just her, which sounds accurate. Let her know that it will help you just to be outside or in another room to relax or do some things that are hard to do with the child there, alone. Maybe, over time, it will work out for you to allow your mother to watch your child while you go out. You desperately need time away from your child. Is there someone you are close to who might be able to help? You are in a very tough place, and I hope you are sale to get some relief. I do know that i have regretted it any time I have not listened to my instincts. That sense is there to protect you and your child.

I’m just guessing, I would think a sit down is in order. You have to take your meds in order to help me with my son,your grandson. If you don’t you can only be around him when I’m present. Your not yourself when you don’t. Please think about it and let me know, remember we need you in our life.

Thank you everyone for you good advice. I spoke with her and explained how I felt really openly. I wanted to show her that I completely respect her dispite not liking her previous actions so I thought being really honest was the best way forward. I was obviously sensitive to the nature of the convo but it went really well and she completely understood my feelings. A week later she took my son out for an hour to the shops near by and I felt comfortable with that, plus I was so tired I needed an hour to recoup myself! But these short sitting moments are the best way forward atm. I really do think trying to be clear and open is a good attitude with serious or important things. Thanks again

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Reading my post back now I think I project a lot into my mum and I need to relax a bit with her- when she is well she is the best parent and grandparent to me and my son I just get very stressed when she becomes unwell or has a wobble. I think I just need to be more in the moment with these things- when she took him out she was 100% well I know this because I know her so well I think it’s just a day by day thing and being open really helped me keep clear and grounded myself and not over react to possibilities that I’m projecting. I really like this forum it’s a good way to gain self perspective!


As calm & matter of fact as I think I sound when my son is stable - or what serves as stable for him - I totally freak out when he has a bad period & in the back of my mind, I think he’s never going to get better this time.

I think we can all relate to how you were feeling.
And, being exhausted doesn’t help.