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Mom Who Cares for Kids While Soldier Is Deployed Is a Pothead

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I just found out that my mother is a pothead!

I'm a single soldier, and my mother has always come to take care of my children when I've been in the field, in training and when I've been deployed.

I love my mother, and she has definitely been there for me and my children. I don't know what I would have done without her.

My children kept telling me about "Grandma's funny cigarettes." They talked about how much they stink and leave a very lingering odor. They told me about how much Grandma eats and that she sleeps all of the time.

My good friend and neighbor told me that she has smelled marijuana coming from my apartment on many occasions. My mother has even been using my debit card, which I leave with her for food and emergencies, to buy her pot!

Now I have to leave post housing because management found out that my mother smokes pot. They did me a favor by allowing me to leave instead of reporting it, which could have become a huge problem for me.

When I talked to my mother about it, she sounded like a sassy 16-year-old! She told me that it's legal and that she can do as she pleases. It's embarrassing for me because my mother is 56 years old. She is not a child. She doesn't have a job and I really don't want to put her out, but I'm not going to allow her to live with me and smoke pot in my house. I respect my mother, but I'm the one who pays all of the bills and I take care of her.

Now she's saying that she can sue me for severance pay because she's been helping me with my children for five years and she has never received a salary for all of the work she's done. No, I didn't give her a salary, but she had access to anything she wanted.

She said that if I give her some money, she will go live with her sister in Atlanta.

Should I keep my mother in my house and overlook her addiction to pot or should I put her out? Is this going to be the end of my relationship with my mother?

-- Pothead Mom

Dear Pothead Mom,

I'm sorry, but I did laugh when I read your letter the first time. I mean, your mother is 56 and she's been using the money you earn serving our country to buy weed. This is too much.

This also tells me that her weed supplier is in very close proximity, probably living on post.

People don't understand that marijuana is highly addictive. It affects brain chemistry, personality, mood, etc.

The fact that she has been smoking in front of your children is also too much. I know there are many people who will read the letter and say that they smoke marijuana and take good care of their children. Well, we are talking about your children and you should be concerned.

On the other hand, you have to understand that you are asking for advice from a true Momma's girl. I loved my mother. Because of this, I wouldn't want anything to come between you and your mother. You will always be her daughter and she is the grandmother to your children. However, it may not be a good idea for her to live in your home and care for your children in your absence. From your report, you have already had to move off post because of her.

I think you should you pay your mother something for caring for your children before she moves to Atlanta. Think of it like this: She did fill in the gap for you and she cared for your children.

(She was willing to do something their father wouldn't or couldn't do. Please don't take that statement in a judgmental way, but maybe your children's father could be more participatory in helping you care for them in the future.)

Back to my point: If you had a nanny in your home, you would have had to pay her, right? Well, send your mother to Atlanta with something for her efforts and try to keep a relationship with her. You love her, you just don't agree with some of the things she is doing -- at 56 years old! OH-EM-GEE, this is too much!

Thank you so much for taking the time from your busy schedule to write to me. I know it must be stressful at times having the responsibility of caring for your children and serving your country. I applaud you. Keep in touch.

-- Ms. Vicki

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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