"When he is older, I will tell him I was really young and I couldn't put a roof over my own head, let alone his," the 19-year-old tells the new issue of Us Weekly eight months after voluntarily signing over custody to her mother, Barbara Evans. These days, the mother and daughter pair -- known for their violent screaming matches -- are working together to raise little Jace. While Jenelle takes few film-studies classes at a local community college, Barbara, 57, cares for the boy after working her full-time job at a department store.
And as fiercely as Jenelle wants Jace back from her relentlessly critical mom, she realizes she's just not there yet.
"Once I get a job, save money and have my own place for three months, then I'll bring my mom to court," Jenelle says of her plans.
For now, Barbara is content with the pair's custody arrangement.
"Jace wasn't asked to be born," Barbara reasons to Us. "Somebody has to take care of him, and it's going to be me. I don't resent it. I love him to death."