General chatter - I think I started a family war!

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12-18-2008, 05:43 PM
My mother in law found out that if heaven forbid something happened to both me and my husband that she wouldn't get custody of our son. I love my mother in law to death but have known the woman since I was 6 years old and I do not feel she was the most attentive or supportive of mothers. I am not saying she was neglectful or abusive just not the best of mothers. This was my and my husbands decision to make and I don't think it should ever be questioned unless there are serious health issues or possible abuse issues. Did anyone else have this problem with young children and their parents.

12-18-2008, 05:57 PM
I hope you have put that in writing. I think the decision is for the two of you to make. When we made our decision for our girls, we asked one of my DH's sisters. Oddly enough, she got angry with us. One of his other sisters commended us for making a decision like that and not letting the state step in and make that decision. Needless to say, we didn't name the one that got angry.

We also wanted someone who was young. We were concerned about an older person dying and the kids having to be bounced around again.

Fortunately, nothing happened to both of us, just him.

12-18-2008, 06:53 PM
We have had a similar problem regarding our own children. Our eldest son has some pretty significant physical disabilities, and it makes choosing a guardian if something happens to us very difficult. My mother-in-law would be OK, but they live out in the country and my son needs to be closer to a hospital than that in case of an emergency. They are retired, and I asked them if they would consider moving into our house if something happened to us or at least closer to a medical center. She said off the list she went. My own parents had me in their late thirties so they are now in their the list as my three boys are all little and I want them to have a stable home until adulthood. My husband's brother just got divorced and has custody of his two boys and owns his own brew pub so he works hellish hours...too much responsibility. One of my sisters and her husband fight all the time, and I can't imagine my boys in that kind of environment. My other sister is also divorced, but her two kids are older, so I think she has got to be the choice and she has already said she would do it...we are actually drawing up the papers right now. However, because of our eldest's issues, it would put SO much responsibility on whoever got the job...I know it is unlikely that something will happen to BOTH if us at the same time, but it is REALLY hard. Anyway, my mother-in-law just found out we didn't choose her...and she is angry! Hello? OUR SON HAS TO LIVE NEAR A HOSPITAL. If you wouldn't move to accomodate that, we can't pick you! It is not that we think you are bad for not wanting to move. It would be a lot to ask, but that is the reality of our son's situation. It doesn't mean we love her is just the way it is.

12-18-2008, 08:55 PM
I think it's a really hard thing to do without hurting anyone. Even the most level-headed, reasonable parents or sibs may end up feeling a little hurt, even if they agree with you. So you really just have to do what is right for your kids.

12-18-2008, 09:04 PM
We used age as an important factor.
This decision can cause some serious resentment.

-hopefully things will simmer down shortly. brave this storm! there's another around the corner, always.

and ya gotta do what ya gotta do- more so, for your kids, right? :)

12-19-2008, 10:52 AM
Sorry to hear you're going through this, especially at the holidays.
Hopefully she will get over it.

My husband and I have struggled with this. We don't want any of our family to raise our kids.
I told him that we just can't go anywhere together that we might meet our untimely demise.

12-19-2008, 01:49 PM
ddc, that's really sad. You don't have a cousin or someone?

It doesn't have to be a family member. Any of us can name anyone we wish. The family may challenge it but if you have it in writing, they will have to have a dang good reason for the court to change it.

12-19-2008, 02:28 PM
This issue is one of the reasons I am here. My son and DIL just asked Mack and I if we would be guardian to their son if something happened to both of them. Although we all feel this is unlikely plans do need to be made and put in writing just in case. I know they have not told her mom yet but when they do I am sure it is going to be an issue.

I am amazed at how many people can't or won't discuss end of life issues. I guess because I lost both of my parents at a young age and the fact that my son has a heart condition it has made me very open about expressing my wishes and asking loved ones about theirs. Open communication is especially important when dealing with extended family or in-laws. I still don't think Mack's mom believes that when we go there will be no funeral or service. She also has issues with our DNR's.

12-19-2008, 04:01 PM
I grew up with a grandmother that had MS along with many other lifelong conditions that made me very aware of the imminent possiblity of death. Then I developed a neurological disorder which could incapacitate or kill me at any moment. Even though my husband is healthy, we need to take these things into consideration as well if something would happen to him and I would no longer be able to care for my children. I have always been the type to be proactive and not fly by the seat of my pants. I don't want there to be any issues where my child is a ward of the state and there are people fighting in court. We made the decision and we are happy with it. If something would arise that a change would need to be made it will be addressed at the time.

12-19-2008, 04:25 PM
OMG- I think that is the most difficult decision I have ever made. We had to do it twice. Originally, we chose my oldest brother and his wife, my other brother was fresh out of college and single at the time. After my nephew was born with serious medical issues that require almost constant care, I thought it would be too much to ask them to take on our kids too. Now THAT conversation was difficult too - telling someone you have changed your mind and you don't want them taking your kids after all. They are fantastic parents, but I just really can't imagine them having to take care of all three of them. SO- we then asked my other brother and his wife who are happy to do it. I hope it never comes up though.

12-19-2008, 07:45 PM
I think all of you are to be commended for doing this. Too many people just assume someone in the family will take care of them. They don't think that there are 2 sides to the family and those kids may be in foster care until a judge decides who would be best to raise those kids.