2nd Trimester

Guardianship issues (long)

Background-my family: I don't speak with my father.  I don't even think he knows I'm married, let alone pg, and I'd like to keep it that way.  I don't intend to ever speak with him again if I can avoid it.  My mother passed away 6 years ago in a car wreck.  I have one sibling, in law school, who has a long time boyfriend who I can't stand.  My mother had several siblings but they are all much older and while one set did have kids, I did not at all agree with their parenting style, neither did my mother.

Background- dh's family: His parents are hoarders, there's no nice way to put it.  I've got several weddings after LO's due date and have already requested they come here to watch LO because I'm not comfortable with their house unless some SERIOUS changes happen between now and July.  DH has two younger siblings that are both sort of flighty and in "transitionary" stages of their lives.  He is not close with his extended family.

So I tell DH that he doesn't have to decide today, but we need to put some serious thought into who would be the guardian for LO if something happened to both of us at the same time.  I have a will, he doesn't, and we'll need to get stuff in order sooner rather than later.  We have an otherwise really good working relationship with his parents and I don't want to offend them but given his mom's current physical state and the state of their house, if something happened, I wouldn't want them to be guardians.  And I don't trust anyone in my family either.  Has anyone else had anything like this?  DH's response was, "No one.  No one will be good enough."  Well, yes, I agree, except that's not a reasonable answer. Never in my life did I think I'd lose my mom to some stupid drunk driver but it happened.  So that causes me to be freakish about stuff like this.  :-/

Thank you if you made it all the way through this- I know no one gives a hoot about my family issues but DH is not being any help and I figure someone else has got to have encountered something similar... maybe...? 

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Re: Guardianship issues (long)

  • I agree that no one will ever be good enough. We plan on using close friends.  My family is too screwed up to trust them with my child.  Is there any close friends you feel comfortable with?  You could alway talk to his mom about the house issue but just pose it nicely and not like you are putting them down or attacking them.  Good luck
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  • I don't have that problem thankfully, that would be so hard, and is definitely understandable given what happened with your mom, I cannot imagine that myself.  Do you have any close friends that you've known long term that you would feel comfortable with?

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  • If you have close friends that would be a good fit, that could work. Otherwise, I'd probably stick with your in-laws even though they are not ideal. In a few years you may be able to switch it to one of his siblings once they are out of the "transition" phase (I'm assuming they are college students or recent grads).

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  • It's true that no one will be good enough because no one will be you.  DH and I are struggling with this question ourselves and it's difficult.  My IL's are out of the question, my folks would be great but they are getting older, and my SIL and her husband are wonderful...but haven't really tried to be involved in DD's life and work long hours - not sure they would be able to change their lifestyle to be able to handle one much less two kids. 

    I agree with PP that close friends might be a good avenue to explore.  DH may just need some time - it can be hard to think about being gone and your kids being without you.

  • I agree with PP's about close friends.  One of my best friends was in a similar position in regards to family members.  She one day asked me if, God forbid, anything ever happened to her and her (now ex)H, I would be the guardian to her children.  Of course I said yes.
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  • We also have a similar problem. 

    ILs are out because 1) they're too old already (mid 70s); 2) already care for SIL who is disabled and 3) I would never give them my child to ruin, but I can't tell DH that so reasons 1 and 2 sufficed. 

    My brothers are young (20s) and just not in a place to take care of anyone, they can barely take care of themselves.  In a few years my youngest brother will probably be our choice if he agrees.

    My sister has mental problems (diagnosed I just don't think she crazy, I know she is), 5 kids of her own and her DH is abusive so they are out.

    DH's sister is disabled and will need us to care for her.

    So that leaves my parents.  While my Dad isn't in the greatest health my Mom is pretty young and in great health so we are going to ask them to be our guardians.  I'm terribly thankful for so many reasons that my Mom will be able to be our guardian or we would be pretty screwed. 

    If we didn't have our parents I guess we would ask a friend, but honestly I don't think DH would go for that and would insist we ask his parents.

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  • I have two sets of very close friends, both due with their first kids a month and two months before me, respectively.  I've considered both of them.  My issue with friend 1 is that while we have been friends for 7+ years, we are complete opposites and have very different child-rearing ideas and very very different relationships.  I don't feel like her husband is supportive of her when he should be and while I love both of them dearly, it's always sort of been a sort of contention for her and she always always complains to me about it.  Friend number 2 I have known since birth.  We are close but not quite as close as friend number 1 is.  Our families are very close though, we have similar ideals, but I don't really like her husband.  DH says he doesn't like him, but that's only bc they're very very different guys and haven't ever bothered to get to know each other.  I don't think they'll ever really like each other, but for that reason, I don't think DH would be okay with friend 2.  If I HAD to pick one or the other, it would be friend 2, it would just be a matter of getting DH on board with the issue of her husband... and dealing with my issues about him.  Sigh.  Thanks for listening- it really feels better to talk/type this out than trying to have this conversation with him.
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  • I'm a bit like you - mom passed away and don't speak with father. 

    Ahh, when I was first pregnant, I told my DH that I was not comfortable with our future child going to either of his sisters.  He got very upset.  I let it go to revisit later.  After our daughter was born we made a will that makes my oldest brother the guardian of our kids, with some dear family friends as his "backup".  My brother is in his 50s and he's wonderful, but it might be hard for him to start over again with more small kids.  Our friends are thrilled to be the backup.

    Dh had a very hard time with me not wanting his sisters as potential guardians.  I pointed out how bratty and spoiled one sister's kids are, and he grudgingly agreed.  I pointed out how completely creepy his other sister's DH is, and he again grudgingly agreed but still wanted to consider them.  Ah blood is thick right?!  I went with HELL NO and he knows it was the right thing.  It still hurts him, because they are family, but our daughter had to come first. 

    Since then, his sisters have gotten worse.  The creepy BIL got creepier and will NEVER be around by children.  I thank G-D we made arrangements for our child(ren).  I had to insist, and having that document in place is SO important. 

     So - best wishes to you.  If you have solid stable friends, consider going outside of your family for a guardian.

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  • image Janimal:

    If you have solid stable friends, consider going outside of your family for a guardian.


    When I think about it like that, as much as I'm not a fan of Friend 2's DH, they seem like the only viable option.  Let the convincing of DH begin... 

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  • This is not uncommon.  While both sets of parents would take our children, neither situation is completely ideal for several reasons.  And our siblings are just out of the question for various reasons.  We didn't even really discuss it, just talked about some of our friends who might be suitable. 
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  • We are looking at cousins, and aunts and uncles. We don't want drama by chosing one set parents over the other.... hehe but no truly thinking it over and don't forget you can have two sets. So if one changes their minds down the road you are still covered
  • These things are hard. I have thought many of times who would be gaurdian of our kids if something were to happen. except all of my family, and his family, are intact, with us, on speaking terms. we just don't agree with their parenting styles. by FAR!

    it's ok to take time to talk this out, if you pray- pray about it, etc. but also think about anyone who has been stable and very influential in your lives. anyone who has been "like your dad" or "just like an adopted aunt" or anyone in those roles?

  • image nsturm85:
    We are looking at cousins, and aunts and uncles. We don't want drama by chosing one set parents over the other.... hehe but no truly thinking it over and don't forget you can have two sets. So if one changes their minds down the road you are still covered



    I am usually a lurker. But DH and I have decided that one of his cousins with children similar in age to DD would take her while someone on my side of the family would manage the financial part that she would be a beneficiary to. That way it will *hopefully* maintain a relationship between Dh's family/ my family and keep both sides involved in her life in some way if something should ever happen. 

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