Post # 1
My husband and I are finalizing our will (I know, we should have done this a long time ago). When our first daughter was born we asked my sister and her husband to raise our children in the event of our untimely demise. My sister has made different choices for her family than I have made for mine. She is employed, I am a stay at home mom. She is all for public school and not in favor of homeschooling, I homeschool my children. We attend church, she rarely does. At the time, they were the best choice we had. They love our girls, live nearby, and said that they would be willing to raise them in accordance with our parenting choices.
Fast forward to present, and we have some very close friends who also homeschool, go to our church, and has a stay at home mom. Our daughters and theirs are the same age and best friends. My girls are with them 3-5 days per week. We recently asked them if they would be willing to raise our kids if it became necessary. They said that they would be. I believe that they are a much better fit. They live within 10 miles of both my sister and my mom and we have explained that we would want my mom and sister to both have open access to the kids (weekends, vacations, dinners out etc.)
So, a week ago, I told my sister that while I understand that she loves her neices very much, I believe that our friends would be a better fit as guardians and that she would have open access. That is when it “hit the fan”. She kept saying that she told me that she would homeschool and stay home etc. (homeschooling is difficult when it is what you want to do, nearly impossible when you don’t want to). In most cases children homeschooled out of a sense of obligation end up in public school in a short amount of time. She told me that my “reasons” aren’t good enough and “I don’t agree, that’s fine cause they are your kids” and “You are controling, you should just trust me to raise them the way I see fit”. She also said that she believes being with family is more important than how they are raised and that if they decide not to raise them the way we would want them to be raised, we should be okay with that. Us passing our values onto our children is a big deal for us. She doesn’t think we should expect it although she said they would try. By the end of the conversation we were both in tears.
The thing that really irritates me is that I would never presume to know what is best for her child. If she decided that one of her friends would make a better guardian to their son, I would be fine with that. As long as I had access to him I would have no issue. She is his mother, she knows what he needs more than anyone.
This whole thing is really bothering me. Please weigh in and tell me what you think and how this whole thing became such a drama?
Post # 3
I think she is probably just hurt that you chose someone else after you had already asked her. I think anybody’s feelings would be hurt. I would just be sure to make sure she know’s that you think she is a good mom, you just have different lifestyles.
Post # 4
I understand why she is hurt and angry honestly.
Post # 5
I can’t say I blame her for being hurt… I would be too. I don’t know, maybe give it some time.
Hopefully the scenario you describe (your untimely demise) won’t happen, but I guess at least you’re considering it – I am sure some people don’t.
I’d go ahead and change the will… after all it is your kids.
Post # 6
I also understand why she is hurt and angry, and I have to say that I, personally, agree with the sentiment that it is important to stay with family.
Post # 7
I can understand where she’s coming from. I’d be really hurt, too, and feel like you thought I wouldn’t raise the children up to your standards. I’ve also seen friendships, even strong ones disintegrate in adulthood, so I’d feel even worse that you were picking a friend over a blood relative. On the other hand, I understand where you’re coming from as well.
Post # 8
I understand that. We asked her seven years ago when we were pregnant with our first daughter. We didn’t even know these dear friends of ours then. A lot has changed. We just believe their lifestyle and values is more in line with ours. I will make it a point to remind her that I think she is a good mom and that this is not a judgement against her.
Post # 9
I believe your sister is right in that it’s more important for family to stay with family. As long as your kids have had the good foundation you’ve provided them, I would trust your family to love and care for them way more than a stranger…always.
Post # 10
I’m guessing she’s so upset because she didn’t expect you to pick someone else. I’m sure that once she calms down, she’ll realize you’re just trying to do what’s best for your kids. I can understand why she is hurt. She obviously loves your girls enough to take them in & raise them if it was necessary. Maybe she feels like you picked someone else because you don’t think she is a good enough mom? I think once she calms down, you should just tell her that you love her and you just don’t want her to have to change her whole lifestyle if something were to happen to you & your husband.
Post # 11
you can do what you want. but yeah, I would be hurt too if I were her. especialy since she has said she would try to raise them under your beliefs (as much as she is able).
You are prioritizing your child rearing beliefs over the importance of family (again your choice).
Have you thought about how your kids would feel? meaning that their new parents would not technically be family and if they might prefer to be with family?
Post # 12
If my sister decided some friend is “a better fit” for her kids than DH and I, yeah, I would be upset and hurt. We are family, and (generally) families don’t go away. Friends do. It isn’t like she is a drug addicted prostitute with a king pin for a pimp/bf. Yes her life is different but I know personally, this would be a somewhat serious issue between me and my sister. And if it wasn’t something you had already asked her then I wouldn’t see it as such a big deal. But suddenly its like (at least what I bet she is feeling) her life isn’t “good enough” for you to think she could take care of your kids if something happened and that is a pretty harsh judgement on her lifestyle. Not saying that is how you meant it but I can easily seeing that as how it comes off to your sister. And then to kind of blow it off as “drama” instead of a serious issue that yall need to discuss further minimizes her feelings.
Post # 13
I think it’s your right to decide who would parent your kids in this (unlikely) situation. I think your problem was telling her you changed your mind in the first place. She doesn’t need to know you prefer someone else in that position unless it happens, in which case she should be a lot more sad than pissed. I agree with you, but think its a mistake to come out and tell her that.
Post # 14
I have considered their preferences. These friends are like family to us. In fact, I have been recovering from a procedure I had on Monday and my friends have been helping me. My family hasn’t. They are family in everyway that matters. The father in this family is a family counselor and is equipped to help them through their grief.
Post # 15
If I was your sister this would hurt me a lot. By asking someone else you are basically saying you don’t trust her to raise your kids. As a mom, I’m sure she is taking that very personally, and I don’t blame her one bit.
You have the right to make whatever choice you want to-they are your kids, after all. And I do understand the logic of wanting to have your kids raised in the same way you would-and how going from being homeschooled to public school, etc would potentially be even harder for them after losing both parents, should that ever happen. But what I don’t understand how you can not see how this would be hurtful to her.
Post # 16
I think telling her sister was the right thing to do though. Can you imagine if she changed the will without anybody in the family knowing and heaven forbid something happened. That would make a really difficult time that much worse for everyone involved and I think it would be difficult for her family to understand.