My Kids Drive Me Insane!
My kids drive me insane. Not really, of course (they are actually the smartest and most beautiful children in the entire world, just like yours are). They drive me insane in that their schedules are absolutely unbearable. At the ages of only 4-years old and 17 months old, they managed to keep a weekend calendar between yesterday and today that included soccer, gymnastics (for both), dance, and a birthday party. It’s absolutely amazing and exhausting at the same time – and I see the parents of similarly aged kids keeping the same schedules with their kids that I do with mine.
The weekend got me thinking about guardianship issues and some recent clients that we’ve helped who have young children. The selection of a guardian should something happen to both parents is obviously one of the largest issues that we deal with for that group of clients. The default choice that they usually come up with is family member, but a closer look will sometimes cause them to reconsider.
Think about it – you and your spouse are suddenly gone and your children, regardless of whether they are 17-months old or 17-years old, are traumatized. Sometimes, the best thing for them is to maintain something at least resembling their usual routine. Your wonderful sister on the other coast, who they see once a year, or even the one that lives 45 minutes away, may not be the best solution. Nor may be the 30-year old brother who just got married but has yet to start a family of his own.
Who would be able to keep the kids in their current schools? How about on their current schedules? Who would be able (and willing) to drive them to dance, soccer, gymnastics, and their classmates’ birthday parties? Some kids, depending on their ages and proximity to family members, are more comfortable with their friends’ parents, who they see at pick-up and drop-off and social events almost daily, than they are with some family members.
We don’t recommend relatives over friends or vice-versa – we simply suggest a thorough analysis before making the decision. Some of our clients have discovered, through much thought, discussion, and self-assessment, that their default option was not necessarily the best one. We’re happy to help with that conversation.