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earthsister
earthsister, Parent
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 141
Experience:  Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.
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I have two children aged 10 and 12. I have separated from their

Customer Question

I have two children aged 10 and 12. I have separated from their mother and we have 50% shared care (one week on, one week off). Both me and their mother have remarried and have been with our new partners for 8 years. The children have been happy with this arrangment of 50% shared care. Their mother has now been diagnosed with a terminal illness and has 1 to 5 years to live depending on how treatment goes. THeir mother now wants more custody so that she can spend more time with them before she dies. SHe wants me to have them 2 nights per week only. I dont know whether it is best to change the arrangements so they can see her more, or whether it is best to just keep everything the same to provide stability for them.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  earthsister replied 2 years ago.

earthsister :

Hello, I would like to help you today.

earthsister :

Are the children aware of the terminal illness, and how long their mother has to live?

Customer :

We will all be telling them this week

earthsister :

I do think that the children are old enough to give their input about it; at least in time. I definitely would want to say, yes, definitely let her have that time; yet while we may want to fulfill one person's wishes, we wouldn't want to harm anyone else ion the process, especially not the children. Ask them how they feel about it. I am sure that your children are mature enough to make the decision for themselves on whether or not they want to change the living arrangement.

earthsister :

Please let me know if you have any other ideas about this. Ultimately I think them spending more time with their mother is a good thing for them as well as her, however the question is; is that what they want, or how will they handle that.

Customer :

I think it is much more difficult than that. If they are reducing their time with us then it will make it much harder for them when she does die. Also, it may be five years down the track and then I will have almost missed raising them for five years which is the remainder of their childhood.

Customer :

They do need to spend as much time as possible with her whilst ensuring that they maintain a solid life with us. We do not want it to do more harm to them or make it more difficult for them.

earthsister :

I definitely understand, and agree with your concerns. I do think that your children are already making, and will have to make a big adjustment just in hearing the news that their Mom only has so long to live. Regardless to how the living arrangement is set up now, there will most certainly be adjustments that need to be made when she does pass on. I do sympathize with your concern of missing time in raising your children, however with that, I only ask that you put yourself in the shoes of their mother; while she may be gaining as few days with them now, she will be loosing so much of all the resat of their lives that you will in fact have (100% of).

earthsister :

I do think that it would work best to highly consider approving their mother's request, yet leaving the decision ultimately to the children. It may also not be a bad idea to get your children in counseling with a child therapist now. This may prove to be a good way of preparing them for the loss of their mother. If you do need any other ideas or advice, please message for me before you apply your rating, as my goal is to provide an answer that will be of use. Thank you.

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earthsister
earthsister
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Home Child Care Provider, and mother of 4; two pre-teen boys and twin baby girls.