My husband and I are so excited to be embarking on a cruise in just a few sort weeks, an anniversary gift to ourselves. While I should be thinking about what I will wear and what level of sunscreen I should take, I’m now coming face to face with my own mortality and realizing that this isn’t just about me anymore. There are two little girls who need someone to take care of them in the unlikely, yet real event, that something were to happen to their parents.
Hashing out who will raise and care for your children is not an easy thing to do. Several things have come up as my husband and I have thrashed through this process. I’ll share them with you. Some are funny, some are more serious, but they all needed to be address.
1. No one is as good for your children as you.
Everyone has this faults. You might think a sibling can’t care for them because they are just too busy and your parent was busy when you were a kid and you don’t want that. You might think your mom and dad shouldn’t care for them because they were too strict and that made you too sheltered. No one is going to be you. No one can raise your children exactly the way you want them too. You just have to trust that whomever you pick will do what is in the best interest of the child or children. That might be skipping dance classes, even though you wanted your daughter to be the shining star at every recital, because your kid just isn’t a dancer.
2. Feelings will get hurt.
Death is not easy. Families will pull at everything they can to try and remember and keep the departed with them as long as they can. I have a feeling that all of our families would want a little piece of our children as a way to keep us alive. By telling one family member over another that they don’t get to keep our most prized possession is going to be hard for some of them to hear, but they have to trust that we had a method and that we were doing what we thought was best for our kids.
3. It would not be funny to have notarized statements telling each party they are the guardians and then letting them duke it out in court or with a mediator.
As much as you think it would be a good “last laugh” it won’t. People will be traumatize by this experience and getting things in order as possible and starting to establish a routine will be the best thing for everyone, especially the children.
4. Get the stuff notarized.
You want it to be official as possible if you don’t have a formal will. You want to make sure that your wishes are clear.
5. It is not okay to secretly leave your children with your intentionally child-free friends.
They will not be happy about this. It is not a good way to push kids on them. Just don’t do it.
My husband and I don’t exactly see eye to eye on what we should do with our kids if we should die while they are still so young. He’s such a level-minded individual that he doesn’t want to ruffle feathers or hurt feelings, but I feel like kids need a home-base and stability. It’s been challenging to work it out. Two weeks before our cruise and we still don’t have anything written down, but we just keep talking it out and I feel like we will get there.
So what is your plan? If you were to die tomorrow, what would you want to happen with your kids, your stuff or even your pets?