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AIBU to be of two minds about this?

(4 Posts)
CallMeExhausted Sat 13-Jun-15 13:43:55

Brief background: DD is almost 10 years old and has multiple disabilities (physical, medical and intellectual), DS will be 17 next month and is the most loving, doting brother we could ask for for DD.

DH's niece is 19 and has spent most of her life in foster care. Her mother drank heavily and may have also done drugs during her pregnancy. DH and SIL were both adopted, SIL was born drug and alcohol exposed and it affected her significantly - primarily intellectually, herental health and of course, a propensity to addiction.

DN has "aged out" of foster care and just completed her first year of college (we are in Canada, I don't know what the equivalent is in the UK - but first year of post-secondary). While not in college, during hols etc, she has been staying with MIL and FIL. There is a 60+ year age gap, and they have already dealt with all of the stress of raising her mother. Needless to say, they are stressed and frankly exhausted.

I am having surgery this coming Tuesday, and DH has suggested that we have DN here for the summer to give his parents a break and to help with DD while I am recovering. He recommends we pay her as a Mother's Helper - we have a little respite funding we can self-administer and it'll help her out for funds while she does her second year of College.

In theory, it is a great idea. The problem is, I know her, and I fear that I may end up parenting her as well. She has FASD and many of the behavioural challenges that accompany it.

I have shared my reservations with DH and we have come to an agreement. DN will come tomorrow. DD doesn't finish school until June 25th, so in the interim DN will help me around the house after my surgery and help after school with DD. DD will be attending a specialized residential camp from July 12-22, so we'll evaluate how things are working and continue from there.

I am still not comfortable with this, though. I have agreed because I love MIL and FIL dearly, and I know they are exhausted with DN there. DD likes DN, and DS will have someone to hang around with if he chooses.

Am I being selfish worrying about the additional work having DN here will cause?

Oldraver Sat 13-Jun-15 13:48:03

No you're not being selfish you have a lot on your plate. If it doesn't work out is there somewhere for DN to go to ? Will MIL and FIL have her back ?

PurpleWithRed Sat 13-Jun-15 13:49:24

I think you are very right to be cautious: you know DN is likely to be more of a problem than a solution, having her with you when you've just had surgery seems like exactly the wrong time to be doing this. It also seems as if the burden is going to fall on you rather than DH - how realistic is he being about DN? What extra help is he going to give you?

Really tough situation.

CallMeExhausted Sat 13-Jun-15 18:33:39

I managed on my own after the last surgery, so the way I see it, if she doesn't contribute, she doesn't get paid, and on July 11th she either returns to the ILs or the town she came to them from. DH works in management, and 70 hour weeks are hardly uncommon, so he does what he can. DS is phenomenal helping out, but I feel it isn't on to have him acting as a surrogate parent to his sister. Her challenges have already significantly affected his life.

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