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To be grateful for a couple of days' respite?

(26 Posts)
ShtoppenDerFloppen Mon 28-Mar-16 00:23:15

Our niece has been living with us since June of '15 after she aged out of foster care and no one else was willing/able to take her in (and she is incapable of living independently). She is 19, with Foetal Alcohol Syndrome, and while I love her dearly - it can be challenging to help her through difficult behaviours.

She has gone with the ILs for a couple of days and while I truly hope she has a good time, I am really looking forward to the break. DH's parents were one of the "places" that said no when she needed somewhere to stay. Their (adopted) daughter is her mother.

I feel guilty for it, though. Not that she is spending time with the ILs, but that I look forward to a bit of down time with only my "bio" kids and my own medical struggles to worry about.

Am I being unreasonable, or more accurately... selfish?

AgentZigzag Mon 28-Mar-16 00:28:40

Course you're not pet flowers

You sound anything but selfish.

Have you got anything planned or are you just going to collapse relax?

ShtoppenDerFloppen Mon 28-Mar-16 01:36:48

No plans, dcs have the day off school tomorrow, and we are going to a hockey game tomorrow evening. Tuesday, I have 2 medical appointments in the morning, then am hoping to get out to do groceries before school is done.

So, not much of a break, but maybe a mental break knowing that for a couple of days she is someone else's primary concern.

Oh, hell that sounds selfish.

LaurieFairyCake Mon 28-Mar-16 01:40:46

Yes, it sounds selfish.

It's about time! Selfish is a good word meaning to put your needs first. Which absolutely has to happen so you can go on caring for her.

When my foster children go into respite I dance round the room and open the wine grin It's total bliss not to be primary carer for a day or two

coolaschmoola Mon 28-Mar-16 01:50:58

It's not selfish it's absolutely necessary. To look after someone else effectively you must also look after you.

ExtraHotLatteToGo Mon 28-Mar-16 01:52:39

At the very least they should have been doing this from the start! (Bar any ill health preventing them caring for their grandchild), instead of allowing you to shoulder all of the responsibility. What would they have done if you'd said no to having her?

Get very regular respite sessions booked in with them so you can look forward to them.


mylaptopismylapdog Mon 28-Mar-16 02:28:58

Not selfish, selfless giving a young person a caring home. You and your family should have breaks and she should spend time with her extended family.

figureofspeech Mon 28-Mar-16 07:39:05

Not selfish at all, you need to recharge your batteries regularly so that you can care for her properly.

There are a few bank holiday weekends coming up over Spring so book her in with your in laws again.

honkinghaddock Mon 28-Mar-16 08:03:06

You are not being selfish. You need respite. I disagree with pp that there should be an expectation that any particular relative should do it. (I have a child who will never be independent).

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Mon 28-Mar-16 08:43:52

So not selfish.

My DD has been ill last few days and sleeping a lot.

I hated her being ill but enjoyed the break..That's how relentless it can be

hesterton Mon 28-Mar-16 08:47:45

Not selfish at all.

Do you feel her grandparents should have had her?

hesterton Mon 28-Mar-16 08:48:03

Full time I mean?

MrsJayy Mon 28-Mar-16 08:56:07

It really is OK for you to have a break and recharge it just is OK let go of your guilt and just see it as her seeing her grandparents

2016ismyyear Mon 28-Mar-16 09:02:40

Not at all selfish. It can be quite intense at times caring for children in care /care leavers.

What are the local authority leaving care team doing about her transition to independent/supported leaving? I suspect nothing as the family are filling the gap. However look at her legal rights as it sounds like your home isn't a very long term solution? You'll find it easier to get LA to step up now then in the future as shes covered by the leaving care act.

TimeToMuskUp Mon 28-Mar-16 09:04:51

Selfish isn't a bad thing, taking care of your own wants and needs is essential so you don't burn out. So yes, probably selfish, but I see selfishness as a positive. Enjoy your break and don't feel guilty.

ApocalypseSlough Mon 28-Mar-16 09:08:15

Of course not. And I really hope you know that but feel uncomfortable saying whoop whoop dds away and life's a bit easier. Hell I give a little fist pump when dd1 goes back to university because life's a little easier when she's away. Doesn't mean I don't love her with a frightening intensity and wouldn't die for her- just saying she's a messy mare!
You need people in your life you can offload on without feeling judged.

MrsJayy Mon 28-Mar-16 09:08:43

I agree selfish is not a bad thing caring for somebody with extra needs must be intense and exhausting

ApocalypseSlough Mon 28-Mar-16 09:09:55

What mrsj and time said. Selfish is good and will stop you burning out.

Artandco Mon 28-Mar-16 09:16:15

It's a good thing.

I would also talk to them about how helpful and needed the break has been and see if they will agree to it happening more regular, say once every 4 months for a few days ( so three times a year)

AugustaFinkNottle Mon 28-Mar-16 09:23:55

Of course you're not being selfish. I would suggest you do something about getting more help. Has she had a care assessment? If not, I suggest you ask for one immediately, and focus on talking to social services about moving her towards sheltered accommodation. It would be in her interests, after all - you won't be around to look after her for ever.

ShtoppenDerFloppen Mon 28-Mar-16 14:23:27

I have one (possibly two) children who will never be independent (genetic syndrome) so having our niece here has been challenging. Please don't misunderstand me, we love her dearly, but FAS (and long term foster care) brings with a specific set of challenges that are new to me.

I don't feel that the grandparents should have had her full time, but we were put in a difficult position. DN completed one year of college, and we invited her to stay with us for the summer. She was to return to the grandparents' house and from there to the town she had been living in until she went back to college. In the 2 days she was with her grandparents, she announced she was not returning to college and not going back to her home town.

At that point, the grandparents announced she was not welcome to stay there any longer, either. It put us in a very awkward spot, as if we had not agreed to bring her back here, she would have been homeless.

BillSykesDog Mon 28-Mar-16 14:28:09

Has she got contact with adult social services? Might be an idea. What are her long term plans? Would she like to live independently? Perhaps in supported accommodation? SS might be able to help her move towards that.

NeedsAsockamnesty Mon 28-Mar-16 14:28:13

If it's selfish then I'm really horrible.

Ive just cried with relief after all pick ups of some of my children were compleated and the sheer joy that I have been able to arange a few days of each one staying with friends who have parents who are capable of meeting their needs is quite overwhelming

Rafflesway Mon 28-Mar-16 14:58:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ShtoppenDerFloppen Mon 28-Mar-16 17:58:58

She is competent enough to "pass" as average, but has to be monitored, particularly regarding money and food. As an adult, I can't force her to see a physician, and since she moved here, she doesn't have enough of a relationship with one to determine her true level of competence.

When she returns, I will try again to get her in to see someone who can access her old records and hopefully set us up with SS support. We are in Canada, so leaving support is unfortunately not the same, and she is currently about 2000 km from the Children's Aid Society that was responsible for her care for the last 10 years she was in custody.

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