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#1 of 22 Old 04-19-2012, 04:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello I'm new to this forum and I've got a question!

 

We're a family of five, my husband, myself, my son (10) two step-daughters (3&7) and our six month old baby. 

 

My husband has weekend visits from his daughters and that is usually just fine.  However this past weekend was my sons tenth birthday party and we were not told that the girls had pneumonia, they were sent to our house anyways.  Without any medicine mind you.  I admit I'm over-cautious when it comes to sickness, but pneumonia?  I would keep my kids home if they were that sick.  I had a house full of boys and their parents, now our household is feeling very crummy.  I'm worried about my baby girl, her cough is starting to sound pretty bad. 

 

Do you think it's "business as usual" to send sick kids over for a weekend visitation, am I overreacting?  My husband thinks I am.  He just wants to see his girls and doesn't mind the cost of all of us getting sick.  I mind though! 

 

I just wonder if my way of thinking is in the minority or if you would feel the same.  I think a phone call and giving us the option of opting out until they weren't running temps of 102 and 103 and coughing until almost throwing up was out of the picture.

 

Thank you in advance for your advice :)

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#2 of 22 Old 04-19-2012, 05:15 PM
 
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Parenting time is parenting time - kids being sick doesn't mean you can opt out.
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#3 of 22 Old 04-19-2012, 06:00 PM
 
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I agree with SuperSingleMama... but I also think it'd be ideal if there was a heads-up. Maybe their dad could reassure their mom that he intends to accept the kids for visits regardless of whether they're sick or not, but he'd appreciate knowing ahead of time so he can be prepared. While he's at it, he could let her know he'll give her a heads-up if the kids come down with something while they're with him.


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#4 of 22 Old 04-19-2012, 06:41 PM
 
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I think it is polite-or just respectful-to warn the other parent if you are sending a sick kid over-that is just good co-parenting, so that you could have at least not exposed an entire birthday party to germs!  Personally, I would offer not to send them since you also have other children at your house (especially a baby when you are talking about pneumonia!). 

 

When our kids have been particularly sick with something contagious (i.e. vomiting, etc., not just a cold), I have had dp call dsd's mom to ask if she still wants dsd to come over and risk getting sick too.  Likewise, when dsd became ill at our house, we have offered to keep her longer to prevent spreading the illness to her mom's side of the family (mom also has other young children). 

 

So, I can understand mom's feelings, because yes, dad is the parent too and he needs to deal with illness as well.  But I also understand your feelings of being annoyed that you got sick kids with no warning and now possibly having all the rest of you get sick.  I hope you all feel better soon!


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#5 of 22 Old 04-20-2012, 05:10 AM
 
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Personally, I think that it's common courtesy to give a head's up, but unless the travel is going to be uncomfortale for the child, s/he should go for their time with the other parent. As others have posted, parents are parents whether teh child is sick kor well.

 

Not all forms of pneumonia are contagious, nor is pneumonia contagious throughout its entire course. We don't know how long the girls have been sick, whether they had finished whatever meds they were taking, etc.

 

I do understand your concern regarding your little one, but ... suppose it was the 10yo. How would you handle the little one being in the same house with him?

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#6 of 22 Old 04-20-2012, 07:11 AM
 
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Our family has run the gamut, on this subject!

 

When DH's ex had custody of their son, illness (real or pretend) was one of many excuses she used for denying visitation.  Obviously, it reduced DSS's time with DH, but it also sent DSS the subtle yet unmistakable message that only Mommy really nurtured and took care of him.  She was his only real parent and he should only feel "at home" with her.  Daddy was only a person he visited...and you don't leave home to visit people, when you're sick!  

 

That's why many states have rules meant to keep CPs from doing what DSS's mom did - emphasizing that visitation is parenting time and parenting means far more than taking your kids to the park every other weekend.  It includes taking care of them when they're sick.  If you think about it:

>> If his daughters lived with you guys - or if they were biologically both of yours - you wouldn't have the option of sending them somewhere else when they're sick, to protect yourselves or the other kids in your home who are healthy.  

>> If his daughters get sick over the weekend, when they're with you, you guys don't keep them, to prevent exposing their Mom and people in her household.

 

Pat yourself on the back.  You chose a husband who cares more about being a full-service parent to his daughters, than he does about avoiding the inconvenient parts of parenting!  In the grand scheme of things, that's the most important thing to notice and remember.

 

That said, here's the flip side of my family's experience:  my ex, his wife and their two little kids live nearby and DH and I get along with them very well.  When my sons (with my ex) have minor illnesses (the kinds of things you expect to pass around in a family), they have P/T with their Dad, as usual.  But if they catch something that could make their little sibs at Dad's house terribly ill - or if I know their Dad and step-Mom have some big event coming up and can't afford to get sick - or if I know step-Mom's elderly grandmother will be visiting them (and she doesn't need to catch what the twins have), I keep them home.

 

Divorce isn't ideal.  But the ugly truth is, it creates opportunites you don't have in nuclear families!  Free child care, if you schedule your personal life around your ex's visitation.  And, when the kids are sick, since the parents don't live together, they don't both have to get exposed.  It just requires consideration, respect and communication, to take advantage of that convenience without taking advantage of the NCP by denying them P/T.

 

If there's generally good communication and respect btwn. your DH and his ex, he needs to tell her she should've handled the pneumonia differently.  That really was inconsiderate, with a baby in your house and guests over, for your son's birthday.  But if communication is generally bad with Mom - if she's the kind of person who might like opportunities to deny P/T - then your DH is right to strictly exercise his P/T, sick or healthy, and not give Mom any excuse to interfere with it.

 

The one thing that's not up for debate is that, if the girls were on medication, Mom should have sent it.  That's a clear part of our state's P/T guidelines.  You might look it up and see if it's referenced in yours.  That's simply neglectful.


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#7 of 22 Old 04-20-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Jeannine View Post

 

Divorce isn't ideal.  But the ugly truth is, it creates opportunites you don't have in nuclear families!  Free child care, if you schedule your personal life around your ex's visitation.  And, when the kids are sick, since the parents don't live together, they don't both have to get exposed.  It just requires consideration, respect and communication, to take advantage of that convenience without taking advantage of the NCP by denying them P/T.

 

If there's generally good communication and respect btwn. your DH and his ex, he needs to tell her she should've handled the pneumonia differently.  That really was inconsiderate, with a baby in your house and guests over, for your son's birthday.  But if communication is generally bad with Mom - if she's the kind of person who might like opportunities to deny P/T - then your DH is right to strictly exercise his P/T, sick or healthy, and not give Mom any excuse to interfere with it.

 

The one thing that's not up for debate is that, if the girls were on medication, Mom should have sent it.  That's a clear part of our state's P/T guidelines.  You might look it up and see if it's referenced in yours.  That's simply neglectful.

 

Jeannine, as usual has great advice. I would like to add one more thing - sometimes the custodial parent needs a break from illness and relies on that NCP to take the kids during their parenting time to do things like catch up on vomit covered laundry (truly - its happened to me before!).

 

And, while I agree that any and all medication should be sent (so long as its not OTC - both parents should have childrens tylenol/motrin available), I don't think its necessarily inconsiderate to send a kid to their parents house - even when there is a baby and a party. Warning should have been given for sure - but only so that the OP's husband could have decided to reschedule the party, and made arrangements so the baby wouldn't be exposed as much (dad stays home from work to take care of sick kids, OP takes care of the baby in a different part of the house or something). When there are older kids around, babies get exposed to things that are not ideal.

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#8 of 22 Old 04-20-2012, 09:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I appreciate everyone's input, thank you.  I know I chose the wrong wording when I said "opt out" that wasn't the way I meant it.

I would've appreciated a head's up on the pneumonia (that spread like wild fire through their baby-sitter's house too, so yes very contagious) I believe that is common courtesy. 

When my DS is sick, I make him stay in bed just like I did/do when I'm very sick.  He is also very mindful of covering his cough/sneeze and washing his hands.  That isn't really important at their Mom's house or at the baby-sitter's house.  That's how I deal with it when my DS is sick.  We do have motrin/tylenol/dylsum, we don't have their antibiotics though. 

When my DS was seeing his biological father still I would warn him when he was sick and offer to keep him home. 

She is not the type of person who would deny parenting time, she jumps at any opportunity to have a child free weekend.  That is why our every other weekend schedule has now turned into almost every weekend. 

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#9 of 22 Old 04-23-2012, 09:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by HipHipYay View Post
She is not the type of person who would deny parenting time, she jumps at any opportunity to have a child free weekend.  That is why our every other weekend schedule has now turned into almost every weekend. 

 

Jesus.  Nice.  eyesroll.gif

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#10 of 22 Old 04-24-2012, 12:57 PM
 
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I grew up with my parents sharing visitation like this, and I'm pretty sure that if I was really sick there would be a heads up and an option to switch weekends. So if I was ill and the 30 min car ride was too much for me I would stay at my mom's and my dad would get his weekend moved to the next weekend. Really I think that a courtesy call is best, because then all four parents can make the decision together on whether to postpone, cancel or go ahead.


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#11 of 22 Old 04-27-2012, 08:47 PM
 
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Parenting time is parenting time - kids being sick doesn't mean you can opt out.

 

 

I agree

 

 If all three kids were yours and 1 was sick you wouldn't send the other 2 way for the weekend. I think expecting the 2 older girls to stay away from home for the weekend to prevent your baby from getting sick is the same thing as you sending your baby away for the weekend if he was sick so that he wouldn't infect the other 2 when they are over. I doubt you would think that is okay.

 

Whether or not you have a big party when one of your kids is sick is a differnt matter. I would base that on how sick and whether or not they were contagious.

 

As far as medicine goes, is it possible they have a viral pneumonia? In that case they wouldn't be getting any antibiotics. They don't generally use antivirals for viral pnemonia unless your are extrememly ill, usually give in hospital.

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#12 of 22 Old 04-27-2012, 10:31 PM
 
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I agree with the other posters. Parenting time is parenting time -- whether they're sick or well. Dad should have the opportunity to care for his sick kids just as much as mom. You say you would keep "your" kid in bed. Why not keep "his" kids in bed too? I know you had a birthday party to deal with, but go and check on them, make them comfortable, instruct them on proper care of themselves and proper care around others when they are sick. I don't understand why you make such a delineation between what you would do with your DS and what you would do with your DSD's. Maybe there's the resentment about Mom dumping "his" kids on "your family." But, honestly, if I were you, I'd be so happy that Dad got the extra time with the girls... I'd have him be documenting documenting documenting, and then showing the courts a pattern of increased visitation so that you could work towards having the girls even more often. How lucky that he's getting to see them so often!

 

Oh yeah, about the medicine... yeah, that's not cool that mom didn't provide the antibiotics. Next time that happens I would have Dad call the pediatrician or the pharmacy to get a second script, and then I would document that Mom didn't send it with them as well.

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#13 of 22 Old 09-07-2012, 09:57 PM
 
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 Something minor like a cold, yes a child should go. But something more serious like pneumonia i feel a mom should definitely let the dad know. The child could get the other children in the home sick which could be unavoidable. I remember as a kid going over to my dad's house, and my stepsister being really sick(like a fever over 100) and then I would catch it and  was out of school for several days cause of it. Had my mother known that there were sick people at my dad's house it could've been prevented me getting sick. But my dad didn't want to lose any of "his time" even if that meant I would catch the illness that his stepdaughter had.

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#14 of 22 Old 09-10-2012, 09:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Parenting time is parenting time - kids being sick doesn't mean you can opt out.


I agree. And this is the sort of thing that parents should communicate with each other about.

 

I personally prefer to keep sick kids home, where they can feel crappy in their own space. But if they had a more regular visitation schedule and had their own space at their dad's, I would probably feel differently about that. And they've certainly gone to their dad's sick when I've had to work or be at school. But then we don't have a rigid-set-in-stone schedule at this time.

 

I am kind of thinking about it like this: two people in a committed relationship and all of their children are a family. When all the children are bio kids to both adults, what happens when one kid is sick? Do you send the other kids to another relative's house so they don't get sick too? Probably not, unless it's a serious illness or the parents will both be so busy caring for the sick child that they other kids' needs won't get met. I guess I feel that a blended family is more or less the same: we're a family and we live in this house together unless there's an emergency.

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#15 of 22 Old 09-12-2012, 05:06 PM
 
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She is not the type of person who would deny parenting time, she jumps at any opportunity to have a child free weekend.  That is why our every other weekend schedule has now turned into almost every weekend. 

 

I hope that someday you are able to appreciate how incredibly lucky you are, to have your DH getting more time than is guaranteed by the parenting plan. 

 

This past weekend was tough, I get it, and your stepkids' mom was very rude not to give you a heads-up about the illness so that you could change your plans. But if you aren't willing to parent those girls when they're sick, then you should never have married a man who already had kids. He is not the babysitter. He is the dad. 

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#16 of 22 Old 09-12-2012, 07:08 PM
 
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Smithie, I don't see anywhere that the OP said she "didn't want to parent them" while they were sick!  She simply was justifiably annoyed that the mom didn't even warn them that the kids were coming over sick.  Whether she was giving an option to keep the girls for the weekend or dropping them off either way, I think is not much to ask to give a heads up in case they had plans (like a house full of other kids!)  I agree that mom is not obligated to keep them while they are sick and dad is just as responsible for them while sick, etc., but it is just common courtesy to let the other parent know when they are bringing over a sick kid. 

 

As for the feeling lucky comment...yes, it is great that dad is getting more time.  However, it can be very stressful to never know when the kids will be there or not, and I'm sure hard on the kids to know that their mom is more than happy to be without them on her weekends.  I can't put my finger on it, but something about that rubbed me the wrong way.  Would you tell a mom in the same situation that she should feel lucky that dad doesn't want his parenting time and she constantly has to be prepared to have them more than scheduled, or commiserate with her about how tough it is not to be able to rely on the other parent using his parenting time? (Honest question, not trying to be snotty).  Because I can see how it is really great that you get all that extra time, but at the same time I hate not knowing what the schedule is ahead of time, and I imagine the kids feel the same way. 


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#17 of 22 Old 09-12-2012, 07:56 PM
 
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What about the well being of the two little girls? Barring extreme circumstances, someone that ill -- high fever and pneumonia for christ sake- should not be moved!

And what about the well being of your baby? Pneumonia in a baby I would think all the adults, your husband's X included, would do everything to avoid. It is pretty darn hard not to spread an illness when you,ve got little kids coughing and feverish ...

I feel bad for all concerned. Hope everyone is on the mend...

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#18 of 22 Old 09-13-2012, 05:30 AM
 
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Parenting time is parenting time.  I would much rather keep my kids home when they are sick, but I think caring for them when they are sick (which my X never did when we were married) will help him to grow as a parent. So I send them over.

 

Perhaps this situation can help you grow as a step-parent.  If the girls are truly part of your family, then so is there illness, bday party or no.  Should the mom have let you know ahead of time?  Yes, but maybe she feared your reaction, or that you wouldn't want to take them.  And while we are condemning her for wanting extra free time from her kids, we don't know her, or how much other kid-free time she has had in the last decade.  

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#19 of 22 Old 09-13-2012, 06:03 AM
 
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Would you tell a mom in the same situation that she should feel lucky that dad doesn't want his parenting time and she constantly has to be prepared to have them more than scheduled, or commiserate with her about how tough it is not to be able to rely on the other parent using his parenting time? (Honest question, not trying to be snotty).

 

It's not about Mom or Dad for me - it's about every-other-weekend vs. fulltime. Obviously, a single parent who cares for the children all week is likely to be irritated when they have to cancel their weekend plans because the NCP bailed on their parenting time - it's bad for the kids to not see their other parent, and it's bad for the PCP to not have a respite. But this Dad seems to have 4 DAYS A MONTH. Getting a chance to be with your children more than 4 days a month is an occasion for gratitude. 

 

 

I admit I'm over-cautious when it comes to sickness, but pneumonia?  I would keep my kids home if they were that sick. 

 

When they are with their Dad and stepmom, they are at home, just as much as if they were with their mom. 

 

Some legitimately enraging things happened to HipHopYay's family this weekend - they weren't given appropriate notice so that they could alter their party plans, and they weren't given the antibiotics that their daughters needed to take over the weekend. I'm sorry if I came across as harsh, HipHopYay. But you're in really negative thinking spiral right now. If your stepdaughters need to be taught to cover their sneezes and wash their hands, then teach them! You are entitled to make the hygiene rules in your house. But you need to remember that it's their house, too, and that they belong there just as much as your son and your daughter do. 

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#20 of 22 Old 11-20-2012, 02:36 PM
 
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First of all, what kind of mother would you be if you didn't think of the welfare of your children and others in your household? I know exactly how you feel. My situation is very similar to yours, but I usually have my husbands support. To me it doesn't make sense to send a sick, contagious child into a home/school/daycare with healthy children. No, parenting isn't a pick-and-choose job, but I can't help but think it's only common courtesy, or common sense, to at least give a fair warning when knowingly sending a contagious child into an environment where other little ones are at risk of getting sick. As long as you're willing to show your step-children's mother the same courtesy, such as letting her know in advance if one of your children is sick, you aren't asking too much!

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#21 of 22 Old 11-25-2012, 11:17 AM
 
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I appreciate everyone's input, thank you.  I know I chose the wrong wording when I said "opt out" that wasn't the way I meant it.

I would've appreciated a head's up on the pneumonia (that spread like wild fire through their baby-sitter's house too, so yes very contagious) I believe that is common courtesy. 

When my DS is sick, I make him stay in bed just like I did/do when I'm very sick.  He is also very mindful of covering his cough/sneeze and washing his hands.  That isn't really important at their Mom's house or at the baby-sitter's house.  That's how I deal with it when my DS is sick.  We do have motrin/tylenol/dylsum, we don't have their antibiotics though. 

When my DS was seeing his biological father still I would warn him when he was sick and offer to keep him home. 

She is not the type of person who would deny parenting time, she jumps at any opportunity to have a child free weekend.  That is why our every other weekend schedule has now turned into almost every weekend. 

Aren't you happy that your husband and his children get to see each other more often?  I can't imagine only seeing my kids twice a month. 

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#22 of 22 Old 11-25-2012, 11:26 AM
 
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First of all, what kind of mother would you be if you didn't think of the welfare of your children and others in your household? I know exactly how you feel. My situation is very similar to yours, but I usually have my husbands support. To me it doesn't make sense to send a sick, contagious child into a home/school/daycare with healthy children. No, parenting isn't a pick-and-choose job, but I can't help but think it's only common courtesy, or common sense, to at least give a fair warning when knowingly sending a contagious child into an environment where other little ones are at risk of getting sick. As long as you're willing to show your step-children's mother the same courtesy, such as letting her know in advance if one of your children is sick, you aren't asking too much!


I;m sorry, but this train of thought is ridiculous.  The step daughters are her children too.   They should be able to see their dad, even when they're sick.  The crazy thing about this is, what if op's son got sick at school?  would she not allowhim back into the "home"?  Of course not! 

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