Friday, September 20, 2013

Single Mom Needs Emergency Help, Brother Not Sure He Can Be There

Dear Tazi:

My sister was a late-in-life single Mom. She was in a terrible car accident recently and it doesn’t look too good for her – she is going to need several months of in-hospital rehabilitative therapy. Our Mom has been watching my sister’s five year old daughter for her, but Mom is in her seventies and can’t keep up with a young kid. This leaves me.

“Rita” is planning on asking me to take guardianship of her daughter, “Callie” while she is in rehab. I am single, never married, and have no children. I would have no clue how to care for a five year old girl even if I had any desire to do it. I travel a lot for work, so I would have to leave her with my Mom or someone while I was away…it’s just a bad, bad situation all around and I am afraid I will only make it worse – either by telling Rita no when she asks me to watch Callie or by saying yes and making the lives of everyone involved miserable. What do I do???

Bachelor Uncle

Dear Bachelor Uncle:

You explain to your sister that your job makes it impossible for you to be the full-time parent that her daughter needs and that you will do everything you can to assist her and her daughter in any other way possible. This means assisting with transportation to and from the rehab center, being there for Callie as a father figure when she needs one, offering whatever financial assistance you are able, and helping to make Callie feel like she is a welcome and loved member of her extended family, and not a burden to be pawned off on others. You may be surprised at just how well you do helping to raise Callie, and at the strong bond that could develop between the two of you.

If your sister has a close friend with whom she would trust Callie (such as a Godparent) it is time to call on that person. If you live in a small town or close knit community, put out a call for assistance; I am sure someone will be more than happy to open up their home to Callie while her mother works to recover from her injuries. An absolute last resort would be to place Callie in a foster home until her mother is again able to care for her. Are you that heartless? I certainly hope not.

Snuggles (Maybe),

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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