Carolyn Hax: You're there for the kids. Now go a little longer.


Adapted from recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: Two years ago, my wife and I took her two half brothers and sisters, aged 5 and 8. It was an emergency, her mom had real problems that I didn't want to go into, and their father was worried and we were really step up.

Now my mother-law is completely out of the picture, but the children's father wants to restart her.

I was so relieved by the news. I was happy to help when we were, but we are still in our 20s, and I would like to return to our previous lives. We only have a few years before we start to make children ourselves.

My wife wants the children to visit their father at weekends until she is sure he can mark him as a single father. It will help us over the weekend to be back, but we will still be dealing with the drudgery during the week.

And what concerns me is that my wife can not explain exactly what will let the dad is ready. I understand her reluctance to rent, but I say that dad will now keep full custody and if he can't handle it, they can come back. None of those custody arrangements were ever lawful, so who are we rejecting it, right? Isn't my plan reasonable for everyone concerned?

(Nick Galifianakis / The Washington Post)

– Worried

Worried: Sorry, no, no – and I haven't lost my plan completely.

I absolutely look at what you agreed to do and what you gave up. You are young. You're cleaning someone else's mess, and it's safe because you didn't have any truth. You were very similar to these children.

Nothing takes away from that.

However, “the father is not allowed to take full custody now and if he cannot handle it, then they cannot come back” it is not “reasonable for everyone concerned” – there is no one just you could re-trade the children. And it may even hurt you in the end, if the father is going down and walking out.

That is later, however. You now have two vulnerable children. The best thing is to ensure stability, then gradually introduce changes. You only need to tear them from their house and their safe place two years.

So do you as your wife recommends: Send them for a weekend with Dad so that they can all think about it.

When they are comfortable, so when they live full time with Dad, and you can buy rounds instead of string cheese.

The care and patience you take with this rehabilitation process will ultimately be of benefit to anyone. That's because the children go into your care indefinitely if anything goes wrong. It may come up for any other reason, but at the very least you can be careful not to do anything to self-harm by pushing or enforcing it. No matter how bad you are looking for certain air.

Re: Worried: You could refuse the circumstances, but make sure you understand that you are being tested for what children are doing. it. Please look more closely at your feelings before you try to make your own.

– Without a name

Without a name: Exactly, yes, thank you.

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