Is it okay for a parent to not allow their children over because they are sick?

Jennifer-heasley - posted on 11/24/2013 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I don't know if I handled this right and I just need advice. I have my three kids (4yr, 3yr, 1yr) Monday-Friday, their dad has them Saturday and Sundays. It has been this way since we separated in April. This week my youngest had a cough, a really bad cough. I took her in and found out that she had croup ( http://kidshealth.org/parent/infections/... ), a very mild case of it. My kid's dad is always a very nervous individual and so I sent him a very long text explaining exactly what she had and how we were to deal with it, hoping he wouldn't get upset and have a panic attack (that isn't slander, he has a history of anxiety) and he seemed fine. I drop the kids off with him at 8am on Saturday and I get a call at 10am saying that his girlfriend, whom he lives with, will not allow my children into their apartment because she thinks that my youngest will infect her children (13yrs, 8yrs, 2yrs no history of serious illness) and she doesn't want to deal with that, so I have to pick up the kids after I get off work and take care of them, since he had nowhere to take them. I told him that was his time and that during similar times (needing to take the 3yr to the er and hoping for him to watch the other kids) he informed me that was inappropriate to ask. I got ahold of him mom and was able to convenience her to allow him and my children to stay there until they were able to be picked up by me or allowed back into their father's house but that whole night I received texts saying I was a bad, uncaring mother from him and his girlfriend. So I just want to know, did I handle that okay? Should I have just taken them? I feel guilty for not taking them because it wasn't that I wanted to miss out on time with them, I just didn't want to have this be a continuous issue.

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Ev - posted on 11/27/2013

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I do not know if this helps or not but there have been times in the past when my kids were both sick and because of where I work; I did not need to be exposed to those I work with because they would get sick easier than even I would. My ex was not upset with that idea. When I got sick, if it was my weekend again he kept them so they would not get sick especially when it was contagious and the fact they did not need to get sick and then give it to their step siblings. We just worked it out. We have never had a problem with it. But if they were sick with something that would not cause issues for me at work, they were with me. I think that it depends on what you are doing and how you do it. Each case is individual. BUT the girlfriend does not have a right to say they can not come over. Croup is not that bad if mild and her kids are so much older that they would not get it except maybe the two year old if at all. There are a lot of sicknesses that are more of something a child under two will get and does not affect the twos and up.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 11/26/2013

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So, if you didn't want to "interrupt" their time, why could he not spend the night on your sofa? Surely you're both adult enough to make that adjustment in an emergency situation.

However, I think that, since gf instigated the problem, gf should have paid for a motel room for them, or removed her children if that was her worry.

Enna - posted on 11/26/2013

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He is their father, so he is obligated to care for them when they are sick. If it's his time with them, then he needs to be responsible for them healthy or not.
As a mom, if I could I would keep them home because I would feel better about it. Especially knowing that he has other children where he lives that could become sick.
You did nothing wrong though.

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Tracy - posted on 01/09/2014

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I have this same issue. My husband has weekend parenting time with his two girls, time that was greatly reduced from 4 days a week when their mom moved an hour and a half away. I have two boys and a 6 month old baby. In our home we don't generally see many illnesses as my kids practice very good hand hygiene as my oldest son had Leukemia when he was 3 (15 now) so this has always been important to us. I also work in the medical field and have quite a bit of knowledge on illnesses and what's contagious and how long before and after symptoms one is contagious. When our kids get sick in our home they stay in their room to rest as that is the most important road to recovery and also prevents spread of the illness around the house and to others. My husband's ex-wife believes otherwise, she believes that it is better to deliberately expose your kids to contagious illnesses to build their immune system (which is not true, living in the everyday environment builds your immune system in a HEALTHY way), even illnesses such as Influenza A and B something that killed many kids last year as well as things like stomach viruses, and meningitis. She believes that the kids should still come over no matter what they have and she also believes that they should come over even if one of my kids are sick with something highly contagious as my son had last year Influenza. She also expected my husband to travel a half hour to meet her to pick up the girls while he was very sick with a stomach virus and I was in the beginning stages of it and 8 months pregnant. I fully agree that parents need to be parents no matter what sick or not. When the girls get sick while they are with us we take care of them, take them to ER if necessary. What we have a problem with is that the girls are ALWAYS sick and my husband is concerned about their health. In general their hygiene is very poor. They come to us without having baths, filthy clothes, they don't brush their teeth, skin and bones and with her practices of exposing the girls to illnesses and not having them stay in bed and rest and sending them to school and dragging them around town when they are sick keeps their immune system compromised meaning they will pick up every illness they are exposed to because their immune system has never had the opportunity to build back up after each illness. My husband is concerned about the fact that they are always sick and it causing some serious issues down the road. His biggest problem is that he does not feel it is in the best interest to put the girls in the car very sick to drive them an hour and a half to meet him and then put them in another car to drive another half hour. Just this past weekend his youngest was very sick with a stomach virus (we all know how we feel when we have a stomach bug) picture being a little 5 year old. We think that it should be about what is in the best interest of the kids ALL of them, not what is convenient for the parents as well as not nit pick and criticize the other parent because of their concern for the kids. Every time my husband brings it up the first thing she does is starts telling him that he needs to be a parent and that is all a part of the job, and then she will go on to accuse him of not wanting to see the girls IN FRONT OF THEM.

Jodi - posted on 11/27/2013

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I'll be honest, my ex and I have negotiated when my son has been sick and agreed he was better home with me because I know his doctor better, etc. On the flipside, I've had our stepson sent to us sick and it turned out to be meningitis, and that resulted in major hospitalisation, medical emergency, and a very stressful time for everyone. It's one of those things that IF you have the ability, you could negotiate. Personally, I would notify the other parent that the child was sick, check if they were ok with that, and then decide what to do. As primary carer, I usually expect to be stuck with the sick child (although now that he is 16, it has become more his choice to stay home).

Enna - posted on 11/26/2013

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Well it would be really hard to have the infidelity thing anyway when you were at work :)

Jennifer-heasley - posted on 11/26/2013

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Since I was working, I actually offered my apartment but that was quickly turned down since the gf has a worry that some sort of infidelity could occur between us. Which would honestly never, EVER happen.

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