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Conflict of interest?

Old 04-27-2011, 01:34 PM
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Conflict of interest?

So RAH comes home for an AA meeting yesterday telling me that he found a solution to our childcare issues. (My biggest issue is that I have no help. I don't trust RAH husband with the kids since even while not drinking his judgment when it comes to their safety is off.) So he tells me that there is someone from AA who is an older woman who just finished taking care of he grandchild and she is available & inexpensive.

Now mind you, I am VERY VERY cautious about who takes care of my children. I have never left them with anyone besides family members or close friends. I told him out right that I didn't think it was a good idea to pursue having this woman care for our children. He immediately jumps on - it's because she's an A, you won't even consider it. Truthfully, that is part of my concern. I have NO IDEA where this woman is in her recovery, and these are MY CHILDREN we are talking about. And during the 'interview' process I'm thinking coming out and asking how long she has been sober is a huge no no. But seriously, there is a HUGE difference between someone who hasn't drank in 2 months versus someone who hasn't drank in 10 years.

I am not close-minded and would be open to giving someone well in recovery a chance to do anything else, but to freely place the lives of my children in this person's hands is not an option to me. RAH automatically jumped down my throat and said that because I was unwilling to give her a chance I will never accept HIS recovery.

I proceeded to try to explain to him that A aside, he KNOWS how picky I am about leaving my kids with ANYBODY. That aside from a few select people that I know VERY well, and have an emotional investment in our lives, I don't leave them with any random person. My critera when selecting someone to watch my children (who are 1, 4 & 6 by the way, including a child with significant special needs) is either a family member, a close friend who I've known forever or someone with references from some I know and has allowed them to watch their children for a considerable amount of time.

Not to mention, bringing someone into our home who RAH goes to meeting with seems like a conflict of interest. It just doesn't seem like it would be a good idea ethically.

When it comes to my children, I am unwaivering when it comes to my stance on their safety & well-being, so my decision is made. BUT, am I really being close-minded in this particular situation?
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:37 PM
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I don't think you're being close minded.
I wouldn't allow it if I was wearing your shoes.

Edit: When a mother is uncomfortable with something regarding her kids, that's all that needs to be said.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:41 PM
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Um, no. As a mother, I know exactly how you feel. The only people who have watched DD have been close family members I know I can trust to uphold the parenting choices I make AND care for DD's particular needs. Oyah and once I had her babysat by her daycare caregiver, whom she saw every day and DD FREAKED out so badly I never repeated the experience.

Considering the fact that you know all about addiction, I'd say your instincts are bang on AND that your RAH was perhaps trying to bait you into an argument, since he knows full well how you feel about childcare and a potentially intoxicated caregiver, be it your RAH or some stranger from AA.
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:02 PM
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IMO, it bangs right up against the whole anonymity issue, along with what others have said.

- Sylvie
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:30 PM
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:rotfxko

You probably didn't intend this post to be funny, but I find it a little humorous.

While it's possible she could be a perfectly nice person, a good caregiver, 20 years sober, or whatever......

The fact is--you don't even know her. And you're supposed to consider her as a valid option for childcare based on a recommendation from your AH (who you do not trust with his own children) because he knows her from AA? That's frickin' hilarious.

You do realize NO is a complete sentence, right?

L
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Old 04-27-2011, 02:34 PM
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Coming from the other side here...being a RA...and a mother of a special needs child - you are absolutely in the right. No way, no how would I allow that to happen if I were in your shoes. I am a SAHM and spend every waking (and sleeping) moment taking care of my daughter's needs and I simply do not trust anyone to watch her and be capable of upholding my parenting values, let alone the endless patience that is necessary in taking care of a special needs child.

If your motherly instincts question it, you have the answer right there.

-Jess
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:10 PM
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I agree with your concerns and it is always best to play it safe. I think it is perfectly right given the situation to ask how long they have been the in recovery. I would have asked and asked other questions. There is a big difference between a few weeks and a few years of recovery. Only you can make the choice of what is safe for your kids. I do not know the history of your story and how you and RHA relate to each other so in no way would I ever suggest a judgment of your actions. You did what you felt was right and that’s good. Parents are protective of there kids and that is normal and healthy.

It does however sound like you are questioning how you reacted to the situation in your post. Maybe he put the question to you the wrong way. If he had told you the grandmother had been sober and in recovery for 10 years – 15 years or something like that would you have been more open to the discussion? Have you ever gone to an open AA meeting with your husband and meet the lady? It may not have changed your mind but the people at AA are close to our significant others and they share a bond and a trust with them. The effort to meet with the person and get the facts about their recovery would give you the information to make an informed decision once you have a better feel for who this person is. At least it would demonstrate to your RAH that you are open to the growth of those going to AA meetings with him and to his growth.

Could your RAH been truly trying to find a helpful solution for you? While his choice may not hve been fully thought through he may have been trying to help.

I would have likely made the same choice as you did.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:20 PM
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I'm a parent and I'd say that in this instance your perspective is dead nuts on. She may be a great woman, but unless you live in the middle of nowhere you probably have other options.

That said, you've never left your kids with anybody except close friends or family members. To me, a recovering controlling and overprotective father, that seems a little TOO controlling. I'd encourage you to look into that. Again, I agree with you about this particular woman, but I'd bet dimes to dollars that, like me, you are a control freak (and not just about your children).

If I'm wrong, mea culpa. If I'm right, please consider Alanon, counseling, or both. That's what I did. It helped me a lot. Plus, as your kids get older, your controllingness and overprotectiveness is going to start to hurt them more than protect them (my daughter is now 15, and is exhibiting textbook characteristics of the children of overprotective parents-- it's not good).

Take care, take what you want, and leave the rest.

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Old 04-27-2011, 03:21 PM
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So RAH comes home for an AA meeting yesterday telling me that he found a solution to our childcare issues. (My biggest issue is that I have no help. I don't trust RAH husband with the kids since even while not drinking his judgment when it comes to their safety is off.) So he tells me that there is someone from AA who is an older woman who just finished taking care of he grandchild and she is available & inexpensive.
I am in the same boat. Do NOT trust my "R"AH with our kids which definitely complicates childcare on al anon nights etc... But I think you are wise to trust your gut and be safe than sorry.

I told him out right that I didn't think it was a good idea to pursue having this woman care for our children. He immediately jumps on - it's because she's an A, you won't even consider it. Truthfully, that is part of my concern.
I'd have the same concern and I think it's valid. #1. You don't know her. #2. All you have is her word that she's sober and I would not trust a stranger from AA with my kids either.

I have NO IDEA where this woman is in her recovery, and these are MY CHILDREN we are talking about. And during the 'interview' process I'm thinking coming out and asking how long she has been sober is a huge no no.
Why is that a no-no? Because it might make her uncomfortable? Tough. They're your kids. You have every right to ask that if she's expressing a willingness/interest in watching your kids. If she balks at it then that should be your answer right there. I think it's crap that we non A's feel we need to tip toe around calling out the elephant in the room for fear that it will upset the A. Tough. Your kids come first. Not the A's feelings.

RAH automatically jumped down my throat and said that because I was unwilling to give her a chance I will never accept HIS recovery.
He made that assumption-- that doesn't make it true. Don't waste your breath trying to explain otherwise to him. A's (at least the ones I've known) LOVE to jump to conclusions the instant they are not given the answer they want. I guess he wanted you to say "Oh that woman sounds great" and have no questions for her? Hmmmm sounds pretty much like how my AH (and I imagine others') want me to just blindly believe his claims that he is in "R". The jumping down your throat seems like the typical A response to having anything challenged. Sorry you're having to deal with that but you know it's not about you right? You are behaving reasonably and cautiously for your kids sake.

I proceeded to try to explain to him that A aside, he KNOWS how picky I am about leaving my kids with ANYBODY. That aside from a few select people that I know VERY well, and have an emotional investment in our lives, I don't leave them with any random person. My critera when selecting someone to watch my children (who are 1, 4 & 6 by the way, including a child with significant special needs) is either a family member, a close friend who I've known forever or someone with references from some I know and has allowed them to watch their children for a considerable amount of time.
I'm guessing he was and is aware of all of this. To me his reaction comes across as an opportunity for him to find something to have a fit about- even something perfectly reasonable that you are explaining. The issue seems to be his desire to have a fit and jump down your throat and I doubt very much that it has much to do with his feeling incensed about you not wanting this woman to babysit. My AH has for years looked for any and every excuse to have fits and be annoyed with me. That's how I read your H's response to this. You should not have to explain to the father of your kids why it is you want to exercise caution about who watches them. That's just insane.

Not to mention, bringing someone into our home who RAH goes to meeting with seems like a conflict of interest. It just doesn't seem like it would be a good idea ethically.
Just seems like a bad idea to have someone your not so recovering H is enamored with watch your kids. I wouldn't do it. How can you really know whether she's sober or recovering or not. Based on what your H says? Yikes.

When it comes to my children, I am unwaivering when it comes to my stance on their safety & well-being, so my decision is made.
BUT, am I really being close-minded in this particular situation?
IMHO, absolutely not.
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:37 PM
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I am a recovering alcoholic as most of you know. If I had not been sober as long as I had when my oldest grandchild was born, 12 years ago, there is no way in he!! my daughter would have let me near her yet alone take care of her.

My daughter is extremely 'picky' on who the kids are left with. There are only two of us, beside her on the list at the schools that can pick them up, and we have to show identification.

I understand that your RAH probably thought he was doing a 'good' thing, however, A or not, most men do not have the concerns that a mom does. His thinking went probably something like ........................... oh she's been taking care of her grandchild, great she can take care of our kids, she has recent experience. Totally NOT thinking about the age of your children, the fact that there are 3 of them, and that one has special needs.

So poor baby (said with dripping sarcasm) got his feelings hurt. Too bad. You are doing what needs to be done to keep your children safe and protected. In your shoes I would have done exactly the same thing.

And were you to eventually 'interview' her, it would not be a 'no-no' to ask her how long she has been in continuous recovery, and does she have any experience with a 'special needs' child, and does she have any limitations that would prevent her from chasing after 3 very youngs ones all at the same time, lol etc

So maybe you can tell him you appreciate his effort (if you do) and let it go at that.

I see nothing wrong in your saying NO.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:23 PM
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Answering one aspect of the first post -
no, it's not a conflict of interest.
People in AA help out others all the time.

also -

nothing wrong with asking questions
however -
I 'sensed' that there was a 'flavor' of
'pre-decision' making going on
and maybe that's what made you ask?

I am not sure exactlyhow to ask a question
based on a 'feeling' I get from reading but -
kinda like -
she's in AA automatically no
or
husband suggested her automatic no.

that kind of thing,
and if that *is* the question
then I have to say I sensed it going on as well.

I mean,
Betty Ford is also a recovering alcoholic.
Recovering alcoholics can produce references.
Recovering alcoholics are not automatically failures as humans
and aren't always people who fail repeatedly at everything.

Just an aspect to consider.

I think Cyranoak puts this well -
That said, you've never left your kids with anybody except close friends or family members. To me, a recovering controlling and overprotective father, that seems a little TOO controlling. I'd encourage you to look into that. Again, I agree with you about this particular woman, but I'd bet dimes to dollars that, like me, you are a control freak (and not just about your children).
SO *no* - I don't think you ACTED out of line.
I am sensing that you may have an inner light flashing
about it being so 'automatic'.

and if that *is* what I picked up on,
it doesn't make it 'wrong'
it makes it something to put on the 'needs a little work' list.

jus' sayin.
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Old 04-27-2011, 04:39 PM
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It isn't about AA or her recovery. She is a stranger basically. If she has a childcare business ask for references. Just because she is an elderly grandma doesn't mean she can take care of kids.

As a mom with a special needs child, I totally get it. Has nothing at all to do with mom being a control freak. My mom is elderly, not in AA or an alcoholic and I wouldn't leave my son with her because he is just too much for her to handle safely at times.

Has zero to do with her recovery. It is called good parenting skills you have.

He is wanting to prove something to you about his recovery by using the childcare issue instead. Don't question yourself on this issue.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:24 PM
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If my AH had asked this my response, in a knee jerk way, would have been "oh hell no". I too am very careful who I live my kids with and to think I would leave them with a stranger who is also in AA would just be a double whammy no for me. I would never leave my kids with a stranger period. I would have to know the RA really really well and really understand where they are at in their recovery, and really really like them (goes for anyone watching my kids) before I would say yes.
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Old 04-27-2011, 05:40 PM
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I don't think there is anything wrong with rushing to say no. They are your kids and you are right to be cautious. I too don't let anyone except those I know well take care of my kids. Kids can't protect themselves so that's our job. I am all for giving people a chance to redeem themselves, but my kids aren't going to be the ones who I test that out on. I explained this to my in laws a few yrs ago when I explained why it was I was not going to leave my D's alone with them. FIL is an alcoholic who flips flops from sobriety to not and MIL is the dictionary definition of enabler. They didn't like that. My H didn't like it either since it required the status quo of "let's pretend the 'he's a good man and doesn't mean to harm anyone' mentality" was being challenged. It did not earn me brownie points in the family. And I could care less. My kids matter more than the feelings of adults who've made choices and choose to continue to live in a way not compatible with what I think is safe for my kids.

You do not ever need to apologize for putting the kids first.

Your H has no reasonable right to expect you to trust him or a stranger he knows at AA (or a stranger he knows from anywhere) anymore than you have a right to expect your H to be trustworthy and reliable.

It might sting a little to him but your hesitation doesn't come from out of left field and his first concern should be like yours- your kids. Not the feelings of someone in his AA group.

Don't second guess yourself. Your mom instincts tell you what you need to know. I will never question what I feel when it comes to my kids and I don't think being overly cautious ever hurt anyone.
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