Thursday, 26 February 2009


One day while driving home, the Mrs suddenly mentioned that we should be more careful in taking care of ourselves now that we are parents of three. Maybe it was my driving that prompted her to think about this although I prefer to think that it was not.

The conversation then got interesting because she asked me if something were to happen to both of us tomorrow then what is going to happen to our three babies? Shouldn't we make a conscious decision now as to who should we entrust our babies to. This has been lingering at the back of my mind even till this day.

How do you decide who should be your kids’ guardian? What criteria must this person meet? What qualities must this person possess? Must this person be family?

If it is just one of us who are gone then this should not be an issue since the remaining party should be able to carry on parenting with the assistance and support from families and friends. Although I come from a very small family, only a sister actually, but I am very fortunate to have a couple of friends (more like bros) who I can count on. I know for a fact that should I be gone, they will render whatever assistance the Mrs may require while bringing up the kids over the years. Coincidentally all of us are the only son in the family so perhaps this fostered a brotherly bond amongst us. Take a bow guys! You deserved it!

Money should not be an issue with the amount of insurance coverage that I had bought for the two of us in case this should really happen. They should be taken care of in the monetary department. Now it is a matter of upbringing and whether this person is able and most importantly willing to look after the “Three Terrors”.

A condition that we insist on is the three of them must not be split up under any circumstances. I feel it is very important that they be brought up together which makes it even harder for the person to accept this responsibility.

I guess the obvious choice would have been family but all our parents are getting old so they will not have the energy to look after them. Don’t get me wrong though, they are the grandparents hence they are definitely playing a part in their upbringing. Next in line will be siblings. All our siblings have their own family and also their own issues (don’t we all) so it will not exactly be fair to impose the “Three Terrors” on them.

After that we only have good friends to consider but this group will prove even less likely since they are not obligated to take over no matter how good a friend they are.

This I believe is not something that we can come to a conclusion anytime soon. Furthermore both of us must agree to the appointment of this person which is always going to be tough if the names selection for the twins is anything to go by. However you can bet this time that there will not be a poll to help us decide.

Another thing that we should probably do is go to a lawyer and have a will drawn up. Please don’t mistaken us for millionaires but I learned that without a will it will only cause more inconvenience for the love ones you leave behind. They will not be able to access your bank accounts; it will take them months to get a hold of the title deed for the house and what about the disbursement of the insurance claim? I definitely do not want them to squander it all on a one year long round the world vacation. With the both of us gone, it will be helpful if the lawyers and guardian can see to it that only a certain amount is released to them periodically and enough of it is left for their education and living expenses.

While writing this post a movie came to mind, Raising Helen. Not sure any of you watched it since it is not a mega blockbuster with out of this world’s CGI. I find this show to be rather meaningful although it borderline on being a chick flick. In the show Helen was surprised by a letter to her from her dead sister explaining why she was chosen as her three kids' guardian. Maybe I will prepare a letter such as this too so our chosen one will be equally surprised unless of course there are volunteers now.



WaveSurfer said...

The scenario you mentioned about your bros taking care of your children if one of you departs reminded me of this korean drama 《三个爸爸一个妈妈》(literally translated to '3 Daddies and 1 Mummy'). It is an interesting and humours show all should watch.

Anonymous said...

How interesting! We had this discussion over at our home too. In my mind, the ideal arrangement would probably be a joint guardianship between my friends (a female couple) and my MIL, with visitation rights to my parents and brother.

I think my hubby is more inclined to entrust sole guardianship to my MIL, but I'm not in favour of that due to her age, and the fact that she's another generation removed and has certain different values from those we want to encourage.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dylan,

I thought I was the only one entertaining this thought (secretly); so was surprised to see you blog about this topic. Like you guys, I scanned through my 'database' and have similar concerns as you. Hubby would most probably find me paranoid if I were ever to share with him on this topic now, haha!

And coincidentally, I've also been telling hubby to be extra careful when he's behind the wheels, ever since the kids started arriving.

Penny for thoughts indeed....

The Bimbo said...

.. wow... I felt a little sad reading this post. Yet, it's a necessary talk that you and the Mrs had.

What a big difference it is having another two more in the tow.. few people will be willing to take on this responsibility because it really isn't easy. I do hope you guys think of someone.

Have you ever spoken to your family members about this?

Michelle Ng said...

Similarly, i had this thought too when Xan when still a little baby. It too came to my mind while i was sitting in the car hubby was driving. hah... The only person that came to my mind was my mum. The only person i can trust since i do not have any siblings. On the other hand i kept urging my hubby to quit smoking(and yes he quitted for almost a year aldy). I always told him i dun wan him to die so early. If he die what will happen to me n our kids.

I think its wise to draw a will and give out the money in a yearly basis. Maybe we shld do that too. hee.

Anonymous said...

comes hand in hand with my weird death dreams of late. but unlike you i have no babies.. well i guess for us, we will have this thought/discussion when we reach the bridge. you savvy parents here are 10 steps ahead of me and g.. sigh*

it's so sad to talk about death, however, it is a certain thing that would happen to our loved ones and us.. sigh again..

only death and taxes are certain in life eh!?

sighing away*
Mrs Chew

Anonymous said...

a morbid topic but cose to the heart... not sure if u came across the documentary about the lady who had cancer - Shin... she is one person who really prepared everything before she died. she even specifically listed down the areas that her girl may need a female adult for help instead of relying all on her husband..

like the saying goes... better b prepared than sorry. I should also start to think about this. thanks for bringing it up!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi WaveSurfer,

Thanks for your recommendation but I am not a Korean drama fan. Will probably recommend to my other friends who are.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi E,

Long time no hear from you.

I think this topic is probably in more homes than we think.

It is hard to come to an agreement who you should leave your kids to isn't it? I take it that the verdict is still out on this one?

Joint guardianship? Intestering. Never thought of that.

Do your female friends know that they are being considered as guardians for Layla? What are their thoughts?

What about your MIL? Is she aware and will she be offended that she has to "share" her granddaughter?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Joyce,

I honestly believe that we are not alone on this subject. Most if not all parents will probably have thought about this at one point or other.

You should probably tell your husband that this should be tackled earlier rather than later since we have no idea when accidents might happen (sorry for scaring your and sounding a little pessimistic here).

Hmmmm..... maybe you husband drives like me. Hahahahaha

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Bobo,

For some strange reason the feeling I get for writing this post wasn't sadness.

I was actually worried for my babies rather than sad. I guess I need to know that they will be in good hands.

I honestly feel that because there are 3 of them so it will most likely to be family instead of friends who will take them in.

We have not spoken to anyone about this. I guess we are still trying to decide on the candidates before we speak to anyone.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Michelle,

So wives think of death when husbands are driving them around. This looks like a rather common phenomenon. Hahahahaha Speak volume about our driving skills.

It is good that you have already identified your guardian but your husband needs to ok it as well.

The Mrs is also always telling me that I must not go before she does.

Ya, go speak to your lawyer and have something draft up now.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Jolin,

Actually you should probably start observing your friends and see how are they as parents now. Never too early to start compiling your list.

Yup, guess you heard the saying ya, in life only 2 things are certain, paying your taxes and death.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Cecilia,

Yes it is a morbid topic and one that is very close to the heart especially for all of us parents.

No I can't say I have come across the documentary on Shin. Sounds interesting. Will google it for sure. It is true that we husbands will need help on female issues should the mother be no longer around. How very thoughtful of her.

Do give it some thought and act on it if possible.

Anonymous said...

Hi D! Yeap, you're right that the verdict is still out, but that's more because we only had one discussion on this, when Layla was less than a year old.

It is tough to decide, even on family. Personally, I wouldn't pick someone who's single to be my kid's guardian, because I know how preoccupied people get once they fall in love and take it to the next level.

Leaving your child in the hands of a married couple... they have their own kids and lives to worry about, there's always that iffy issue of whether you can truly trust the guy, especially if you're entrusting a daughter to his care.

I have not broached the topic with my girlfriends or MIL since we have not reached a decision. But certainly I will talk to my hubby about this very soon -- your post has reminded me!

Anonymous said...

me too! this topic came abt aft i gave birth to my boys and witnessing so many sudden deaths. i got abit worried.but we do not really came abt discussing this topic seriously.
on the other hand, i kept urging my hubby to quit smoking but to no avail.sigh...

Nicole said...

Hi Dylan,
I've actually saw your post the moment you posted it but somehow I didn't comment on it. To me, this topic is very disturbing, no doubt it's very real.

When you meant guardianship, it'll mean that both the parents will not be around anymore to tend for the children. And definition for guardian can be very broad as well. I used to have a guardian too, she didn't do much (to my opinion). All she did was make sure she gave us(my siblings and I) pocket money every month, have a roof over our head. It might be more than enough for some or most, but to me, as a parent now, I'll think that's barely enough.

I've also give this topic thoughts much earlier myself though it's not about guardian. I'm thinking more along the line of, when I passed on, the ins money(since I'm not rich and there's the only asset that I'll leave behind), how to do the maths. It seems easy enough that I divide the money between the two girls but then, they will still need someone to help them manage the money etc.

It's really not so easy and requires some serious thoughts, thinkings and planning.

It's good that you touch on this topic. To make those who have yet to give it a passing thought, really sit down and think about it.

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi E,

So I guess it is time to revisit this topic and come to a conclusion? I find it very hard honestly.

I agree with your take about not entrusting them to friends who are single.

As for entrusting your daughter to a man, it is always a risk. Then I also can't help but to think if the married couple with their own kids will treat mine differently.

I have a feeling most of us will not be coming to a conclusion on this anytime soon. I wish you luck on this!

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Alicia,

I am sorry to hear that you have witnessed so many sudden deaths! It must be hard.

I don't think many people will really touch on and come to a conclusion on this topic.

It is funny how so many of you mothers are getting your husbands to quit smoking. I suspect they have all gave up when you were pregnant only to pick up again after you have delivered?

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Nicole,

I'm sorry you find this post disturbing but I guess in life very often we have to deal with unpleasant things head on. This was indeed very real and something close to our hearts because it is not made up. As parents at one time or other we must have thought about it.

I know what you meant by your definition on guardians but what I had in mind is so much more. This guardian, besides giving allowances to my kids must really look into their well being. From simple things like the food they should and should not be eating to the schools they should go to and more important issues they will later face in life.

In other words, this guardian is there to replace us. They are going to be like the kids' parents after we are gone.

Coming to a conclusion on this is really not going to be easy and it might take a very long time as well.

Like you, I hope that by reading this topic some of these readers do sit down and give it some considerable thought even though they may not be able to come up with a decision.

F A I T H said...

Hi Dylan
My sister and I had this same discussion few weeks back when she was driving. Hahaha... So I guess its true that female tend to consider issues such as death while on the road. Hee...
Surprisingly, my sisters (both younger and older) were prepared to care for my twins in the event my husband and I were gone at the same time. In fact, should I be the one to die, there is a very high possibility my girls will end up with my sisters too. I supposed we siblings are a lot closer and my husband is really fine with this arrangement too. We just didn't thought of getting a will done (yet). Looks like I should start planning one too. Thanks for posting on this topic. Good reminder! :)

A Husband's Voice said...

Hi Faith,

Yes we can at least now ascertain that it is the ladies who think of such morbid thoughts when in a car. Hahaha

It is nice for your sisters to step up and volunteer isn’t it? But do you worry that they may favour their own kids more in the future?

I think it is important for us all to get this will out of the way. It certainly seems like most of us thought about getting one done but all of us are procrastinating.