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Ask Grandma Maggie

Parenting & Childcare Advice
Peggy Moss (1933-2014), also known as Grandma Maggie, penned a parenting column on this site for many years. Back by popular demand, we are republishing the column, sharing with you the best of Grandma Maggie’s parenting and childcare advice.
Unfortunately Grandma Maggie is no longer able to take questions.

How do I deal with my girlfriend’s ex?
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Ma’am:

I’m a 23-year-old man and I live with my twin sister and her husband in the house in which she and I grew up. I was thrilled months ago when I discovered that they were expecting triplets! My trouble lies with my fiancé or, rather, her 4 y/o son, Milo, who lives with her most of the time. Milo’s father objects to the idea of his son being raised in our household once Fiona and I are married. I have no intention of infringing upon another man’s rights to help determine the environments to which his son is exposed, but I don’t understand his objection. There isn’t anything wrong with the house, there’s room enough for all of us and even a few more.

I guess at first it might be difficult for Milo, with people visiting to see the babies and paying them attention, but would it really affect him more than, say, a sibling of triplets? In fact, with twice as many parental figures around, he would conceivably be receiving more attention than he would be if he were in a traditional home. My fiancée is convinced that her ex is doing this out of spite because he doesn’t want us to marry, but I have trouble believing that. While I don’t pretend to be the daddy, I’ve been in Milo’s life since he was a picture on an ultrasound machine and his father has never acted like this before. Please, if you don’t mind, I could really use some help. I just want to have a life with my family. My whole family.

Seth, The Family Man

Dear Seth,

I have no idea why the ex is acting this way. However, he will have to make a big case that it is not the right place for his son and take it to court. Has he been paying child support since Milo’s birth? If not, he really has nothing to say about it. I know what you want — to stay with your entire family. However, that has nothing to do with what is best for Milo.

Could be you might think about having your own home, but keeping it close to your sister’ place. Just a thought.

Kindest regards, Grandma Maggie