Confession time, I’m a perfectionist.

A little bit of perfectionism is a good thing. I have high standards for my work and I am constantly trying to improve my knowledge and skills.

Too much perfectionism is a bad thing. I have natural tendency to never be completely satisfied with my work, pay excessive attention to detail, and rework projects.

I was the kid in handwriting class who scrunched up my paper and started over again if my cursive did not have the perfect slant. “Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees?” I’m so busy examining the bark pattern on the first tree I see that I don’t even notice I’m in a forest.

I’m working on it. My mantra when I get overwhelmed with making something perfect is “Good enough, is enough.”

When my husband and I were trying to choose a guardian for our first child, my perfectionist tendency reared its ugly head. There were lists, spreadsheets, and Venn diagrams. Books were read and experts were consulted. It went on for months.

I finally came to realize that there was no perfect replacement for us. I’m never going to be 100% comfortable with the choice because no one is ever going to do as good a job at raising our child as we could. And that’s okay.

While there were no perfect choices, but there were plenty of really good ones.

If you are struggling to choose a “good enough” guardian for your children, here are some practical factors you should consider:

  • Do they love your children? Do your children love them and feel comfortable with them? If your children suddenly were sent to live with them, would they make your children feel safe and loved?
  • Do they live near other people who are important to your children? Would your children still get to see grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, and their friends? Would your children get to stay in the same school?
  • Do they have other children living at home? Do your children know and get along with their children?
  • Who would be the person taking care of the children on a daily basis? For example, if someone chose my husband and myself as guardians for their children, I would be the one taking care of them during the day and managing their schools and activities.
  • Are they capable of taking care of young children all day, every day, year after year? Are they physically and emotionally healthy? Do they have the physical stamina necessary to take care of children?
  • Do they know what’s involved in raising children? Are they raising children or have raised children before?
  • If you choose a couple, and they were to later get divorced or one of them were to die, would you be comfortable with one of them acting as the sole guardian?
  • If you left instructions for how you would like your children to be raised, would they follow your instructions?
  • Do they have similar moral values, as well as spiritual and religions values, as you?
  • Do they have a support system in place to help them raise your children?

No one will ever be a perfect choice. But no one wants a judge determining who will raise their children. So for your children’s sake, sit down with your spouse and start talking about who would be the “good enough” choice to raise your children.

What factors did you consider in naming a guardian for your kids? Leave a comment or send me an e-mail.

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