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I'm an irresponsible parent

(6 Posts)
Scaryfeet Mon 29-Apr-13 22:56:42

So, in a nutshell I had my children young. I was 17 when my first was born and 21 the second. Although I cherished them, I also craved to live my life and find out who I am. I'm now 33 and they are 11 and 15. Now I am gaining back, a bit at a time, some of the independence I longed for. I feel guilty daily for not giving them enough time. Let me explain.... we spent a good few years moving around, and then straight after this I met my (now ex) partner. He was not a good man and it took me 6 years to realise this. Anyhow, I feel guilty that my children suffered living a miserable life during that (long) time. Now that we are settled and rid of the man, they are quite happy - but I've basically let them dictate what they want to do for several years now. To the point where we don't really have any family time. I know all kids go through stages, but trying to get them to do anything together is nigh on impossible and the times I've forced it has not been enjoyable on anyone's part, and I know this is my fault and how I've brought them up. I feel guilty daily for staying with a man for 6 years, whom I knew my kids didn't like but always thought I was doing the right thing - surely it was better than being alone?! I feel guilty that since he's left I am following my dreams... I've gone to university, taken up caving, scuba diving etc. I'm torn between going out and enjoying a new life, and staying home with the kids because they don't want to do anything.

Not only this, but I am completely irresponsible with money. I don't even know what I spend it on as I have hardly anything to show for it. I'm up to my neck in debt and it's only growing, I have no will power. I look at other parents with the nice house, being able to afford holidays (I think that's what they call it anyway), and there's us with only the basics because I just indulge in anything we want, with little thought for tomorrow. Does anyone have any "kick up the arse" words of advice to someone who needs to grow up?

P.s, please no judgemental comments about the ex, you don't know the full story and it's difficult to portray a story in a few sentences - the kids never physically suffered.

MagicHouse Mon 29-Apr-13 23:16:36

It's difficult to comment without knowing the full story. But you sound like you've done hugely positive things (left a miserable relationship - that's never easy/ taken up hobbies/ further education) - you're providing a great role model. I wouldn't be so hard on yourself!

The main thing I would seek advice on though is your debt, and how to reduce it. Also - maybe look into finding even just one thing you might all enjoy together - a sport for eg. I would persevere with spending more time with them, even if they don't seem to want to at first.

Have you talked to your children about how they feel about everything?

Scaryfeet Mon 29-Apr-13 23:28:32

Thanks for your reply!

I agree with you, I need to sort this debt out and not live each day as it comes! I can do that, I know how to - but the next time I get some money I'm worried I'll do the same thing I always do. And yes, I've spoken to them. Sometimes I can get one to agree to do one thing (ones agreed to skiing lessons) but the other doesn't want to. The only thing I've ever found that they enjoy together is Megazone, because my son only likes gaming or shooting! I really want to take them camping but the last outing I forced ended up in disaster, it was literally one of the worst weekends ever because they spent the whole weekend in a strop, because I'd been so cruel as to book a hotel in Brighton for the weekend to attend Whalefest!

Scaryfeet Mon 29-Apr-13 23:29:43

Oh, and if you mean about the ex? Yes, we occasionally talk about him, about how great life is since he left, and laugh at things he used to do that annoyed us but we could never say at the time!

iwantanafternoonnap Tue 30-Apr-13 08:16:20

Your hobbies are very expensive ones so they probably aren't helping your debt really. It appears you want to have all those things that people with lots of spare cash have and this may not be what your children want or need. Time costs nothing and even though they may appear to not want to to anything with you they may just need time to get used to you being around. If you are always doing your hobbies then this is not going to happen. I am all for people having hobbies but your at uni, scuba diving and caving

HerrenaHarridan Tue 30-Apr-13 22:59:18

Forget about your ex, ffs you've already thrown away 6 years on him, don't give him another second!

Your kids are basically normal teenagers, ergo you've done something right!

They are not interested in their mum right now, that's normal and very hurtful. Remain open to them, keep offering stuff to do together and try not to take it to heart if they reject it.
If one wants to and the other doesn't, enjoy some one on one time.

Get in control of your finances, you've said you know how so what's the problem?

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