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I feel like a shit parent(19 Posts)
First post. I am feeling some guilt, but it comes and goes, and I don't know what to think anymore.
I have 2 kids. We used to live in town A. I met my Husband around 7 years and and he lived in town B, which is 30 minutes away by car. His job is in town C, which is a further 10 mins away. I work from home (self employed and can be based anywhere).
Things got serious over time and we got married. For 4 years he did the 40 minute commute to and from work (40 mins each way). We said that when the kids went to Uni, that we would move to town B, as it's beautiful and we would have no High School ties to town A. Both kids would have left and be living in Halls (that's what they wanted, to get the full Uni experience).
But, one night, whilst still living in town A, I was browsing property porn and bang, there is a lovely house on the seafront in town B, in our price range. This is very, very rare. Like maybe a once in 10 year opportunity.
We arrange a viewing and buy it.
Kids stay here 4 nights a week, and have 3 at their Dads, who is 5 mins from school. As they are here over the weekend, I only have to run them to school 2 days a week. All good and the school run was 30 mins there and 30 back. We would have lovely chats in the car and I made them fresh coffee for the run.
Now, emergency roadworks and diversions have made that journey 90 minutes there and 90 minutes back. I cannot take this time away from my job to do that. So, they are staying at their Dads till they break up from school.
He lost his driving licence for driving when drunk. So DD and DS are having to walk everywhere in the pissing rain.
And I am cursing myself for moving before they were actually away to Uni.
They are 17 and almost 19. Am I being silly? I feel out of reach and shit!
You are not a shit parent. You made your decisions based on the facts at the time. You've found a solution.
You children are old enough to understand the circumstances and adapt.
Lots of kids have to walk to school, and there was rain long before there were cars.
Presumably they have exams coming up so as long as they can study and are happy enough at their dads I don't see what the problem is.
Your kids live 5 mins from school with their Dad. Even if you mean 5 mins in car that's not very far to walk, even in the rain.
My 19 yo has a bus pass and gets about perfectly easily by herself. It's called independence.
Why is 19yo still in school and not uni already?
You are not a shit parent. From 16 onwards my journey to and from school was almost an hour and a half each way and involved walking buses and my parents giving me a lift to/from the bus stop... It was fine.
They are at home at their dad's, they are old enough to understand that roadworks are not your fault, not getting lifts everywhere might be a pain for them but that is what a student bus pass is for! If they need you you can get to them in under 2 hours and surely the roadworks won't be there for much longer anyway!!!
If you had not moved would this extra journey time gave been added onto your husbands daily commute instead?
ijustwannadance OT (and not sure it really matters), but the OP is probably not in the UK. Standard high school in lots of places - in Iceland, for instance - goes up to 19.
Their dad is a shit parent for drunk driving. You sound lovely.
They are with their dad and they won't melt in the rain.
My DD's school is 20 mins away by bike and she has to do her paper round everyday before school too.
Your late teens are only 5 mins from school. You're being way to precious.
When I was their ages, my parents didn't drive me anywhere and I don't consider that to be an issue. I don't drive my son anywhere really and he's 16. He has a 2 mile walk to and from school every day which he does every day regardless of the weather because I leave for work before him and return after him.
there was rain long before there were cars yup!
It sounds more like they were a little bit coddled anyway. This will do them good.
Agree with cake mountain, the only person who has done anything shit here is their dad for drink driving. E everything else comes from making the best decision with the available and predictable information.
My 12 year old leaves the house at 7.30am, walks 15mins to catch the bus which takes 20mins to get to and from school. I don't feel bad...I don't drive so I get to stay in bed.
Won't the roadworks be sorted soon? Of course you're not a shit parent.
Lots of 'children" that age travel an hour or so by public transport to get to college. At DD's college even if they go by train they have a 15 minute walk from the station.
If they can't walk in a bit of rain at their age, then how are they going to cope with Uni?
You're not a shit parent. Don't ever think that.
We lived a 5 min drive from my DC high school and if they needed to go further they would ask for lifts. Then this year DD1 went to uni 100s of miles away, she is 19 and has to walk everywhere come rain or shine, in hilly terrain, on average an hour a day if she goes back to her halls for lunch etc. she is really enjoying the independence. DD2 16 changed schools of her own accord and now has a 25 min walk to school and driving is not much less due to traffic in th mornings, again she doesn't see it as a problem.
I don't think you are a shit parent your DC are teenagers. If they had been 7&9 possibly but don't give it another minutes thought.
Thanks for all he replies. I feel a bit better! To answer questions:
The almost 19 yo is already at Uni, but he has to go to his Dads every Tuesday night, as he works with him on a Wednesday. He has to do quite a long walk from the Station to his Dad's, come rain or shine, even tho there's a lovely shiny 13 plate car on the drive, that the Ex can't use, thanks to losing his fecking licence! He then has to walk to the Station again Wednesday morning at 630am (to get to work) and again Wednesday night he walks to his Dads to grab dinner (he'd be too late to get dinner at Halls) and then walks back to Station around 9pm, to get the train back to Uni.
Yes, had we not moved, the extra journey time would have been added to my Husbands commute.
The roadworks should be finished by January (let's hope!)
I do think that I have coddled them a bit. But I've worked from home since they were knee high, so it's never been a problem for me to run them everywhere. To know that they are now sometimes walking home (to their Dads) in the pissing rain, just makes me question whether I made this move too soon. I can't undo it of course.
Even when their Dad had a licence, he refused to bring them here or pick them up, as his stock line was "you moved, you do it". He gets his licence back on Christmas Eve, but it will be me who drives them there and back over the festive season, and it will be a 2 hour round trip. With no road works, it would have been just 20 mins there and 20 mins back, as roads will be super quiet at Christmas.
Thanks so much for the replies, I feel a bit less shit. x
I understand it's natural to want to make your kids lives easier but it sounds to me like they are doing just fine so you are clearly not a shit parent. You admit coddling them and maybe you hate not being needed as much. It's only rain. You need to start seeing them as young capable adults now. At 18, I was commuting the 45 min journey to the city for my full time job. It would never of crossed my mind to phone parents for a lift just because of bad weather.
I think you are pissed off with your ex and you want to step in when he fucks up, but actually this is quite passive aggressive. Leave him and the kids to sort this out for themselves. And let t the kids take the bus to yours if your ex won't drive them.
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