Dh and I live an hour away from my family, including my daughter, who is living in a group home due to mental illness. The group home allows her to occasionally spend overnights with family or friends. They pack up her medications for her and expect her back at a specific time. Despite her problems, she has been able to get around pretty well using public transportation, even going on vacation with friends last summer. She will often call family members to drive her around to shop or drop her at the train station (rather than wait for the bus), though I wish she would work on becoming more self sufficient as I think she is capable and it would be best for her in the long run.
The last time she came to stay with me, I was supposed drive an hour to pick her up early in the day and bring her back to my house so she could stay the night and then drive her back late the next day. Because of her changing her schedule, I ended up picking her up after 4 pm and she needed to be back by 6 pm the next day. While it was nice to see her and have her overnight, that was 4+ hours in the car for me for a very short visit.
There is a bus that runs from her city to mine, so for our next visit I asked her to take the bus and I would pick her up at the station, about 10 minutes from my home. And I gave her the money to cover the ticket. She sounded a little bit disappointed but took the cash and agreed. She was/is supposed to come visit today. When I spoke with her last night to iron out details, she said the group home might not let her stay the weekend. We agreed that she would call me today, after she irons things out with the group home staff.
I suspect that she really doesn't want to make the extra effort to take the bus, which kind of hurts my feelings because she can do it to go meet friends (take buses, switch to trains, then take connecting bus). Or maybe she spent the cash that I gave her to pay for the bus ticket.
I've been very busy with work, running my elderly relatives to appointments, trying to help out other daughter & son in law with new baby, and frankly I'm feeling burnt out. They all live an hour away and while I usually don't mind driving, there are only so many hours in the day and I don't want to spend them all in the car.
Am I being unreasonable asking youngest daughter to take the bus? I don't want to make her feel like she is unwelcome and I'm afraid that if I tell her that I'd rather not make the drive, it will make her feel that way just because I don't want to spend the time and energy giving her door to door service. Is there a way to phrase that so that I don't hurt her feelings?