Author Topic: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings  (Read 13506 times)

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*inviteseller

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S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« on: July 13, 2013, 02:57:53 PM »
My DD turned 18 in June.  She promptly moved out with her girlfriend into another friends place.  I cannot stand girlfriend, to say the least, and my DD is making tons of mistakes with this move, but there is not a lot I can do about it.  She called me last night whining she is sick (she has bad asthma, didn't take an inhaler when she left, and is over an hour away).  I told her to go to the local ER (she has her insurance card with her at least) or to call me in the am to give me a pharmacy number and I would call the DR to have an inhaler called in for her.  She has done neither and is now whining that I am not doing anything to help her (btw, I don't drive) and she is sick and I just don't care.  I finally said "you made this bed, you have to lie in it.  You chose to leave and go somewhere you don't know anyone or anything, and now that you are 18 you are responsible for taking care of these decisions."  I feel bad, but yet..

Has anyone else had to just chop those strings to preserve their sanity and teach a tough love situation?

Just Lori

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2013, 03:11:43 PM »
We are moving in that direction.  When my 13-year-old broke her Ipod by not taking care of it, she had to make the appointment at the Apple Store, and she had to tell the tech what happened.  (This actually worked in her favor, as the tech took pity on her and traded out the Ipod with a refurbished one.)

This same child is now old enough to get a driver's learning permit, but she doesn't have one.  We told her that driving is an adult responsibility, and it would be her responsibility to do the research and set up the appointment.  As soon as she does, we will be happy to take her to the BMV. 

The scenario you describe seems fair.  You're willing to help out if she makes the call first.  I'm not sure what she expects, if you don't drive.  What does she want you to do?

lkdrymom

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2013, 03:17:12 PM »
I think you did exactly the right thing. Your daughter wants the perks of being an adult while still leaving some of the responcibilities to 'mom'.

My 18 year old son tried something similar. He was to go away to college but didn't want to live on campus so we told him the money that would go towards room/board he could use for an apartment and whatever wasn't covered was up to him. Well them he decided he wasn't ready to go off to college and decided on a community college near us.....but still wanted the room and board money to get his own apartment.  I had to explain to him the whole point of community college was to SAVE money, not to get an unnecessary apartment so he could play adult on someone elses dime.

*inviteseller

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2013, 03:24:04 PM »
She wants me to fix everything for her..she doesn't care how..just that I am to do it.  Her idea was for me to go to the post office today and overnight her inhaler to her..when I informed her I wasn't spending $24 to do that when all she had to do was call the dr or give me a pharmacy # and I would call the dr, well, that meant work for her and it wasn't acceptable. 


Ikdrymom..bwaaahahahahaha..that is funny!  They don't quite think things out at that age, do they?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2013, 03:48:43 PM »
I think you are doing the right thing.  You are willing to help her, on your own terms.  The rest is up to her.
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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2013, 03:51:22 PM »
I think you're fine, OP. She needs to learn that moving out and "being a grownup" means that mommy doesn't come rescue you for every little thing.

NyaChan

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2013, 04:13:19 PM »
Definitely not a bad mom! 

You didn't hang up on her, you didn't say "Oh you're sick? Tough luck sucker!"  You gave her viable solutions to the problem she had.  She refused because it wasn't the solution she wanted.  That's on her, not you.  I can understand wanting to be indulged or babied just a bit, especially when you are in those in between years where you're maturity levels haven't quite caught up to the level of freedom & responsibility your age brings, but there is a limit. 

siamesecat2965

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2013, 05:26:41 PM »
Definitely not a bad mom! 

You didn't hang up on her, you didn't say "Oh you're sick? Tough luck sucker!"  You gave her viable solutions to the problem she had.  She refused because it wasn't the solution she wanted.  That's on her, not you.  I can understand wanting to be indulged or babied just a bit, especially when you are in those in between years where you're maturity levels haven't quite caught up to the level of freedom & responsibility your age brings, but there is a limit.

You did fine. You offered a couple of suggestions/solutions, but she has chosen not to do any of them. So you're off the hook. If she doesn't want to make any effort, that's her problem. And someday, she will thank you for this.

Slightly OT, but I know plenty of adults who will whine and carry on about this and that, yet when there are solutions, they won't or can't take or use them. Drives me up a wall and I sometimes have to walk away because I am very independent, and am always looking for better ways to do things, so this "oh, I caaaaaan't do that, its not possible" gets on my last nerve

jpcher

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2013, 05:47:49 PM »
My DD turned 18 in June.  She promptly moved out with her girlfriend into another friends place.  I cannot stand girlfriend, to say the least, and my DD is making tons of mistakes with this move, but there is not a lot I can do about it.  She called me last night whining she is sick (she has bad asthma, didn't take an inhaler when she left, and is over an hour away).  I told her to go to the local ER (she has her insurance card with her at least) or to call me in the am to give me a pharmacy number and I would call the DR to have an inhaler called in for her.  She has done neither and is now whining that I am not doing anything to help her (btw, I don't drive) and she is sick and I just don't care.  I finally said "you made this bed, you have to lie in it.  You chose to leave and go somewhere you don't know anyone or anything, and now that you are 18 you are responsible for taking care of these decisions."  I feel bad, but yet..

Has anyone else had to just chop those strings to preserve their sanity and teach a tough love situation?



Honestly? I think that you are doing the best thing in the world for your DD.

She wants to be a responsible adult. You gave her options on how to solve this problem on her own. Instead of taking the horse by the head, she chose to guilt-trip you.

I've never really had a tough-love situation with my DDs, but I've stood my ground when need be. Like this morning, DD#2 (19 yrs. old) asked me to go to a dental appointment with her. I said "So, WooHoo! I get to sit in a waiting room for an hour while you get your teeth cleaned? Why, exactly, do you need me there?" She said "I don't need you there, I just want you there." (I didn't go with her.)



Yes. Cutting the apron strings is tough. The choice between is this a dire situation where I(mom) really need to step in? Or is this something that you (DD) can/should handle on your own might be a fine line.

OP -- in your scenario, I think that you did the right thing.

Please don't let your DD guilt-trip you into thinking that you're a bad mom.

You are a great mom.

Judah

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2013, 08:12:50 PM »
I think high school is the weaning period. We gradually backed off and let (in one case, made) the kids become more and more independent. But I learned that independence is very much a personality issue. I have one child that was completely ready for independence by the time he graduated from high school and one that needs a lot more pushing. I'm confident she'll be ready in a couple of more years, but she's not there yet.
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Dazi

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2013, 09:27:16 PM »
Depending on the child, I'd say anywhere from 17-21.  If they moved out on their own, then they should be able to do for themselves or learn to figure things out.  I'm not saying they cannot ask for help, but more, by that age, they shouldn't expect their parents to drop everything to dig them out of whatever.

I was pretty self sufficient by13 or 14.  I set my own appointments and mostly got myself to them and had no problem getting any of my Rxs filled (doctor, dentist, orthodontist, hair salon, mall, grocery store).  I shopped on my own for clothes, shoes, school supplies, and occasionally popped into the grocery store.   I did my own laundry most of the time and regularly cooked dinner. By the time I moved from home at 19/20,I relied on no one but myself.

My mother never manage to cut my brother's apron strings.  Even at 16/17 he wouldn't go somewhere without a family member, not even the mall.  Which is why she has her grown bacon-fed knave adult son still living at home.

I have trouble wrapping my head around how we grew up in the same environment.
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*inviteseller

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2013, 10:15:14 PM »
My 2 are like that Dazi..the 7 yr old does for herself and is an independent thinker like I am, but the older one?  Good grief that girl can't do anything for herself..which is why I knew her moving out was such a huge mistake but she can't be told anything so it is time for her to sink or swim.  And yes, when she realizes she is in waaaay over her head, the door is open for her.  I know I don't sound encouraging to her, but without giving a huge story, she has absolutely no business being out there on her own.

Dazi

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2013, 10:21:41 PM »
My 2 are like that Dazi..the 7 yr old does for herself and is an independent thinker like I am, but the older one?  Good grief that girl can't do anything for herself..which is why I knew her moving out was such a huge mistake but she can't be told anything so it is time for her to sink or swim.  And yes, when she realizes she is in waaaay over her head, the door is open for her.  I know I don't sound encouraging to her, but without giving a huge story, she has absolutely no business being out there on her own.

If she is anything like my brother, I totally get it.  He's moved out before, but I don't think he's ever managed past the six month mark before he came crying home to momma about how HARD it was and how MEAN everyone is. 
Meditate. Live purely. Quiet the mind. Do your work with mastery. Like the moon, come out from behind the clouds! Shine. ---Gautama Buddah





sevenday

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2013, 10:33:03 PM »
Definitely string-cutting time. You gave her a number of options, she wouldn't take them.  Your response that it's now up to her to take care of these things is spot on.  Hard awakening for her, but it's one she needs to make.  I always cringe when I see parents overextending themselves in order to care for the "wants" of their children.  One set of aunt/uncle lives next to my parents (literally sharing the same front yard) and some years back they allowed their alcoholic son (my cousin) to move in.  He hasn't left since, and basically just drinks all the time.  They pay for his cigarettes and alcohol and let him live there rent free.  At least, thank GOD, they do not let him drive their car.  He used to work for my dad part time but his work ethic was always a sore spot and when Dad had to retire and the business was dissolved, he had nothing after that, still doesn't.  My aunt/uncle want to move to a veteran's home sort of thing, but they won't because of their son (who couldn't go with them and under agreement with Dad, can't stay at the house they are living in, which technically belongs to Mom and Dad).  If they tried to kick him out now he'd sink because he was never taught to swim. 

Doing this now for somethign that is relatively minor (ok, health is not that minor, but still, she's breathing, she's OK, can fix it herself easily enough) is better than letting it get that bad.

CakeEater

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Re: S/O Am I a Bad Mom? When to cut the apron strings
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2013, 05:31:01 AM »
I know quite well that I would have struggled to move out of home when I left highschool at age 17 and a bit.

My 4 years at university when I lived at home were the best thing that I could have done, and a great thing that my parents did for me, so I could get that bit older and more experienced before dealing with all of that.

Also, by the time I was 21, I was very ready to leave a house of 4 adults, rather than one that had been 2 adults and 2 kids, so I had the motivation to get it all together.