Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Mother

That’s exactly what I feel like today.  I’m not, I did the right thing, but my baby is sad and she cried twice on the phone to me today and I just can’t make everything all better.  In the past I could, if she couldn’t decide if she wanted McDonald’s or Burger King I just decided for her.  The decisions are bigger now and they are no longer mine to make.

Last year she had a traditionally dorm room, this year she and 3 friends are in a suite with two bedrooms, two baths and a living room and kitchen – perfect!  But when housing came out for next year they didn’t get it. Only one of the four girls got housing on the first round, and it was back in a regular dorm.  She had to take it because she and her roommate couldn't afford an apartment.  That left Mollie and roommate with nothing as of Friday.  So they began apartment hunting.  Then today, in the second round of housing offers she can get a dorm room in the same dorm, same floor as their friends.

However now, she is torn, she wants to be with her friends – but she want’s more space and a kitchen in the apartment and the idea of living in her own apartment has it's own appeal.  Her roommate wants the apartment (so she and her boyfriend will have a place to stay) and Mollie wants everyone to be happy.  Roommate says it’s up to Mollie. 

So… she calls mom.  I say fine, here are my thoughts: I prefer you living on campus.  Realize that you’ll be living in an apartment or house for the rest of your life and this is the last opportunity to live in a dorm with a bunch of friends.  I told her I was probably prejudice because I had always wanted to live in a dorm and had never had the chance.  In my mind it would be wonderful, but that was based on novels I’d read rather than experience.

But then I added, “I really think you’ll be happy either way you decide, apartment or dorm.  It’s your decision and whichever one you choose it will be fine by us.” Thus thrusting the responsibility of adult decision making in her life onto her shoulders.  I felt like the worse mother in the world.

I wasn’t more than a week ago that I email her a card that said,

 “Don’t grow up – it’s a trap!” 

I believe that reality has just sunk in.

She called just as I was headed to bed.  They chose the dorm.

Written by PK at 5:30 PM



At 8:18 AM, Blogger Faerie Wings said...

I'm glad it worked out for her. Though, if that makes you the worst mother in the world, they are coming to kick me out of the Mom club, lol :)

At 8:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are not a bad mom! By allowing her to make her own decision you empowered her, what a fabulous gift! And I think she made a wise choice, too many young adults choose extravagant over practical. She will be able to relax, study and spend time with her friends without the burden of rent, utilities etc. You raised a bright and confident young lady! Way to go MOM!! More parents should heed your example!


At 8:34 AM, Blogger Paul said...

not being a parent, I can't judge.
However you and Nick have given the world two great children, that speaks for itself I think.
Love and warm hugs,

At 8:40 AM, Blogger Meg said...

You are a wonderful mother! When I was in collegeI had to make the same decision as your daughter, my mother responded as you did ... and it is one of my favorite memories.

At 8:56 AM, Blogger Bas said...

Whatever did you do wrong to be called the worst mother?
You lined out the available choices, pro's and cons, told her that she would be happy eitherway, and then let your adult daughter make the final decision together with the other adult person that was involved.
Don't think you could have done anything else, or better.

At 9:28 AM, Blogger ronnie said...

I have to agree with everyone, you'r not a bad mom. Mollie is growing up and needs to makes decisions for herself.

Personally, I think she made the right one.


At 10:04 AM, Blogger sunnygirl said...

I think you are the perfect mom. It is her life and her decision and she would always be second guessing. I'm glad she chose the dorm, I loved dorm life - it was so fun - much better than an apartment.

At 10:54 AM, Blogger Mischief said...

I've never commented here before but I thought I would chime in because you seem like a good mom to me and the way you handled it seems like a good choice. She is out on her own and it seems giving advice at this point but letting her make the choices is good for her.

At 10:57 AM, Blogger abby said...

Love your title! And yes, in my judgement you did the exact right thing....as hard as it is, they need to learn to make their own decisions..with our advice when asked.
hugs abby

At 3:42 PM, Blogger Ami Starsong said...

You are duplicating my situation when our daughter was at college. I thought dorms were wonderful. (I always wanted to go away to boarding school too!) But our daughter hated boarding and passed her driving test extra quick so she could drive to and fro each day. And lo and behold, when she went away to college she hated the dorm, and said we had made her live in it for a year! She hated being in a flat with another girl who left after just the first term, and left her on her own, I can tell you! Hindsight is a wonderful thing and our young just don't see things the same way as us. I think they have to made their own choices - all you can do is to be ready to pick up the fall out! Good luck. I'm sure you will make the right decision PK.

Many hugs,


At 7:18 PM, Blogger Mrs. D said...

I think you did the right thing. She's an adult now and has to learn to make her own decisions. It's so hard sometimes to step back and let them do for themselves, but in the end it's for the best.

At 8:10 PM, Blogger Minelle Labraun said...

You worded it perfectly. I would also express that I would want them on campus for as long as possible since an apartment is a great deal of responsibility. However in the end the decision needs to be theirs....right?

You are a great mom!

At 9:02 PM, Blogger PK said...

I only felt bad because she was sad. It's hard to be happier than you least happy child. As long as we love our kids we're in the club.

At 9:08 PM, Blogger PK said...

I know they need to learn to to make their own decisions. And she is doing her part and I guess I'm doing mine - but I didn't know it would be this hard on me. I think she will really be happy with her decision here.

At 9:10 PM, Blogger PK said...

I will agree with you about that - they are wonderful people!

At 9:13 PM, Blogger PK said...

That make me feel better. I know I pushed her toward the dorm, because I thought it was best. I just don't know if she did it because she knew it was what I wanted. But I couldn't tell her any different since that's what I thought. I thought this parent thing would get easier!

At 9:14 PM, Blogger PK said...

Mom's always feel bad when there children cry and are sad. It's normal, it's necessary - but it still hurts us.

At 9:15 PM, Blogger PK said...

I think she did too. She loved it last year. This time flies by so fast and then you have to be a grown up for the rest of your life.

At 9:17 PM, Blogger PK said...

I went to a community college in another town and I enjoyed the apartment and my roommates - but I always dreamed of the dorm life. She'll have an apartment soon enough.

At 9:22 PM, Blogger PK said...

Thanks for coming by and commenting. I found when they became teens that the easiest way to get them to listen to my advice was to give it and then seem to be totally uninterested as to whether they took it or not. Because of this my son, soon to be 25 will still listen to me, doesn't always do what I want, but he listens.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger PK said...

Thanks Abby,
It's good to hear from moms with grown children that have gone through this.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger PK said...

I'm so lucky that Mollie really loved her dorm life last year and has enjoyed her dorm apartment this year. I know they will miss their kitchen and living room next year, but they have plenty of time to decide how they want to live their senior year.

What living situation did your daughter the most?

At 9:31 PM, Blogger PK said...

Mrs. D,
It is hard. It's like when we let them learn to walk - I hated letting them fall, but I'm sure glad they aren't still crawling around at their age!

At 9:35 PM, Blogger PK said...

I guess I could have 'made' her stay on campus and I did push her that way, but now she knows she made the final choice.

At 12:35 AM, Blogger Christina said...

Sorry to disagree with your belief that you were being a bad parent but only good parents worry they are missing the mark. You gave her the tools to make a good decision. You are a good Mom!

At 4:50 AM, Blogger Roz said...

PK, I can understand it must be so hard when you can no longer make decisions for your children and when they struggle with those decisions.

You are certainly not a bad Mom. I do understand her being upset made you feel that way though. You gave her some wonderful advice to help her in her decision making.

I'm glad it all worked out well.


At 1:17 PM, Blogger ians mrs said...

I think this never changes. I always feel devastated when one of my kids are sad. I remember asking my mom about this phenomenon, when does it stop - reportedly never....

At 8:58 PM, Blogger Terpsichore said...

Pk, It seems to me that you are an amzing mom! What a gift to help your children be able to listen and then make their own decisions! :-) Though I understand about feeling everything your children are feeling...deeply. Being a mom is the best and hardest job. Besides you can't be a bad mother because you didn't get a note this week saying, "Mean Mommy!" :-( Fortunately, I received another note soon after saying, "Best Mommy Ever!" :-) Hugs, Terps

At 11:11 PM, Blogger PK said...

I do try to give her the tools, but boy I'd like to take care of everything for her. But like I said, that would only make me feel better.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger PK said...

Having them upset will always make us second guess ourselves. But she's turning our pretty well.

At 11:15 PM, Blogger PK said...

Shoot, I was afraid of that. Bummer!

At 11:18 PM, Blogger PK said...

I'm sure both notes were heartfelt in the moment. I did get an email saying 'I'm going back to first grade, you're in charge again!' LOL!

At 2:55 AM, Blogger trazuredpet said...


At 6:34 AM, Blogger PK said...


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Es May said...

I think you did the right thing. My husband, I love him, but his mom made all of his decisions until we married. And then he couldn't make any choices on his own, and it's been hard as he had to learn to. You gave her your opinions, naming pros to both, and then left the decision to her. I think that's just great! :) That is my opinion anyway. :) And I'm going to guess that if there are tears over the issue later, you'll be there to listen. :)


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