Thursday, January 27, 2011

F**king Perfect...or perfectly f**ked

I wasn't going to blog today.  I'm angry and beyond frustrated and didn't sleep much last night.  But when I saw this video on Kiley's blog it just struck me like a sledgehammer.  I'm going to try and make some sense of all this.

As mothers we want our children, especially our daughters, to be happy with themselves.  To really love themselves for who they uniquely are.  We want to gently nuture that while still trying to offer guidance and correction when needed.  After all, we are the parents.  We actually want to raise happy, productive members of society, not crazed maniacs who go on shooting sprees or lazy leeches living off the the government--or their parents. 

It's a fine, fine line sometimes between being supportive and enabling bad behaviors.  As a mother, I have let guilt guide me too often.  I feel it's my fault she's acting this way so I can't correct her for it. I've given her my bad genetics, I've been a bad mother, whatever.  Well, maybe it's my fault, maybe not.  Should it matter when it comes to dealing with the issue? 

I really suck at this theoretical, philosophical writing. I'm just gonna lay this sucker out.  I took a second job at barely over minimum wage to pay my daughter's college rent and expenses.  Just to try and be a "good" mom.  But maybe I'm just enabling.  I mean, how in the hell does a person get a .68 GPA?!  And why am I paying for it?!  I'm feeling like I've been trying to be a fucking perfect mom but instead I've just been fucked over.  I need coffee...and chocolate...and donuts... 


  1. Our oldest daughter was our guinea pig. We thought we were doing the right thing by helping her out her first year of college, so what does she do? She goes off, finds a loser boyfriend, and pisses away school by not doing her homework and not showing up for her classes because she stayed out all night with her loser boyfriend. He was the type that talked her into getting engaged after 2 weeks because they "prayed" about it and got the "HELL YES!!" answer. But that's another story. Did I mention that he's a loser?

    So after showing us how important college was to her, we decided to cut her off. She ended up quitting school, working for a year and paying for her own college, got married to a different, more decent guy, and just got her bachelor's degree. All on her own expense.

    We try to give our other kids a boost by helping them to a certain point, then they're on their own. But I think from seeing what happened to their older sister, they've taken college much more seriously.

    Getting fucked over really sucks, but how were you to know it would end up this way? We had to learn the hard way, and in the long run it was to her own benefit. Don't be too hard on yourself, JZ. Every kid is different, and you'll know if what you're doing for your daughter is helpful or not. Sometimes you have to try different things and chalk it up to experience.

  2. JZ,
    You did the right thing. She didn't appreciate it. (At least that's what I've told myself in similar situations with our son.)

    As Fanny says, getting fucked over sucks.

  3. Could I tell stories about my son? I could but I won't except to say -- that fine line between helping/being supportive and enabling? He fucked me over every time but I didn't find out about it until later.

    These kids are adults. When they act irresponsibly, sometimes cutting them off is in their best interest. That's where I am.

  4. It may have been helping at first, but now it's enabling. Let HER get the second job to pay her expenses, or let her take out student loans. Most people have to work during college. It doesn't kill anyone.

    In fact, I spent my first year of college at a fancy schmancy women's college in Virginia (Sweet Briar). Most of the girls there were from extremely wealthy families (not me, unfortunately). The college president knew this and knew that most of these girls had never worked and likely would never work, so she instituted a policy that ALL students would be assigned a part time job and paid minimum wage for it. There were some angry debutantes assigned to clean horse stables.
    Anyway, sometimes you have to let your children fall on their face so they become the people you hope them to be.
    When my husband and I had been married for a few years, we bought a house and adopted our son all in the space of two months. So, we'd wiped out all our savings. And I was foolish and decided I "needed" to have pretty things in our new house and for our new baby, so I maxed out all our credit cards buying pretty but highly unnecessary things. And then my husband got laid off. And we had to foreclose our new house and default on some of those maxed out credit cards. Our parents could have helped us out, but I firmly believe that if they had, I'd have just done it all again. I wouldn't have learned that I can't have whatever I want when I want it--that sometimes I have to wait, and if there's no money for it, there's no money for it. It was a hard way to learn the lesson, but it was still a lesson I needed to learn.

  5. Donna, it's nice to know I'm not alone in this situation! It makes it a bit more bearable.

    Fanny, my worst fear was that my daughter would meet one of those praying losers and get married way too young. I never thought about flunking out. Joke's on me.

    CD, you've never written much about your son and I'd wondered why but didn't want to pry. I understand perfectly now.

    Brandi, you learned your lesson well and now you're a well adjusted adult who plans awesome Vegas trips. I guess there's hope for my daughter.