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Any other moms out there struggling with honoring their own needs while...

being the taxi driver for all of their teenagers' activities? My 13-year-old child has dance & piano lessons every week, along with me being the sole person responsible for getting her to school & picking her up every day. This I've done without fail since she started preschool at age 4. My work schedule necessarily revolves around her school schedule, i.e., I work p/t. The driving to extracurricular activities is what I'm struggling with. The dance lessons are late at night, winter is coming with poor driving conditions - I am a morning person & it's flat out very difficult for me. It is just one night a week, I swallow what my needs are telling myself that I should be the older & more mature person here & just man up. She's just now blossoming & thriving & it is her time to discover what she loves. Much of parenting does fall into this category. I find myself increasingly feeling that my needs do not matter & I know this isn't healthy for me or my child. I know I need to change my attitude but am struggling with the how. I should mention I am separated & have no support from a spouse. Anyone else been through this? Thanks for listening.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 8:42 AM on Nov. 27, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (10)
  • My children aren't yet teenagers, but why doesn't your daughter take the school bus? That would at least be two daily round trips you wouldn't have to make! My children almost 9 and 7 years olds take a 45 minute bus ride each morning--they get picked up at 8:00AM and get home at 4:00PM--the school is only 6 miles away, but the driver has to make a bunch of stops along the way. And I still need to drive them to/from speech therapy and a social skills group, usually twice weekly boy scouts, a monthly therapy that is 75 miles away (one way), and seasonal sports practices/games.
    LoriKeet

    Answer by LoriKeet at 8:48 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • Sweetie, who hasnt?! I feel for ya believe me. Even when you're married, most of the time we end up with all the running. Can you take turns w/ another parent(s) from her lessons that lives near you? Is her dad capable, or just being difficult? Can your family or his help you out? And when the weather gets bad, just stay home. No hours worth of dance or whatever is worth your lives if the roads are bad. Just think, only 3 more years until you get a whole new worry, but less running on your part. When she gets her license! Stock up on the hair dye now! :)
    mrsmom110

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 8:48 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I agree with Zoeyis. My daughter was a serious dancer. As she progressed her classes were 6 days a week. She had Friday off from classes. Her classes were 20+ miles from home.
    Sarah died last January. She was 27. Some of my greatest memories are the conversations we had on those drives.
    Hang in there. It will end all to soon.
    tootoobusy

    Answer by tootoobusy at 8:51 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I think we all go through this during those teen and pre teen years, it is part of the package. I use to feel the same way and now that they are all grown up and don't need me as much, I wish I could go back to being that taxi driver!!!!!!
    older

    Answer by older at 9:06 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • It's part of being a parent. We are no longer worried about us we focus all our time and energy on our kids who need us the most. It is very important that we take care of ourselves as well but keep your priorities in check. Take some time for you to read, draw or whatever activity you like and also fix yourself up too! You would be surprised at the boost it gives you.
    JuJubean1979

    Answer by JuJubean1979 at 9:08 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • No, it's not easy. As the widowed mom of 3 teens, I really understand. And the years I've spent driving them to one event or another hae been a challenge.
    You can learn to accept it - and learn to enjoy it. It's a great choice and a terrific opportunity to talk. Some of our best conversations happen in the car. I really value that time together. Or you can learn ways around it. Your 13 year old can ride the bus, can walk to activities, can bike when weather allows, can ride share with friends, you can organize a carpool with 3 other moms so that each of you only does 1/4 of the driving, etc. As far as "my needs don't matter", welcome to parenting. This is nothing new. If you allow her to participate in these activities, then you suck it up and you deal and you help her get to where she needs to go. That doesn't need to mean that your needs don't matter all the time - but it will mean that you put her needs 1st.
    missingruth

    Answer by missingruth at 9:19 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I have 2 teens, both who are involved in extracurricular stuff. I am married, but my dh is military and has been deployed a lot (while I know that it's not the same thing in a lot of ways, in the practical sense of "I'm the only one to haul them around and pick them up" sense I do understand).

    Here are some things that really helped me - 1) School - is there a reason she can't ride the bus or walk? That could help you a lot. (My kids didn't like riding the bus, but there were many duty stations where that was how they got to school, whether it's "cool" or not, or if she has to get up a little earlier, or etc.) 2) Activities - yes, it is important that she explore her different interests, etc. It's very easy to fall into the "something every night" trap. But 2 nights a week sounds reasonable.

    cont
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:31 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • cont

    Something you might want to try that could help with the schedule is ask around in her classes and see if there's other people who want to maybe work out a car pool. I know there were many times that I would take my ds or dd to soccer, and swing by to pick up another kid, and then that kid's mom would bring them home. (Actually, I was usually the ride home, since the other mom that I did this with the most had little ones, too, but...)

    Also, Instead of running back and forth - how about taking a book you want to read and just hang out in the waiting area and read? Or take your shopping list and go to the grocery while she's there, so that the time you usually use for groceries you can now use to do something for yourself.

    Also, keep in mind, it won't be too much longer before she can drive herself - that time does fly by :-)

    Hang in there!
    sailorwifenmom

    Answer by sailorwifenmom at 9:35 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • I was a single mother with 3 children and because we homeschooled I encouraged them to be active in sports, scouts, and other community activities. Sometimes I had to be in 4 places at once! My kids are now grown and life is boring. If you only have one child you only have a few more years with her, try and enjoy it.

    Gailll

    Answer by Gailll at 9:44 AM on Nov. 27, 2010

  • A thirteen year old can take public transit
    rkoloms

    Answer by rkoloms at 4:14 PM on Nov. 27, 2010

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