Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Canceling the Mom Taxi

We all understand. Kids can’t drive. In these years as kids get closer to jobs and driving privileges their calendars are full of activities.

In days of old children walked to school. Then there were buses and now we have carpools. With friends and activities all over town it has become the norm.

So what happens when there is tension in the relationship or a tight turn around in the schedule?

Drama that’s what.

I have day classes two days a week this quarter. They get out a half an hour before my daughters' only classes on the same two days.
I was driving her to school. I was also driving her almost anywhere else. If I want us to walk somewhere (very rare) she does not want to go.

Another half of the time she has hip and back problems. Still when all is well she walks for hours and miles with friends.

She mentioned to me during one conversation how she was going to use her pocket change to take the bus to her boyfriends house.

The last time I asked her to take the bus for school and offered to get her a bus pass (which would have covered these random trips too) she balked. “Too weird, too scary” she said.

Oh how the times change.

I got home late from class the other day making her late for her class. She pitched a fit.
The next day I decided if she can take the bus to see her boyfriend when I am busy, she can take the bus to school two days a week.

Further her expectation that I be on her beck and call like an unpaid taxi any time I am not seemingly otherwise busy is over!

"You are my mom you are supposed to provide transportation" she told me. 

Beep! Wrong answer.

I am supposed to make sure she gets to school. After that there is little I have to take her to do. We gave a ride home to a friend last week. 

We were at school on a non scheduled day. How does said student who lives less than a mile away from us get to school and back each day? She has to walk. Either her mom has no car or takes it to work. Either way that teen is on her own to get around.

The Mom Taxi is not a need and should not be an expectation. 

It is a luxury like Mom the Maid.

In between our two days of school I have a day off. I like to take it easy in the morning but I have a night class from 6pm-10pm. Also a fellow student carpool scheduled for that day.

So after the transportation changes my daughter came to my room asking for a random ride to the boy friend’s house. It is the middle of the day and no one at his house is available to pick her up.

Someone would be available by the time she was ready to come home. I felt the familiar pang that would have led me to fire up the mom taxi in previous days.

She did not want to walk but she wanted to use her bus fair if I was unwilling or unavailable. 

I reminded her that I gave her bus fair for school not pocket change for whatever she waanted to do. Further that not being mom the taxi means I was not going to leave home for random afternoon transportation especially when it does not go along with anything else that I have going on.

She decided she was stuck and would not go. A bit later she had a change or heart and decided to walk.

This generation needs a lot of TLC but also a good dose of reality, responsibility and resourcefulness.

14 comments:

  1. I am totally just as guilty and on those rare days where I refuse to fire up the Mom Taxi I'm left with pangs of guilt. What is THAT about???

    I find myself in this exact same position. Sigh...I know where I got it from though. My parents ran the best Mom and Dad taxi company out there.

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    1. We want to much to do so much for our children. I stop when I get no reciprocation and no respect. Oh this teen attitude!

      I want her to understand so much of what she is accustomed to are not rights but privileges.

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  2. I wrote a response to this that seems to have gotten lost in the space between internet working and internet not working! lol.. I said a long thing about my daughter and middle school and walking but don't have the heart to retype it. Bottom line: Good for you for putting your foot down. Kids do need to toughen up a bit. We actually made our daughter go outside for a few hours a day this summer. It was one of the best parenting decisions I've made in a while. (That sounds bad...lol!) It was so good for her. She got fresh air and had to figure out what to do with herself that didn't involve a power cord.

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    1. I put my daughter outside one day. lol I think I made her sit in the car...I did not much care what she did with herself I was just tired of her attitude. At the time we lived in a place where we were sharing a room.

      I am realizing when we get there it means she is taking me for granted and I need to require more from her. When she pushes my buttons I push right back. She is not a young child anymore who cannot be expected to control her actions.

      We are learning together. I homeschooled her in those early years and until high school gave her a computer with no internet access.

      In the really early years she played a lot and did a lot of arts and crafts. She knows how to keep herself busy.

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  3. If it's within walking distance my kids used to walk it. Unless it was something preorganised that they had to go to and it was pouring with rain....living in a country area as soon as my kids were old enought to drive they got their licenses though as there is no such thing as public transport and there was no way I could keep up with school, work and sport for two kids and still function in my life

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    1. I fully believe modern living can warp our kids if we are not careful. So much is at beck and call they have to be taught how much that is optional. I am thinking my daughter might need to drive to work if she gets a good job offer that is not really close to our home. Until she has that external responsibility I have to keep her on her toes ;>

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  4. Wow! I remember my kids wanting rides, but I never heard those words come out of their mouths... They knew it would have made the Taxi immediately inoperable. I know it sounds trite, but hang in there. The teen years end, and they actually become wonderful people who are fun to be with... if you don't kill them first... :-)

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    1. lol The sad thing is there are moms losing the battle instead of sticking it out.

      Do not fear. If this child drives me crazy I am taking her with me! That is why there is this blog to leave a crumb trail of explanation. hahhahahahaha

      She is a lovely child when she is not snarling and I have quite the mean growl to return to her so we can go toe to toe.

      Other times we laugh and enjoy our moments. Motherhood over all has been a great adventure.

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  5. Oh yeah, no one likes to walk to work these days .... Everyone likes to walk only for leisure .... It's not only teens here, the whole lot of young/middle aged adults want a transportation even if they got to go just a few blocks away .... Great post .... Loved it .... :)

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    1. Well I don't like or want to walk. I did it some last year when we had no car and I was being cheap. It's better to have options. Our kids will take advantage as much as we will allow and we can teach them by staying on point. Good to know others understand where I am coming from.

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  6. We live in a smallish town with everything within a 3 mile radius. My son, age 20, lived with me a few months and had a job less than 2 miles away. He could walk or ride his bike, but his favorite mode of transportation was to have his younger, licensed sister wake him up and then drive him to work ... so he could sleep as late as possible. He got a little too bossy and ungrateful. Of the two children, he was the demanding one. She was not at all, even before she got her license. You are right that kids, even adult ones, will take as much advantage as we allow. I got tired of that boy taking advantage of me and especially his sister, so he is no longer living with me. Sometimes enough is enough! You have to say, "Be responsible, show some respect, or else there will be consequences."

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    1. I was able to live rent free with my parents after high school and always thought I would be able to offer that to my daughter. At the rate we are going, nope. She is not compliant or always respectful enough.

      I think it will be empowering for her to work and realize that she has control over whether she pays up or puts more effort into working with me. We shall see.

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  7. I love it. Kids these days seem to think they are OWED something. We are expected to run around after them because we are the PARENT. Particularly when you are a single parent that is not always possible. So reality is that they just have to grow up. Sometimes that means us making hard decisions and giving tough love and then they learn the lessons they need to learn. Good on you for sticking to your guns. Time and consistency will help her to grow up. My 23 y/old son said to me recently he was glad that I didn't do everything for him because at least he knows he can look after himself. That was music to my ears. Nice blog and happy to have found you through Blogtoberfest.

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    1. Welcome aboard. I am content with myself and my daughter is surviving. That is the best result. The delicate dance continues. Each child needs a slightly to vastly different approach even from day to day. sigh

      I need a nap. lol

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