Sunday, April 18, 2010

Parent Guilt

As my daughter is currently staying with her father, I try to call about every 8-9 days. The time difference between Tokyo and Dallas makes it a bit difficult to plan - when I'm awake, she is asleep or at school and vice versa. Often I call at about 7:30am (her time) - she is awake and dressed, and soon to leave for school - so we can do a brief catch-up and I wish her a good day.

My parenting style and personality is VERY different from my ex-husbands. He is a very strict parent, and has some old-fashioned ideas of what is proper for a "young miss." He will not let her, or her step-sister attend sleep-overs at friends homes because there might be boys around. The girls can not use tampons, as that means they are no longer virgins. And they must wear dresses or skirts, not pants or jeans, when they go out to eat or to a party.

Interestingly, his step-son, who is only 13, can sleep at friends, date, wear what he wants, etc. But he is a future MAN!

Apparently he is also boring. According to my daughter. She has been there for about two months - and she says they have gone to see two movies, and eaten out three times. They do not go to the park, festivals, school functions, amusement parks, shopping malls, or outdoor activities. The kids go to school, go to one school extra-curricular activity, and home. No music lessons, scouts, etc.

I reminded her that she always tells me that I am boring, but she replied "You aren't as boring as him, if only for the fact you are crazy!"

She cries when I call her. Says she is bored, she has a hard time getting along with her step-siblings. I remind her that she did not life living in Tokyo any better - she refused to go to school, she would not do her chores. Her reply is that if I would just return to living in Bellingham Washington, all would be fine. She would live with me, go to school, and do what she is supposed to.

Unfortunately, that just isn't an option. And I feel bad that she is sad.


  1. At that age, everything is so drastic so it's hard to know with kids if they are really having a hard time of it or if it's just a whinge.

    Because I raised my son on my own, for a while during high school I sent him to live with my mum because I wasn't coping with everything. It is extremely difficult because even when you know you've made the right decision and it's the best thing for your child, I think the belief that as a mother you *should* be the one doing the looking after is so strong.

    I hope things work out for you and your daughter.

  2. Wow! And I was thinking you were a 20-something!

    I believe you are right - there are ages where everything is a reason for drama! Not to mention, my daughter has never been one to show much glee. School could be nothing but ponies, ice cream, and music - and if I ask "How was school?" she will say "uh, okay."