Thursday, July 29, 2010

Kids and work...

So I got a new job. I think that's old news. Its going great. I love my boss and co-workers. I love being at a place that I feel I am making a difference and I actually get talked to. I basically am a paper pusher. I do paperwork all day, answer phones, talk to the kids poking their heads over my desk wall, and answer phones. Occasionally the infants teacher will poke her head out and ask me to watch the babies while she goes to the bathroom. I am more then happy to oblige. Yesterday I got to hold a newborn. (be still my heart)

My boss took me aside yesterday and offered me a proposition. Skyler is already at the daycare with me and is doing great. They kids (who I thought were coming home this weekend) will actually be home on the 7th. This gives me an extra week to plan. Anyway, back to my point. My boss told me that I could bring Matthew to work with me and they will transport him to and from school and he can just enter the daycare and they will not charge me anymore then I'm paying for Skyler. (that's huge) Also, he told me that I can eat at my desk and take my lunch break later in the day and go get the girls and bring them to work with me. He said that my situation really got to him and he wanted to help.

I think this is all really good news. There are a few problems...well just one...Chelsea doesn't want to come to work with me. I told her she wouldn't be a part of the day care....but instead she would be at the front desk with me doing homework or reading a book or doing small office tasks if she wanted to. She isn't happy about it at all.

My problem is this...its her first year of high school. If I don't pick her up from school then that leaves her free to do what she wants from two thirty in the afternoon until after six in the evening. The high school is literally right in our back yard so anybody she wanted to could come to the house and nobody would be the wiser. None of the other kids would be home so she would be alone. I'm not OK with this. I just feel like there is to much unsupervised time. Am I being overbearing here? It would be so perfect to go and pick her up every day. My mind would be at ease and I could work and not have any kid drama.

Its not like she would be picked up with a daycare bus, she would be picked up by harm no foul. I would have all the kids with me at work for the remainder of the afternoon and I just think that would be so much better then them being home. I only work four days a week. If I dont take this option then Im going to have to hire someone to come and sit with the kids at my house and I cant afford it.

Last year was HORRIBLE!!!! I HAD to be at work...but the kids were home running through the neighborhood, going into stores and stealing candy (and other things), smoking cigarettes they found on the ground, going into strange peoples houses without permission, and having boys in the house without an adult home. It was absolutely CRAZY. I felt I had no control over anything. My kids are free spirits and can not be trusted with to much free time.

Given the kids track records, I don't feel like they should be able to choose if they go home of If I pick them up.

What are your thoughts?


Rebekah said...

You're the boss. Go with your gut.

Cassie said...

You're the boss, you know what is best. Tell her that at first she HAS no choice and then maybe as the school year progresses let her try 1 day home....if this works maybe in spring give her 2. Given her past, that much time and a new crowd you have to be proactive here, in my opinion. :) Congrats on the new job and such an understanding boss. You know she will have enough homework to keep her busy, if you have a laptop could she bring that and play online or watch movies? Just a thought!

Amy Louise said...

Tell her she can't be at the house and she can't be in an unstructured unsupervised activity. That leaves an afterschool job or an afterschool activity or combination of the two. Any day she doesn't have one or the other she comes to work with you.

jodilee0123 said...

I agree with you--I would not want them to be at home--and unsupervised if it is just your oldest. You are not being overbearing. What an awesome opportunity. I agree with the person above. . .the kids have no choice, they have to do what you say and if things are going well, and you've met friends and parents of friends, then maybe one or two days she can go to their house or be at your house. It's just to vulnerable of an age to be alone. Oh, I do not look forward to these ages!

Leah W said...

you just answered your own question. she can't handle it right now. YOU are in charge. tell her that if she earns your trust you can re-evaluate at a later time (set a date for her) and hopefully that will encourage her to become trust worthy.

plus, your employer offering all this to you is an amazing God thing, don't think that HE didn't know this was exactly what you all needed.

Annjeri said...

I agree sis. Based on the situation and cercumstances, I believe that they cannot be trusted. You and I did things while alone after school, but I don't believe we ever were that bad. Sheesh! I think you have the right to say (at least for this year) if Chelsea should come or not. It may be more difficult in the years to come though.

Deanna said...

You're the parent - sometimes that means making the "mean" decision that your child doesn't like. You are the one who is legally responsible for her, and I think you should put your foot down.

That being said, I would probably consider letting her earn the right to stay home by herself or at least at times. Make it a privilege that she can earn through behavior and attitude but can be revoked at any time due to any signs of any trouble. Maybe after first card marking if her GPA is XYZ and she's been doing _____ chores without prompting. And if possible, those times she's alone have someone pop in on her unexpectedly (obviously a trusted adult) and see if she seems to be doing what she's supposed to be doing or if she is not.

I used to teach at a small Christian school where several of the ladies in the office had students at the school. They would have to wait until their mom was done working. They would sit there and do homework, read a book, etc. They weren't thrilled about it, but it's what had to happen.

I think it's a real answer to prayer that your boss is being so great! Yay!

Laurel said...

I think making the kids go to your work is the right thing to do. It would be different if she was in her last year of high school.

Could you offer to even pay her (a couple bucks) to do odd jobs at your work? Is it possible that your boss might need some small things done and could pay her a few bucks?

I think you're doing the right thing. You are the parent...and you are responsible for them. I absolutely believe that keeping them at work is the right thing to do. doing this with her, it could also teach her some more responsiblity.

I know she may hate it...but she will get over it.

H said...

You're in charge...and you are being very wise. Will she like it? No. But right now she's probably giving you a hard time just to see if you'll give in. DON'T. You're saving yourself giant headaches! ANd besides, once she gets there, she may actually eventually be asked to do some things by the people there and end up loving it. Even if she doesn't, this is the way things are right now...she will live (I know you know that:) You're doing the right thing!

Amy said...

Heres a tip from a been there done that mom youngest daughter is now 23. PICK HER UP :) whether she likes it or not. I did the same thing when my daughter was a freshman in high school, picked her up every afternoon, brought her to my office and she sat in our conference room until I was off work. After seeing what my older two step daughters got into at home alone, people were over, not so good things happened (and my SD weren't really bad kids either but the temptation was too much)

You are mom, I would do it! I stopped picking her up about halfway through sophomore year when I changed jobs and really really regretted it after we had some very very very bad things happen.

Only time I didn't was when she was in extra curricular sports. That gave her something (supervised) to do after school.

Kids today, even good kids, have too many temptations, too many issues. Your mom, of course they want unsupervised time so they can be cool. But your mom so you can say, sorry but no.

Natalie said...

i'm certainly not a mom but it seems like you have the perfect set up here. how wonderful of your boss. anyway, i think that if you aren't comfortable with it then you just need to tell her how it is going to be. she might mope about it (i know i did when i was her age : ) ) but she'll get over it eventually. it sounds like everyone will be much safer this way and you will have peace of mind!

mak'n Changes said...

Your boss is a freakin rock star for allowing this!
I like the Idea of letting her stay home one day a week then if she's proven trustworthy 2 days etc... also maybe if the funds are there you can give her a little cash each paycheck for helping you out at work.. it would be incentive and excellent job training as she will be of a working age soon. Just a thought.
Beck you dont know how badly I would like to be there to help! I love you woman.

S and J said...

I agree with some of the other comments.... do a trial run with 1 day a week here and there to see how she does and if all goes well bump it up to every week then maybe add more days as the time goes on but if there is a history of bad behavior in the past than it shouldn't be rewarded with such a great privilege until it is earned. :) J

All My Monkeys said...

Absolutely not. ANd you can tell them/her exactly that... that her past track record is now dictating her future, as she has not proven that she can be trusted, rather that she can't be trusted. And until further behavior indicates change, then she'll have to accept the situation that you have created.

The end. :D

Michelle said...


give her the option of getting an after-school job.

my guess would be that she won't end up doing it, but it gives her the choice, and that way if she takes the choice of coming with you after school, it's something SHE has done. she then can't blame you, and it also gives her a little bit of freedom.

ultimately, YOU ARE THE MOTHER. you're in charge. and of course, as the parent, you have to go with what you feel is best for your kids. PRAY ABOUT IT, and let God lead you. that's a given.

it seems to me that you don't fully trust your daughter. maybe i'm not reading what you wrote correctly, but if you don't think you can leave her home alone just yet, then don't do it. don't allow room for regrets. you said it's her 1st year of high school - so i'm guessing she's only about 14 years old. that really isn't old enough for you to be considered "overbearing" (to use your words) just yet. ;-)

kids need structure. and they need guidance. as you know, i'm not a parent, so maybe my input means nothing to you, but i thought i'd share anyway - feel free to tell me to shut up! :-P obviously i can't say for sure because i'm not in your situation, but if i had to guess, i'd guess this is who i would handle the situation.

i'd pray. and i'd probably offer her a CHOICE. that way, you ARE giving her some freedom. you ARE giving her the chance to EARN your trust. but you are also GUIDING and PROTECTING her. and if she chooses the job option, you'd be able to check out what the job is, so you'd know where she'd be, who she would be with, etc., and it would be a great way for her to earn some money & experience.

so for what it's worth, that's my input. take it or leave it... i'll be praying God guides your heart & mind to the correct decision! :-)

- michelle

riespzs said...

Yes I think you already know where your heart is leading you. You are not overbearing in any way. I have always heard it is the teen years when your children need your supervision/guidance the most. Dont make the mistake and put them in vulnerable situation. Take the bull by the horns and tell her this is the way it is going to be. It only takes one day to make that huge mistake. I wouldnt even give her one day a week...asking for trouble if you do. JMO

Mommy2Four said...

I just had this discussion with my 13 year old. He wanted to know why I wasn't allowing him to go to the park to meet his friend and go swimming, as I had done in the past. I explained to him that his past actions dictated my current decision. Last time, he went to a friend's house without permission. He wasn't where he said he was going to be, and he didn't call and check in. Before I can give him that kind of responsibility, I have to be able to trust his judgment. Right now, he's been showing me his judgment is flawed. He has the power to turn things around, earn my trust, and get privileges back,.... but they are just that, privileges.

I may be the meanest Mommy in the world, but hey, we run a benevolent dictatorship under my roof, not a democracy. Once they turn 18, move out, and become fully self supporting, then they become part of a democracy. Until then,we just do our best to grow these kiddos into productive, responsible, godly men and women!

Congrats on the job, and don't second guess yourself. Teens have a way of driving us bonkers. Your judgment is sound, and you're a good Mom!

ashleyjnc said...

I'm 25. Teens should NOT be allowed to be home alone.. TRUST ME. I know it sounds like that you have dealt with issues of unapproved sexuality, this can be exacerbated with no supervision.. no boys at home, no problem, right? Um, NO. What Chelsea wants really doesn't matter, as mean as that sounds. I'm sure if you let skyler do what he wanted it would be oreos for breakfast, chocolate bars for lunch, and icecream for dinner, and that is obviously not allowed.. It's really the same scenario, what she wants has nothing to do with her well-being. She'll get over it, she may even make a friend or learn some things about how an office works.. and possibly be set up for a job when she's old enough to get a part-time job! Your gut feeling is right, don't do it, but I think you just needed some encouragement to hear that you aren't being the "unreasonable mean mom" Go Rebekah, do what is right for your kids, you know best, just trust yourself more.

Laurie said...

I like the job thing, she can earn her own spending money. But for sure she needs to be busy and supervised. So many parents let their teens run wild and then they wonder "what happened" when they get in trouble and "I never saw this coming!" it is like...wise up, Mom! It is your first job to parent them for 18 plus years. But the fact of it is, you have to work. This is not a choice you have made so you all can have extra stuff. This is what feeds, clothes, and houses them. So she needs to support your job and the work you put in for the betterment of the family. You are not asking too much of her at all. Good for you in not taking the easy way out.

Anne said...

My son is the youngest of 4, also going into his freshman year of high school. He is a great kid and there is NO WAY I would give him the option of staying home by himself every day after school. This is one of those "no brainer" decisions, however it would be nice there were days that she had organized after school activities to break up her schedule a little. Also, I don't know what kind of a student she is but if she comes to work with you, it would be perfect to set up a routine for her to have a great snack of some kind and then spend at least an hour on her homework. She may tell you she has nothing to do but if you set it up as 1 hour study time, NO MATTER WHAT, you will be surprised at what she decides to get done because she has to sit there. We started this with my oldest 2 (now 24 and 22) when they were in high school. They were always required to bring a book to read to the table for the days they said they had NOTHING to do. Sometimes they would stare at the book and then remember a project that they could work on or something else that was due in a day or two, etc.
Anyway, prayers are with you. This won't be easy but it will be great for you all.

rita from georgia said...

as long as you are responsible for their actions (18). you are the chief decision maker. you know that little mother gut feeling that guides us even though we keep trying to put it out of our minds. i would give me the alternative to a job and me pick her up and take her there or go to work with me. its only 4 days. place some kind of reward system to encourage her you way of thinking. if she is over demanding of your decision you can bet you potatoes she has plans and that doesn't include doing homework an

Melrose said...

I'm going to echo Rebekah: you're the boss, go with your gut.

I also wanted to respond to the idea of letting her earn time at home...I think that's like letting an alcoholic earn time in a bar for not drinking. Now your daughter is obviously not an alcoholic nor does she not deserve the chance to show maturity as she gets older...however, as a loving mother, you want to offer her situations that are not blatant temptation. Tell her if she's unhappy with the arrangement she needs to come up with something supervised that you agree with (sports, a nanny position, etc).

Rebekah, you are so strong and I wish every mother was like you, putting your daughter in your presence every afternoon may make her angry, but underneath, I promise you she'll know the depth of your love and protection. It will allow you and your daughter endless time to grow together.

I loved the responder that wrote that your boss offering this possibility is a "God thing" I agree. You go mama!

Jan said...

I definitely agree that teens shouldn't be left home alone after school. I also think she should be given the opportunity to build back her trust with you. If after school activities aren't an option, allow her to stay home alone after school one day a week, but during that time, give her enough household chores to keep her very busy. She could vacuum, dust, change bedding, clean bathrooms, etc. This not only teaches her how to do these chores, but will give her a new appreciation for all you do in that respect.....and thed added bonus is you won't have to do the work when you get home. She may even be able to start simple items for your dinner.

As others have said, go with your gut...sometimes that's all parents have.

webkinzfan said...

I completyly agree that she should not permitted to do her own thing or be allowed to be home alone and invite any kids she chooses to do whatever in your house after school every day. I can also see how she might be thinking that going to mom's work after school is something "little kids" do. Would it be possible for her to be involeve in sports or other after school activities at her school? Whould it be possible for her to get a volunteer job (looks good an a college application) after school?
Do you have any frinds with daughers who Chelsea is frinds with, and if possible go to the same school, that would allow her to go to their house- under their supervision- maybe one or two days a week?
Could she volunteer to work with the kids or do odd jobs for pay at your work? These are just some thoughts I had. I do think that if all else fails she sould not be allowed to do as sh pleases and if it's the only alternartive- wheather it's one day a week or 4 days a week she should be required to be with you because running "wild" would only get her into trouble of one sort or another and you love her to much to let that happen to her!! Rlease remind her of that- you want her to be safe. You're not trying to keep her from having any fun!!! You're the mom- a single mom, which is a tough job- and at least for now you need to do whatever you need to do to keep her safe! Hope this is helpful.
HUGS for you, Tracy

Anonymous said...

I'm going to mimic exactly what I've read. There is NOTHING that a 14 or 15 year old can do unsupervised that is good for them. God gave us our children to shelter and protect them until they are old enough to do so for themselves. She won't like it because you are taking away her chance to do all of the things you are trying to stop her from doing. lol I'm sure you remember the age. It's even worse now. I would not, even 1 day a week, allow it. Also, her being at your work will give her valuable study time and I get you see an improvement in her grades. That first year of high school can be hard, so she'll need all the extra time and concentration she can get.

LexxiesMama said...

You should go with your instincts for sure.