Parenting payback

Can’t teenagers be complete ingrates? I’m not talking about my own. I’m talking about me.

I grew up in a country town. I lived at one end of it, my boyfriend lived at the other. If I wanted to see him on a Friday or Saturday night, my dad would drive me from our place to his, and then come pick me up sometime between 11.00pm and midnight. I’ve just checked on Google maps, and that was about 8 km each way, so he would cover 32 km in a night. Just so I could see my boyfriend. Who my parents did not approve of. It must have been a long four years for them.

I don’t remember ever thanking dad for running me around. I was probably too busy being resentful that I couldn’t stay longer, that we lived so far away, that I couldn’t stay the night, that my family had such an embarrassing car.

There is nothing like having your own children to make you appreciate your parents and what they did for you.

I’ll be seeing my dad today, and I will be sure to thank him – and mum – for being my chauffeur for all those years.

And now it is payback time. My own teenager has begun Saturday night activities. She might have a ‘gathering’ at a friend’s house, or perhaps babysitting. It has changed my Saturday nights. Where once I would enjoy a few glasses of wine at home and chill out in front of the telly or computer before crashing somewhere around 10, I now drink a herbal tea, have a bit of a nanna nap, and set the alarm to wake me for taxi duties. If we are going out ourselves, I need to coordinate our cab ride home with picking her up at the correct time on our way through – and again, keep the wine to a minimum.

I am sure she doesn’t appreciate this impact on my life, but on the other hand, it’s my job, isn’t it? It’s what I signed up for. And it’s got to be good for my health.

Herbal tea

That’s not wine.

 Have you turned into your kids’ taxi service? Has it impacted on your social life?
(And have you thanked your own parents?)



  1. I remember staying at my aunt’s house every fortnight as a child and having to go out in the cold to drop off or pick up my older cousin. I hated it. Every Friday night I go out several times to pick up and drop off teenagers to youth groups, and usually dragging poor Mr 5 with me. I don’t mind doing it, but I do feel sorry for Mr 5

  2. Our daughter’s social diary is starting to impact on our evenings too (our son still consumes weekends with day time birthday parties). I’m not sure if it’s worse having to curtail evening activities (ie a glass of wine) or the fact she has a better social life then we do.
    It’s also not being able to dress in your jammies until after pick up time – although I may throw this one to the wind and let the RBT unit pull me up in my dressing gown.

    • Oh, you just reminded me of another reason I was embarrassed – my dad would turn up in his dressing gown and slippers. I think ugg boots and tracksuit – even pjs – are perfectly acceptable under these circumstances 🙂

  3. We just got home after a social night, but it was for our 9 yr old son! We dropped him off at his school’s trivia night at 5.30pm, went to the pub for dinner and picked him up at 8pm. Meanwhile Miss 13 was at home alone. That’s not an assurance she’s behaving. I’ve just turned my computer on and her FB was still logged in so naturally I’ve taken a look and it’s not good. I don’t think I’ll be allowing her a social life now, I can just imagine me dying to get in my jammies and having to drive somewhere at midnight to pick her up. Sounds like a job for her dad, I’ma thinking’!

    • Agh! Sometime I regret looking! I can understand why it’s easier to just stick your head in the sand. Hope you sort things out with Miss 13. Call me if you need a shoulder 🙂

  4. Master 17 pretty much managed to get himself around… but then he didn’t go out and socialise at night. Miss 15 is more of a social butterfly but we are finding ways to share the driving/travelling etc with her father and her friends’ parents so far. Fingers crossed the other younger ones will be fairly well organised too! And your daughter will eventually appreciate your efforts. 😉 xx

  5. I was such an ingrate…I probably still am to my parents! I went to school half way on the other side of town and so my friends were all there too. The number of times they had to pick me up (30 minute drive each way) and not a thanks from me. I know I’ll be getting my own back…times 2!

    • Oh you sound like me! Hopefully your boys will be best buddies and do everything together – just one drop off and pick up 🙂

  6. We’ve only had a few night time parties so far – and it’s bloody annoying – I seriously don’t want to go anywhere once I’m on the lounge in front of the TV. Luckily at the moment sleepovers seem to be the rage so they are staying the night at each other’s houses and I don’t have to do collection until the following morning – just have to put up with the tired teenager for the day!
    You know what, in a year or two – we will both be writing blog posts not about the inconvenience of having to go out at night and pick them up – but of having to worry and wait at home for them to drive themselves home! I’m not going to get ANY sleep.

    • I’m not allowing sleepovers after parties right now. Not saying this rule is for everyone – it probably isn’t necessary for a lot of kids. As much as I’d love to tho – would certainly make things easier for me.

  7. We haven’t hit that stage just yet. I feel very much like you though – I know I probably didn’t show as much gratitude as i should have. It was great to read this post and to remember what is fairly normal for teenage behaviour.

  8. My family lived smack bang in the middle of town, two blocks from school, so my parents rarely had chauffeuring duties (for parties – my mum never missed a netball game or concert, though).

    They did however have a constant stream of ‘guests’ staying over so that the parents of my friends could replace late-night chauffeuring duties with next-day chauffeuring duties. They claimed it was never a problem. Bless them.



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