my daughter is 18 and i feel like i left her,

Kat 15

New Member
4 years ago i got the change to work away from home, to a tax free country, and i would save alot, for me and my daughter future, her dad and me had split up a few years before that, and he was happy with the idea she stayed with him ,, i came home every 3 months,, then i got promoted to a job i could only dream of having , in the mean time my daughter lost direction stopped college, and showed no interest in getting a job , her father cant manage, and moved out with his new partner, she currently lives in a mobile home with her boyfriend, i have begged her to come here, tho she doesnt want to leave the boyfriend i have taken them on holidays and send money home each week, im not sure what to do, she turns 19 this month
i feel if i go and resign from this post, i will lose everything i have worked for, plus my partner is here with in , tho the guilt feeling is killing me, i feel like i left her, and now she has no direction and its my fault, can anyone give me advise good r bad ,, i need to hear from someone .
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Well-Known Member
It is the weekend which can be slow. I am driving in a car and can't text too well. I will try a gets busy during the week.

Your daughter can live with you. You invited her. She is choosing not to. Keep the invatation open and let her decide. She is 18 and you can't really tell her how to live anymor. I doubt she will listen. I would not give up everything you have to move back when it probably wont make a difference with her.

I would stop sending money. She is almost 19 and needs to get a job. Or boyfriend can. Or both.

I will try to get back to you when I not bouncing on a car and I am sure others will come by.. this is a caring place.
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Well-Known Member
I have a 19yo...she moved out at 18...isn't really adulting at all. Can't keep a job, lots of broken relationships, won't live at home. I am afraid if you give up your job and life that you love, it won't make any difference to her. She will still do what she wants.

I would start cutting back on your financial help. If she decides to go to college, or vocational school, then Offer to support that.

Most of the parents on here have tried to help their kids...but you can't force help or relationship on them...



Well-Known Member
Hi. I am home now.

Just wanted to add that most lilely if you had not accepted your amazing job, and I think you made the right choice, your daughter would have still not gone to college and lived with boyfriend. It's not your fault and also not your choice to make.

Many adult kids who bring us here blow off college. If you gave up all you accomplished and left your partner, there are no guarantees or even good odds that an almost 19 year old daughter would be so grateful to your coming back that she would do what you want. That is not a 19 year old's nature. Relax though. She can always go back to of my kids did in her 20s after quitting drugs....all of us have had our challenging adult kids. Everyone here.

One thing you can help daughter do is act like an adult. I would not pay her rent or send her significant money or treat her to a car or act as if she is incapable of working and paying her own way, even if she and boyfriend have to move to a cheap apartment. She needs to grow up and become independent. She is 19. No longer a little girl. At 18 one can and many do join the military. Not saying she should join the military, but she could. She is not a child.

I never supported my kids financially once they were out of school. Sometimes our guilt over things we perceive were not good parenting choices have us making us try to do too much for our adult kids to neutralize our own guilt, even things that keep our adult kids still behaving like children. Nothing makes us as guilty as our children of all ages. Many times we feel guilty for no reason.

You did nothing wrong. Your daughter was not alone, she was with her father. You visited. You gave holidays, your love, and emotional support. Now you offered her a chance to join you. She turned it down. That is her choice. That is not abandonment.

My adult kids, including a hardworking autistic son, left the nest and self supported by 20 or 21 (can't recall on one of them). They asked for nothing and either went to tehnical colleges or worked. (in school we did help, but they also worked part time).

All have good careers/jobs and great work ethics. I finally had enough extra money to help my youngest adult kids and because my youngest, 21, had gone to tech college for criminal justice and worked at the same time and is engaged to a great, fruitfully working young man, age 25, her dad and I gave her a nice down payment on a house. It was the first time we were able to do anything like, that but she would not have gotten it if she had asked for it or if she had not been adulting. Her fiance qualified for the mortgage and will pay. Daughter will help even as she goes to the Police Academy.

My philosiphy, which proved right on with my four kids, is that if my husband and I taught them to work for what they wanted, they'd appreciate it more and more importantly feel capable and strong. Even my autistic son feels good about paying for his apartment, cell phone, and working. He gets a little social security, bit not much and takes care of his needs. We always made sure he was treated as if he could do things. He does!!

Not everyone here agrees with me, but that worked for us and I am close to all my kids...I do not feel there is any resentment from any of them because they worked hard and did not have the most expensive toys.

My ex has more money than me and hubby do so my oldest two, his and my kids, get some emergency funds from Dad at times but nothing like money every week.

Anyhow you will hear from others who do different things, but most have decided to not get so involved in their kid's lives and let them grow up. We can only control one person in the

I hope you take good care of yourself and decide what is best for you. Let your daughter make her own choices and learn to be the adult that society treats her as. And it is up to you, the money situation, but giving her money because of guilt is like shopping with an empty stomach!!!

Love and hugs
We don't judge.
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New Leaf

Well-Known Member
Hi Kat, welcome and sorry for your need to be here. This is the thing. We parents are people too, with needs and dreams and opportunities. It is not as if you left the country and had your daughter fend for herself. She was with her Dad. I am sure it was not easy for you to take that leap of faith and jump at a chance to better your life, and as you wrote, the hope was, your daughters life as well. You came home four times a year and made sure she was okay, invited her to live with you, which she turned down. You did not abandon her.
Life happens. Kids grow up and make choices. Who's to say that the same scenario would not have played out with your daughter if you stayed home? Then, you would have been regretting not taking the opportunity when you had the chance.
tho the guilt feeling is killing me, i feel like i left her, and now she has no direction and its my fault.
I was for the most part a stay at home Mom. Worked here and there and took care of my kids, and two of my girls grew up and made some terrible choices. Still are. There are no guarantees in life. We do the best we can with what we have at the time. When you think of it, it is only in recent history that everything revolves around the kids. I think that is where we are going sideways, and the kids have this feeling of entitlement, into adulthood.
Please stop killing yourself with guilt. We have all been in those shoes, and it does no good. I tell my kids I did the best I could, and that's, that. What's done, is done.
Direction is entirely up to our adult children. They will do as they please, no matter what. When I was growing up, we moved around a few times. My sis had some hard knocks in life and she was convinced it was because of the "upheaval" of moving. Balderdash. Many kids grow up in far worse situations and still choose better for themselves.
It is all about choice.
There is not much we can do to change the course of a determined 18 or 19 year old. They will choose as they wish. We can counsel them, encourage them to want better for themselves, but ultimately, it is up to them to decide their journey. We all have to learn in our own way. Sometimes that comes with some hard lessons with the consequences of choice. That is how we learn from our mistakes.
It is not your fault, dear. Stop looking at your daughters choices that way. She is making her way, her way. We are not meant to hang on to our children forever, they are supposed to grow and learn to be self sufficient, independent.
Take a deep breath and be kind to yourself. You were looking out for yourself, which is a good thing, and thinking of your daughter as well. Self care, is not selfish. It is what we want our children to do, learn to be self sufficient.
Our kids will do as they choose, no matter what.
You matter, your life matters.
I think the best thing we can do for our adult children is to lead by example.
Model self care and strength.
You are doing this.
More will come along and offer their advice. No one here is an expert, just parents dealing with different issues, in different places on the journey. Take what suits you and leave the rest.
Know that you are not alone.
We have all been where you are, despairing over our adult kids decisions, feeling like we are to blame.
It is a hard and miserable place to be, and our d cs will grab onto that and use it to manipulate us into thinking we are obligated to take on their responsibilities and consequences. That is no good.
They have to learn to take responsibility for their choices.
We will not be on this earth forever to rescue them.
Many hugs to you.
Be kind to yourself!


Well-Known Member
At her age she doesn't have to live with you. There is no guarantee that going back is going to motivate her. You have offered to let her come live with you out of the country, but you cannot force her.


Roll With It
Your daughter isn't lacking direction. She just isn't taking the direction that YOU want her to take. I would stop sending money to her, taper it off maybe if you are more comfortable that way, but make it a fairly steep taper. She is 18 and not in school. This means she has CHOSEN to support herself while living with her boyfriend.

MANY young adults make this choice. More than half my graduating class did not go to college, and I live in a town where the largest entity is a state university. The opportunity was there and in our faces every single day that we lived in this town. So we all knew that college was an option. Heck, not even all of the smartest kids went to college.

Your daughter may need time to grow up. She may need to see that the real world, without Mom's dollars supporting her, will not be so nice to her until she has some marketable skill or knowledge. The great thing? She can go to college at any age. There isn't a time limit. Some people actually do a whole lot better when they are a bit older. They are more responsible and more able to focus on studies rather than parties and the social scene.

Don't give up on your daughter. Give her the real world she is probably claiming to want. Let her earn her own way. That is, after all, the real world. If you are supporting her while she lives with her boyfriend, what is she doing all day? She isn't learning and she isn't working, so what is she doing? Take that ability to laze about away. It isn't healthy for her. I would tell her that after a time in 30 days, you will not send any more funds for her, that she will have to support herself. If she chooses to go to school, you will help with that. You will not support her while she is not in school or doing anything to improve her life.

This was what my parents told my brother and I. It worked fairly well. You have to recognize that your daughter is an adult now, and has to be treated like one. You cannot make her do anything. Trying to make her live with you will likely end up ruining your relationship. At least for a while. Moving back to the country she lives in will also destroy what you have made of your life. Why do that? You don't owe her anything that you have not given her. You truly do not.

You did the best you could with what you had. You left her with someone who loved her and cherished her. If you had taken her with you, where she knew no one, things could have been awful. You might have blamed yourself for that too. There is NO way to go back and rewrite what happened. All you can do is go forward. Moving back to where she lives to try to make her live with you is trying to put the genie back into the bottle. It just won't work and she sure will be angry for a long time if you try.

Let her make her choices with her life. You cannot really stop her. All you can do is support the ones you like to the extent you choose.


Long road but the path ahead holds hope.
Hi Kay
You did not abandon her as a child she was older and had her father and tou engaged in her life.

Take a look at how many of us are here. Different circumstances same problems. Your job and your distance is not the issue here.

We do not Control what our DCs do. They do what they do. You did not Cause this and she is accountable for her life and her future.

You are there for her and in no way should you sacrifice your life and livlyhood or your own happiness for her. Trust me it won’t mean scratch.

She will do what she does and she knows you love her and would help her in a heart beat.

Be kind to yourself.