My daughter’s keeper…

Parenting is a pretty tough gig. You see all sorts of people doing it, most people have an opinion about how it should be done. In reality, there is no rule book and in practice, you always second guess yourself.

It’s a role you never shake. Once a parent, always a parent. I know my Mom worries about me all the time. I’m pushing 50. There is a point, however, when every parent has to make some decision that they should keep their nose out of their children’s affairs. These last few weeks I’ve really struggled with that line between protecting/defending my eldest daughter’s rights, or just butting out. My logical side tells me I should back off, but my maternal side, much MUCH more powerful won’t allow me to.

At 22, she’s an adult. Still, she’s has not been out on her own. She’s still a student of the “school of hard knocks” and still learning. She’s no baby. This kid is almost at her two year anniversary of being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. This has been a huge, life-altering event for her and she’s managed it with dignity and tremendous strength. She’s also recently landed herself a full-time job in a city where thousands are still looking for work. I’m really proud of what she’s accomplished.

Lately though, I see stuff happening which I translate into being “pushed around” and I can’t help but put myself between her and the situations. As I struggle with the lessons I teach my daughters about money and managing life, I struggle with knowing how my role as Mom needs to be played out.

The first situation arose about a month ago, when her health care provider decided she needed to supplement with iron. They advised they’d call it into our local pharmacy. Since I’ve got the credit card, I went to pick it up. There was no iron supplement there for my daughter, no note on her file. When my daughter called her health care provider again, they advised they’d call it in again. My second trip turned out the same way. After my third trip with the same result, I got more than a little cranky. I happened to pick up the phone when her health care provider called one time and I said “hey, I’ve been to the pharmacy three times for this thing – what’s the story on this?”. Because my daughter is an adult, they would not provide me with the name of the supplement, only to assure me that it was being held behind the counter. Despite my trying to assist my daughter, and support her (literally and figuratively), I can’t get the one bit of detail that would help me in my FOURTH trip to the pharmacy. When I actually went the fourth time, the pharmacist has the nerve to say “I can’t hold drugs behind the counter this long, it’s been here an awfully long time.”

I didn’t hurt anybody. I really wanted to though.

The issue of drugs brings us to the second situation my daughter is facing. Despite being eligible for medical coverage at her employment since December 3, the company has failed to provide her with the paperwork necessary for her to register or to get reimbursed. Yep, we’re racking up the bills for the last 2.5 months. She sees lots of other employees getting their medical packages, yet hers is strangely MIA. The variable that makes this even more critical is that her employer will actually switch insurance companies March 1, which means if she doesn’t get her package in the next few weeks, we’ll actually be out of pocket for all of her medications which were to be covered, because the new provider won’t cover anything prior to March 1. So I’m riding her like a wild pony asking her every day “where’s the package” and she assures me she’s asking and everybody gives her the “it’s coming” story, yet it never does come. I totally see where this is going. We’ll be on the hook for her prescriptions until March 1 because nobody is going to bat for my daughter at her workplace. I can’t go in there and pull the Mom card. Trust me, I want to in the worst fricking way.

Finally, the last and perhaps most maddening issue is with Rogers. Imagine, having difficulties with a telecom company? Her boyfriend’s aunt promised a sweet deal on joining her on a cell phone package she got through her employer. No question about the deal, it is a sweet one. My daughter pays about $28/month for a veritable “all you can talk” buffet. The problem arose when the BFs aunt actually thought my daughter wasn’t going to get the cell phone she ordered for her, and made another call.  The result: my daughter has two cell phones, and two cell phone bills. Now, when we try and call Rogers to say “hey, you sent us two, we only need one” they say “that’ll be $400 to cancel”. I unloaded a can of whoopmom on them earlier this week, and finally they gave us a solution. The aunt had to call and say she made an error and to back the whole thing up. So the aunt did call, and instead of honouring what they told me, they merely said “she can cancel for $400”. The can of whoopmom will open up again when my daughter gets home from work and we can call Rogers together again.

I’m just struck this morning about the complete lack of accountability of some people. Where is my daughter’s manager when they know she’s diabetic and she pleads with them for over a month to give her the paperwork for her drug plan? Is he stupid? Does he figure since she lives at home that she’ll be taken care of so it doesn’t matter? Is there no honour?

Rogers takes notes on a file and then tells a different story to the person they told me could straighten it out? How come the aunt doesn’t say “geesh, I’m sorry I really screwed you up, let me help out in the solution”. She makes one call and hangs up her hat? It’s not acceptable to me. She only wants to pass on some good news, and clearly doesn’t want to get her hands dirty when things go sour – even when she initiated the whole event.

How can a pharmacist look me in the eye and say she can’t hold drugs behind the counter and then say “I saw you in here before looking for this!” Yes, and you also saw me leave without it. My daughter goes without an iron supplement her physician says she needs badly for one month because of client/patient privilege?

I’m beside myself with disgust. It’s hard to stop parenting when other people don’t do the right thing by your kids, regardless of their age. What lessons do we need to teach our kids about understanding their rights and just keep speaking up and speaking up and speaking up until somebody finally hears you? So easy for people to fall through the cracks in our society. My kid comes from a good home and she’s educated and smart. Imagine how easy it would be to walk away from this stuff when you don’t have a support system?

I’m in awe of parents today. For those of you who are parents I take my hat off to you for the work you do in protecting and keeping your kids, regardless of their age. Seems there’s precious few out there who will honour them as much as we do.



2 responses to this post.

  1. “Parenting is a pretty tough gig!” Tell me about it. Sorry to hear how your daughter is being treated and of course you want to help her, protect her, or even better prevent these things from happening to her in the first place. And that inner trigress comes leaping out when we see our “baby” in any kind of danger or trouble.
    I am in the process of “detaching” (a wee bit at a time:)from my daughter who is 20. We had a huge talk Saturday about finances – crying, laughing, debating – and it came down to her asking me to “trust her”. So I said I would but that she could always come and talk to me about anything. She replied that she knew that I had made it on my own – paying my way through university and teacher’s college while also raising her and she also wanted to do things on her own. I’ve helped her for three years with tuition and offered to help her next year again but she said NO!
    I guess all we can do is let them know that we will always be there for whatever they need whenever they need it.
    Hope you can help get some of these issues resolved – I wish your time off was a little more relaxing!


  2. I think a lot of us got stuck paying the “naive tax” years ago, unfortunately life is just more complicated now too, so there’s more ways to get shafted that we didn’t experience at that age.

    My oldest son is like Jane’s daughter – he wants to do things on his own and I’ve really let go and let him make his own mistakes these last few years. Not surprisingly, he’s toughening up and making less of them. 🙂 A big part of that has been learning not to trust ‘friends’ financially – or to not listen to what people SAY as much as what they actually DO.

    Re. the iron, I’m surprised that they wouldn’t give it to you – I had to go on iron for my anemia last year, and although I had a Rx for it, I could also get it without a prescription as well. They just need a record of your name and address. If she’s taking it, I highly recommend taking it with OJ, it increases the absorbency by A LOT.


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