Back Off

Easier said than done!

In recent posts I talked about the “transitional journey” I’m on with my daughter, Shantel, as she continues to talk more and more about wanting to move out on her own. She will be twenty-one years old in June, and will be starting Grand Canyon University next year. Believe me when I say I want nothing more than for Shantel to be “happily independent” from Bill and I. Both Bill and I know we have helped Shantel have the best start in life that we could give her, and we know she is ready when she finds the right roommates to share housing with which is in the works now…

The biggest problem I’m having with my “transitional journey” is backing off, and not jumping in and getting involved in the things I took care of for Shantel all of her life. As an adult, now she can handle her own affairs right? Well, here are a few examples of what I am trying to back off from…

I drove Shantel to Grand Canyon University (GCU) yesterday so she could meet with their Disability Services Department to determine what accommodations they will provide to her next year. Before we even left the house to go to GCU, I asked Shantel if she had a list of questions she wanted to ask the Disability Services person we were meeting with. Shantel said “no, I don’t need a list, I know what I want to ask… ” OK… but I, on the other hand, would have had a whole agenda typed out with copies for anyone who might need one…In fact, that is exactly what I did each and every time I ever attended a meeting at Shantel’s Grade School, or High School, and for sure whenever I attended one of her Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings… But, that’s just me, and the way I do things… I’m finding out it is also for sure NOT the way Shantel does things…

As the meeting at GCU started, Shantel was doing a great job of advocating for herself, but I just could not stop myself from making sure “we” understood each and every action item that needed to be  followed-up on after the meeting… I was taking notes, and interjecting things I thought needed to be addressed that Shantel hadn’t brought it up… I could tell Shantel was getting “less than pleased” with me, because she started cutting me off when I would start to ask a question… It was a bit annoying to me seeing how I was just trying to be helpful… but, it wasn’t annoying enough to make me stop trying to help… I tried, I really did try…

Picture me “zipping my lips” and holding tongue  until I thought my eyes were going to pop out of my head from all the build up of unasked questions pressure… I kept telling myself to just “back off“, and let Shantel handle the meeting on her own. After all, when she moves out, she won’t have me around to be “helpful” to her in meetings etc… right?

So, I started looking out the big picture office window trying to distract myself. I couldn’t help noticing the buildings just across the street looked like really nice apartments, and I began wondering to myself if they were on campus housing for GCU students… Shantel of course couldn’t see them so I felt compelled to ask if they were in fact on campus apartments for GCU students, and OMG…, they are!!! How were we to know that if I hadn’t asked right? Well, not only did that one question let us know they have apartments on campus for the students but, OMG…,they are building individual dorm rooms on campus as well just across from the office where we were meeting. Single dorm rooms so you don’t have to have any roommates… How were we to know that either if I hadn’t asked??? So, naturally, I had to ask all about that too. I wanted to know how much they cost, is there a waiting list etc… Shantel cut me right off again saying “mom, I’m not living on campus, I will live in an apartment or house with roommates. She said there is no way a dorm room would be included in the financial aid she will get from  Voc Rehab… I said “But listen, Shantel, if you could live on campus then you wouldn’t have to worry about Dial-a-Ride to and from school… and you never know, you could get a scholarship or something to help pay some of the costs that Voc Rehab doesn’t pay…I said “you know you just have to ask for these things and believe they will happen…” To my surprise, Shantel simply said “mom, can we talk about all that when we get home?” OK, but I would not have left that meeting without asking for something in writing that tells all about the on campus housing so I could provide that information to Voc Rehab… but, that’s just me, and how I do things…

On the drive home, I decided I would see if Shantel has heard from her Voc Rehab counselor who is supposed to be working on the financial aid information for Shantel to attend GCU next year. She is also supposed to let Shantel know when they need to meet to complete the paperwork that supports Shantel’s major, and all the other information necessary for funding approval… Shantel said she sent the counselor an email but she hasn’t responded back to Shantel yet. Again, I just couldn’t stop myself from telling Shantel that she needs to stay on top of the counselor and keep following up with more emails until she gets the time/place of the meeting… I reminded her that these things don’t just happen on their own you have to make them happen. I told her if I learned nothing else while I was managing Shantel’s IEP meetings etc. I learned  you have to stay on top of everything and document everything if you want to make sure you have what you need in a timely manner… blah, blah, blah… Shantel said “I know mom, just don’t worry about it, I’m taking care of it.” Kind of like saying “Back Off” right?

This is me “zipping my lips” and trying, really, really, hard to “back off.”

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can… 🙂

Stay tuned!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. gotham girl
    Nov 08, 2013 @ 02:14:22

    Oh how I feel your pain…but, the big BUT. I think you have to let the chips fall. It’s all part of the learning process. Some times they will be BIG falls, but you gotta let it happen. Now this is coming from someone that doesn’t have children, so what do I know!! Love you! More!


  2. katsbynp
    Nov 09, 2013 @ 02:02:01

    I still find myself still trying to “Back Off” with my children so I can understand. I agree you have to let them make mistakes but it is hard. I know you can..I know you can. Thanks for sharing! Great post


    • beyondcinderella
      Nov 09, 2013 @ 13:20:41

      I know we have to let them make their own choices and if that leads them to mistakes it’s all just part of the learning process. But knowing that doesn’t make it any easier. You would think it would be easier the second time around but it isn’t… Thanks for your comments.


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