Help!! Have I been a good parent??

Dear God of Parenting,

I've been working at this parenting thing for 23 years. I really thought I was doing a helluva job until the past couple of weeks. Suddenly I feel like a complete and total dumbshit and wonder if I really messed up. 
You see, my two kids went on this free trip to Israel and have been gone for almost two weeks. I haven't been able to talk to them much unless they called and wanted me to do something for them. Or pay for something. Or I called/stalked them.
Growing up I always said the usual "I'm going to give my children everything I haven't had". Perhaps I have taken that to the extreme. I'm afraid that I have now completed my courses in advanced over indulging, accelerated spoiling and earned a masters in teaching entitlement. 
I love the living hell out of my girls. They are the lights of my life but dear God I need a lot of help! I need you to help me figure out how to change what I have done. Actually how to change it without any associated guilt. Because every time I say no now I am riddled with anxiety. 
They decided they were going to stay there four extra days and immediately figured I would pay for it. I said no, that I was totally against them staying. Not only because the trip became unchaperoned with no security but also that the cost was ridiculous. We fought and argued from several thousand miles apart. I stayed up until 4am crying. Then I needed a trip from Uncle Xanny to get some sleep. I was a tired, hungover mess the whole next day. And all because I said no. 
I never imagined that my overly frugal older kid would decide to not only pay for herself but for her sister as well. I guess Israel is a pretty awesome place and they don't want to come home but hey, how about a reality check?
Overall they are good girls. They are educated and smart. But when it comes to doing for themselves I have gone over the top with too much help. I am always there to take care of everything, to plan everything and yes of course, to pay for everything (Dad too, he pays for a lot). But now that for the first time ever I have said no, I have gotten nothing but attitude. All from halfway around the world. Great.
Part of my problem is I don't know how to just let go. Maybe if I hadn't had such a tight grip on them needing me all this time I would be a lot better off. After 23 years it's hard to let go. I am questioning so much of what I have done it's making my head spin. 
So, God of parenting and all that is associated with it without making myself a complete nut job, please help. And whatever you do, don't tell me it's too late. I don't want to become a drug addict. 
The Entitler
PS: Answer soon 'cause I have to get their flights and buses booked for the trip home and get their rooms ready and ........ 


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  • You did the right thing. As a single dad of 4, ages 25 to 17, I used to say yes to everything. I had to start saying no and it was not pleasant at first. But, they start to get used to it and you will feel better about yourself.

  • In reply to Jkchatz:

    Thanks for the response, nice to know I'm not alone. And you have four!!! Twice the headaches :) But we love them to death don't we, no matter what!

  • In reply to Jkchatz:

    Ah, don't feel guilty about saying no. I think you should feel good about how things turned out afterward. Not only were your daughters resourceful, but you saw how generous and close they can be, too. I absolutely love the result. You are a success, Ms. Tepster! You'll all be just fine.

  • In reply to jtithof:

    Thanks Jackie, you put a different perspective on things that I had not thought of. I appreciate it as it does make me feel so much better! Maybe your blog should be "When you put it that way" instead of mine :) Thank you, thank you!!

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