A mother shared her experience of being shamed for not waking up a child late for her carpool to school, and Reddit users applauded her response.
It’s happened to nearly every parent who’s participated in a school carpool: you arrive at a child’s house to pick them up and they are nowhere to be found. Usually, a simple lack of communication is to blame. Still, waiting for a child for more than a minute or two is frustrating for all involved, whether the student is missing because they overslept or because they’re falling into a habit of chronic absenteeism.
A parent writing under the handle FiveStarFrontDesk posted recently on Reddit, asking if they were the bad guy for driving off after a high school student failed to come outside for their three-family carpool ride. Even though the driver’s daughter texted the student when they were on the way, and knocked on the door twice upon arrival, the teen’s non-response threatened to make the other kids tardy. FiveStarFrontDesk dropped the other students off at school, but was shocked by the response she received from the absent teenager’s mom upon arriving at work.
She had three missed phone calls and a couple of angry voicemails from the other mother, calling her an expletive for not driving the child to school. “I called her back and told her how my daughter texted to say about what time we would be there. That my daughter knocked on the door when her kid wasn’t outside waiting, and they didn’t answer.”
FiveStarFrontDesk was incredulous over what the other mom said next. “The mom said I should have called her kid to ‘wake him up’ before I left my house, and that I should have ‘waited until he was ready.’ I told her that waking her kid up is not my responsibility, and that I can’t wait around more than 5-10 minutes in the morning, since I don’t want the other kids to be late to school.” Then the rude mom called her another expletive and hung up.
When the driver contacted the third family in the carpool to tell them what happened, she discovered that they had also experienced a similar situation with the neglectful mother. The two families agreed to cut the rude mom and child from the carpool. Although FiveStarFrontDesk knew it was a reasonable consequence, she apparently felt some guilt over the decision and turned to social media to see what they thought.
Hundreds of sympathetic Redditors replied to the carpool tift. Most telling her in no uncertain terms that she was not the bad guy. A top comment kept it simple, “She’s nuts.”
“It’s insane to expect anyone else to be responsible for you getting your kid up and ready for school. I wouldn’t even feel badly about it. That level of entitlement is astonishing,” he added
Several parents said they would make their child call the driver and apologize for making them wait. Many parents cracked jokes, suggesting that she should’ve asked the rude mom if she also expected her to come in the house, wake the teen, get him dressed and make him breakfast. Most pointed out the crazy level of entitlement the situation exposed and how the teen should be thankful for the carpool ride instead of having to walk to school—a mere 1.5 miles away.
According to a 2021 survey commissioned by Cars.com, 64% of the parents polled said they drive their kids or carpool instead of putting them on the big yellow bus. Only 38% of parents plan to take advantage of the school bus service provided by their school district. Even fewer students walk to school—just 12%–and fewer still use public transportation each day, around 7%.
Fifty-four percent of parents have only their own kids as passengers when driving to school while 9% participate in a carpoolwith other families. Carpooling can be a time and money saver, but the headaches of coordinating schedules appear to outweigh the benefits for most. And although school bus service is free, it’s not without its own pains, as learned by a Virginia parent when a substitute bus driver ran over his foot.