If your kids don't go to college, you're a crappy parent?
Now that all of our kids are in their early 20's it's easy to look back and see the mistakes you made or question some of the decisions you made as a parent. Was I hard enough on them? Was I too hard? Did I make them study enough? Did I give them enough freedom to express themselves?
A lot of people rate parenting based on what your kids choose to do with their lives. I was once one of those parents. I thought to raise a successful human they should be an A/B student throughout high school, be in a sport, go to college, be top in their class, step out of college into a career that will be sure to afford them all of the finer things that life has to offer, for the rest of their lives. Right?
Well, I have 4 kids that say that's not really how life works. We kind of fell off the tracks at the "be at the top of the class" stage. All of my kids went to college and I think it's pretty safe to say, they all hate/hated it. We had 3 girls & 1 boy and we were certain we had two shoo in college students and two maybe's. Well the two we thought would certainly go to college, would love it and become what society deemed as successful, proved us wrong.
As a good parent you automatically think you've done something wrong when life doesn't work out exactly as you've planned it.
I have found that even at 50 life never stops teaching. If you stop learning, you'll die. That being said, I've recently learned that my way isn't their way and the level of successfully raising 4 kids isn't based on the clout of their jobs but if they are good human beings, that have great hearts and are individuals that want to make their lives their own and on their own terms. I respect that in all of them. They all tried to do it my way and most of them said, "nope we are going to do it this way".
Moral of the story is, don't beat yourself up over the path your kids choose to take in life. Do your job, as a parent, the best way you know how and they will find their paths in life. It may not be your path or the best path but life has a funny way of figuring itself out.