When mom is in the middle

I’ll start by saying I try hard to stay off subjects that are too hard or may embarrass my family. As my children are older and can read my posts I never want anyone in my family to feel I have used my blog as a platform to gain readership through their uncomfortableness, pain or expense.


Then sometimes life happens and I think prehaps sharing will assist someone in a similar situation.

Calls of drama

I was at work interviewing for a blog event when I got a call from my teen son. Him and my husband ( his step dad) had had words and long story short the child was going to find a job and move out.

Now at 17 we all know he wasn’t nor could he afford to. But, he was fuming and hurt and nowhere near me to be able to calm down.

He also has Aspergers and is currently coming to terms with his own father’s lack of involvement in his life, leading him to try express himself through bad taste in music, hideous goth outfits and really bad use of my eyeliner….well this week at least. Next week I’m sure he would have moved onto a new form of self expression.

I was mid interview ….trying to work when these calls came through. My patience was thin and their timing was bad.

Silently fuming, I finished my interview and phoned my husband .

After all there are always two sides.


As I listened to his side I realised he had jumped to conclusions and reacted unfairly. Which I obviously stated.

Again miles away from home and hours away from finishing my current assignment I was not impressed.

Both sat wondering why I wasn’t taking their sides. My son believing I was unloyal to him and needed to be on his side and my husband obviously felt my duty as a wife and parent was to stand by him.

In retrospect, both were right in their expectations of my loyalty.

Family loyalty

For the most part I do stand by my husband . I don’t question his discipline to my children or bear in front of them and I allow him to be our household leader, which anyone entering a marriage with children from previous relationships, knows is difficult. But I am fair or at least I try to be.

If he is wrong or unfair in his discipline or treatment of the children I will discuss it with him.

I have spent 26 years raising my children a certain way and together Brent and I have only spent 2 years raising bear and the other cubs. In fairness we are still learning each other’s parenting styles. We are both in unchartered waters and whilst most days we swim , some days it feels like we just sank with the Titanic .

At the same time , and with no disrespect , as a veteran parent I also know that new parents are full of those unsaid expectations. The my child will nevers. The hours of judgement on children who deviate from the norm or go off the rails.

It takes years of pulling your hair out at disrespectful teenagers , talking back as you question your sanity and how good a jail sentence looks to understand both patience and unconditional love. To accept your child as perfect as they are not as you want them to be and to learn to pick your battles.

It also takes years as a step parent to be appreciated for all the love, sacrafice and dedication. Most step children never acknowledge the role a step parent has made in their lives.

And with every home it takes patient , mature parents to lead the way. Show an example and teach our children that no matter how much they mess up home is the place they are always loved and wanted.

About me

So their petty argument suddenly became about me as I tried to concentrate on work and sort out the mess they had chosen to make.

After a long , trying week I was no longer able to see either of their sides and as each one continued , I began to wonder how they would like the situation in my shoes.

How would they like to be dragged into the middle of a petty , unnecessary argument. How would they feel being torn apart, trying to pacify two male egos and did they both honestly expect me to just drop my work schedule, rush home and play referee?

I was now highly affected by their moods and fuming.

At home

Two hours later after threatening divorce in my mind and plotting murder. ( I’m a Leo we can be rather dramatic in the heat of a good feel sorry for ourselves moment) I arrived home to find a clean house, shopping done, washing on the go, bear bathed and supper cooked.

I married a good guy. He’s awesome with bear and really great with my kids. He is gentle and loving. Most importantly he loves me and is devoted to us making our family work.


I was still angry. I wasn’t worried that both of them had calmed down by now. I wasn’t bothered about what their spat was about and I was even less perturbed about the fact that both were no longer actually arguing.

I was angry.

They were both incredibly selfish. Both had been wrong and disrespectful to each other. Both had misunderstood. And both had disrespected me. Neither had once thought how I would feel. Neither regarded the fact that I was working or that they could have just chosen to ignore each other.


Ronan had come home by now after my listening to his rants and issued many warnings to him of ensuring his attitude was in check before he came through the door.

He is a good boy with a soft loving heart but he is 17 . On most days that means he believes he is an adult and on other days, usually when he needs money or a lift , he believes he still needs a parent. He has done some really stupid things this year but he has also done some really great things. He is an average teenager, expressing himself and trying to understand his place in this big overwealming world.

But that’s no excuse for disrespect or bad attitudes.

Brent had calmed down, was making us pizza and we had discussed, calmly how we both felt. We had not reached a compromise and I was still angry.

My parenting style

My parenting over the years has relaxed. Where I once was dictated to my children without deviation , I now am more accepting of their behaviour and pick my battles.

Divorce, Aspergers, being a single parent and many other life lessons have taught me that big emotions often explode and in the heat of the moment discipline, however much needed, is inefficient. You will never make your point or teach a lesson through the turmoil of a tantrum or the expression of huge emotions.

And so I sat not really sure how to fix what still looked like a check mate.


As I stood upstairs listening to Ronan , Brent came upstairs.

Bracing myself for a show down, because lets face it the male ego is a fragile thing and as I was home now so both would expect me to take their side, Brent spoke to Ronan.

Through controlled anger and emotion I heard him appologise for what he had said unfairly. I heard him comfort my child with the words Ronan needed to hear and most importantly I understood that this moment was hard for him. This moment went against how he parents.

In this moment my husband rose to meet me and he chose to honour our relationship by teaching my son a larger lesson in life.

He chose to teach him that families do not always get on, some days we don’t like each other but we always love each other enough to say sorry and that regardless of how much someone messes up we always love them.

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