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school routines

A Updated

This time last year, school routines were a nightmare. The teenagers weren't sleeping and couldn't get up. I had to get into work. Homework was getting lost or damaged.

I rang the school and explained - some help there but not much. We struggled on as the teenagers' distress turned, at times, to anger.

It's better this year. There's ordinary teenage anger from time to time and the kind of difficulty going to bed and getting up that I had as a teenager. The teenagers seem more than a year older - they've had a lot of growing up to do. I've mixed feelings about that. They are still hurt - there's been some damage from which they'll never recover. The damage started years ago. They saw too much of a bad marriage. They weren't quite sure what was going on. Now they know how things are. Their dad manages - more or less - to fit them into his timetable and his new partnership. It's good that the teenagers are learning to be more responsible and self-reliant.

It's hard sometimes to balance a heavy workload with the needs of children. But I'll get there. I'm trying to organise laundry and places to leave homework books. We are slowly establishing new routines.

Sometimes I wish there were someone to help so that I could take an evening class or go to a film in the evenings. Still, every so often I get a little time for myself. Every few weeks I manage to go out on my own. It won't be long till the children are quite grown up. I expect I'll miss them when they leave home. I already feel proud of how they've coped. I feel quite pleased with the way I've coped.

And now it's time to get on with work ... it doesn't stop!

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I know how you feel Athene, as much as I love my children, it is a constant endless circle.

But the only benefit of doing it all on my own is I don't have anyone putting a spanner in the works when I say No.

My Girls are slowly learning that they do have responsibilites because they have to think more for themselves.

My X2b used to dish out the daily orders continuously, I had a personal conflict with that..

Now they see me as the one who is in charge, holds the purse strings, surprisingly says yes on occasions and is there to offer positive direction.

X2B is the special treat that pops in every now and again, and calls to see how they are doing, wishes them well with a school trip, or praises them for doing well at school..not that I don't but it dilutes into daily life. I do not have a personal conflict with that.

So I feel thankful for being given the opportunity to show that Mums can take control, can shout too and can try to get the best out of our children, whilst keeping the wash pile down, helping to put clothes back in their rightful place and cooking the tea..all at the same time on occasions...

Take care Athene keep on going and going and going!!!!!!


This is just another unexpected problem when a marriage breaks down.I believe strongly that a good education is the key to choices for the future and am currently frustrated beyond belief at the fact that my 15year old has given up on school because of the situation my x2b has put us in.her choice of friends is questionable and she's dumbing down in class to match their standards.Like you, I resort to nagging to get anything done but that makes me the bad guy-if I give up through despair,I'm the bad guycos I don't care about her enough.In fact-I'm learning to get used to that title.My kids are both teenagers and their upbringing is left principally to me so if/when anything goes wrong it'll all be my fault and I'll have to live with that for the rest of my life!! If onthe other hand things turn out well, it'll have been a combination of factors!!! Life's hard!!
I'm no expert. I reckon most kids want to be on good terms with both parents and know they're loved. They can probably cope with different attitudes from different parents so long as the parents don't have obvious conflict about it.

My x2b only spends a few hours at a time with kids so homework etc is up to me - and, although I try (which the teenagers call "nagging"), I'm not great at enforcing homework or bedtimes. I try to be firm and slowly things improve. But if I can't win (e.g. because I'm too tired) I don't insist because there's no point in losing. x2b now backs me up if I say homework's important, so long as he doesn't have to do anything about enforcing it.

In the end, the kids have to know that it's their own responsibility. Slowly they're beginning to realise this too - and they're working harder, I think. (Well, their results are improving a little.) And although I'm the one who nags about homework, my relationship with them is OK. It may help that I'm also the one who does the cooking, manages the house and pays most of the bills.
One of my biggest concerns at the moment in my own situation is that my 15yo son is just starting his GCSE year. His mother mollycoddles him to death and doesn't push him at all, so he is lazy beyond belief. Were there huge disparities between how you and your ex viewed the children's freedoms and responsibilities? I am concerned that my relationship with my children will suffer, because I am the 'bad' guy that makes them do their homework and turns off the TV, or the computer, or asks them to tidy up the lounge or their bedroom. Has that situation featured in your separation? How do you handle discipline between you and your ex? Do you have an agreed common platform?
I just feel like I'm looking at an abyss, and its a 'heads you lose, tails you lose' situation. Would welcome your thoughts. Mike