This summer is proving to be a tough one in some respects and I’m really starting to feel stuck in the middle. We have a busy house, with a newborn, a toddler and a teenager and keeping the peace can be tricky sometimes.
My dear husband potters off to work everyday which he has to do. Work is work isn’t it, and where ever you are there is politics and power struggles. I fear the seeds of resentment are setting in as he sees me at home enjoying maternity leave and a 16 year old camped out in his room for what will be nearly 3 months with the break between GCSE’s and Sixth Form. I can completely understand where he is coming from but keeping the peace is starting to get me down.
Teen is my son from a previous relationship, and we spent many years as a single working parent household. I’ve done a lot for him over the years, many because it was easier and because I honestly thought he’d be the only child I’d have. He’s possibly a little spoilt.
We are really struggling with finding him a part time job and keeping him busy this summer. Teen’s perception is, ‘this is my holiday, and your always on at me’, and husband’s perception is, ‘you need to do something constructive, there’s plenty to do around here’. Never the twain shall meet, hey?
I’m completely stuck in the middle, I can see my husbands point of view entirely but I can’t help but defend my son, to his frustration. They both have their flaws, my husband’s approach can be stern which my son doesn’t find motivating, and my son can be lazy, which my husband finds frustrating. Teen’s dressing gown is an accessory most days. Then there’s me, I think I’m subconsciously defending the years of parenting him by myself.
I’m fairly laid back about him in many ways, as I think Teen will get everything we try and tell him when he gets into the real world, but my husband wants to see action and instant results now. I think my son will appreciate our efforts as he becomes more mature and starts to experience the real world for himself, so I don’t get stressed his efforts now. Sometimes the only way to learn is the hard way, and all you can do is hope you’ve installed the skills in them to face life head on. Without the pressures of real life, it’s difficult to understand the responsibilities that go with it.
It’s going to be a long old summer if these tensions continue. My husband doesn’t think I push Teen enough, and I think he pushes him too much. I see the glass half full in that he’s bright, we’re expecting good GCSE results on 21st August, he’s not hanging around getting into trouble and he does help out when asked (the lawn is being mowed as I type). When the girls grow up I think we’ll have a whole lot more on our hands in terms teenage rebellion.
Do I see it all through rose tinted glasses because I’m Teen’s parent? Is my husband right, and should Teen be devoting this time to furthering his skills in preparation for the real world. Now my husband has decided not to support Teen at all in terms of his software engineering because he’s finding it too stressful. How on earth do I get them back on track?