I Was Never the Mom Who Got Angry Over Spilt Milk

When your ex undermines your parenting in divorce

Colleen Sheehy Orme
3 min readSep 16, 2021


Photo by Leah Kelley from Pexels

One day during elementary school my youngest walks through the door. He can barely contain his little six-year-old excitement. He wants to show me his report card.

“Don’t you know mom doesn’t care about our grades,” says his older brother. “She cares about our behavior.”

Truer words were never spoken.

I am the mother of boys after all.

It’s a good day when the school doesn’t call.

But my middle son was correct. The very first thing my eyes went to were behavior grades. I wanted to ensure my guys were being respectful, cooperative, working well with others, listening, etc. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t endorse poor grades, it just wasn’t my primary focus.

I didn’t need my children to be straight-A students.

I was concerned with raising people.

I wanted them to be kind and respectful, happy and well-rounded.

And I wanted the teachers to be able to do their job not be distracted by disciplining my children.

My guys were typically A and B students. When they got the occasional C, I would help them or get them help from the teacher or a tutor to improve their grades.

As parents, we all have different philosophies.

This was mine.

Possibly because I was overly social rather than an overachiever.

Or because my mom tended to stress our values, not our achievements. Kinda old school. She would definitely get angry about things like grades because she wanted us to do well. Every parent does. But if we did something which crossed a boundary in our foundation she did something worse.

She would tell us she was disappointed in us.

Honestly, I would have preferred she yell.

It was far more painful to hear her calmly express her dissatisfaction.

My boys are all grown up now. Recently my son and I were having a conversation. There’s been a fair amount of discord in our home in recent years. Divorce can cause the type of…



Colleen Sheehy Orme

National Relationship Columnist, Journalist & Former Business Columnist. I cover love, life, & relationships— #WomanResurrected colleen.sheehy.orme@gmail.com