Monday, 30 November 2009

She's behind you!! (Oh no she isn't.....)

It's Panto season. And this year, I've come into contact with both a Wicked Stemother

and a Fairy Godmother
(you know who you are).

I've had just the BEST few days away from home, staying with a terrific Twitter friend and meetings lots of other Tweeters. I went down South to see my son in his school play, "Animal Farm". I'm biased, obviously, but I thought it was a tremendous production (well done, Aldenham School)and afterwards I met my son's housemaster, who told me my son was doing really well. I can't tell you how pleased I was to hear this.

Those of you who read my blog regularly (hello, and thank you) will know that I was nervous about the son and heir leaving home and going to a new school and living with his father and stepmother and although the school has worked out brilliantly, home life has not.

His stepmother did not enjoy having her stepson living with her AT ALL. She made life increasingly difficult for him as the weeks went on. He was not allowed, for example, to study at home at the weekends. This, apparently, was not productive and he had to take himself off to Barnet library every Saturday and Sunday. Last weekend she caught him taking a small bottle of water with him and made him put it back in the fridge. "You get pocket money - buy your own water," was the instruction. Several hours later, he returned home in the pouring rain and couldn't get in (he's not allowed a house key; no reason given). He rang his father who explained that he and his wife were shopping and would be home in an "hour or so". He was to "find some shelter" and wait.

Then a few days ago, he was told that his father and stepmother wouldn't be coming to see him in "Animal Farm" as his stepmother, believe it or not, "didn't feel wanted".

On Friday last week I was told by my son that as from January, he would be a full-time boarder at his school. Presumably the decision to whisk my son down to Hertfordshire and live with them hadn't, um, worked out.

Fortunately, he's delighted to be boarding. And because he's happy about it, so am I.

I have no idea what it must be like to be a stepmother, but I imagine it's difficult. Welcoming someone else's child into your home cannot be easy, indeed it must be fraught with difficulties. I'm not going to say what I think of his father's role in all this because I can't do so without recourse to........... well, I'm sure you know what I'd like to say.

I worry every day how this will affect my son's feelings about himself: what will it do to his self-esteem? What kind of relationship will he have now with his father? Will he ever have any relationship with his stepmother? Somewhere along the line I feel I've failed him, but I don't know how to rectify this other than to make sure he knows he is loved and that I'm proud of him for dealing with this farcical situation with more grace and dignity than I would ever have thought possible.


  1. Gill, you have not failed him. You are a lovely, loving mother who is always looking out for his best interests. If you didnt want the best for him, you would not have sent him to live with his father in the first place. I know how important it is for a mum to be there at a child's performance. When we lived in Lagos my mum got caught up in the traffic (Lagos is known for that) and missed my talent show performance. We both cried. You are a wonderful mother and being at boarding school is a good thing for your son- he will bond with others and be in a "home" with other boarders. I wish him all the best. Hugs, shayma

  2. Shayma, thank you so much. I know myself how important it is to feel that someone is "out there" that you are performing for, so I'm beyond grateful to Clare who gave me the chance to do so. I'll pass on your wishes to R.

  3. Having met your lovely son I can see you are a great parent. He clearly adores you and was equally as bursting with pride that his glam mum was there to see him perform as you were to be there.

    The school is a fab environment (first Euromillions win expenditure PRIVATE EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN.
    Anyway, you've inspired me to blog re Stepmonsters.


  4. Sounds to me as though he will be MUCH better off boarding. You haven't failed him even slightly and I am sure he knows that everything you have done has been with his best interests at heart.
    What a relief for him to be away from the stepmonster!

  5. I'm sorry to barge in, I found your blog clicking around on a roll of another blog I read and couldn't help commenting. She "caught him" taking a water bottle from the fridge and made him put it back? He was stuck outside in driving rain and told to "find shelter" while his so-called father and the stephorror shopped? They are sorry excuses for human beings!!!!! Shame on them. Shame shame.