Gwyn­nie’s so wrong to shy away from be­ing a step­mum

Daily Mail - - Countdown To Brexit D-day -

GWYNETH PAL­TROW, that font of fa­mil­ial wis­dom, says she’s de­cided to live apart from her new hus­band be­cause she doesn’t want to upset his two teenagers.

‘It’s pretty in­tense, the teenage thing,’ ex­plains Gwyn­nie, who has a daugh­ter, Ap­ple, 14, and son Moses, 12, with ex-hus­band Chris Mar­tin.

‘ I’ve never been a step­mother be­fore. I don’t know how to do it.’ None of us do, Gwyn­nie. I cer­tainly didn’t when I be­came a step­mum.

Yet if she gets it even half right, her re­la­tion­ship with her stepchil­dren will bring life-long re­wards.

That’s why I think she should move in with new hus­band Brad Falchuk, and truly be­come part of his fam­ily, what­ever her ap­pre­hen­sions.

Yes, all step­mums face chal­lenges. The chil­dren are im­me­di­ately sus­pi­cious, in­doc­tri­nated from a tiny age to be­lieve in ‘ wicked’ step­moth­ers in fairy­tales — the ones who aban­don Hansel and Gre­tel in the woods, poi­son snow White, abuse Cin­derella.

Then there are the re­sent­ful real moth­ers and ex-wives to con­tend with. Lit­tle won­der re­search shows step­moth­ers are more prone to anx­i­ety and de­pres­sion.

All I can say is, it’s worth con­fronting your fears and get­ting to know your stepchil­dren. My step­son, now in his mid-20s, is one of the abid­ing

MAGNANIMOUS Posh is of­fer­ing up for char­ity a one-to-one per­sonal styling ses­sion. The lucky win­ner will get a £5,000 VB makeover with clothes and ac­ces­sories all se­lected by the de­signer. You too could look like a mis­er­able moo!

joys in my life. He and his girl­friend — and even his dad, whom I sep­a­rated from a decade ago — will come to help me dec­o­rate the Christ­mas tree and we’ll spend time col­lapsed on so­fas watch­ing bad movies.

AND

that’s de­spite my be­ing a pretty hope­less step­mum, un­sure if my role was con­fi­dant, cleaner or coun­sel­lor. As for those teenage hor­mones Gwyn­nie’s talk­ing about, they can turn a sug­ges­tion about un­stack­ing the dish­washer into nu­clear war.

You have to work at it, find a role, keep your dis­tance when nec­es­sary and ac­cept it when they say: ‘ You can’t tell me what to do, you’re not my mother!’ Noth­ing can re­place the bond be­tween mother and child.

But the div­i­dends are im­mense. When I first read of Gwyn­nie’s re­luc­tance to take on the role, I thought she was just cop­ping out. Yet as a deeply flawed step­mum my­self, I can tell her she’s ac­tu­ally miss­ing out.

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