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Next is a trip to the hairdressers for the six-weekly shampoo and trim. Well, no, except that Antonio, the boy I was collecting from school, singing along with Pink's CD and taking to the hairdressers, is my stepson. I've been stepmum to my husband's son for the past three years.Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, I was infuriated when I read Sonia Poulton's article in the Daily Mail last Thursday telling stepmums to back off and know our places. My husband, Pascal, shares custody of Antonio with his ex - this means that every other week my stepson lives with us at our home, which is also his home.I'm not alone in thinking we stepmothers are unfairly vilified.Dr Lisa Doodson, author of How To Be A Happy Stepmum, says: 'The majority of children are unaffected in the long term by separation or divorce.So, 'real mums', whine about us as much as you like, but we're not going anywhere.And if you continue to treat us as something unpleasant on the bottom of your shoe, be warned; there may be consequences that are even harder to deal with than another woman living with your ex. 'The aircraft is old, and it just doesn't feel right. If you tell him the boys can't go, he'll have to listen to you.' I was taken aback.Yet some mothers may still ask what right do I have to know all this - after all, I'm 'just the stepmum'. When Antonio lives with us, I'm the one who takes on the role of caring for him as best I can while my husband is at work.So I'm the one who remembers this month's preferred cereal, ensures the fridge is full of his favourite food, cooks the meals he loves (for the record: sausage and mash).
I know - and always knew - that he's not my child, and so wanted to show my respect for his mother's role. So far from being selfish monsters, in my experience it is the 'real mum' who is often the greatest source of conflict in a child's life.
In last week's Femail magazine, mum of one Sonia Poulton attacked women who try to mother their new partner's children.
Here, SAMANTHA BRICK explains why being a stepmother is the most thankless job in the world, while mother TESS STIMSON tells how she came to appreciate her husband's new wife.
Having finished the hour-long round trip for the school run, I return home.
Before I left, I remembered a drink for the car; I even had Pink's CD (this month's favourite) ready and blaring out the speakers.