giphyToday one Daily Mail writer has figured out the solution to all her problems. In an extended essay about the difficulties of living in a blended family, stepmother Katrina Simmons writes that she’s exhausted by all the effort it takes to be nice to her stepchildren and pretend she loves them. She wishes they could just “drop the pretense,” and something tells me she’s going to get what she wanted, because she just published a great big article titled, “I don’t love my stepchildren.”

This is not the craziest “wicked stepmother” article the Daily Mail has ever run–that honor goes to the woman who threw the Christmas tree out the window–but I’m still surprised her family agreed to go along with it. Not only is her partner OK with her writing an article about how she doesn’t love her stepchildren because they don’t clean their rooms, but he and all six of the family’s children posed for photos to illustrate it.

That must have been a fun conversation.

“Surly teenage stepdaughter who doesn’t like me that much, I need you to get dressed up so we can run your photo in the Daily Mail along with an article about how I don’t love you or your brothers. I think it will be great for our relationship.”

Simmons writes that her heart sinks when she hears her stepsons’ key in the door.

“It’s my stepchildren, Lee, 16, and James, 14,” she writes, “and I must appear pleased to see them.”

Simmons says she’s worn out by the charade of saccharine platitudes and all the effort she expends making her stepchildren feel loved and welcome in their home.

“No wonder I sometimes wish we could drop the pretense,” Simmons writes. Well, consider the pretense dropped, Katrina. I don’t think you can expect to maintain it after this article.

It must be tough to live in a blended family. Teenagers can be tough enough to deal with when one has raised them since they were babies, and when they’re one’s partner’s children who spend half their time at another house with completely different rules, it is no wonder that things can get stressful. But it’s important for parents to be empathetic and remember that they are the grown-ups and do their best to protect the feelings of the young people living in their homes. This would have been a good time to use a nom de plume.

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