Stepmom Criticized for Picking 'Violently Sick' Stepson Up from School

Gillian Sisley

Should a stepparent ever defy their stepchild's biological parent?

There are fewer territories that are more complicated to navigate than the territory of parenting as a step-parent.

While it's already challenging enough to figure out how to navigate a relationship with one‘s stepchildren, it can get even stickier if the biological parents of the child don't get along with a new step-parent, and feel that their parenting is being undermined.

These realities were highlighted in a recent online post in which a stepmom picks up her stepson from school after he complains of being ill, directly defying his mother's orders for him to stay at school.

Should a stepparent ever defy their stepchild's biological parent?

A Mumsnet post published on November 16th, reported on by Lucy Notarantonio from Newsweek, has gone viral with over 300 comments on the platform.

The author begins her post by explaining that she has a 15-year-old stepson. She doesn't necessarily get along with her stepson's mother, which can make things tricky for the family.

She clarifies that her stepson had an upset stomach which led to frequent bathroom visits during school time. He was ‘too embarrassed’ to talk to a teacher about what was going on, so he called his stepmom to pick him up.

The author learned after picking up her stepson that his mom had sent him to school despite feeling ‘unwell’, because she thought he was lying about it. The stepmother still picked up the teen, and upon returning home the stomach bug he had got even worse.

Is it ever a stepparent's place to overstep a parent?

The mother had told her son to cook dinner for himself the night before, and he explained to his stepmom that he thought he got food poisoning. He was desperate to get home and just wanted to get to bed, and that's why he called her to pick him up.

The author also indicates that as far as she knows her stepson has ‘never skipped school before’, and as it seemed that he was violently ill, it made sense for her to pick him up. She assumed that her stepchild wasn't lying about feeling unwell, while his parents assumed that he wasn't telling the truth.

What do you think? Was the stepmother out of bounds to go and pick up her stepson from school, even though both of his parents told her to just leave him there? Or was she being the compassionate one in the situation, and caring for her stepchild's needs, which were being neglected by his parents?

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