Once Upon a Time, there was a young girl who dreamed of meeting Alpha Dad her whole life. She hung out at the Westbourne Pub in Notting Hill on Sundays, Eclipse on Walton Street in Chelsea on Tuesdays and at Tramps in Mayfair on Thursdays. Alpha Mum went to a very good university and graduates with a 2:1 and then finds a very good job until she meets Alpha Dad. Alpha Mum is not beautiful, but cleans up well with some makeup, a few designer dresses and is pretty enough to catch Alpha Dad’s eye in order to be a ‘presentable’ wife. Meanwhile, Alpha Dad has been working on his career of being a millionaire at 28, Managing Director at 30, and making Partner at 32 in a Hedge Fund/Goldman Sachs/Private Equity shop. His favorite words are ‘P&L, EBITDA’ and ‘Bonus’, his favourite car is a Porsche 911 Turbo, and his handsome arrogance has already gotten him far with the girls and a seat in the Executive Boardroom.
Alpha Mum and Alpha Dad fall in love after a whirlwind romance in St. Barth’s, Venice and a safari in ‘exotic’ South Africa. They marry at the Villa Ephrussi Rothschild in St. Jean Cap Ferrat, Cote D’azur, France, she in Vera Wang, he in an Armani suit, surrounded by 400 of their closest friends, colleagues and family friends. Everyone comments how beautiful they are as a couple, only to mutter under their breath that ‘money helps’. They return to London and find a beautiful white, stucco house in Chelsea/South Ken/Notting Hill and settle into married bliss. She rarely sees Alpha Dad who is traveling most of the week to New York/Frankfurt/Hong Kong for his ‘Global’ job, but she jokes with her friends that it is better that way, since they quarrel constantly if he isn’t traveling 50% of the time. In between his travels, they manage to conceive at the Sandy Lane Hotel, Barbados when she manages to ‘lose’ his Crackberry in the sand.
Baby Oliver is born on September 23rd and Alpha Dad is waiting at the gates of Wetherby, application in hand, to ensure his son’s entrance into the prestige school. They also have the applications for nurseries ready with Minors as first choice, Strawberry Fields as second and Acorn as third (more on nurseries in another post). Alpha Mum has done her research and after hiring a ‘school consultant’ knows exactly the educational trajectory of her son: Minors Nursery, Wetherby Pre-Prep, Colet Court, then St. Paul’s (or Westminster will do), culminating into an admission into Oxbridge.
Alpha Dad is not involved in the baby period, as he doesn’t feel the need to bond with the baby. Luckily, Alpha Mum has a maternity nurse that stays on for 6 months and Alpha Mum privately thinks that a nanny and maternity nurse are more important than a dad in raising a baby. When she confronts Alpha Dad for not spending enough time with baby O, he responds curtly ‘You can’t recut the deck, the cards have been dealt.’ It was always clear to him that Alpha Mum would run the household and the kids, while Alpha Dad would be earning the money for their luxurious existence of a Bugaboo pram, a black Range Rover, a second home in St. Tropez, flying business class, and their £8.5 million home backing onto a lavish Notting Hill communal garden, with its own private playground.
Having sent cookies, photos and cards to Minors every month before the year of entry, Alpha Mum is delighted to receive the ‘phone call’ accepting little O into Minors Nursery. Her favorite question now to all her mummy friends is ‘Where’s your little one going to nursery?’ then smugly telling them that Little O has gotten into Minors and Wetherby when they stressfully admit that they still don’t have a place anywhere.
Once little O has been accepted to nursery, Alpha Mum is ready for her next project, Project Olivia, O’s little sister. She pins down Alpha Dad after he has come home drunk after a day of making £45 million for his Hedge Fund/Private Equity/Goldman Sachs and his testosterone levels are at their highest. Luckily, little Olivia will have a place at Minors and with luck will get into Pembridge Hall, since Alpha Dad has been prepped of his most important post-partum duty of dropping off the application in person the day Olivia is born.
Olivia is a beautiful little girl. All the mums know that she is a quick learner, walks earlier, speaks earlier, and whines earlier than all her baby friends. Alpha Mum has already signed her up for swimming classes twice a week, dance lessons, piano lessons, French lessons (‘so she can read Balzac, Victor Hugo and Camus in its original form’), and Mandarin Chinese ‘for the future’. By the time Olivia is at nursery, she has activities every day of the week, including gymnastics lessons given only in Mandarin therefore has no time for playdates. Oliver is now at Wetherby and is already being tutored to ensure he will get into Colet Court. Alpha Mum doesn’t tell the other mums that he is being tutored because it is not the ‘cool’ thing to do, but she is found out when another mum asks the nanny to do a playdate with Oliver, and the nanny says he can’t because his tutor is coming over.
Alpha Mum is preparing Oliver for his entrance exams but poor little Oliver is starting to lose his hair and isn’t sleeping well at night because he is stressed and anxious of letting Alpha Mum and Alpha Dad down. He knows how much it would mean to Alpha Dad that he goes to Colet Court, St. Paul’s and Oxbridge, and thinks that perhaps if he got into those schools, Alpha Dad would finally notice him. Alpha Mum is really stressed because Oliver’s exams are coming up and she has a meeting with Olivia’s headmaster because Olivia has no friends and is hitting all her classmates at nursery, pushing them, telling them they are stupid (which she heard Alpha Dad telling Alpha Mum one Saturday he was home). Olivia has become very aggressive and constantly on edge. The one time she is invited to a playdate, she tells her friend that she doesn’t want to go to her house because she doesn’t have her own playroom.
Alpha Dad is not very involved in Oliver and Olivia’s schooling, except for Sports Day, when he gets to ogle supermodels and yummy mummies, and show his ‘competitive spirit’, determined to win all the races in front of all the dads. Alpha Dad is very competitive, not only in his work, but also competes with his peers by having the biggest house, the flashiest car and owning 4 polo ponies. Alpha Mum is tired of Alpha Dad never being home these days, he is either traveling to Dubai/Shanghai/Moscow for business (‘that’s where the real money is these days’), playing polo as the patron of a polo team at Guards, sleeping with escorts or seeing his mistresses in New York or Miami. They rarely argue as she has learnt that it will only end in her tears and that his aspirations to rule the London financial scene is more important than her needs.
Finally, Alpha Mum has had enough of his philandering/work obsession/polo hobbies and asks for a divorce, after ensuring Fiona Shackleton is free to take her on. She takes him out for half of his £25 million fortune, including the house in St. Tropez. Alpha Mum moves away from Notting Hill, once the mums now stay clear of her afraid that she will try to steal their husbands, and closer to her parents. She never has to work again, vacations in St. Tropez, where she meets an artist who ‘prioritises her.’ The kids go to the local school and have become polite, well adjusted, and happy. They see Alpha Dad every other weekend, which is more than they ever saw him growing up. Alpha Dad has adopted a 22 y.o. model to make up for never spending time with his kids when they were young. And everyone lived happily ever after.