Stepfamily Articles, Advice & Announcements

Stepmoms: Be the Mother Ship (Not the Mother!)

Stepmoms Be the Mother ShipBe the mother ship. Not the mother.” This is sage advice I received from my friend Ruth over a cider-slash-venting session years ago. She had been a stepmom before it was even cool. I didn’t know her then. She was 19, he was 30 and suddenly she had two small girls for whom to take care. She hung in there for 18 years of marriage and watched herself and those kids grow up. I know we all think there isn’t enough information out there on being a stepmom these days, but 30 years ago there literally was nothing. She had to learn 100 percent through trial and error.

So, after letting me vent and guzzle for an hour or so, she stopped me and gently said, “Lis, you need to be the mother ship, not the mother.” I stopped in my tracks because I knew this was going to be a good one. I put down my cider and told her to go on. Continue reading

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6 Things Remarried Dads Owe Their Stepmom Wives

Remarried Dads Stepmom WivesWhen Hollywood superstar Sandra Bullock married TV celebrity Jesse James, she took on the most challenging part of her life – not just his wife, but stepmother to his five-year-old daughter Sunny. Fresh from playing a reluctant romantic partner in The Proposal, Bullock jumped into her reality role with complete commitment, slowing her career, facing down a trouble-prone ex-wife, comforting a stressed-out husband, connecting with James’ two other children, and by her own admission, putting personal motherhood plans on hold for Sunny’s benefit.

But even without these complications, stepping into a pre-existing family condition is still an awkward and precarious fit for any new spouse. The stepmother is probably the least-defined role in the contemporary family structure (though well-defined in the movies as an evil, manipulative agent of interference). A stepmom is a parent, yet not the parent. A caregiver but not always a care-getter. Continue reading

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National Stepfamily Day is September 16

Christy BorgNational Stepfamily Day Christy Borgeldeld, a remarried mom and stepmom, initiated National Stepfamily Day in 1997. Her goal was to create a holiday that would bring the need for stepfamily support and awareness to the nation’s forefront while, at the same time, provide today’s modern family with an opportunity to recognize and celebrate their relationships. Continue reading

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A Mixed Blessing for Stepfamilies? There’s S’more to Learn from Honey Maid’s New “This is Wholesome” Ad Campaign

Stepfamily Information and Support

Brenda Ockun
Publisher of StepMom Magazine

In 1973, a postage stamp cost 8 cents, “The Brady Bunch” was in its fourth year of production and I was in kindergarten.

My teacher, Ms. Rahn, was a tall, thin woman with overly teased, brassy blond hair. We kids walked to school—where we read “Dick and Jane” books, ate cookies and drank whole milk before taking 20-minute naps. We sat cross-legged, in circles, on the floor while learning the virtues of sharing and waiting your turn. And nearly everyone’s parents were still married, as far as we knew. Continue reading

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How To Find A Good Stepfamily Therapist

Did you know that the wrong therapist can actually make your situation worse? It’s true! Watch this video for tips on how to find a qualified therapist to help you work through the most common stepfamily challenges.

StepMom Magazine | How To Find A Good Stepfamily Therapist

Tell us what you think about this video. Have you ever worked with a therapist? Do you think it might help your stepfamily situation? Continue reading

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5 Big Fat Lies About Being A Stepmom

The rules for stepmoms are often unclear and contradictory. Here are 5 things we tell stepmothers (and why you shouldn’t believe any of them!)

StepMom Magazine | 5 Big Fat Lies About Being a Stepmom

Stepmoms: Tell us what you think about these big fat lies! Do you have any to add to the list? Are there any stepmom misconceptions or stereotypes that really irritate you? Continue reading

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How To Keep The Ex Out Of Your Relationship

Do you spend too much time thinking about your partner’s ex-wife? Watch this video and learn how to focus LESS on her and MORE on your relationship.

StepMom Magazine | How To Keep The Ex Out Of Your Relationship

Stepmoms: Leave a comment below and tell us what you think! Do you talk so much about the ex it almost feels like she lives with you? Are you ready to set boundaries and try the strategy explained in this video? Continue reading

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How NOT to Become a Stepfamily Statistic

Stepfamily break-up rates are significantly higher than first marriage divorce rates. Learn the three things all stepcouples can do to stack the odds in their favor.

StepMom Magazine | How NOT To Become A Stepfamily Statistic

Stepmoms: Leave a comment below and tell us: What do you and your partner do to strengthen your relationship and overcome the challenges inherent to stepfamily life? Continue reading

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The 5 Dumbest Things People Say to Stepmoms

Stepfamily life can be complicated. Well-intentioned “advice” often comes from family & friends who just don’t understand why being a stepmom isn’t as easy as it looks!

StepMom Magazine | The 5 Dumbest Things People Say to Stepmoms

Let’s hear from you, stepmoms. What’s the funniest, craziest, or dumbest thing anyone has ever said to you? Leave a comment below and, if you liked this video, don’t keep it a secret, share it!

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The Secrets Stepmoms Keep

For many women, being a stepmother is like having a dirty, little secret. Why don’t people talk about it? Brenda Ockun of StepMom Magazine explains why in this video:

StepMom Magazine | The Secrets We Keep

If you liked this video, don’t keep it a secret, share it!

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