Summer is in full swing so we’re turning up the heat, sparking some hot conversations and getting real.
In this month’s issue we explore:
→ Why stepkids take their anger out on YOU → Stepmom grief and how to cope with the sacrifices we make → What to do when your stepchild’s mom tries to upstage you → Tips to help you cope with summer schedule changes → The art of stepping back & taking charge of your life!
During the cycle of life, we encounter many major milestones that transform our families. They force us to interact with people we may not be excited to stand alongside, including mom. Stepmoms sometimes dread the most significant milestone moments, in which the occasion is inevitably shared with their stepkids’ biological moms: graduations, weddings and babies.
I’ve participated in all three. With each one, I learned it’s not about me. It’s about my stepkids and making those days special for them. This can be challenging when you face an ex who views you as an intruder or outsider who oversteps the role of parent in her kids’ lives. Continue reading “Stepfamily Events: Inside the July 2016 Issue”
Lots of stepmoms show up in my counseling office because their family doctor prescribed an antidepressant and recommended therapy. Admittedly showing signs of depression (i.e., irritability, sadness, changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping, fatigue), these women readily agree with their doctors that something is not right. What both doctor and stepmom fail to consider, however, is that the symptoms of depression are stunningly similar to signs of bereavement. Continue reading “Stepmom Grief: Inside the July 2016 Issue”
If you have stepchildren of any age in your life, you—I would wager—have arguing and even fighting (by which I mean arguments that go ballistic—with criticism, contempt and stonewalling ruling the interaction) in your life. Perhaps, at certain points, particularly the first five to seven years of your remarriage or repartnership with children, lots of arguments and fights: over-the-top, screeching, screaming, gut-wrenching, I’d-like-to-storm-out- right-now-and-never-come-back, here-we-go-again-and-I-just-can’t-take-it-anymore, I-think-I- want-a-divorce, get-out-and-don’t-come-back-you-insensitive-*%$@&! fights. Continue reading “Stepmom Conflict by Proxy: Inside the July 2016 Issue”
Mark Twain once famously said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” If you’ve ever been to the Bay Area, you’ll know exactly what he meant. As a stepmom, you may also find a correlation.
It’s the heat of summer now, yet you may be nursing a cold, cold heart.
Many women whose partners have children feel this way during the summer months. Some of you have stepkids who will come stay for a month—or even the whole summer. Others are sticking with the regular yearlong schedule. That leaves you and your partner scrambling to figure out how to supervise the kids when they’re not in school. Continue reading “Summer Visitation: Inside the July 2016 Issue”
So, here you find yourself: You—a bright and articulate woman—have suddenly realized that whatever it is you’ve been doing to make this stepmom gig work hasn’t worked at all. In response, you examined your loving heart and reassessed your intentions to be sure they were pure.
Still, you’re met with hostility or, somehow even worse, apathy. This then caused you to redouble your efforts, which left you exhausted and frustrated. The more you tried, the more you hated the results. So, you decided to find out what the experts had to say. You read some books, talked to experienced stepmoms and maybe even found a competent stepfamily therapist. Continue reading “The Stepmom Step Back: Inside the June 2016 Issue”
There are common phrases you, as a man, may use when you want to avoid conflict. Doing so, you often wind up kidding yourself and your partner by thinking that it isn’t because you’re avoiding conflict. It’s because you’re a peace-loving guy!
Stepmom Tip: Co-Parenting With The Ex
Co-parenting with the ex is a team sport. It takes two. You can’t do it alone. If the ex isn’t willing to co-parent, parallel parenting is your best option. It’s better for kids to have two sets of rules rather than be exposed to constant conflict.
Stepmom Tip: Stepmom Struggles
You can be unhappy with a situation and still be committed to your stepfamily. Keep your problems in perspective and remember that struggles are simply that–struggles. Keep going. You’ve got this!