Holiday Depression: Inside the November 2018 Issue

Holiday DepressionStepmoms and Holiday Depression
How to Recognize It and What to Do About It

My sister and I have decided that we’re coming back in our next lives as husbands. Seriously, because—in a husband’s world— holidays just happen. My own husband loves Christmas. He looks forward to Christmas cookies, presents under the tree, receiving cards from friends and family members, reading the annual letter “we” send out, our annual pre-Christmas party, our Christmas Eve gathering, Christmas Day brunch for all 15 of us (including our kids, their spouses and our grandkids) and watching everyone open their gifts. Continue reading “Holiday Depression: Inside the November 2018 Issue”

Ready to Quit, Stepmom? Inside the February 2018 Issue

Ready to Quit, Stepmom? Questions to Ask Yourself Before Throwing in the Towel BY BRENDA SNYDER, LCSW

I’m a big fan of marriage. I’m one of those old-fashioned types who believes we were designed to head through life two-by-two. I get teary-eyed over the gentleman, age 80, who still views his bride as the young beauty who was his first love. I adore weddings—the big church kind, where the bride wears a veil and her dad gives her away. I think love is awesome. Continue reading “Ready to Quit, Stepmom? Inside the February 2018 Issue”

A Veteran Stepmom Speaks: Inside the January 2018 Issue

Veteran StepmomA Veteran Stepmom Speaks: What I Wish I Knew Back Then BY BRENDA SNYDER, LCSW

It’s too bad you didn’t know me 20-some years ago. In possession of a newly-minted Master’s degree, a new job and a new boyfriend (with a ready-made family), I held the reins of my life in a loose, confident grip. I was omniscient and invincible.

I dismissed experienced advice personally and, sometimes, professionally. My work supervisors’ knowledge, I thought, was dated. I wanted no part of their obsolete, burnt-out, driven tips. Older stepmoms were equally irrelevant for a slew of reasons. Continue reading “A Veteran Stepmom Speaks: Inside the January 2018 Issue”

Stepmoms and Jealousy: Inside the December 2017 Issue

Jealous of My Stepdaughter“I’m Jealous of My Stepdaughter!” 5 Ways to Make Peace With Your Feelings By Brenda Snyder, LCSW 

Stepmoms have it rough. You would be hard-pressed to come up with even one fictional, famous or literary stepmom character who’s portrayed in a positive light. Yet, when the title is preceded by “evil” or “wicked,” dozens quickly come to mind.

It’s no wonder that, with such a reputation to live down, it’s really hard for stepmoms to open up and admit to the less admirable feelings which commonly infiltrate their experience. Continue reading “Stepmoms and Jealousy: Inside the December 2017 Issue”

The Holidays – A Stepmom’s Guide: Inside the November 2017 Issue

Stepmom Holiday GuideHolidays Reframed: A Stepmom’s Guide to Celebrating the Season By Brenda Snyder, LCSW 

Getting through the holidays can be a challenge for everyone—stepmoms and stepfamilies included. Even the most seasoned stepmom may do little more than endure the last two months of the year. In some cases, experience makes us dread the holidays, as it takes so few brushes with these pages on the calendar to understand the reality of thwarted plans, hopes and dreams.

Why are holidays so tough? Many stepmoms eventually adopt the grit-your- teeth-and-endure style of survival, when it comes to getting through the holiday season. Continue reading “The Holidays – A Stepmom’s Guide: Inside the November 2017 Issue”

His High Conflict Ex: Inside the Oct. 2017 Issue

His High Conflict ExHis High Conflict Ex: The Do’s & Don’ts of Dealing With Her By Brenda Snyder, LCSW

Having been a stepmother for almost as long as I have been a licensed clinical social worker, I feel quite qualified to unequivocally state that the mental health workers’ bible—the American Psychiatric Association’s “Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders” (or DSM)—is incomplete. Continue reading “His High Conflict Ex: Inside the Oct. 2017 Issue”

Disengaging Stepmoms: 5 Signs It’s Time to Step Back

disengaging stepmomsBy Brenda Snyder, LCSW Originally published in the July 2013 issue of StepMom Magazine.

Many stepmothers begin the commitment phase of their relationships with an engagement ring. Women who love men with children hear the statistical improbability of successful remarriage and dismiss it, knowing in their hearts that theirs is the love that will beat the odds. They excitedly embrace their new family and put every effort into making their inner reality match what is actually happening in the home they are joining. Continue reading “Disengaging Stepmoms: 5 Signs It’s Time to Step Back”

Being a Stepmom: Inside the July 2017 Issue

Being a StepmomIs Being a Stepmom Harder Than You Ever Imagined? The Major Challenges of Having a Partner With Kids by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

Practically every mom everywhere says, “Parenting is the hardest job you’ll ever love!” I am a mom and I am completely on board with the loving-the-job part. Yet, to be honest, the stepmom in me wants to add an asterisk (*) followed by the words: Insert eye roll here. Because, as we steps know, being a stepparent is the hardest job. Period. Continue reading “Being a Stepmom: Inside the July 2017 Issue”

Stepfamily Success: Inside the June 2017 Issue

Stepfamily SuccessSet Your Stepfamily Up for Success: 8 Ways to Make Life Easier on the Woman You Love—and Your Kids! by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

You’re probably starting to gather that being a stepmom is not easy. Your job, as the man in the middle, is no picnic either. All you really want is peace: for everyone to get along and for the tension and conflict to disappear for good. Falling in love with a great woman was a good start, as she can help you make that happen.

In theory, the woman you adore and the children who light up your world ought to get along. Life should sail smoothly along. This is sometimes easier said than done. Continue reading “Stepfamily Success: Inside the June 2017 Issue”

Stepmom’s Guide to Mother’s Day: Inside the May 2017 Issue

Stepmom's Guide to Mother's DaySecond Sunday of May: A Stepmom’s Guide to Mother’s Day by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

My mom likes to spend Mother’s Day with my sister and me. We love spending it with her, too, because she gives us presents. She started this even before we became mothers ourselves. Her explanation: “If not for you guys, I wouldn’t be a mom.”

My first few Mother’s Days as a stepmother were pretty torturous. Continue reading “Stepmom’s Guide to Mother’s Day: Inside the May 2017 Issue”