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”

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”

His Crazy Ex and You: Inside the March 2017 Issue

His Crazy Ex - StepMom MagazineHis “Crazy Ex” and You: Understanding Why She Acts That Way by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

All exes are crazy, right? Any time you hear a narrative about “his ex,” “my ex,” or even “my best friend’s ex,” chances are pretty good that the person in question comes out looking a little nuts. If you’re an ex, it’s even likely that you star in someone else’s narrative, as a psychotic b*#@!. Every person tells their own story their own way. Continue reading “His Crazy Ex and You: Inside the March 2017 Issue”

The Stepmom Mindset: Inside the February 2017 Issue

Stepmom MindsetThe Stepmom Mindset: If You Want Peace of Mind, Shift Your Perspective by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

The way you look at your life makes all the difference.

In my work as a therapist, I spend a lot of time helping people understand how their interpretation of events impacts their reaction to what is happening in their lives. Continue reading “The Stepmom Mindset: Inside the February 2017 Issue”

Stepmoms and Rear-View Mirrors: Inside the January 2017 Issue

Stepmoms and Rear-View MirrorsStepmoms and Rear-View Mirrors: 4 Rules for Leaving Anger and Negativity Behind You by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

Being a stepmother is the hardest job I’ve ever had. I have been challenged emotionally, intellectually and physically. I have been forced to define and redefine myself as a woman, a family member and a spouse. I have weathered rejection, apathy, hostility and betrayal. Continue reading “Stepmoms and Rear-View Mirrors: Inside the January 2017 Issue”

Parentified Stepchildren: Inside the November 2016 Issue

Parentified StepchildrenThe Parentified Child: When Stepkids Are Forced to Grow Up Too Fast
by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

When an intact family system reorganizes by death or divorce, every family member makes adjustments to the new structure. Unfortunately for the children, the adults are often so steeped in their own emotional pain that they are oblivious— through no real fault of their own—to the unhealthy accommodations their kids wind up making. While this is certainly not optimal for the adults, it can be devastating to the emotional health of their children.

It can be quite common, in one-parent families, for a child to hear that he or she is now the man or woman of the house. Continue reading “Parentified Stepchildren: Inside the November 2016 Issue”

Stepmom Problems: Inside the October 2016 Issue

Stepmom ProblemsThe Angry Stepmom: A Guide to Letting Go and Living Well by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

I have grown to realize that the old adage “It takes one to know one!” wholly applies to us stepmoms. No matter how supportive my family and friends have been throughout the years, it is only sister stepmoms who really get it: feelings of invisibility, red-faced awkwardness at family gatherings and concealed hurt when our stepchildren treat us with hostility or apathy. Continue reading “Stepmom Problems: Inside the October 2016 Issue”

Stepfamily Challenges: In the September 2016 Issue

Stepfamily ChallengesRiding the Stepfamily Roller Coaster: How to Survive Your Stepkids’ Emotional Ups and Downs by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

No relationship runs more hot and cold than the one you might have with a stepkid. Even less predictable than a high school romance, you can tuck in and kiss your stepdarling good night only to receive the cold shoulder the very next morning. Continue reading “Stepfamily Challenges: In the September 2016 Issue”