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”

Stepmoms and Forgiveness: In the Aug. 2016 Issue

Stepmoms and Forgiveness
Inside the August 2016 Issue

Stepmoms and Forgiveness: How and Why to Give It—Even If It’s Not Earned! by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

A stepmother’s relationships are complicated. And it can be difficult to maintain your identity—the very personality traits that make you who you are (a superwoman committed to the love of your life and his kids)—as you navigate the rocky terrain of joining a family that formed well before you came on the scene. Continue reading “Stepmoms and Forgiveness: In the Aug. 2016 Issue”

Stepmom Grief: Inside the July 2016 Issue

Stepmom Grief
The July 2016 Issue

Grieving Stepmoms: Recognizing and Reconciling What You’ve Given Up by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

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”

The Stepmom Step Back: Inside the June 2016 Issue

Stepmom Step Back
Inside the June 2016 Issue

Stepmoms Who Disengage: How to Step Back Without Stepping on Toes by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

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. Continue reading “The Stepmom Step Back: Inside the June 2016 Issue”

Stepfamily Life – Inside the April 2016 Issue

Stepfamily Life
Inside the April 2016 Issue

The Truth About Stepfamily Life: The Path to Peace Begins With Acceptance by Brenda Snyder LCSW

My job, as a writer and a stepmom coach, allows me to wear a few different hats. Most of the time I get to be an upbeat, cheerleadery type who encourages and assures clients that, “This is really hard, but you can do it!”

When we get down to work, I put on my coaching hat to help stepmoms and couples develop a new game plan. (Ya gotta have a strong defense!) The hat I find hardest to wear, however, is probably the most effective. It’s the one I wear when I challenge stepmoms to face unpleasant truths and then give them unpopular advice. Continue reading “Stepfamily Life – Inside the April 2016 Issue”