Stepfamily Expectations: Inside the June 2017 Issue

Stepfamily ExpectationsRewrite Your Stepfamily’s Story: Expectations vs. Acceptance by Andy Hetchler

My wife, Heather, is an avid reader. She can read something once, yet she’ll remember every detail and every character for years. I, on the other hand, vaguely remember reading “Great Expectations” while I was still in high school. I loosely recall the author as Charles Dickens and one of its main characters, Pip.

That’s about it. Still, while I can’t recall many details of the book, I think of the title often. For me it encapsulates a theme I took into my remarriage with kids. Heather and I exchanged vows more than 10 years ago, combining ourselves and our six kids into one stepfamily. Continue reading “Stepfamily Expectations: Inside the June 2017 Issue”

The Grieving Stepchild: Inside the May 2017 Issue

The Grieving StepchildStepmothering and The Grieving Child: Our Interview With Diane Ingram Fromme by Heather Hetchler, MA

Losing a parent is one of life’s biggest heartaches. When a parent dies, loss is felt and grief begins.

Grief is part of the healing process and anyone who does life with a person who is grieving is along for the journey, including a stepmother. Whether the child grew up motherless or mom passed away after Dad remarried, a stepmom is wise to seek tools that help her navigate the loss and grief which encompass the experience of motherless children. Continue reading “The Grieving Stepchild: Inside the May 2017 Issue”

Stepcouple Strategies – Inside the March 2016 Issue

Stepcouple Strategies
Inside the March 2016 Issue

Successful Stepcouple Strategies: The Why and What of Putting Your Marriage First by Heather Hetchler, MA

Two people fall in love and decide to marry or partner for life. They make the decision together and enter the union with love, hope and a commitment to stick with it for better or worse.

Unlike a first-time marriage, children often come with the vows made in a remarriage. Those children, regardless of age, are part of the newly created family. But they do not make the choice to form a new family. Nor are they the reason for it. The reason for the remarriage is the love and commitment shared by the two people saying, “I do.” Continue reading “Stepcouple Strategies – Inside the March 2016 Issue”

Long-Distance Stepfamily Holidays – In the December 2015 Issue

Long Distance Stepfamily
Inside the December 2015 Issue

Long-Distance Holidays Stepfamily Style: 5 Ways to Connect When You Can’t Be Together by Heather Hetchler, MA

Holidays and family go together. Except when they don’t. There are many reasons stepfamilies aren’t together for the holidays. Sometimes, it’s a legal decree. Other times, one parent changes plans at the last minute or won’t allow the kids to come over. Kids may even choose (or be forced to choose) not to come to your home for the holidays at all.

It can be heartbreaking to have plans changed, children withheld or not be chosen as the home where the kids celebrate. Continue reading “Long-Distance Stepfamily Holidays – In the December 2015 Issue”

Confessions of a Full-Time Stepmom – In the August 2015 Issue

Full Time Stepmom
Inside the August 2015 Issue

Confessions of a Full-Time Stepmom: 4 Truths About This 24/7 Gig by Heather Hetchler, MA

I glanced at the clock. The reflected time stopped me cold. My heart began to race. My stomach started turning. My breath grew shallow. They were all automatic responses to what was estimated to occur in less than three hours: my stepdaughters’ return from two weeks at their grandparents’ home.

Feeling terrible about my physical reaction, I texted two friends and asked them to pray for me.

As a full-time stepmom of two and a co-parenting mom of four, there are only two weeks each year in which my stepdaughters are not with us. I look forward to these two weeks. Continue reading “Confessions of a Full-Time Stepmom – In the August 2015 Issue”

Top 10 Stepmom Issues – Inside the June 2015 Issue

Stepmom Issues
Inside the June 2015 Issue

Can You Help a Girl Out? 10 Things Stepmoms Want Their Partners to Know by Heather Hetchler, MA

Communication breakdowns—not unlike the sudden breakdown of a car while you’re speeding along the highway—can be unnerving. In stepfamilies, they can also lead to critical breaks in the otherwise happy connection you share with your partner.

Sure, we all have days when we don’t quite get what our partners are saying.

Maybe, like auto mechanics rattling off specs, the language they use doesn’t make sense to us. Or, like that radio blaring two cars away, intrusions from the ex make it hard to concentrate on the here and now. Continue reading “Top 10 Stepmom Issues – Inside the June 2015 Issue”