The 5 Most Common Mistakes Stepmoms Make
(Because We’re Only Human!)
BY MARY T. KELLY, MA
In working with stepmoms for roughly 20 years, I’ve heard it all. Most often, though, I hear some version of: “I wish I’d known a long time ago that—when I joined a ready-made family with great intentions and a loving heart—I’d make mistakes which would back fire on me in ways I wouldn’t have thought possible.” These sentiments aren’t uncommon among the thousands of stepmoms I’ve worked with. In fact, they generally indicate that: Continue reading “Mistakes Stepmoms Make: Inside the November 2018 Issue”
Being a Stepmom Is the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done!
Ready to Quit? Read This First!
BY MARY T. KELLY, MA
This message is for those of you who have had it. You’re exhausted, you’re hurt, you’re angry and you are so close to calling your marriage quits and don’t know where else to turn. The first thing that comes out of your mouth is, “I had no idea it would be like this.” You’ve been working at it for what seems to be a ridiculously long time and you’re over it. Done. Stick me with a fork kind of stuff. Continue reading “Ready to Quit? Read This First: Inside the October 2018 Issue”
Detaching and Disengaging
A Stepmom’s Guide to Letting Go
BY MARY T. KELLY, MA
Let it go. Let it be. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Chill out. Surrender. Release. Detach. Back off. These are all reminders to harried humans that it’s time for us to release our death grip over the “need” to control. To drop our ends of the rope, in the constant tug of wars. To take deep breaths, relax and take an active role in ending our own suffering. Continue reading “Stepmom’s Guide to Disengaging: Inside the September 2018 Issue”
The Lonely Stepmom: 6 Tips for When You Feel Ignored, Rejected or Alone BY MARY T. KELLY, MA
Think of your earliest memory of feeling excluded. For most, those thoughts take us back to grade school. Maybe you were on the playground watching the other kids interact, as you stood back alone. Maybe you weren’t invited to a birthday party for someone you considered a friend. Surely you didn’t escape middle school or high school without feeling like an outsider. Continue reading “Tips for Lonely Stepmoms: Inside the February 2018 Issue”
Child Support, Alimony and Angry Ex-Wives: Learning to Let Go of Things You Can’t Control BY MARY T. KELLY, MA
What is it in your stepfamily life that you’re in a tug of war with? What things do you have no power over or ability to control— yet resist, resent, fight, argue over and set boundaries around to make seem as if something that “just is” isn’t? Where do you engage in exercises of futility?
Here are a few givens many have a hard time accepting:
* HIS KIDS
* HIS EX
* CHILD SUPPORT Continue reading “Learning to Let Go: Inside the January 2018 Issue”
There’s No Place Like Home: Advice for Stepmoms Who Experience Outsider Syndrome By Mary T. Kelly, MA
It doesn’t matter how old you are: “There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home! There’s no place like home!” For most of us, these pleading words are as familiar as the sun rising in the East.
In “The Wizard of Oz,” Dorothy was lost and had to find her way back home. This was no easy endeavor. She went through trial after trial, faced perilous odds, came up against deception and, ultimately, found redemption. Oh, the roads she had to travel first to get there! Continue reading “Feel Like an Outsider? Inside the December 2017 Issue”
The Self-Doubting Stepmom: Feel More Confident and Less Confused By Mary T. Kelly, MA
You doubt, chide, question, worry and ruminate over what kind of person you are. It doesn’t help that those closest to you naively aid and abet your critical self-examination. Take, for example, the two voices inside your head. One is reasonably sane: “You’re not a terrible person. You’ve never been a terrible person. You’re a good, conscientious person who cares about others.”
The other one (that little devil who pokes you in the shoulder, when you least expect it) shouts: “You’re selfish! You’re not trying hard enough! You’re imagining all of this drama! Continue reading “The Self-Doubting Stepmom: Inside the November 2017 Issue”
Stupid Things People Say to Stepmoms: Dealing With Askholes (and Other Rude Humans) By Mary T. Kelly, MA
Stepmoms aren’t the only ones who get asked questions which are nobody else’s business. Or who get advice that’d make your head spin. Ask any woman who’s been pregnant how many horror stories she’s heard about labor and delivery—from perfect strangers— which scared the crap out of her. The numbers are astronomical. Continue reading “Stupid Things People Say to Stepmoms: Inside the Oct. 2017 Issue”
Buyer Beware! How to Find Sound Advice in a Sea of Stepfamily Resources by Mary T. Kelly, MA
It’s so much harder than you expected it to be. Hell, if you’re gonna be really honest, it’s so tough you spend inordinate amounts of time wondering if it’s even worth it. What is this “it” that’s causing you—and others like you—to feel so much consternation? It’s the experience of being, or the thought of becoming, a stepmom.
“I’ve been living a sad tale for 16 years,” a reader recently shared on the StepMom Magazine Facebook page. “I wonder now if it was worth it.” Continue reading “Stepfamily Resources: Inside the July 2017 Issue”
Straight Talking Divorced Dads: 7 Ways to Get More of What You (Both) Want by Mary T. Kelly, MA
Are you a man who hates conflict? You’re not alone. I’ve coached men for 15 years—good and earnest men—95 percent of whom avoid conflict with their partners. If you’re one of them, read on. Honesty is the quickest way to get more of what you (both) want!
Maybe you dread the thought of a two hour talk-a-thon, should you two disagree. If there’s even a hint of dissent in the air, it may feel safer to say, “Fine.” Happy wife, happy life. Right? Could be. But your desires and opinions matter just as much as hers. Continue reading “Divorced Dads: Inside the June 2017 Issue”