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

Stepmother Disengage

“Disengaging isn’t some nasty, hostile tit-for-tat. It isn’t, “You let your kids treat me badly, eff you, I’m not doing anything for you or your kids anymore.” Disengaging is a thoughtful, planned strategy in which a woman who is partnered with a man with kids hands parenting and caretaking responsibilities back to him in an attempt to improve herself, her partnership and her relationship with his kids.” –Wednesday Martin, PhD

Understanding How and Why to Disengage From Your Current Role by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

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”

Stepmoms and Stepchild Relations: Inside the September 2017 Issue

Stepchild RelationsPsychology, Stepmoms and Stepchild Relations: Science Says? It’s Not Your Fault! By Brenda Snyder, LCSW

Many stepmothers share a common frustration—a thwarted desire to be close to their stepchildren. In her current experience, a stepmom might feel angry or be resentful of a horribly behaved stepchild who is perhaps disrespectful and undisciplined.

In discovering the narrative of her stepfamily, however, it becomes fairly evident that back in the beginning stages the stepmom envisioned their relationship much differently. Continue reading “Stepmoms and Stepchild Relations: Inside the September 2017 Issue”

Do You Trust Your Partner? Inside the September 2017 Issue

The Urge to SnoopStepmoms, Cell Phones & The Urge to Snoop: How to Practice and Build Trust With Your Partner By Mary T. Kelly, MA

Do you trust your partner? We’re hard-wired to trust, according to a report which appeared in the August 2015 edition of “The Journal of Neuroscience.” It’s not surprising. Intimate relationships cannot exist without trust. That’s because intimacy and trust go hand in hand. I’ll even take it a step further. If you don’t have trust, you don’t have a marriage or a true partnership. Continue reading “Do You Trust Your Partner? Inside the September 2017 Issue”

Collective Co-Parenting: Inside the September 2017 Issue

Collective Co-ParentingThe Road to Collective Co-Parenting: Waiting for Co-Parent Status Is Like Sitting Alone on the School Bus By Melissa D. Day, MS

Negotiating kids’ busy schedules can be overwhelming enough in one home. Coordinating them between multiple homes comes with additional challenges. Add in back-to- school season and things get even more complicated. As your stepfamily makes the transition to new teachers, activities and routines, co-parenting challenges may step out of the shadows and into the light.

As you know, there are likely a number of good reasons your partner and his ex are divorced. Continue reading “Collective Co-Parenting: Inside the September 2017 Issue”

Back-to-School Tips for Stepmoms: Inside the September 2017 Issue

Tips for StepmomsBack-to-School Tips for Stepmoms: Simple Life Hacks for Less Stress By Jessica Leon, PHD, LCSW

Kids and parents approach back-to-school time with mixed emotions. Certainly it’s exciting: new teachers, new supplies, new friends, new schedules and—some years—a brand new place in which to learn. But there’s something else, too: Stress.

Children fear the unknown, while parents are ever-concerned about what’s in store, what our (step-)children’s social or academic experiences will be like Continue reading “Back-to-School Tips for Stepmoms: Inside the September 2017 Issue”

Mini-Wife Syndrome: Inside the August 2017 Issue

Mini Wife SyndromeMini-Wife Syndrome A Guide for Stepmoms: Red Flags, Root Causes and Remedies by Brenda Snyder, LCSW

I have yet to meet a stepmother whose sense of identity has been unscathed by self-doubt and private, scary musings like: “Am I crazy?” or “Maybe I am evil!” The intensity of emotions previously not experienced by them leads to frantic searches for someone—anyone—who can validate her feelings as being reasonable and expected.

Yet, one of the most difficult insights a stepmother can have is to notice that she feels envious or even resentful of her stepdaughter’s place in her husband’s life. Continue reading “Mini-Wife Syndrome: Inside the August 2017 Issue”

Stepfamily Weddings: Inside the August 2017 Issue

Stepfamily WeddingsStepfamily Weddings: What Comes After You Walk Down the Isle? by Kristen Wilkinson, MA

Ah, wedding season! A time of love, reflection, union and dedication. Weddings take on all different shapes and sizes: destination weddings in the Caribbean, romantic European occasions, glamorous urban affairs and rustic country gatherings.

No matter how a wedding looks on its surface there is bound to be fun, laughter, music, drinks, food and—of course—love! However, for couples who are preparing to enter into a stepfamily, there are special considerations and circumstances worth exploring both before and after saying, “I do!” Continue reading “Stepfamily Weddings: Inside the August 2017 Issue”

Emotional Abuse: Inside the August 2017 Issue

Emotional AbuseThe Emotionally Abusive Relationship: You Don’t Have to Take It Anymore by Mary T. Kelly, MA

There might as well be eggshells all over your floor. Or how about this? There might as well be eggs all over your floor—with you spending your days tiptoeing around them, lest you step on one and create a mess. You feel tense, unsure, out of sorts and lonely. You long for the partner you fell in love with. The partner who was loving and caring. The time you spent together was wonderful!

Then something shifted. Unexpected dark clouds began shadowing your otherwise bright and beautiful days together. Continue reading “Emotional Abuse: Inside the August 2017 Issue”

Stepchild Relationships: Inside the August 2017 Issue

Stepmom Stepchild RelationshipsGame On! How Plan Can Improve Stepmom / Stepchild Relationships by Stacie Nielsen Bortel, MA

His look was so determined.

“Stacie, you’re not invited to my birthday party,” my stepson said. “Just mommy is.”

I hid the pain but it wasn’t entirely surprising. He also didn’t want me to look at him, ask him questions or do things as simple as bring him a napkin when he had a bloody nose. In other words, my 5-year-old stepson was having a hard time attaching to me. Continue reading “Stepchild Relationships: Inside the August 2017 Issue”

Lies We Tell Stepmoms: Inside the July 2017 Issue

Lies we tell stepmoms4 Big Lies We Tell Stepmoms: How Ignoring Bad Advice Can Save Your Marriage—and Your Sanity! by Wednesday Martin, PhD

Excerpted with permission from “Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do.”

Books for stepmothers tend to perpetuate certain myths. The myth of the blended family and the myth of the maternal stepmother are the most glaring examples. These books’ relentlessly upbeat tone can make stepmothers feel as though our own occasional negativity and impatience regarding his kids are freakish. Other books on stepmothering are so lighthearted, so insistent that we see the humor in our situation and in our responses to it, that reading them feels suspiciously like being told that our concerns don’t matter and that we just need to lighten up. Continue reading “Lies We Tell Stepmoms: Inside the July 2017 Issue”