Stepfamily Holiday Traditions: Inside the November 2017 Issue

Stepfamily Holiday TraditionsHoliday Traditions: The Stepfamily Investment That Yielded Unexpected Returns By Jonelle Jones

When I first became a stepmom, the word “tradition gave me the same fuzzy feelings it always had. It wasn’t until we’d traversed our first few important events and holidays before the word began to make me feel uncomfortable. I realized—unwittingly—that traditions, in a stepfamily, weren’t as simple or as magical as they had been my whole life prior.

A bit of back story is in order. I’ve been in the stepmom role for more than six years. Continue reading “Stepfamily Holiday Traditions: Inside the November 2017 Issue”

The Holidays – A Stepmom’s Guide: Inside the November 2017 Issue

Stepmom Holiday GuideHolidays Reframed: A Stepmom’s Guide to Celebrating the Season By Brenda Snyder, LCSW 

Getting through the holidays can be a challenge for everyone—stepmoms and stepfamilies included. Even the most seasoned stepmom may do little more than endure the last two months of the year. In some cases, experience makes us dread the holidays, as it takes so few brushes with these pages on the calendar to understand the reality of thwarted plans, hopes and dreams.

Why are holidays so tough? Many stepmoms eventually adopt the grit-your- teeth-and-endure style of survival, when it comes to getting through the holiday season. Continue reading “The Holidays – A Stepmom’s Guide: Inside the November 2017 Issue”

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”

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”

National Stepfamily Day is September 16, 2017

stepfamily dayNational Stepfamily Day is just around the corner. Never heard of it? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Many are unaware that stepfamilies have their own day, but the holiday is steadily gaining recognition among those who see the event as an opportunity to recognize and honor their non-traditional family unit.

In 1997, remarried mom and stepmom Christy Borgeld helped found National Stepfamily Day—which is celebrated annually on September 16th.

At the time, she had two goals in mind:

• Establish a holiday that highlights the need for stepfamily awareness and ongoing support, and

• Give today’s families a way and a means for recognizing and celebrating the diversity of their relationship dynamics.

In its first year, Nat’l. Stepfamily Day was officially acknowledged by 24 U.S. states which rolled out proclamations in its honor. Within a year that number rose to 32 states. By 2000, nearly all 50 U.S. states (48, in total) formally recognized this special day.

In 2010, Borgeld took it a “step” further, asking then-President Barack Obama to revise the language on that year’s Presidential Mother’s and Father’s Day Proclamations, or public honors, to include all parents: biological, adopted, foster and step. So, he did!

Twenty years later “our” day is recognized in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and the U.K. How will you celebrate? Popular options include hosting a family picnic or a neighborhood block party that acknowledges family types of all kinds (step, adoptive, etc.).

Share a special family dinner, host a game night for your stepfamily friends, take your own stepfamily for a hike or go biking together. Whatever you do, celebrate the opportunity to bond and to have fun!

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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”

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”

Inside the June 2017 Issue

StepMom Magazine June 2017The June 2017 issue of StepMom Magazine is HERE!

In honor of the men we love, this month’s Father’s Day Special Edition is designed specifically to cater to Dad’s needs.

Written “For the Men!” in our lives, it helps you and your partner team up to tackle a variety of topics divorced dads, repartnered dads and stepdads struggle with most often.

Stepmoms worldwide tell us they look forward to this annual edition because it’s a great conversation starter—an issue you can both read (and enjoy) together! Here’s a look at what’s inside: Continue reading “Inside the June 2017 Issue”

Stepparenting Is a Team Sport: Inside the June 2017 Issue

Smart StepparentingStepparenting Is a Team Sport: 4 “Smart” Ways to Set Your Partner Up for the Win by Ron L. Deal, LMFT, and Laura Petherbridge

Dear Dad: She can’t do it without you.

You’ve married an incredible woman. She makes you smile, supports your work, laughs at your jokes and has agreed to help you raise your children. How awesome is that?!

However, her ability to fulfill the role of stepmom Continue reading “Stepparenting Is a Team Sport: Inside the June 2017 Issue”