Transform Your Stepfamily: Inside the January 2018 Issue

Transform Your StepfamilyTransform Your Stepfamily: 4 Keys to Create Lasting Success and a Life You Love! BY CHRISTINA ROACH, LMHC

Ringing in a New Year, for most, is full of resolutions and commitments to make the next 12 months better than the prior ones. Unfortunately the excitement that surrounds these aspirations quickly fades, as the realities of day-to-day life take hold and the newness wanes.

What if you applied that effort, instead, toward transforming your stepfamily culture? Continue reading “Transform Your Stepfamily: Inside the January 2018 Issue”

Feel Like an Outsider? Inside the December 2017 Issue

Outsider SyndromeThere’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”

Erasing Family: Inside the December 2017 Issue

Fighting Parental Alienation: Filmmaker Ginger Gentile Aims to Educate and Reunite #Erased Family Members By Kristen Wilkinson, PsyD

We all have our guilty, reality TV pleasures. I mean, how exciting was it that Meghan King Edmonds of Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Orange County” was featured in StepMom Magazine in March 2016? Those of us who then watched the show over the summer saw one of its other stars open up about the impact of divorce, as Tamra Judge spoke at a gala in support of the documentary film “Erasing Family.”

Judge talked about her experiences—as a child of divorce, Continue reading “Erasing Family: Inside the December 2017 Issue”

Holiday Tips for Stepmoms: Inside the December 2017 Issue

Stepmoms Guide HolidaysHappy Holidays? A Stepmom’s Guide to Finding Magic in the Mess By Kate Chapman

There was a time in my life when I believed in the magic of the winter holidays. Tinsel and candlelight. Snow falling softly outside. Loving families sharing time together, as children played happily inside. All was calm. All was bright. Joy and peace ruled the day.

Then I became a stepmom.

My first Christmas as a stepmom looked nothing like what I saw on TV. My days were filled with schedule shenanigans, kid shuttling Continue reading “Holiday Tips for Stepmoms: Inside the December 2017 Issue”

Stepmoms and Jealousy: Inside the December 2017 Issue

Jealous of My Stepdaughter“I’m Jealous of My Stepdaughter!” 5 Ways to Make Peace With Your Feelings By Brenda Snyder, LCSW 

Stepmoms have it rough. You would be hard-pressed to come up with even one fictional, famous or literary stepmom character who’s portrayed in a positive light. Yet, when the title is preceded by “evil” or “wicked,” dozens quickly come to mind.

It’s no wonder that, with such a reputation to live down, it’s really hard for stepmoms to open up and admit to the less admirable feelings which commonly infiltrate their experience. Continue reading “Stepmoms and Jealousy: Inside the December 2017 Issue”

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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