Stepmum and stepdaughter reading together

The Harsh Realities of Stepparenting

My mother-in-law is a wonderful, caring, nurturing woman. She would give you the shirt off her back in a heartbeat. To boot, she’s never met a stranger – can you imagine what kind of love that means for those of us in her family? Indescribable. But…
Young Girl

Why I Don’t Want My Daughter to Grow Up to Be a Stepmom

I love my family. My husband is thoughtful, helpful, and has the patience of a saint. My stepdaughter is full of joy, silly jokes, and cure-all hugs. My in-laws are kind, accepting, and understanding. But despite all of the love and happiness,…
Stepmum Writing

How to Communicate with Mom: Crafting Your Stepmom Philosophy

My best friend is my stepdaughter’s mom. Yep, you read that right. What’s the question that follows that confession every single time? “How in the world did you get to that point?!” My biggest recommendation for helping other…
Woman Quiet

One Thing You Should REALLY Stop Telling Stepmoms

I have heard it from my parents, my husband, and my friends. Strangers on the internet have told me. It seems to be an understood fact of life at this point. Any time a stepmom asks for advice, expresses her concerns, or just wants to vent,…
Two women having fun

What I Learned from Being Roommates with My Stepdaughter’s Mom

My stepdaughter’s mom, stepdad, and baby sister recently moved out after living with my husband and me for three months. Yep, you read that right. My husband’s ex-wife and I lived under the same roof for a quarter of a year. I had to…
Pensive Stepmum

The Metaphor That Changed My Entire Perspective on the Stepmom Role

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I was in a really bad place. The slightest mention of the family he had before me sent me into turmoil and agony. I didn’t understand why I couldn’t come first. Why I couldn’t be his only. I loved his daughter, and logically, I understood…
Couple Talking

15 Things Stepmom Wishes Her Husband Knew

In that moment, I knew I couldn’t say anything to make him understand. I could verbalize my emotions until I was blue in the face, but he just wasn’t going to make sense of my words. Exhausting myself trying to explain why I was struggling…
Pensive Stepmum

Tell Me, Stepmom: Would You Rather Be Right or Happy?

So often I see stepmoms calling moms horrendous names, and I see equally horrifying things from moms about stepmoms or the children’s fathers. It makes my stomach churn. Not because they don’t deserve it. Not because they haven’t done…
Pensive Stepmum

Lessons Learned When I Embraced My Role as Second Wife

Coming into my role as a second wife to the love of my life was no easy feat. It’s as if everywhere I turned there was another reminder of his former life, of the woman he loved before me. It was inescapable, perpetual torture. I wanted…
Women Talking

Things I Wish My Stepchild’s Mom Knew

I am often discredited as a stepmom blogger because my relationship with K’s mom is so great. I take very little credit for our positive relationship; that was all Amanda, K’s biological mother. She has chosen to invite me into her daughter’s…
Couple Toasting at Christmas

Five Steps to Survive the Holidays and Save Your Sanity

I’ve fixed the holidays for you. You’re welcome. Read on. Perhaps fixed is a touch overstating things, but the plan below will make you feel better – I promise. It involves half-assing and wine. Step One: Figure out the schedule early “What?”…
Girl Decorating Christmas Tree

Christmas Traditions: The Sibling Tree

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Last night, after two days of insistent urging, we drew names for the Sibling Tree. The Sibling Tree is a favorite tradition in our house (borrowed and adapted from a dear friend), and eagerly anticipated. …
Woman and Children

Why I Don’t Love My Stepchildren as My Own

When Gabe and I married, I understood I was committing to him and Sara, Amy, and Jack for the rest of my life. I had no idea what that actually meant. In hindsight, that’s probably a good thing. Knowing what I do now about parenting stepchildren,…
Stepmum and Stepdaughter

Surviving the Stepdaughter War

My stepdaughter Amy has a war raging within her. It surfaced this weekend. “That’s not how mom makes potatoes,” she told me as I slid the roasting pan into the oven before dinner. After her shower, she came downstairs, long hair…
Family Blending

The Ugly Truth About Blended Families

Last night, as we settled into bed with a glass of wine, Gabe shared that Caden had recently hurt his feelings. He’d planned an outing he thought Caden would like, and Caden’s response hadn’t met his expectations. It was one of a long…