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…
Teenagers Packing

Coming Home: Custody Transition Do’s and Don’ts

Over the years, Billy and I have shared custody in many different ways. We’ve bird nested, alternated every two days, spent time in a 2/5/5/2, and most recently, adopted a week-to-week schedule. While when the children change homes has varied…
Father and Child

Saying Goodbye: Custody Transition Do’s and Don’ts

Years ago, when we first began sharing custody, I dreaded the time my children were with their father. I missed them terribly, and transitions triggered all my grief and guilt about our divorce. I felt like a part-time parent and the days were…
Couple Hugging

What Every Second Wife Needs to Hear

The most romantic statement Gabe ever made to me didn’t happen on our wedding day. He didn’t declare it at the base of the Eiffel Tower, or pen it in a greeting card. The sentence caught me by surprise as we were out to dinner on a rare…
Mother and Adult Daughter

All Mothers Matter

I recently watched my grandmother die. She was nearly 93, at the end of a long and storied life, and she had no pain. My mother and I were with her, alone together in the room as she left us. In offering condolences, the hospice workers commented…