Stepmoms: You Are Not Alone (Part one)


(These are excerpts from an article that was originally published in the July 2011 issue of Stepmom Magazine) Stepmoms often feel very alone in their journey, but they’re not. Here are some common thoughts and emotions that stepmoms experience. 1. I FEEL LIKE AN OUTSIDER IN MY OWN HOME:  This is one of the worst […]

Divorced Moms and Stepmoms: We’re Not That Different

wits end

We’re all women. We all struggle. We’ve all had thoughts and feeling we wish we didn’t. We’re all in situations we wish we could change. We’re similar in so many ways, yet we continue to be separate. Mom has to struggle knowing her children are part of another family, one that doesn’t include her. This […]

What’s under the surface?


I caught the tail end of the Little League World Series (Japan vs. the U.S.) today…. I stopped mid-channel-surfing because I thought–wait–what are these little kids doing playing such an intense game of baseball? And why is it on TV? I was reminded of, many years ago, living in Spain as a child and my […]

Top 10 Best Things About Being a Stepmom


There are probably 100 reasons why the most common words out of a stepmom’s mouth are “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.” But why focus on the negative? Here’s a countdown of the top 10 BEST things about being a stepmom! 10. You get to have kids AND keep your kickin’ body. No […]

What all stepmoms should know about divorced moms


In my three short years as a stepmom, I’ve learned some things about divorced moms that I wish I would have known at the very beginning. It would have made my journey SO much easier. I’m sharing them with you now, in hopes that your ride will be a little smoother than mine. Keep in […]

Stepmoms, 5 ways to avoid the Mother’s Day blues

sad woman

Mother’s Day has come and gone, but there are some stepmothers who are still recovering from the aftermath. What were your expectations for Mother’s Day? Did you expect your stepkids to make you breakfast in bed? Give you a card? Call and tell you how much they appreciate everything you do for them? If you didn’t […]

Beyond counting your blessings


Let’s say some prayers for our friends and neighbors in Japan. The earthquake and tsunami have once again reminded us just how easily everything can be taken away from any of us in an instant, and now, a terrifying nuclear crisis is unfolding before our very eyes. May they find a way to cool the […]

What to expect when you weren’t expecting… a stepmom


Maybe you experienced a long, slow slide towards divorce. The communication dwindled. The awesome sex became lost in the tidal wave of daily life demands. It was always one thing after another with the kids. Or perhaps you were unlucky enough to be blind-sided by the sting of infidelity. However you found yourself in the […]

The Family-Family Meeting Blow-up


For a while there, whenever our dual-family family was ironing out some major issues—like which kid was living where, and for how long—we’d have these really intense family meetings. We’d all sit around the kitchen table after dinner, or in the living room, half of us sprawled on the floor… and we’d talk. One of […]

Who are you and what do you want?


Took a bit of a break here to let the well replenish itself, let the fields lie fallow, let the sediment settle– and any other nature metaphors that might fit. I’m back now and ready to crank up the rusty writing machine and noodle brain…. In the interest of starting a conversation back up with […]

Which boat are you in?


Many of you come to this site because you’re looking for information that might give you an advantage with your difficult mom/stepmom relationship. You want something extra to help you create a shift. Movement in the right direction. A breakthrough out of nowhere. You’re the only one who knows what it’s like in your particular […]

National TV production company seeks stepfamily in crisis for an in-house pilot


This just in! Please help us spread the word! If you’re struggling in your stepfamily (either with your husband or stepchildren–or both) and you’d like to get some help, a major production company in New York is looking for YOU to film a pilot! The show will never be shown to the public and will […]

Happy Stepmother’s Day!


A happy day to all the stepmoms out there! Please know that all your efforts make a difference. All the time and taking care of the stepkids, all the things you remember to do (that others don’t even seem to realize are on the list), all the ways in which you try to be flexible […]

Why I sometimes want to give up too


Most of our readers are stepmoms. This makes sense to me because it’s the stepmoms who are locked out of the house, waiting outside in the snow. The dads have a lot of power, because, hey, these are their kids and they get the final say. And the moms certainly have a lot of power […]

High Heels in the Dung Pasture (or Further Adventures in Taking Responsibility)


So I have a moment at the end of the Dr. Phil Show that we did a few weeks ago that I’m hoping no one will see, but that my ex-husband David assures me is the one moment they will probably be sure to include (air date: Dec. 1). Great… Just what I wanted to […]

Dr. Phil episode on conflict between moms, stepmoms and dads to air Dec. 1st!

Fire up your recorders! The show we taped last week in L.A. will be on Tuesday, December 1st. We're on the first half of the show (including David, Carol's husband and my ex – poor guy) and then there's another mom/stepmom/dad combo on during the second half of the show. I had big plans to […]

Dr. Phil: now taking questions from the audience, as well as video questions

It appears that the mom from the mom/stepmom team that was to appear on the show this coming Tuesday has changed her mind. The show would now like to instead focus on taking questions from both moms and stepmoms in the audience, so you're in luck if you live in Los Angeles or close by, […]

The shifting sands of connections

There's a funny little thing that can happen with people you love that drags the relationship down without you even noticing it – until after the fact. I just came back from visiting my daughter Sophie, who moved out a short time ago into her own cool, little abode with roommates just north of the […]

Happy Stepfamily Day!!

Happy Stepfamily Day to all the stepfamilies out there! Being in a stepfamily has its unique challenges, but there are also many opportunities to create new and lasting connections, new opportunities for love and support. Surprising little islands of closeness and intimacy, the chance to really see each other anew. Sure, I hear many stories […]

New stepmom? Heading off conflict from the get-go…

Feeling your way into potential stepmotherhood? Are you dating a divorced man with kids and things are looking promising? Here are a few ideas for setting a healthy course from the very beginning that will make you thank yourself later. Bond over the good stuff, not the bad. Don’t make a part of your bonding […]

Erasing the enemy – Part Two


(If you missed Part One, it’s here.) The stepmother clicked the button to end the call before it started ringing. Then she took a deep breath and began to dial again. She stopped halfway, remembering some of the worst verbal insults that had made their way back to her, some of the angry and hateful […]

Erasing the Enemy – Part One


Once upon a time, there was a mom and stepmom, stuck with each other in their lives, like a splinter in their thumb that couldn’t be removed. Thumbs get used a lot, so this was a bad thing, this constant, wincing reminder of the splinter as they went about their days. It was a pretty […]

Monday Maybe: Be stubborn about the truth!

(How did it go last week? Did you refrain from any unhelpful behavior, even once? Did you stop some of your negative thoughts mid-train? What did you discover?) Question for you, moving forward…. First, let's assume that you do indeed have some changes to make when it comes to creating a better relationship with the […]

The Stepfamily Letter Project

Wow, I have a great new site to recommend and it makes me wonder why no one thought of this sooner! Please stop by The Stepfamily Letter Project and read a few anonymous letters — kinda like a longer version of Found, or Postsecret. They're written by stepkids, moms, husbands, and of course, stepmoms, and […]

The Fragile Bridge of Trust


When Indiana Jones threw sand out into the precipice, suddenly revealing an invisible bridge, he found the magical solution to quickly getting across, away from his enemies. But… he still had to actually cross the narrow bridge without falling off. Trust between you and the stepmom or mom is like that same skinny bridge made real […]