Monthly Archives: December 2016


The Importance of Structure and Consistency in the Lives of Children

Through my own experience with my stepdaughters, and with many years in the education system, I have learned the value of structure and consistency for children. Learnersdictionary.com defines structure as, “the quality of something that is carefully planned, organized, and controlled.” Structure allows children to feel safe. According to Aha Parenting, “Structure […]

Stepfamily reading

Couple drinking in front of the fire

Recapturing Christmas Magic

This is the time of year with plenty of gatherings for friends and family that create opportunities for fun and frivolity. A time to celebrate, share, give and receive. It’s joyous and magical. But for some, it shines a spotlight on everything wrong and on those things missing. It can […]


The Steplife 12 Days of Christmas Tips for Holiday Peace!

Tip 1: Plan in Advance It is often the ‘unknown’ that causes stress, so sit down with your partner and make a plan – be sure to coordinate with the biological mom. Tip 2: Loosen Schedules (a little bit) We can get very ‘schedule focused’, especially when we see kids […]

Stepmom relaxing at Christmas

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.  It works a bit like a Secret Santa […]


Letting Go of Negative Emotions

Have you ever looked yourself in the mirror and thought, what is going on? What am I becoming? I started looking at a version of myself that I didn’t recognize. Have you ever felt outraged over someone else’s behavior and became obsessive with the injustices? That became the norm in […]

Stepmom releasing negative energy

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?” you say. “We have a schedule. It’s already […]