Dealing with the other house


When the “Old Life With the Ex” Comes Up

In blended family life, there are a lot of people who bring up the old times. I mean, everybody does it. YOU DO IT! Your partner, the stepkid(s), extended family, friends, the ex, and even strangers. Oh yes! Strangers get in on this too.   Several years into our relationship, […]

Stepmom with fingers in her ears

Woman Writing in her Journal

Journal Out the Stepmom Stressors

Eight Reasons Why Journaling Is Good For You Journaling is good for you, and your relationships. Unlike your partner and your friends, the pages in your journal will never grow weary of listening to you lament about stepparenting. Or anything else for that matter. The next time you find yourself […]


Parental Alienation: Our Grief Has a Name

They didn’t die, but there are days I think it might’ve been easier. At least we’d have closure, a definite ending, something.  Instead, we’re grieving children that made a million memories here in this home, under that tree in our front yard who now live down the street and have new […]

Grieving Couple

Stepmom Burnout

How to Prevent Stepmom Burnout

The only BURNOUT you have time for is the wheels of the car on the pavement as you speed off to your dreams, stepmom! Okay, we should address the all too common, but avoidable problem of stepmom burnout. Sound familiar? One of the best ways to avoid stepmom burnout is […]


What Is (And Isn’t) Parental Alienation Syndrome?

Parental Alienation Syndrome or PAS is one of the most incorrectly used terms in the step-family world. It’s a word that can often send court appointed officials running for the hills, or rolling their eyes so far back in the heads their eyes get whiplash. Why is this term so […]


Why kids should not be in charge of the visitation schedule

Permissive parenting is something  I see a lot in the step-family dynamic. It’s custodial parents who think children should get to dictate to schedule, it’s non-custodial parents who are too scared to set boundaries. It’s when kids are put in the driving seat of the decision making in the family […]


From the File of Difficult Conversations: Planning Family Vacations

Among my stepmom files is a folder labeled “Difficult Conversations.” It’s one of those expandable file folders and, just over four years in, it’s already overflowing. This folder could also be aptly named, “Surprise! Stepparenting is Hard!” because (a) it is, and (b) this, somehow, still surprises me. Despite a […]

Family Vacation