first family dynamics


An Interview with Paulina Lagudi, Director of “Mail Order Monster”

Paulina Lagudi has written, produced and directed her first feature film aimed at highlighting the challenging yet, positive aspects of stepfamily life. Starring Charisma Carpenter of “Angel” and “Buffy”, and “The Expendables” and Josh Hopkins of “Cougar Town”, “Quantico”, and “Bones”, “Mail Order Monster” is predominantly told from the perspective […]

Mail Order Monster

Couple Supporting Each Other

What to Do When Your Marriage Is Not Number 1

One of the most painful and repeated stories I hear in my work with stepparents is that they often feel like they take a back seat to their stepkids. They feel like they are not the priority for their partner and that awareness creates a particularly acute and unique kind […]


The Question of Last Names for Step & Blended Families

As a child, I was one of those unfortunate children with a unique enough name that I was never able to find cups, keychains, jewelry, and other items with my name on them. Although I do not currently long for a pencil case or novelty license plate imprinted with “Audrey,” […]

Name Plaque

Family Joining Puzzle Pieces

Time and the Stepfamily

I’ve always believed that, with the right attitude and perseverance, just about anything is possible! This is probably why I imagined that with two willing hearts and a can-do spirit that becoming a stepmom and blending families would be a relatively simple process. I liked my husband’s children, and they […]


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 to surprise his mom […]

Stepmom Thinking

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 as a stepmom and needed […]


Living in the Shadow

You are going to have good days and you are going to have bad days. It’s part of being human. In your stepfamily, you may feel more of the extremes than anywhere else in your life. Some days you will feel like you are the queen of the world and […]

Stepmom Thinking