Category Archives: Adult Children


Olympics, stepmother, stepfamily
Would You Compete at The Olympics if You Never Trained?

Would you enter an Olympic event without training?  Envision yourself diving into the pool next to Michael Phelps.  Stand next to Simone Biles and, together, perform a floor exercise.  Meet Katie Ledecky at the pool and race her in the 400 metre free style.  Close your eyes and see yourself in any of these scenarios.  Did you win?  Were you close?  Why did it turn out this way?  Are you laughing at the mere asking of these questions?

Of course, we all know that the difference is in training.  The training of an Olympic athlete often starts in childhood.  It is a pursuit of the heart, mind and body.  It is relentless.  Each thread of muscle is pushed and pulled to its limit.  By the time the whistle blows at that first Olympic start, an athlete’s muscle memory is sharp and swift.  They don’t have to think about what they have to do.  Their muscles and minds are ready to go.

The coaches that support each athlete along their road to the Olympics are the people that make the critical difference.  Parents. Friends. Professional athletes who teach their clients from their own experience.  No one could even approach an Olympic trial without their team behind them.  As they pursue their goals, they become part of an Olympic tribe of friends who are the only ones who truly understand their journey, their pain and their joy. It sounds kind of great, right?

Everyday, stepmothers (and many parents) jump into the Olympics called their life and expect to win.  They do not train.  They do not seek out a coach.  They do not hone their emotional muscles.  They do not find their tribe.  We would laugh if one of us just joined an Olympic team and started to compete. Yet, we do it everyday.

Forming a stepfamily is an Olympic event.  A stepmother joins a team that is already formed and has been training together for years.  They have their habits and their training schedules.  Their tribe is formed.  Dad decides to ask a new member to join his family team. The new team member naively agrees and becomes a stepmother. Dad and stepmother do not train.

The original family tribe is disrupted.  Now, what?  No one has trained for this disruption.  No one has studied and practiced the skills that would push the family forward and become a true well-honed machine.  No one has thought that the skills to blend a family takes the years and years of training that constitutes the making of an Olympian.

Yet, stepmothers and Dads expect to be accepted and meld into the tribe immediately.  Dad expects that an immediate new family is formed and that we will earn a medal.  After all, sports demand training but we should just “know how” to understand and serve the psychological needs of our family members.  We should just “know” ourselves well enough to fix all ills.

The truth is that life is an Olympic trial.  There are no easy roads.  You have to train.  If you haven’t trained, start now.  Take classes.  Find a coach.  Find your tribe.  Life was not designed to go it alone and stepfamilies take years of training and forming, just like our Olympic athletes.

If you want to start your stepmother training, consider joining Jenna Korf and me at a Stepmother Retreat. If you would like to know about our 2017 schedule, we’re putting it together now.   Or, you can connect with me any time for coaching, podcasts and private Facebook groups.



The Stepfamily Definition of Stupidity

They say that the definition of stupidity is doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result.  If we were to be honest with ourselves, do we do the same things?  Do we avoid the hard work associated with change?  Do we want to avoid any vulnerability to our stepfamily members? Do… Continue Reading

The Boston Marathon Puts It All In Perspective

Today, April 15, 2013, will be remembered as the day that we will never feel completely safe when we participate in a marathon or other big community events.  All we know as of the writing of this blog is that two bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  At last count,… Continue Reading

Stepmothers: How To Stitch Together A Happy Valentine’s Day

When I think of Valentine’s Day, I think of all the stepmothers who spend their days and nights stitching hearts together.  We are the silent seamstresses who watch the family patterns.  When we see a piece of heart tear, we are quick to try to mend it.  We grab our sewing kits.  We find the… Continue Reading

Best Stepmother Advice! Ever Been Tattled On? Do You Live with a Tattletaler?

Ever been tattled on?  You know what I mean.  Someone tattle taled on you.  Remember tattletaling?  Let me refresh your memory.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tattletale is an informer.  Here are the synonyms listed within the dictionary definition: Synonyms: betrayer, canary [slang], deep throat, fink, informant, nark [British], rat, rat fink, snitch, snitcher,… Continue Reading

What Would I Have Done? – The Stepmother’s Answer

I got divorced when my son was an infant.  In the very beginning, I didn’t hear from my ex’s family.  Understandable.  Through the creative love of a family member (Read my blog, The Best Book Ever Written), I reconnected with my in-laws and a love affair ensued between them and my son.  My son proceeded… Continue Reading

The Evil Stepmother Speaks-Shame the Parent, Shame the Child-Stepmother Help

If I were forced to give one piece of stepmother advice, this would be it:  Shame the Parent, Shame the Child.  It means no bad mouthing of bio parents. Bad mouthing means to say bad things about another or to criticize another.   It means no making faces when bio parents’ names are said.  It… Continue Reading

Stepmother Help: Where Is the Money Going in Your Stepfamily?

I don’t think you can ever talk too much about money and how it is being managed within our stepfamilies.  Money may be an issue of great divide or great avoidance.  But, we have to face it.  One of my greatest fears in taking on a stepmother role was, “What’s going to happen to me?” … Continue Reading

Stepmother Help-Has Our Step Parent Spokesperson Arrived?

The #Olympics are truly a portrait of human hopes and dreams.  This year amidst “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat”[1], there was an athlete who may have changed the views of a society.  The world witnessed the unconditional love of a stepdad for his son.  Danell Leyva, a member of the United… Continue Reading

Stepfamily Advice-#Olympics2012 Can Change Your #StepFamily Olympian Life. Would Your Stepfamily Medal?

Stepfamily Life Can Be Like The Olympics If you are feeling frustrated by your stepfamily situation, here is a solution for stepfamilies.  There is nothing better than an #Olympics to change your entire view.  Why?  It is an opportunity to have fun with your family.  Watch the #Olympic athletes compete.  Have dinner while you are… Continue Reading