Category Archives: Celebrities

A Stepmother’s Legacy Found in a Starbucks Coffee

stepmother, stepmom, stepfamily, divorce, remarriage, stepchildren
Starbucks is More Than a Cup of Coffee.
What Do You Stand For?

Have you ever thought about what is truly galvanizing you towards your life’s legacy?  I was moved to think about this question as I watched Oprah interview Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks.  Starbucks provides an aggressive benefits package for its employees that work 20 hours or more per week.  How great is that?  (As a side note, isn’t it interesting that the people that greet you at Starbucks are always pleasant? Hmmm….)  Here is their policy:

Benefits-eligible partners (those working 20 or more hours a week) can get a wide range of perks, benefits and assistance. Your Special Blend might include bonuses, 401(k) matching and discounted stock purchase options. We offer adoption assistance and health coverage for you and your dependents, including domestic partners. ~ Starbucks

When I read this policy, I thought, “Why would a big company be so kind? Aren’t they being pressured about their bottom line?”  Then, Mr. Schultz told Oprah about his childhood.  He said that he lived in the projects and had watched his father struggle to find work at  low-paying jobs and.  His dad was working for a diaper delivery company when he slipped on some ice and was injured.  The company fired his dad.   He spent his childhood watching his family struggle without health care while his father worked in jobs that were hard and demeaning.  He vowed that he would never allow workers to face the kind of disrespect and shame that his dad had experienced.  Mr. Schultz felt the calling to form a company that his father never had a chance to work for:  a company that honored and respected its employees.

I wondered.  What had happened in my life that would affect the way that I stepparent?  My first thought were my memories of racism that I had seen growing up.  As a young girl in the ’60s, I clearly remember how the African American people were treated with such disrespect.  I witnessed how they were treated as ‘less than’.  Even as I write these sentences, I can feel the same helpless feelings and shame.  I never wanted to see anyone treated with disrespect again.

Who do we always see being abused in fairy tales and movies?  The stepchildren.  I vowed that I never wanted my stepchildren to feel “less than” in my home.  It is probably why I hate the question, “Do you love them the same as your bio child?”  I must say that I also do not want to see other family members treated with disrespect, including myself.  So, like Starbucks, the key is creating a culture based on your core beliefs.  At Starbucks, it is creating that space between home and work where people can connect and everyone is shown kindness and respect.  Starbucks represents an homage to Mr. Schultz’s father.

What is your family’s core values?  If you asked your children that question, what would they say? Can you think of a childhood experience that has shaped your role as a stepmother?  I would love to hear your stories.

All the best to you and your family,

Barb

 

A Stepmother Looks at Nelson Mandela’s Life

At the time of this writing, it is the day of Nelson Mandela’s funeral.  Nelson Mandela was the past president of South Africa and is credited with bringing the end of apartheid to that country.  Mr. Mandela spent 27 years in prison.  He entered prison at the age of 44 and was released when he… Continue Reading

The Evil Stepmother Speaks: Tip #6 Stepfamily Life Feeling Depressing? Try Stepmother Whimsy!

I felt compelled to write this blog when I saw the video of the Southwest Airlines flight from Phoenix to Los Angeles.  This is so great!  Singer Gavin DeGraw was on the flight.  Southwest Airlines asked or paid him to sing to the customers during the flight.  It was completely impromptu for the passengers.  The… Continue Reading

The Evil Stepmother Speaks: I Apologize to All #Moms…No More Bio Mom

I really dislike the term bio Mom as must as I dislike the term stepmom. I have used these terms in my blogs on a frequent basis.  I use them because I am trying to differentiate who I am talking about.  A few readers have called me on the carpet about the bio Mom title… Continue Reading

The #Oscars – Stepmom Style!

Let’s do the Oscars, Stepmom Style!  Let’s take a look at this year’s best picture nominees and analyze them from a stepmother’s point of view. Nominees for best picture are: Lincoln Silver Linings Playbook Life of Pi Beasts of the Southern Wild Amour Lincoln should be an old-fashioned favorite for any stepmother worth their salt. … Continue Reading

Stepmothers, Don’t You Think We Need a Stepmom Pageant?

As I was watching the #SAG Awards last night, I realized that I am now on my second awards show for actors.  (The Golden Globes were two weeks ago.)  And, I still have the main, big daddy of them all coming up, The Academy Awards.  In addition, there was the Miss America Pageant a few… Continue Reading

A Step Family’s View in Review: Olympic Love, Celebrity Arguments and Tragedy in Connecticut

The Step Family 2012 Year in Review is a study of love, traditional step family frustrations and a lesson in step family perspective.  Three events come to mind. The Olympics where we all witnessed the deep devotion and love of a stepfather for his son. The gossip between Brandi Glanville and LeAnn Rimes continued.  Both… Continue Reading

Stepmother Help- NEVER DO THIS! EVER! – to yourself, your stepchildren or the Ex

Never do this. Period. The current Mrs. Kelsey Grammer, Kayte Grammer) dressed up as the ex Mrs. Kelsey Grammer for Halloween.  Thanks!  This is just the type of public relations all of us stepmothers need.  Damn! Hey, Kelsey and Kayte,  your costumes are not funny and shows such disrespect that I barely know where to… Continue Reading

The Step Parent #Olympics: I Feel as if I Will Never Win!-Stepmother Help

When we watch the #Olympics, we focus on the medal winners.  When you think about it, most of the athletes train just as hard and sacrifice just as hard as the medal winners.  But, they don’t win a medal.  Do you think they feel like losers or do they feel honored to have participated in… Continue Reading

#KathieHolmes and #TomCruise Divorcing. Wonder do the #StepKids Fit In? – Stepmom Advice

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise are calling it quits.  According to People, “This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family,” Wolfe told People. “Katie’s primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter’s best interest.” Did Katie forget that she has two stepchildren? It will probably takes years to divide… Continue Reading