Category Archives: Parenting


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.



4 Tips to Avoid the Summer Divorce Schedule Blues

Oh, boy!  The school year is ending and for many of us it means that the children’s schedules are changing.  We may have the kids for half the summer or camp schedules are starting.  First tip is to remember that every time there is a change, even if it is minor, it will get exaggerated… Continue Reading

I Hate Feeling So Resentful!

Don’t you hate feeling resentment?  Resentment is that feeling of doing things that you just don’t want to do, yet feel obligated to do.  When I feel resentment, I feel as if I am being childish. I feel guilty and I feel bad about me.  Usually feelings of resentment center around thoughts that we have… Continue Reading

How to Resist Terrorism at Home

When you are at war, you feel alone, isolated and as if no one cares about you. Think about it.  Have you ever argued with someone and found yourself repeating the story over and over again in an effort to get people to be ‘on your side’? This is your effort to not feel alone… Continue Reading

Stepmother’s Lament: OMG! I’m a Nag!

Do you recognize yourself? When was the last time you pointed out a negative characteristic of your partner?  Their ex wife?  Their children?  If you do not have to think very hard, this blog may be for you. Nagging.  By definition, nagging is the pointing out of negative qualities to someone.  It is the ultimate… Continue Reading

Stepmother Lament: I Will Always Be An Outsider

“This family makes me feel like an outsider. I do all this work and I am still an outsider. When will I ever feel like I belong?” It’s a common stepmother lament. We cook, clean, run errands, pick up kids, buy them clothes and, yet, we feel like a third wheel. It is just this… Continue Reading

The Stepmother Who Blames: Is That You? (Yup!)

Do you find yourself blaming others for your life situation? See if any of these ‘stepmother’ statements strike a chord with you: “These kids are a nightmare because their mother and father don’t discipline them. It is their fault. Our marriage is a nightmare because the ex tortures us. It is her fault. I cook,… Continue Reading

Step-mothering: It Takes So Much Time!

“Tragedy plus time equals comedy.” Lily Tomlin If you have ever wondered: How much more time do I devote to my role as a stepmother? or Will things get better over time? If so, exactly how much time? or Will time heal? How much time do you spend step-mothering? Literally, count the hours. Be sure… Continue Reading

Stepmothers: Are We Too Harsh on the Ex?

Did you ever wonder why the ex-wife just can’t get over it?  Maybe, you are a stepmother who has been a part of the family for years, yet you still feel as though the ex-wife hates you.  You just don’t understand it.  As you know, we study the art and science of stepfamily management here… Continue Reading


This is a guest post by Author and Stepmother, Holly Robinson There was a moment last spring when I poured a cup of tea, carried it into the dining room to read the newspaper, then froze mid-sip when I noticed the date above the headlines. At that very moment, my husband’s ex-wife was enjoying the… Continue Reading