Category Archives: Mother

How to Resist Terrorism at Home

terrorism, family, stepfamily, Barbara Goldberg, resistance
Resist Terrorism Through Compassion

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 in the battle.  When a country is at war, the citizens of that country feel the same way.  Unimportant and forgotten.  This is at the heart of how terrorism spreads.  When people feel this loneliness they are the most vulnerable.  Terrorist organizations swoop in and recruit by giving the lonely a sense of belonging.  The cycle of terrorism is a vicious circle:  create a sense of isolation and fear and a false sense of belonging to the recruits.

Don’t we all feel helpless to stop this madness?  Weirdly enough, a small answer may lie within our stepfamilies.  Stepfamilies can be a war zone. Frankly, we are prone to bad behavior.  When you think about it, we are a microcosm of what war is about.  New people enter a community with new thoughts, philosophies and beliefs.  Others are threatened by the new thoughts.  They feel unsafe and they act out.

You have what I want.  You have what I deserve.

Zainab Salbi, founder of Women to Women International, has studied war zones around the world.  She has seen resistance to war in little ways that have a powerful effect.  She writes about women who continue to teach music classes during the war in Iraq.  She tells stories of the women in war torn Bosnia who insisted on wearing lipstick so to remind themselves and their oppressors of their own beauty and humanity.  Ms. Salbi reminds us that it is these little actions that create huge resistance to terrorism.

We can use our personal wars as a symbol of resistance to the violence that we see in the world. Are there terrorists in your family?  Are you at war with yourself?  At war with a friend or family member?  When we show compassion and kindness to ourselves and others, we are resisting.  When we choose to show empathy towards our children, we are resisting.  When we hug the ex or the stepmother, we are resisting. Ninety-five million people have a step relationship. We can choose to resist and change the world.  It starts with a choice.  Peace may very well be within our earshot and our touch.

Stepmoms: Are We Too Harsh on the Ex?

Haven’t we all said it or thought it.  Here is the rant. That ex is insane! I mean it. Really insane. How can a mother treat her children that way? That ex is so mean to my partner.  She is completely unreasonable.  What the hell, Bitch? The question is whether or not we are being… 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

A Stepmother Asks “How Do I Stop Myself from Asking about the Ex-Wife?”

Do you ever find yourself asking your partner: “What did she/he say?” “No, really, tell me what happened.” “I don’t care what she does.” Next moment. “Tell me what she did.” Do you feel as if you can’t seem to stop yourself? Does it feel as if you are addicted? So, why are we talking… 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

Who is that Stepmother Woman?

It is easy to think of the stepmother as that woman your ex partner married.  If the stepmother is just that woman who is in the house, it lessens the pain of the divorce and the consequences that failed relationship has brought.  After all, the worst part of a divorce is the consequences wrought upon… Continue Reading