Category Archives: The Power of Why

Stepmother Lament: He Doesn’t Do Anything for Me!

stepmother, step family, blended, divorce, mother, parenting, remarriage
Stepmothers Often Do All the Work

Once, I did a podcast called “I May Not be First on the List, But Can I Get on the List?”  In this podcast, I was highlighting a common feeling among stepmothers.  It feels as if we are just not important.  It is like we are invisible.  In fact, the only time that we become really visible is when work has to be done:  picking kids up, packing lunches, doing laundry, keeping the house in some sort of viable shape and cooking meals.

To make matters worse, we sometimes wonder, “Does he ever think about planning a romantic moment for me?”  Intellectually, we know that our partners are as overwhelmed as we are, yet, we long for that feeling of being loved.  We don’t want to have to tell him that we want him to plan that weekend or purchase that thoughtful gift.  We just want him to do it…without being asked or prodded.  After all, he should know that we need romantic encouragement.  He should know how important this is to us. We’ve told him a million times.

Here’s the bottom line.  I already feel as if I have to plan everything.  For once, I want him to do something….something for me…without being asked and without me planning anything.

On the surface, our request is a reasonable one.  In reality, you may be setting yourself up for disappointment.  Most men need to be told what you want.  If you know what you want for your birthday, tell them.  If you want to go to a certain place for a weekend, tell them.  Give them the phone numbers of the hotel.  You may have to make the arrangements.  Trust me that when you receive that gift or go on that weekend, the meaning will not be tainted by the fact that you had to tell your man what you need.  This idea that gifts and/or getaways only have meaning when someone else guesses what you want or makes the reservations is a faulty one.

What is important is that your partner showed up. He showed up with that gift.  He showed up on that date.  Start here.  Thank your partner profusely for what he is able to do.  Once he sees your happiness, he will start to do more.

You see, your partner wants your happiness more than anything else in the world.  It may not show everyday, but that is your man’s main goal.

stepmother, step family, blended, divorce, mother, parenting, remarriage
Stepmothers Often Do All the Work

You can test this theory.  Start telling him every time you are happy. Even if you have to do the ‘work’, book that date and tell him how happy you are to be there.  No complaining about how he did nothing.  If you follow this plan, I promise you will see a man who will start to book things. Guaranteed.

I ENTERED THE OLYMPICS WITHOUT TRAINING

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. … 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

The Stepfamily and Life: It Is All About the Playground

It’s the end of the year. There have been holidays, custody changes, vacations and aggravations. There have also been feelings of extreme joy. Some of us have received notes of love and appreciation from our stepchildren and/or our partners. Some of us feel peace in the knowing that we are making a home base for… 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

Where Do I Draw the Line? I Am the Stepmother, After All!

One of the most annoying things about being a stepmother is that it brings hard subjects up. Often the thing that we don’t want to do, comes up in stepparenting. You know what I mean. Issues like: Drawing the line on issues like self respect, your role in the family and in life, how you… Continue Reading

A Stepmother’s Legacy Found in a Starbucks Coffee

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… Continue Reading

The Power of Why Our Stepfamilies Should Be Around Us

Leadership is leadership, whether in business or in your family.  When I feel doubtful or unsure what to do now.  This is my favorite TED talk by Simon Sinek.  Hey….I’ll keep posting this one over and over again.  It begs the question:  how do we make our stepchildren feel when they are around us?  Why… Continue Reading