OFFICIAL BLOG

Fieldnotes

Stepmonster/Happy Stepmother Workshop in NYC Saturday April 2!

Published by Wednesday Martin
Support can make all the difference
Support can make all the difference

A reminder: I am co-conducing a workshop with Dr. Rachelle Katz, author of The Happy Stepmother (no, it's not an oxymoron!) If you are a woman in parntership with a man with kids of any age; a divorced dad; a couple in a remarriage with children; a mental health professional who wants to learn more about the dynamics of remarriage or repartnership with children — join us this Saturday, April 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 pm. Details here...hope to see you!


Sticks and Stones...A Stepmother's Guide to Being Disliked

Published by Wednesday Martin
Being disliked takes a toll on women especially
Being disliked takes a toll on women especially

I recently wrote an article about Stepmothers and being disliked (look for it in the September Issue of StepMom Magazine). Tolerating that others may dislike us for reasons beyond our control, and in spite of our best efforts, is an important skill to develop.


Will You Divorce? One Factor Puts You At Greatest Risk

Published by Wednesday Martin
Not a pretty picture
Not a pretty picture


There's been a lot of talk in the media recently about the "science" of a healthy, happy marriage. Based on the last decade of research, experts have identified some factors that put a marriage at risk for divorce. Have a look at my latest post for psychologytoday.com on the topic...and tell me about it: Have you ever considered divorce in your remarriage/repartnership with children? What changed your mind?


Do You Do Too Much? Feel Stepped On? — How You Can End the Stepmartyr Cycle

Published by Wednesday Martin
Ever feel like even she might find stepmothering a trial sometimes?
Ever feel like even she might find stepmothering a trial sometimes?

Jacque Fletcher, author of the important and supremely helpful book Becoming a Stepmom and www.becomingastepmom.com, invited me to discuss "Stepmartyr Syndrome" with her several weeks ago for her terrific weekly podcast series. Here's the show. Have a listen and then tell me about it: Have you ever done so much for your husband's kids or your husband and his kids that you started to resent it? What were you doing? How did you change it. Are YOU a stepmartyr?


Boundaries 101: Lessons for Stepmothers by Mary Kelly-Williams

Published by Wednesday Martin
This makes it look so simple
This makes it look so simple

Today I'm running a special guest post by Mary Kelly-Williams, MA, a therapist and stepmother in Boulder, CO about boundaries. You need them if you're a woman with stepkids, but sometimes it's hard to know how to maintain them, how to assert them, for fear of being disliked or perceived as wicked. Here's Mary on how and why it's important to have your boundaries in the stepfamily, and protect them. Otherwise, you'll likely find yourself exhausted, depleted, and resentful. Have a read...and leave a comment!


Stepmother Top Concern #3 — They Don't Appreciate Me!

Published by Wednesday Martin
Have you heard the news? Being a stepmartyr makes no sense!
Have you heard the news? Being a stepmartyr makes no sense!


"How can I decrease my sense of resentment when it comes to my partner's kids?" you readers keep writing and asking. Or, how to "witness that a stepchild has problems — whether it's that he or she doesn't try in school, is spoiled by mom and dad, is entitled or irresponsible, hasn't developed key and age-appropriate life skills, or acts out in any number of ways — rather than experience it viscerally" and be torn apart by it?


Top Stepmother Concerns: How to Get Thee to a Counselor Who Gets It by Kela Price

Published by Wednesday Martin
He or she doesn't have to be Freud to help. I just liked this photo.
He or she doesn't have to be Freud to help. I just liked this photo.


As we're addressing the concerns of you, women with stepchildren, a reality is taking shape. Namely, many of you could benefit from counseling. Either couples work or individual work, but something. But as stepfamily researcher, social psychologist and stepmother Elizabeth Church, Ph.D. notes in her book Understanding Stepmothers, it's possible that a therapist treating a couple in a repartnership with kids will do more harm than good. Church details that many of her patients came to her after being treated by therapists with no training, familiarity, or real experience helping remarried couples with kids. The results were unfortunate: therapists telling women to "treat stepkids just like they're you're own" and otherwise importing a first-family model to address stepfamily or stepcouple reality. Since stepfamilies are different, that doesn't work. These couples understandably became frustrated, discouraged, even hopeless before finding real help.


Tell Me About It — Top Ten Concerns of Stepparents Addressed

Published by Wednesday Martin
And the top ten concerns of stepmothers are...
And the top ten concerns of stepmothers are...


Over the months, many of you have written me about your concerns as women with stepchildren. I'd like to list and address the top ten — so I need your help. What's on your list of top concerns? Here are some ideas from all of you so far (not in any order)...