New Stepmom Circles Podcast: Ron Deal and StepDads

21 04 2011

Finally!!! A new Stepmom Circles Podcast is ready. Ron Deal is one of my favorite guests. In this show we talk about Ron’s new book, The Smart Stepdad. There are even fewer resources for stepdads than there are for stepmoms. Ron always has so much wisdom to share and this podcast is not just for stepdads. It’s for moms who have kids and married a man who became a stepdad to their children. It’s for stepmothers because is the advice he gives is applicable to all of us. Find Ron at http://www.successfulstepfamilies.com

Enjoy!





Stepmothers: Forgiveness

9 02 2011

Yesterday afternoon I watched Oprah. It was a heart-stopping show about three young girls who suffered sexual abuse at the hands of their father and older brothers. At the end of the show Oprah passed along advice to them that she received from one of her mentors. She didn’t mention who it was but it took my breath away so I wanted to share it here. She said, “Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been different.” Whoa. It’s not about condoning anyone’s behavior or inviting them back into your life or even wishing them love and peace.

Does that resonate or what?

Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been different.

For us stepmothers perhaps one place to focus this powerful thought is on our husbands. (Do you secretly wish he’d never been with another woman or had children with anyone else?) Another place: Our exes. Another place: Our own childhoods.

This week I’m meditating on that phrase: Forgiveness is letting go of the hope that the past could have been different.





Marriage: A Petri Dish for Personal Growth

2 02 2011

When you meet the love of your life, it’s freakin’ great, isn’t it? My husband and I had so much fun in those early days before the pressures on us built. Little did we know then that our relationship would lead us to the darkest places we’d ever been. And how great we’ve been able to descend to the depths of ourselves to excavate all those unhealed places!! Marriage really is a Petri dish for personal growth. As a fellow stepmom said recently, you can grow disgusting moldy junk in there or a cure. You decide.

I also write novels (to be published soon, I hope!) and while taking an amazing seminar with Robert McKee, he said, “True character is revealed under pressure.” Isn’t that true of life, too? My character has certainly been revealed to me in the past few years as life pressed. And I’m so glad.

As another fellow stepmother friend once said, “Will you become bitter or strive to be better?”





Stepmothers: Getting to Yes

30 11 2010

I saw this today and thought of stepmothering. William Ury is the author of Getting to Yes and has helped navigate some of the most difficult conversations happening in our world today. His advice is something that we can use in our homes, my ladies! Conflict in your home? With a stepchild? An ex? Your partner? Then watch this. Ury believes the secret peace is to take the third side. Love it.

“In the last 35 years as I have worked in some of the most dangerous, difficult, and intractable conflicts around the planet, I have yet to see one conflict that I felt could not be transformed. It is not easy,  of course, but it is possible.” –William Ury

Stepmoms: Have you transformed conflict in your home? Share with us!





The Happy Stepmom

19 05 2010

Last week’s Stepmom Circles Podcast with Rachelle Katz, the author of The Happy Stepmom, got me thinking. Am I a happy stepmom? Is there such a thing as a happy stepmom? What is different about happy stepm0ms than unhappy stepmoms? I’ve explored this topic from different angles in my book, podcasts, and on this blog, but I think happiness makes for an interesting way of looking at stepmotherhood. I also just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, a woman who spent a year working on making her life happier and so happiness is on my mind! Here are the things that make me a happy stepmom:

Time alone. This is huge for me. I love hanging out with my family and friends, but to recharge I need to have some solid me-time with no one else within earshot. When I have a balance of time alone and time with family, I am happy.

Time with my husband. With four kids in our house,  weeks can go by when my husband wave at each other twice a day. If we don’t pay attention we can easily become the proverbial ships passing in the morning and night. Spending time with my husband makes me a happy stepmother.

Curiosity about my stepchildren’s lives. When I’m feeling low I will often consciously turn on my curiosity about my stepchildren’s lives. What makes them tick? What’s happening in school these days? What’s it like to be a kid in 2010? What does it feel like to be 15 or 12 or 10? Being curious can lessen resentment or hurt feelings and turn me into a happier stepmom.

Feeling included. Even though I know I don’t have full parenting rights, I like to be asked at least for courtesy’s sake. My husband is usually very good at making me feel like part of the parenting team. But I still don’t feel included all of the time. I look at it this way: As long as I feel included 80 percent of the time, that’s pretty darn good. And that makes me a happy stepmother.

Exercise. If I don’t work out, I turn into a nasty beastie. It’s better for everyone in my family if I get my tush off the couch.

What makes you feel like a happy stepmother? If you were going to consciously work to be happier in your daily life, what would you do?





Stepmom Group Coaching: A few spots left

19 05 2010

This week has been nutty but I’ll have a new podcast up next week and more blog posts with lots of stepfamily information. I wanted to alert you all that I am starting another Stepmom Circles Group Coaching session NEXT WEEK. I’ve had a few last minute spots open up so if anyone is interested, please email me at becomingastepmom (at) gmail (dot) com right away. I did not make this session public because it was filled with people from the waiting list.

This session is on Wednesday nights from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, May 26 to June 30.

The  Stepmom Circles group meets for an hour and a half each week for six weeks over the telephone. Every week I lead a discussion on a particular stepfamily challenge. (Creating a strong partnership with your spouse, dealing with the ex, bonding with the stepkids, handling your negative feelings, identifying common stepfamily mistakes, discovering what successful stepfamilies know). Then we have an open talk about your particular questions and issues.

Cost
The cost of a six-week session is $197. That’s about $32 per week.

As a member of a Stepmom Circles coaching group you’ll receive

  • a FREE half-hour, get-to-know you consultation with me over the phone before the class begins
  • email access to me between group coaching sessions so you can ask questions that come up during the week
  • an autographed copy of my book A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom

Because space is limited, you’ll need to reserve your spot fast.

Email becomingastepmom (@) gmail (dot) com for more information.





First-Ever Stepmom Circles Retreat!!

12 05 2010

Dear Stepmothers:

I am thrilled to offer the first-ever Stepmom Circles Retreat! Are you free July 18-20? Do you want to meet other stepmothers who will likely become lifelong friends? Do you want to learn about how you can make your stepfamily life better?

Join me on Sunday, July 18, 2010, for a three-day stepmother extravaganza.

During our days together you will:

  • Bond with other stepmothers
  • Learn the ICES approach to stepmothering (Inspiration, Communication, Education and Support)
  • Discover proven strategies to create a stronger marriage and stepfamily
  • Take a break from your life to remember who you are and to renew your strength
  • Eat delicious food
  • Laugh a lot!

The retreat will be held at The Creamery, just outside Menomonie, Wisconsin, which is about 45 minutes away from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota.

I am limiting the retreat to 24 people so if you know you want to go, reserve your spot now by emailing me at becomingastepmom (@) gmail (d0t) com

Cost:
Retreat: $350, includes two and and a half days of group sessions and individual attention from stepfamily expert, coach, author, and podcast host Jacquelyn Fletcher
Food: $100, includes a 4-course group dinner on Sunday night, beverages and snacks, and lunch on Monday. If you stay at the Creamery breakfast is included in the lodging charge on Monday and Tuesday.
Lodging: $150-175 per night. There are only 12 rooms available at The Creamery. If you’re willing to share a room with another stepmother, your cost goes down. There is also lodging available in nearby Menomonie.

If you’ve had enough of feeling isolated, left out, hurt, or angry and want a boost that will help you feel more positive, retreat!

Email me at becomingastepmom (@) gmail (d0t) com for more information.

A BIG THANK YOU to Kate, one of my readers who asked if I could bring this retreat closer to where she lives. The answer is: YES! If you want me to do a Stepmom Circles Retreat in a town near you, pop me an email and I’ll see what I can do.

Here’s what past Stepmom Circles’ participants have to say about Jacquelyn Fletcher’s approach:


“I am so excited to feel like I have a strong chance of making it through this step life without losing my sanity or my marriage.”

“Jacquelyn, you are providing a valuable resource to stepmoms — and potential stepmoms too. While there are still several things about the situation that terrify me (including those I can’t even anticipate), I feel more prepared to handle them.”

“Jacque, I cannot begin to express how meaningful our conversations have been. Your concern, care and encouragement has been a hopeful light during a dark and challenging time. Thank you seems very inadequate, but it is most sincere.”

“Jacque, thank you for your continuing candor on the subject of being a stepmom…I’m finding it’s never too late to learn stepmom strategies.”








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