What Are Your Coping Methods?

21 01 2012

When I was a kid and complained about something in my life, my dad used to say to me, “Honey, life ain’t fair.” And, of course, he was right. Life isn’t fair. So what are you going to do about it? How are you going to cope when the inevitable difficulties arise? How will you avoid turning to behaviors that help you check out but are harmful to you? What things help you relieve stress or combat anger?

Some ideas from stepmoms around the globe:

Exercise

Focus on your career

Go back to school

Meditate

Pray

Get involved in a charity

Focus on your own kids

Hang out with your girlfriends

Turn to your hobbies or develop new ones

Focus on creating the strongest marriage you can

Go for walks

Travel

Get a pet

Build your own financial safety net

Read good books

Go to movies in the middle of the day

Take breaks from the entire family

Go to church

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Stepparents: Use Your Pain for Good

16 06 2011

If you’ve read my book or subscribed to Becoming a Stepmom or listened to Stepmom Circles for a while, then you’ll know that I prefer to wear rose-colored glasses. I like happy endings. I love being able to turn my own pain into good by using it to help others. I suppose you could say that approach has been a coping method and I suppose that’s true. For me to think that I’m going through pain for no reason! No. Too much for me to bear.

So I have a challenge for you this month if you’re willing to accept it: How can you use your pain for good? How can you transform it into something you can help another person with?





New Stepmom Circles Podcast: A Must Listen with Dr. Patricia Papernow

5 05 2011

Dear Stepmothers:

This episode of the Stepmom Circles Podcast features Dr. Patricia Papernow. When I first started doing research for my book A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom, I read Becoming a Stepfamily by Dr. Papernow. She has worked with stepfamilies for more than three decades. This is a show that all stepfamily members need to listen to. Stepmoms, stepdads, biological parents. Everybody. Dr. Papernow has a new book coming out in 2012: Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships. Like her first book, it is aimed at the clinicians who help stepfamilies (therapists, counselors, etc.), but her work is so important, I think we all need to read it.

A big thank you to Dr. Papernow for her time. I’ve been living the stepfamily life for a long time and working with stepmothers and Dr. Papernow always teaches me something critical every time I talk to her or read her work.

Enjoy!





What Do You Desire?

27 04 2010

Is there anything you’ve wanted to do, be or have that you haven’t done? You know, one of those ideas that might have dogged you from your childhood? Or a wild-hair thought you’ve had about something you’d like to do that would be SO FUN? Or something that makes you feel like you’re a kid getting away with something because it feels so amazingly good?

What are you waiting for, Dear Stepmom?

If you’re doing things that make you feel like you’re special then you’ll be a better wife and stepmother. If you feel like your needs and desires are valuable, you won’t be a stepmartyr. And the funny thing is, the moment we start feeling good about ourselves and our amazing lives, our relationships tend to rise to the occasion almost by themselves.

What can you do today that will help you move toward something you desire?





Stepmom Magazine March Madness Special Offer

9 03 2010

If you don’t have a subscription to Stepmom Magazine, now is a good time to try it out. During the month of March if you purchase a year subscription ($48) you get 11 months of back issues for free. And then you can read all the articles that I’ve written for the magazine and fellow authors including Wednesday Martin, Izzy Rose, and Erin Erickson have contributed. Check it out.





Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Being a Stepmom…But Were Too Afraid to Ask

9 03 2010

Ladies: Erin over at the Erin Experiment, the creator of Stepchicks, and the Co-Founder of The Stepfamily Letter Project is working on a new book for stepmothers and she needs our help! Read her post below and send her your questions!

Guest post by Erin

I’m about to embark on a new and exciting project my dear ladies and gents.

After much contemplation, excitement, overjoyed and rambunctious e-mails to members of the Stepmom Posse as well as a few beers and some wings at BW3, I’ve decided I want to write a book.

One of the things that I love most about writing this blog, aside from the fact that I can write dirty words on it and no one gets mad at me, is that it — and by extension, I — helps answer questions a lot of stepmoms have.

I love helping people out. I love finding answers to questions and learning something in the process. I love making people laugh and I love the special stepmom connection I feel with so many of the wonderful people that read this blog.

All of that being said, I’ve decided I want to try and piece together a humorous advice book for anyone who’s ever known, been or may think they want to be a stepmom.

But I need your help. I need to know what you’ve always wanted to know about being a Stepmom but were too afraid to ask.

For instance…

  • Is it okay to have sex while my partner’s kids are at our house?
  • Am I within my rights to demand my stepdaughter not eat my Cheerios?
  • What clothes can I avoid to make me look less soccer mom and more sexy SMILF?
  • Why do my stepkids not understand showering? Or deodorant?
  • Is it okay to go AWOL on my birthday?
  • Do I really need to invite my stepkids to our wedding?
  • Should I hire security to keep his ex away?
  • Is it possible to have a ‘Stepmom Shower’ if I’m not having my own children but am marrying into them?
  • How many chores is too many chores for my stepkids?

You get the idea? Good.

Now, in order to turn this into a book you won’t be able to put down, I need a few hundred questions to volley at the Stepmom Posse (who have all graciously agreed to help answer any and all questions our fellow Stepmoms have…no matter how crass, gross, embarrassing, funny, or serious.)

Can I count on y’all for your help?

Awesome. To submit a question, e-mail me at erin [at] erinexperiment [dot] com. I promise to keep you posted on the status of this little ditty…and if we make the New York Times Best Seller list….well, then…drinks on me.





Group Coaching Session Starting the Week of March 15

2 03 2010

Ladies:

I am starting another Stepmom Circles Group Coaching session the week of March 15. Space is extremely limited so email me at becomingastepmom (at) gmail (dot) come if you want to reserve a spot.

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.