—Finding 2-5 minutes every day to press pause and breathe
—It’s OK to say no
—Living a more heart centered life
—Silence, Movement, Community – 3 Strategies to de-stress from your daily doings
—Questions & Answers
When: Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Time: 8:00 PM EST
Even if you can’t make it in person, register today and you’ll receive the recording after the call!
A few months ago I was interviewed by Natasha Burton for one of her articles on bonding with your stepkids. The article is now available!
Any new stepparent will tell you that bonding with your spouse’s kids is no easy task. Post-divorce family dynamics can be challenging to navigate, and having a new parent in the mix can sometimes further complicate the situation. But, forging a strong, lasting relationship with your stepkids is still possible, if you have the right attitude—and a whole lot of patience. Here, family therapists and real moms share their stepfamily bonding READ MORE
My bonding tips are in the middle: “Make a Consistent Effort,” “Remember: Age Matters,” and “Take An Interest.”
I’d love to hear from you. What bonding tips worked for you?
Chaos2Harmony begins June 3. Space is limited to the first 15 who sign up. Our last class sold out and I expect this one will as well. Hurry and reserve your spot today!
Sometimes the ghosts of ex-lives past creep up. That stepkid of yours is living proof your husband had a relationship with another woman. Let’s face it, that bunches up your knickers. What would happen if you made peace with it?
Check out this article I wrote waaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2009 about my own ghost of ex-lives past. See if it helps you put things in proper perspective so that you can let go of yesterday’s junk so you can enjoy today and all your tomorrows.
Whether you believe in cause and effect or not, the law is immutable. We create our reality by the thoughts we think, the words we say, and the things we do.
What reality are you creating for yourself? For your marriage? For your step life?
Check in with your thoughts
What old tapes are on auto replay? How many times do you make yourself or others pay for the same mistake? How many times do you replay arguments only to get just as angry as if it just happened?
Check in with your words
Are the words you use uplifting? Are they encouraging or discouraging? Do you use your words to build others up or tear others down?
Check in with your actions
How often do you log onto a forum to complain about or criticize another? Are you posting disparaging comments on Facebook or Twitter? Are you making excuses or blaming others for your actions?
It’s a New Day
It’s a new day and as we boldly bring on another Monday, I challenge you to think good thoughts, say good words, and do good deeds. Plant seeds of love, joy, and abundance today and see what you reap tomorrow. You can bet I’ll be doing the same.
Stepmom University has reopened! Check in for upcoming events and on demand personal development eClasses. Our programs are designed with you in mind!
Written By Katherine Sully
Illustrated by Sam Chaffey
Reviewed by Gabriela Arias
“Pig loved the farmyard, but sometimes he could feel left out. Until one day, he laid an egg!”
This is a story of a pig who is very much comfortable in his own piggy skin. “Pig loved being a pig” the book says. He is friends with a hen, and duck, and a goose, and they all can fly, but Pig cannot, as hard as he tried, he just could not. And then as his feathery friends all start to have little ones Pig feels a bit left out. His friends are all having babies and they have no time for Pig. Back at his sty he found something on the ground and he is convinced he has laid an egg! His friends insisted it is a turnip, but pig does not give up.
I love this book for many reasons. I love that Pig loved being a pig, just like I love to be me. And I can also relate to the feeling of having his friends first not have time for him, and then question him, calling his egg a turnip. Just like many of us, Pig hesitates, but he has hope, and most of all, he has love to give. My favorite part is that at the end he shows, that one can love a little one, even if it did not come from inside of you, and that he does not need wings to teach his baby to fly!
In the role that we are in, helping raise a child that is not ours, this is the first book that I find that supports that idea. I also like that it does not use labels, not even step-parent. Pig loves his baby, and his unconditional love and care for this surprising addition to his life that appeared in his sty, is what carried him through the doubt. His friends did not get it. It even escaped them that it was their example as parents what helped pig know what to do. How can they be so blind? One wonders. For many of us such reaction from friends is familiar. Just like Pig, we have to give ourselves our time.
It is a great book to give a child as a gift. It can come from a potential step-mom or step-dad alike. It is subtle yet powerful, and it introduces the idea that a little one deserves to be loved, unconditionally and without reservations, no matter how he or she enters your life.
I have to leave you now, I am far too busy teaching MY Mariposa to fly!
Gabriela Arias is a Costa Rican born and raised woman, who lives in Santa Clara California. She is a bilingual school psychologist by day, renegade crocheter and martial artist by night. She has been in her profession for over 10 years. She shows off her crocheting on her Gabicita Creations Page on FB, and she holds a Black Belt 2nd Dan in Tae Kwon Do, and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
You would think her life was entertaining enough as it was, right? and then something happened: She fell in love with a divorced man, who has 50% custody of his then 2.5 year old daughter. She has spent the past 3+ years of her life trying to find a balance between all the things she needs and loves to do, and what has become the most challenging and most amazing task of her entire life: creating a bond with a little girl, who deserves all her love, in a world that has no proper term to define their relationship, not much room for understanding, and too much quick judgment and stereotyping. Nothing has ever been so hard, nothing ever has made her so strong and so proud. At almost 6 years old now, there is nothing like that hug with little arms around your neck to make you want to be a better person.
Of course nobody does it alone. It is the love of her lovely boyfriend and the support of her family that gives her courage. There has also been a fair amount of wine. Yup.
She recently gave herself permission to use the tittle “Step-mom.”
Once upon a time there was a woman who married a man with kids and an ex-wife. She ate stress for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. She operated on caffeine and adrenaline from sunup to sundown. There weren’t enough hours in the day to take care of everything on her plate – her marriage, her children from her first marriage, her step-kids, and her career. In fact, she wasn’t even on her own priority list. She gained weight, she ate on the run, she didn’t get enough sleep, her mood suffered, she ignored her husband, she barked at the kids, and she barely kept her head above water at work. When she looked in the mirror she no longer saw a happy, healthy, vibrant reflection. Instead she saw a face with pale hallow cheekbones, over-exhausted bloodshot eyes, and dry wrinkly skin.
Sound familiar? If so, you just might need a little Self-Care 101.
Step-life is Challenging, Complex, and Chaotic
Taking steps to reclaim your balance may seem challenging, but it’s absolutely imperative that you do. The divorce rate in the U.S. is high and stable. 50% of first marriages end in divorce and the numbers are even higher for second and third marriages, around 65-70%. When you marry a man with kids and an ex-wife, there’s often more emotional baggage than the largest cargo plane can carry.
It’s Not Your Job To Fix Broken Relationships
When you marry a man with kids and an ex-wife, you are marrying into a pre-existing condition. It’s not your job to fix broken relationships. It’s not your job to fix or change his kids. It’s not your job to be his legal secretary if he’s going through a custody battle. It’s not your job to lose yourself inside your new step-family. Your job is to be your best self and not some depleted, worn-out, frazzled shell of your old self.
“When we invest in our well-being and take care of ourselves, it has a ripple effect that radiates out with a positive impact on those close to us.” – Rena Hatch, Stretch Beyond Stuck
Make Yourself A Priority
Make yourself a priority; not just any priority, but your number one priority. If you are not taking care of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being, you are no good to anyone else. Before you object with “I don’t have time to take care of me,” let me remind you dear reader that you make time for what you value. If you are not making time for yourself, what message are you sending to not just yourself but to everyone around you? If you don’t value yourself, who else will? No one will take better care of you than you and when you value you, so will your loved ones, friends, and co-workers.
Not sure how to take better care of yourself and put yourself at the top of your priority list? Check out Self-Care 101. I can help!
Mother’s Day is a huge sore spot for many women – not just stepmoms. It breaks my heart to hear from so many distraught stepmamas after the day has come and gone. With Mother’s Day a week away, let’s get in front of the wave. You know it’s coming, that tidal wave of grief and disappointment because the day didn’t go the way you thought it would. Are you ready to surf?
Mother’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday
Recognize it for what it’s worth. Are you really expecting others to shower you with appreciation on one day out of 365 days? Besides, the card will most likely end up in the trash a week from now.
Shower Yourself With Appreciation
If you’re feeling blue because your stepkids aren’t showing the love, love yourself today (and everyday). Spend the next 24 hours in complete kindness to yourself. Buy yourself flowers, take yourself for a walk or a run, buy a bottle of your favorite red or white wine. Take a bubble bath. Relax. Breathe. This day will pass.
Tell Your Husband Exactly What You Want
Let’s face it, most guys are clueless. If not for the bombardment of TV ads, they’d never know May 12 is Mother’s Day. And that includes my ever aware husband. If you expect that your husband *should* know it’s Mother’s Day and that he *should* know to get you flowers and a card or a box of chocolates, you are setting yourself up for a devastating disappointment. *Should* is a four letter word. Erase it from your vocabulary. Your husband doesn’t know what you want unless you tell him. Go on – tell him. He will be over the moon ecstatic because he knows all to well that he sucks at mind reading.
Release Your Expectations
*Should* is a four letter word. I know I said that already. *Should* keeps us at war with reality. Expectations reside in our imagination and start with, “well he *should* know.” But he doesn’t know. Stop setting your husband up for failure and setting yourself up with disappointment. And the kids? They know even less than your husband.
I have been busy behind the scenes putting together a few new online programs for you. Affordable, easy to access, and beneficial to your own happiness. While I’m still tweaking the May 1, 2013 launch of something super exciting, I want to make sure you have something you can use right now. And the best part, it’s FREE. When you sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter, you’ll receive a FREE copy of “Ten Tips For Stressed Out Stepmoms.” Beginning in May, our newsletter will arrive in your mailbox on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Included in each issue will be links to articles, tips, affirmations, positive quotes, upcoming events, and at least once a month, we’ll be highlighting a Savvy Stepmom…maybe it will be you!
When you sign up, be sure to use your best email. I’d hate for the link to your FREE copy of “Ten Tips For Stressed Out Stepmoms” to go to the spam folder. Enjoy!
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