The Top 10 Remarriage and Stepfamily Blogs of 2011
It’s our annual round-up of our top picks culled from the wealth of blogs devoted to remarriage and stepfamilies. These bloggers write right from the trenches of stepparenting life, with all of its attendant challenges, blessings and surprises.
Each of these picks offer straight-talk advice for stepparents and remarried people, offering often humorous glimpses behind the front doors of other blended families. What we liked best about these is that you won’t feel so alone, all questions and no answers. Each of these blogs provides insights and ideas that you may not have thought of, which will help enrich your own remarriage experience.
So, grab a cup of coffee or tea, kick back and prepare to meet some new friends for the coming year. Without further ado, here are our Top 10 picks:
#10: The Wicked Stepmom
Blogger: Cathy, “The Wicked Stepmom”
Welcome to Cathy’s world, where she has named the people in her life after fairytale characters, such as Prince Charming, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. It’s a fun way to view this often exasperating lifestyle, to give it the aura of old tales we’ve grown up on: it makes it seem not so different.
Cathy’s blog is a nice snapshot of the blended-family world. Cathy describes herself as—get ready: a daughter, stepdaughter with two stepmoms and a former stepdad, sister and stepsister, custodial stepmom and soon-to-be ex-wife. With that many hats, Cathy is able to offer a wide-ranging perspective and share her insights for just about anyone who has ever been caught up in a blended family scenario!
Cathy shows you that you need to have a good sense of humor to make it through what can be an ever-changing family landscape. We hope to see more of her blogging in 2012.
#9: Step in the Blender
Brigette does a good job of bringing up the types of issues that arise in blended families, everything from why biological mothers and stepmothers struggle to get along to the various roles you could potentially take as the stepmother.
Through her ideas, you’ll be able to step back and analyze your own blended family and how it is playing out—as well as where you would like it to go.
Brigette gives candid, interesting descriptions of how we think: whether it’s her husband referring to them as a “broken family” to taboo topics stepmom’s don’t want to admit out loud. It’s a good peek into someone else’s blended world, thoughtful and heartfelt.
#8: StepMom Magazine
Bloggers: Brenda Ockun, Publisher of StepMom Magazine, and Others
Whether it’s an inspirational message or a Q&A, Brenda’s blog offers helpful advice to the stepmother struggling with her role, while also tapping into various bloggers who blog about stepparenting (many of them appear in this Top 10 list!).
You will also get a glance at what the current monthly issue offers—an enticement to subscribe so you can access monthly support and inspiration.
Based on her extensive marketing background, Brenda launched StepMom Magazine to fill a void in the world of stepmothers: a place to go for resources, something she was unable to find when she first took on the role of stepmom herself.
To access the discussion forum, you will need to be a subscriber, a venue that promises to provide additional support for the stepmom struggling to juggle her new and ongoing role.
#7: The Stepmom’s Toolbox: Tips, Tools, Advice
Bloggers: Peggy Nolan and Team
Need advice? How about attending “Stepmom University” and downloading a course specifically designed for stepmoms? Peggy’s site is packed with a wealth of resources such as this, both free and for members-only.
Peggy’s blog offers advice and such blog entries as “Things I’ve Learned,” along with tips for taking care of you, the one who does so much for so many. Her goal is to truly offer you the tools you need to make the most of your role as a stepmom. With her advice, you won’t flunk out of this life challenge, even when you feel no one notices all that you contribute.
#6: Hers, His and Ours
Blogger: Lisa Hartman
Lisa Hartman writes a heartfelt blog about her blended family—opening her home, heart and experiences for readers to pore over.
She seems unflappable when it comes to some of those tougher situations that would make any stepparent cringe. For example, anyone up for a road trip with your spouse’s e- wife? Lisa recounts squirmy stories like these with humor and grace, as well as her philosophy on how to meet some of these unusual challenges.
Lisa’s blogs each include a photo, giving you a nice visual to illustrate the story or topic of the day. She gives an honest examination of the challenges inherent in trying to blend families—as well as managing all of the differing adult opinions on how best to do that.
#5: The Evil Stepmother Speaks
Blogger: Barb Goldberg
Barb’s site is clean and inviting—and she does a fantastic job with staying on top of updates, a challenge for most bloggers. Her site’s tag line is “Practical Advice for Stepfamilies who want to Love and Laugh.” And who can get enough of either of those, right?
Barb offers a range of resources, including a free download on “100 Different Ideas on how to Create Memories with your Family,” a nice, positive offering that helps you focus on the good things that can happen in your blended family. Her blog contains a range of categories, anything from holidays to leadership to dieting. No one ever said the modern stepparent didn’t have a lot to keep up with, and Barb helps you do that, with humor.
Reading her blog, you will feel like you just sat down with her in a coffee shop and she’s bringing you up-to-date on her life while offering pearls of stepparenting wisdom you hadn’t thought of before.
#4: Co-Parenting 101
Bloggers: Deesha Philyaw and Michael Thomas
Remarried folks, take note: divorce does not have to be contentious.
Philyaw and Thomas set an example that any remarried may want to take heed of and follow. In short, they have decided to put their kids first, partnering in their co-parenting efforts so their two daughters can have the next best thing to an intact parental set: two parents on the same sheet of music.
These two parents are not advocates of divorce. In fact, they often counsel friends to consider it only as the absolutely last option, while recognizing and acknowledging that it is a very personal and individual decision. They have a book due out in 2013: Co-Parenting 101: Helping Your Children Thrive After Divorce.
Their blog offers legal resources, a podcast—and a unique offering called the “10 Co-Parenting Commandments.”
#3 Today’s Modern Family
Blogger: Kela Price, Founder and Diane Greene, Publisher
There are so many blends of family types, there’s no such thing as one size fits all, but Kela and Diane’s site seeks to fill that role. They provide a resource for modern families in every sense of the term, whether it’s a stepfamily, single parent family or adoptive family—or something else entirely.
Their advice runs the gamut, from fashion and weddings to parenting tips. And don’t miss their article on a quick and easy penne casserole—a timesaver any modern and harried cook can appreciate.
For fun, there’s a gossip section that highlights Hollywood break-ups as well as advice from stars who are dealing with divorce and stepparenting while in the public eye.
#2: Becoming a Stepmom
Blogger: Jacquelyn Fletcher
Jacquelyn Fletcher is the author of “A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom,” and was also the co-founder of the Stepfamily Letter Project (letters are still accessible at http://stepfamilyletterproject.wordpress.com/).
Jacquelyn’s blog shows her writing style: tell it like it is. This can help you, as the reader, to connect and relate to Jacquelyn’s advice.
Besides her blog, she also offers podcasts and a range of resources that are inclusive of biological parents, stepfamilies and stepmoms. Advice ranges from methods for coping, to strengthening your relationship with your spouse.
#1: Smom: The Heart of the Blended Family
Blogger: Heather Hetchler
Founder of Café Smom and stepmom coach Heather Hetchler provides stepmom coaching and a share blog, as well as a couple of other goodies I’ll share with you in a moment.
Heather defines a Smom as “a noble woman who cares for and nurtures her husband’s children (aka stepmom).” Sound like anyone you know?
Her blog entries are engaging as well as entertaining snapshots of her life as leader of a blended family. Heather’s site provides a great list of resources—and even a stepmom gift shop! She has created a cozy environment where you feel as if you can take off your shoes, kick up your feet and commiserate with others going through similar sagas as yours.
A recent blog post gives an explanation for why she decided to step back for a moment and review all she was trying to do, as well as its impact on her family. Read it for yourself and see if you can relate to what Heather was going through.
She recently released her e-book, “Thriving at the Holidays: A Stepparent’s Guide to Success,” which guides stepfamilies in having a peaceful holiday and avoiding some of the frustrations that can occur. (These are found in non-blended families as it is, so blended families may have double the challenges!)
We hope you enjoy our selections from 2011. If you run across any sites that are must-read’s, please feel free to email us and share your finding!