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Uniting Blended Families: The Art of Establishing Meaningful Traditions

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In the unique tapestry of blended families, establishing new traditions is a powerful way to foster unity, belonging, and a shared family identity. These traditions are the threads that weave individual stories into a collective narrative, providing a foundation for strong family bonds.


The Importance of Traditions in Blended Families

Traditions serve as the cornerstone for building a cohesive family unit, offering a sense of continuity and security amidst change. They provide a platform for creating shared experiences that are essential for the emotional bonding and identity of a blended family.


Incorporating Everyone’s Voice

Start by gathering input from all family members, respecting each individual’s background and preferences. This inclusive approach ensures that new traditions resonate with everyone, strengthening the family’s fabric.


Crafting New Traditions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Developing family traditions in a blended family doesn’t have to feel like a formal meeting. Instead, it can be a natural process that blossoms from the everyday moments of joy and connection. Here’s how to nurture these traditions organically:

  • Observe and Reflect: Pay attention to spontaneous activities that bring everyone joy. Whether it’s a game night that everyone gets excited about or a particular meal that brings the family together, these are the seeds of potential traditions.
  • Let It Happen Naturally: Allow these activities to recur naturally. The key is repetition without obligation. If everyone looks forward to pizza and movie night every Friday without it being a scheduled “tradition,” it’s already becoming one.
  • Acknowledge the Joy: Once you notice a recurring activity that consistently brings the family together, casually acknowledge its significance. A simple comment like, “I love our weekend hikes; they’re becoming a special part of our family life,” can go a long way.
  • Formalise Gently: After a few occurrences and positive acknowledgments, propose to make it an official family tradition. This could be as informal as saying, “This feels like our thing. How about we make it our tradition?” This gives everyone a chance to express their feelings about it becoming a more permanent part of your family life.
  • Adapt and Evolve: Be open to the evolution of your traditions. As your blended family grows and changes, so might your traditions. Embrace this change, knowing that the underlying bond is what truly matters.

This approach emphasises the organic growth of traditions from the everyday moments that naturally bring your family together, making them more meaningful and less contrived.


Tradition Ideas for Blended Families

Consider simple yet impactful traditions like a monthly “Family Story Night” or an annual “Blend Day” celebrating the day your blended family came together. These traditions are not just fun; they’re pivotal in building lasting bonds.


Celebrating Your Family’s Traditions

Regularly celebrate the traditions you’ve established, reflecting on their importance and the unity they bring to your blended family. This celebration is key to reinforcing your family’s identity and bonds.



Creating meaningful traditions in a blended family is an enriching journey towards building a united, loving family culture. By valuing each member’s input and embracing the process, you’ll craft traditions that are a cherished part of your family’s story.


Tell Us About Your Family Traditions!

We’d love to hear how you’ve united your blended family with unique traditions. Share your stories in the comments below!

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Integrating families

Maximising the Benefits of Family Counselling/Therapy for Blended Families

Family Counseling for Blended Families

Blended families face unique challenges that can strain relationships and create tension within the family unit. Family Counseling can be a powerful resource in navigating these difficulties, but making the most of this process requires a balanced and realistic approach. In this article, we will explore how blended families can maximise the benefits of therapy by embracing vulnerability, open-mindedness, and resilience.


The Right Therapist for Your Blended Family

Finding the right therapist is crucial for a successful counselling experience. Look for a therapist who creates a safe and comfortable environment, where every family member feels heard and respected. It may take time and a few sessions to find the right fit, so be patient and persistent in your search. Remember, the therapist should be someone who helps you feel at ease, allowing you to open up and explore difficult emotions.


Preparing for Family Counselling/Therapy

One of the keys to making the most of family counselling is being ready to confront personal contributions to the issues. This can be confronting, as it requires self-reflection and an open mind. Many individuals initially seek therapy to validate their belief that someone else needs to change. However, therapy often leads us to examine ourselves, our mindset, and our perspective. Embrace the possibility that personal growth and change may be necessary for positive outcomes.


Embracing Vulnerability and Openness

Family Counselling/therapy thrives on vulnerability and openness. It’s essential to create a safe space where family members feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, emotions, and concerns. Letting down walls and being vulnerable can be challenging, but it is in this space that healing and growth occur. Remember, therapy is a judgment-free zone where everyone is working towards positive change and understanding.


Embracing New Strategies and Approaches

To get the most out of therapy, be open to trying new strategies and approaches suggested by the therapist. This may involve challenging old habits and patterns, which can be uncomfortable at first. Understand that change takes time and patience. It may require addressing deeply ingrained behaviours and embracing new, healthier ways of relating and communicating. Be willing to put in the effort and try new approaches multiple times before determining their effectiveness.


Resilience and Persistence

Change is rarely a linear process, and setbacks may occur along the way. It’s important to remain resilient and persistent throughout the therapeutic journey. Old habits and patterns can be deeply ingrained, and it’s natural to revert to familiar but unhealthy behaviours. Remember that progress takes time and effort. Stay committed to the process, even during challenging moments, and trust in the potential for positive outcomes.



Family counseling/therapy offers blended families a valuable opportunity to address challenges, heal wounds, and strengthen their bonds. By finding the right therapist, being open and vulnerable, embracing new strategies, and cultivating resilience, blended families can make the most of their counselling experience. Remember, therapy is a collaborative effort, and positive change requires active participation from every family member.

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Step-Parent Involvement: Deciding Your Role in Your Stepchild’s Life

Step Parent Involvement

As a step-parent, you stand at the crossroads, contemplating the depth of your involvement in your stepchild’s life. Should you be invested in their development, education, healthcare, and other major aspects? How do you strike the right balance between being present and respecting boundaries? Blended families offer a unique set of challenges and opportunities, and finding your own path can sometimes be a little overwhelming. But fear not! In this article, we’ll explore key considerations and provide guidance to help you make informed decisions that work best for you and your stepchild.

Understanding Your Step Parent Role:

First things first, take a moment to reflect on the role you want to play in your stepchild’s life. Are you more comfortable taking on a nurturing role, providing emotional support and guidance? Or do you prefer to be a supportive figure, offering assistance when needed? If there’s anything this article aims to do, it should be to convey the message that there is no right or wrong answer here, as every step-parent’s journey is different. All you have to do is embrace the unique qualities you bring to the table and align them with the needs of your stepchild.

Consider the Family Dynamics:

Blended families are like beautiful kaleidoscopes, with each one having its own set of dynamics. Take time to understand and respect these dynamics. Get to know the family members, their relationships, and the existing roles. This will help you tailor your own involvement in a way that complements the family’s existing structure, promoting harmony and understanding. Let it flow rather than try to follow “rules” someone else might have set up for you.


Assessing the Child’s Needs:

Before deciding on your level and depth of involvement, you may also want to consider your stepchild’s needs. Observe their behaviours, emotions, and communication to gain insights into their unique requirements. Some children may thrive with more active involvement, while others may need space to adjust and form bonds at their own pace. By understanding their needs, you can tailor your involvement to provide the right level of support and care.

Open Communication with Your Partner:

Communication is the key to any successful relationship, including the one with your partner—the biological parent of your stepchild. Have honest and open conversations about expectations, boundaries, and the role you envision for yourself. This will ensure that you’re on the same page and can approach step-parenting as a unified team. Deciding how involved you want to be can be as simple as having a conversation (or a few) about it.

Respecting Boundaries and Parental Authority:

Establishing boundaries is vital for the healthy functioning of any family unit. When working together to define what is comfortable and appropriate for everyone involved, remember to respect the boundaries set by the biological parent. Remember, you’re there to support and enhance the child’s life, not to replace the biological parent. You can’t go wrong if you simply do whatever you can to recognize and honour the parental authority while finding ways to contribute positively to your stepchild’s growth.

Building Trust and Connection:

Trust and connection are the pillars of a strong step-parent and stepchild relationship. Instead of wondering how involved you want to be with major decisions in their life, why not take the time to foster a bond with your stepchild? You can do this by engaging in activities they enjoy, show genuine interest in their hobbies and passions, and just by being a supportive presence in their life. Building trust can take time, so it’s important to be patient, don’t expect overnight results and allow the relationship to evolve naturally.

Finding Your Balance:

The beauty of it all is that there is no one answer to this question. As a step-parent, you have the autonomy to determine the level of involvement that feels right for you (as well as for the child and his/her biological parent). Some step-parents choose to be heavily invested in their stepchild’s life, actively participating in major aspects such as education, healthcare, and religious upbringing. Others may opt for a more supportive role, offering guidance and support when needed. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, and it’s okay to adjust your involvement as the family dynamics evolve.


Trust Your Instincts:

While guidance is helpful, ultimately, you would probably do well to simply trust your instincts as you navigate step-parenting. You know yourself and your family better than anyone else, so don’t forget to listen to your intuition, and let it guide you in making decisions about your level of involvement. There really is no perfect roadmap, and every step-parenting journey is unique. The best thing to do is to learn to trust yourself to find the right balance for you and your stepchild.


In the intricate world of step-parenting, deciding how involved and invested you should be in your stepchild’s life is a personal journey. By considering factors such as your desired role, family dynamics, the child’s needs, open communication, and trust, you can navigate this path with confidence. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to be a step-parent. Find the balance that aligns with your values, respects boundaries, and nurtures the bond with your stepchild. Embrace the beautiful opportunity to make a positive impact on their life and cherish the unique connection you share.

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Reasons Why You’re Struggling as a Stepmom and Ways to Do Better

Struggling as a Stepmom

The evil stepmother trope is much too common in the world of fiction. Unfortunately, it has shaped the way we perceive the role of being a stepmom in real life too. This, however, is far from being the truth.

Being a stepmom is one of the most selfless roles a woman can take up. She decides to nurture kids that she didn’t give birth to and raises them as her own. This is not an easy task, especially when you’re new to a family and the burden of living up to everyone’s expectations weighs down on your shoulders. The smallest mistakes could make you feel you’re failing or struggling as a stepmom, even if that might very well not be the case. There’s seldom any tangible support for stepmoms, the lack of which may have adverse effects on the familial relationships that she worked so hard to build.

If you’re a stepmom, then you’re the stepmom every single day. There are no breaks. It’s not easy, instead, being a struggling as a stepmom is hard and comes with its fair share of daily struggles that many stepmothers deal with. These are some of the most common struggles associated with being a stepmom:


The unavoidable truth of being a stepmom is that you are not the ‘real’ mom. You might do everything from cooking to helping with homework, just as a real mom does, but it doesn’t change the fact that you didn’t give birth to those children. This is a bitter pill to swallow and it leaves one thinking that they’re a replacement. You constantly feel left out and all of your actions seem to be aimed at making up for being an outsider.


Every stepmother has to deal with the negative image that they are usually painted in. You’re expected to work selflessly for the children, like a real mother. But, if you assign some chores to the kid or are disappointed in their academic performance (like a real mother), then you’re the evil stepmom. Any form of complaining regarding the kids’ behavior is off-the-stepmom’s-limits. Walking the very fine line of what ‘mom behavior’ is acceptable and what isn’t, is a stepmom struggle in itself.


If the kids are old enough to know their biological mother then there’s the chance that they wouldn’t resent you for taking their mother’s place’. It’s very hard building a relationship with children who have no interest in reciprocating your feelings. It’s even harder when those kids go out of their way to tell you that you can never be their real mother. In the end, all your attempts seem futile and doubts about whether this is worth it start seeping into the conscience.


Settling into a new environment is a challenge in itself. When the new role comes with major responsibilities of its own, the challenge is multiplex and requires you to surpass your own limits. Every family is different and every new stepmom has to try to adapt to the family’s unique pace. Normally, a woman would herself set the environment for her family, but when she’s new to the scene – she is the one who has to settle. Many blended families struggle with settling in with each other and this usually leads to drama and friction in the family dynamic.


Stepmoms have to deal with their own emotions and insecurity in addition to balancing their new family-lives. The experience is a roller-coaster of positive and negative feelings and this might knock askew a stepmom’s own emotional balance. Making sure that everyone in the home is happy while keeping a check on your emotions is a struggle that many stepmothers have to overcome. They also have to bear the insecurity of thinking of themselves as a temporary fix instead of being a permanent member of the family.


To make up for the fact that a stepmother is not the biological mother, stepmoms usually end up over compensating for something that isn’t in their control. They feel responsible for their stepchildren but doing more than one is capable of takes a toll on the stepmom’s emotional well-being. Over compensatory behavior might also feel forced and fake to the step kids, and can actually end up causing a rift between the two.

A number of stepmoms realize that they’re giving more than is required but don’t know how to stop this cycle.

Help for stepmoms doesn’t come in a tiny rule book that describes all the roles you have to take up and all the lines that can’t be crossed. It would make the situation so much clearer but every familial situation is different. Realizing that you want to know how to be a better stepmom is the first leap towards actually becoming a better Struggling as a stepmom.

The second leap is to recognize and understand the reasons why you feel like you’re struggling as a Stepmom.


  • Many stepmoms feel pressured into or responsible for taking the place of a biological mother in the stepchild’s life.
  • A majority of stepmoms are new to motherhood and are suddenly bombarded with motherly duties.
  • The change in environment is a huge contributing factor to a stepmother’s struggles and not being able to settle into this daily life adds to the struggle.
  • Feelings of jealousy and resentment from both the stepmoms and children towards each other are common and these emotions keep them from forming a genuine bond.
  • Stepmoms are expected to act like a mother and do everything a mother does. They might be treated cordially by their stepchildren, but they’re not treated like mothers at the end of the day.

Here’s how a struggling as a Stepmom can do better:


Stepmoms are superheroes and this is no exaggeration.

You have to start looking at yourself in a new light- as someone courageous enough to love and raise kids you didn’t birth. The act itself, of choosing to become a stepmom, is worthy of appreciation and you deserve a pat on the back for it. You have to first humanize yourself- to realize you’re a human before being a stepmom and it’s completely acceptable to make mistakes. When you start seeing your own worth as a stepmom, your step kids will follow suit.


This is one of the hardest hurdles to cross for a second wife, who is also a stepmother.

When you’re new to a family, you’ll be the second most important priority after the kids… and that’s okay. You have to understand that this is not a competition and with time you will also be prioritized as an invaluable part of the family. Children always come first but that does not reflect on your worth in any way.


Stepmoms feel the constant pressure that no matter how hard they try they can never be enough because they aren’t the real mothers.

Once you realize that your role in your step children’s life is not to replace but to make your own little place in their hearts, it’ll be easy sailing. Their biological mother and you are your own persons, you’re both different, your roles vary and that is the beauty of it.




Every stepmom’s journey is unique and there are some good days and some bad. There are also struggles.

The real fun begins when you stop worrying about the nitty gritty of fitting perfectly into this assigned role and just go with the flow. Don’t worry about what your child thinks of you, cherish the little moments, and they’ll feel your sincerity.


Taking the time to sit and bare your feelings in front of your partner and step children goes a long way in building an honest bond.

Kids might be young, but they’re very intuitive, they sense that you’re being honest, and they’ll be honest in return.


There are a number of expectations a stepmother might have of her family members. Expectations from her step children- about how she expects them to do their personal chores and behave around the house. Expectations from her partner of being treated as an equal, with respect, love and loyalty.

Managing these expectations would mean practicing patience with your step children. If they aren’t doing the expected chore or breaking a rule you set, remind yourself that they are only children. For your partner, managing an expectation would translate to appreciating the little things that they do. When you manage your expectations of your family, they too are in turn more mindful of managing their expectations and appreciating you.

Struggling as a Stepmom struggles are real- from entering into a new family to adopting another woman’s kids, it is a never ending wave of responsibilities. It might seem difficult, but all is not lost. When stepmoms start taking it easy and not getting hung up on minor details, the family you acquire becomes more than worth all the work.

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Estate Planning for Blended Families: Ensuring Your Legacy Lives On

Couple thinking scaled

Blended families are increasingly common today. Whether you have remarried, or your spouse has, it’s important to recognize the unique challenges and opportunities that arise when it comes to estate planning. While nobody likes to think about their own mortality, taking the time to properly plan for the future can ensure that your legacy lives on and your loved ones are cared for after you’re gone.

In this article, we’ll explore the importance of estate planning for blended families, including strategies for dividing assets, determining home ownership, and communicating with family members. We’ll also discuss the legal and financial aspects of estate planning and provide recommendations for additional resources to help you navigate this complex topic.

Examples of Estate Planning for Blended Families

When it comes to estate planning for blended families, there are many factors to consider. For example, you may need to decide how to divide assets among biological children, stepchildren, and a new spouse. You may also need to consider how to address issues of inheritance, tax implications, and trusts.

Consider the following scenarios:

  • A couple gets remarried later in life. The husband has two adult children from a previous marriage, while the wife has one child from a previous marriage. They also have a joint bank account, a holiday home, and several investments. How can they ensure that their assets are divided fairly among all three children when they pass away?
  • A man with two children from a previous marriage remarries a woman who also has two children from a previous marriage. They purchase a home together and create a joint bank account. How can they ensure that the home and bank account are distributed fairly among all four children if one of them dies unexpectedly?

In both scenarios, estate planning is critical to ensure that each family member is cared for appropriately. By working with a professional and communicating openly with all parties involved, blended families can develop effective strategies for managing their assets and creating a lasting legacy.

Breaking Down Estate Planning for Blended Families

Estate planning can be a complex process for any family, but it can be especially challenging for blended families. Here are some steps you can take to ensure that your estate plan is tailored to your unique situation:

Step 1: List the Family Members Who Need to Be Named in Your Will

Before you begin the estate planning process, it’s important to identify the individuals who will be named in your will. This will likely include your spouse, biological children, and stepchildren. You’ll also need to designate someone to serve as your agent or executor and make decisions on your behalf in the event that you become incapacitated.

Step 2: Determine the Division of Assets, Amounts, and Possessions

Once you know who will be included in your will, you’ll need to take inventory of your assets and possessions. This can include everything from bank accounts and investment portfolios to real estate and personal belongings. You’ll need to determine how you want your assets to be divided among your beneficiaries and specify this in your will.

Step 3: Consider Estate Planning Techniques for Blended Families

There are many estate planning techniques that can be used to ensure that your assets are distributed appropriately among your blended family members. These may include marital trusts, residual funds, and family trusts. Working with a professional can help you determine which strategy is best for your situation.

Step 4: Address Homeownership in Your Estate Plan

Homeownership can be a complex issue for blended families. If you own a home jointly with your spouse, you’ll need to determine how ownership will be transferred in the event of your death. If you own the home individually, you may need to take additional steps to ensure that your spouse and stepchildren are able to stay in the home after you pass away. An attorney or financial planner can help you navigate the legal and financial implications of home ownership in your estate plan.

Step 5: Communicate with Your Family Members

One of the most important steps in estate planning for blended families is communication. Make sure that all family members understand your wishes and are aware of the details of your estate plan. This can help avoid misunderstandings and conflicts down the line. Consider holding a family meeting to discuss your estate plan, and make sure that all parties involved have an opportunity to ask questions and express their concerns.

Legal and Financial Aspects of Estate Planning for Blended Families

In addition to the steps outlined above, there are several legal and financial aspects of estate planning that blended families should be aware of. These may include tax implications, probate, and trusts.

Tax Implications: Inheritance tax laws vary from country to country. In some cases, stepchildren may not be entitled to the same tax benefits as biological children. Working with a financial planner or tax specialist can help you understand the tax implications of your estate plan and develop strategies to minimize your tax liability.

Probate: Probate is the legal process of validating a will and distributing assets to beneficiaries. Depending on the complexity of your estate plan, probate can be a lengthy and expensive process. Working with an attorney who specializes in estate planning can help you minimize the time and cost associated with probate.

Trusts: Trusts can be an effective way to manage assets and provide for your loved ones after you’re gone. There are many different types of trusts, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Working with a professional can help you determine which type of trust is best for your situation.

Additional Resources and Recommendations

Estate planning for blended families is a complex topic that requires careful consideration and planning. If you’re looking for additional resources to help you navigate this process, consider the following:

  • Books: There are many books available that address estate planning for blended families. Some popular titles include “The Complete Guide to Planning Your Estate in a Stepfamily” by Karen Ann Rolcik and “Estate Planning for Blended Families: Providing for Your Spouse & Children in a Second Marriage” by Richard E. Barnes.
  • Online courses: There are also many online courses available that cover estate planning for blended families. These may include courses offered by financial planning organizations, legal associations, or estate planning experts.
  • Professional advice: Working with an attorney or financial planner who specializes in estate planning can be an effective way to ensure that your estate plan is tailored to your unique situation. Be sure to choose a professional with experience working with blended families and a track record of success.


Estate planning is an important part of life, and it’s especially important for blended families. By taking the time to plan for the future, you can ensure that your loved ones are cared for and that your legacy lives on. Remember to communicate openly with your family members, work with a professional, and stay informed about the legal and financial aspects of estate planning. With the right approach, you can create an estate plan that provides for your loved ones and gives you peace of mind.




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How To Avoid Another Failed Marriage

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Marriage is something that people enter, intending to last a lifetime and as a sign of their commitment and love to their partner. How To Avoid Another Failed Marriage? As statics would have it, the percentage of failed second and subsequent marriages is higher than expected. The idea of going through another divorce is devastating, and it, therefore, is vital to explore possible ways to avoid it.

There are numerous reasons why second, third, and subsequent marriages fail. As you prepare for remarriage, or if you are in one, take note of these stumbling blocks and keep in mind that with the right attitude, patience, love, communication, and hard work, it can work.

Things that cause the failure of second marriages


Past relationship baggage

Going into a new marriage without complete healing and ready for a fresh start may make it a problematic marriage to sustain. Do not carry pain and emotional garbage from your previous relationship into the marriage.

With raw wounds deep down, you may find it challenging to connect and open your heart to new love. Being vulnerable can remind you of the emotional pain from your previous divorce. Getting intimate may scare you in fear of giving your all and getting hurt again.

A positive attitude and optimism go a long way in shunning the thought of always expecting the worst and being apprehensive of your new marriage.

With that said, ensure both you and your partner are ready for a fresh start and are emotionally healed. With your past behind you, connecting and blossoming in your new marriage will be an easy thing to do.


Children are a blessing and the glue that hold together the family in first marriages. In the second and subsequent marriages, however, stepchildren in most cases are the divisive factor. Bringing children from a previous marriage makes the subsequent one more complicated.

Some may harbor resentment for the new parent and may intentionally cause things to be difficult for your marriage to work. They often are unwelcoming to new step-parents or siblings, grieving for the loss of their other family.

Step-parents may be unable to discipline their step-kids, and dealing with them can be frustrating. To avoid children becoming the dissolving factor of your marriage, support each other regarding managing and being responsible for each other’s kids.

To run your blended family smoothly, it takes good communication, patience, and time.

Your ex

Your divorce does not mean that your relationship with your ex is completely over, especially where children are involved. Occasional communication and connection to your ex could cause insecurity issues to your new spouse.

Create boundaries while interacting with your ex and communicate with your new spouse to avoid a feeling of disloyalty from your side.

Legal disputes

Obtaining divorce for some couples may span years. Some bitter exes on learning of your new marriage may also try to sabotage it by bringing you back to the court even after the divorce is final. Such stunts add financial and emotional tension to the new marriage, potentially causing a divorce.

Attending to your litigation needs is just as important as managing it to ensure your spouse does not feel anxious.

It is advisable to communicate effectively to avoid assumptions and misinformation that may cause a strain on the relationship.


The conversation around money is sensitive, and many couples tend to sweep it under the rag. Money is among the main problems that plague not only first marriages but even subsequent ones.

For example, where kids are involved, the issue of spousal maintenance and child support may cause issues to your marriage if not well laid out.

If one spouse has more assets in the new marriage, disputes may begin, for example, if their kids are pampered more than those of the other spouse.

Despite the money conversation being a difficult one to have, it should be discussed. Have an honest conversation with your spouse to establish some financial rules that work for your marriage, and you’ll need not call your lawyer.

Family matters and inlaws

Your own extended family and inlaws can be a handful sometimes. A blended family where you both have kids from previous relationships can get toxic. You have your exes family side and the current spouse family.

Figuring out the dynamics, for example, during thanksgiving and holidays may be hard to figure out. Some family members and inlaws may also feel entitled and not warm up to welcome either of the spouses to join the family.

While two different families come together due to your union, cultivate a culture where you deal with issues head-on. Be patient and communicative, and yours will be a success story!

Familiarity to divorce

Most couples find it easier to call it quits in their second or subsequent marriages as there is no fear of the unknown as was in the first marriage.

They become less willing to forgive or work on their issues and more willing to divorce since they have been through it before.

Tips for a successful second marriage

Marriage and new love is a beautiful thing. Nonetheless, it has its ups and downs and can never be a smooth ride. The tips below will help you skew the statistics and change the narrative.

  • Effective communication

Communication is a strong pillar for a successful relationship or marriage. Learn to seek clarification from your spouse on unclear issues. Take responsibility for your actions during an argument and avoid blame games.

Proper communication demystifies issues in your marriage, setting it up for success.

  • Maintain your identity

Just being yourself in your marriage and maintain a separate life from your spouse will make it happier. Continue to pursue your interests and passions. Keep your social life alive and maintain your hobbies even if they are dissimilar to your spouses.

Do not lose yourself in your spouses’ desires and interests, and take time to love yourself too. Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

  • Appreciation and respect

It’s the little things that make all the difference. Express to your partner what you cherish about them when you can. It only makes the bond stronger.

Remember to use courtesy words such as thankyou if you catch your partner doing the right thing. For example, “Thank you for taking out the trash. I appreciate you.”

  • Vulnerability

Have confidence in being completely honest and open with your partner. Discussing and seeking their opinion on small matters will prepare you well to tackle more significant issues.

For example, involving your spouse while preparing your home meal plan will eventually make it easier for you to discuss financial management issues if they arise.

  • Have realistic expectations

High expectations are great, but they could also lead to a big disappointment. Your marriage will be strenuous if your expectations do not align with those of your spouse.

While getting into the marriage, have a candid talk with your spouse about what you expect of each other regarding financial responsibility, your various roles in the union, and your love languages.

Make known what you expect of each other as a couple in dealing with issues that may arise while you are married

  • Awareness on blending families

Bringing two families together to become one is a lot of work. Besides making the marriage work, you have to ensure the children are happy and safe.

Make firm decisions about dealing with children’s discipline to ensure everyone has a cordial and respectful relationship with each other. Discover a way to bond the kids for example, via games and activities.

It is crucial to have a structure in place on co-parenting with your exes, the children’s other parent. It takes patience to blend families, give your family the time to adjust.

  • Prioritize your marriage

A successful marriage requires you to put in the work. As a couple, stay committed to doing the things you enjoy together without the children. For example, go on date nights or take a walk together.

  • Discuss the burning issues

Express your feelings, thoughts, and wishes in a respectful and timely manner to address personal issues instead of rubbing them off and building resentment. It serves as a good example to the children and stepchildren on problem-solving.


You may have been divorced once, but you can choose for history not to repeat itself.

Second and subsequent successful marriages are not an exemption. Establish all the drawbacks that could potentially destroy your marriage and consciously put effort into putting them in order.

Maintain a positive mentality, a unified front with your partner, and create a beautiful story instead of becoming a statistic.

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How to Stop Struggling as a Bio-Mom in a Blended Family


Raising a traditional family is complicated enough on its own, and things can become even more complicated in the case of blended families. Blended families refer to families that have step-parents and/or step-siblings. As a bio-mom, managing everything in a blended family can be quite a struggle. There are several different challenges that’ll present themselves. Most women are left scratching their heads with the level of struggle that they encounter.

However, don’t worry, bio-mom, cause you’re not alone. Blended families are becoming an increasingly common occurrence, and the support groups for bio-moms are growing. While it is a struggle, it’s possible to make your life much easier as the bio-mom. We’re here to help guide you through the variety of issues you might face and reduce your struggle as a bio-mom in a blended family. Keep reading to find out more about how you can make your life easier.

The Challenges of a Bio-Mom

Before we got into how we can ease the bio-mom struggle, it’s important to look at the kinds of issues they might face. Without looking at the numerous issues in-depth, it’s quite difficult to provide solutions. So, here are some of the challenges that a bio-mom might face.

New Kids

As a parent, your natural instinct is to protect your children as much as possible. That’s where a conflict of interest might arise when the bio-mom remarries someone who has kids of their own. While it’s possible for the kids to get along, it’s common that it becomes an issue as well.

Children that become a part of a blended family have a lot going on. Sometimes it can be difficult for the bio-mom to settle in with the step-kids. It’s unfair to expect any child to be completely okay with the situation right away; it takes some time. However, even if the bio-mom struggles to connect with the kids after a significant period, it can indicate a greater issue.

If the children don’t get along with one another, it can make things even more difficult. It’s natural human instinct to put your kids first, which could lead to potentially unpleasant situations with the step-kids. If the new step-kids are acting out, it can be difficult for the bio-mom and her kids. Nothing matters more than the safety and well-being of your children.

The Stepdad

Suppose the bio-mom decides to remarry and has custody of the kids. In that case, a new challenge might be their relationship with the stepdad. It can take time for kids to warm up to their new stepdad, but things can get significantly more difficult for the bio-mom if there’s conflict.

In an argument between the kids and the stepdad, the bio-mom will feel compelled to side with her kids and offer them support. This can easily lead to arguments with the new partner and can even impact the relationship.

It’s important to discuss everything you’d expect from the partner as a stepdad and have an open discussion with the kids as well.

The other bio-mom

The challenges bio-mom faces aren’t just limited to the kids and the husband. On the other side of the fence is another bio-mom, which can become especially challenging if you don’t have a functional relationship with her.

Co-parenting is hard enough as it is, but co-parenting along with an ex-partner, makes things even more challenging. We’ve all seen those movies and dramas where the ex does everything she can to make the new woman’s life miserable. If you find yourself in one of those situations, it can be incredibly challenging.

A threatened bio-mom will rub off her attitude onto the kids as well. That can make developing a loving relationship with the new kids even more difficult.

There are so many challenges that bio-moms have to face; it can be incredibly stressful thinking about them. Now that we’ve discussed some of the challenges they encounter, we can discuss potential solutions. By implementing these solutions, you can effectively stop struggling as a bio-mom in a blended family.

How to stop your struggles and succeed in a blended family

While it might be difficult, it isn’t impossible to address the numerous challenges. Even if the situation seems dire, anything is possible with a little bit of compassion and effort. Here’s how bio moms can stop their struggles and succeed in a blended family.

Get the parenting in order

As a bio-mom starting a blended family, it’s important to understand that it can take between two to five years for a blended family to establish its dynamics. Naturally, things are going to be bumpy at the start. However, you can take a step forward and try to get to the top of things as soon as possible.

Our kids tend to be the most important parts of our lives, so you must sit down with your partner and define your expectations from each other as parents. Your partner may not be inclined towards disciplining their kids in the same style as you, and it’s important to hash out these differences and set expectations with each other.

Tell your partner how you want your kids to be treated and what role he needs to play. While it can be difficult to get everything going smoothly from the start, it’s important to have this discussion so you can help the family dynamics develop in a healthy manner.

Bonding together

Once the parenting side of things is in order, it’s a completely new task to bond together as a blended family. It takes time for stepfamilies to bond together and figure out the new dynamics of their household. The task is made more difficult when you take into consideration visitation and custody agreements.

As a bio-mom, it’s easy to take all the responsibility of the household on yourself. You can easily fall into this trap of blaming yourself for not being able to connect with the step-kids. In your attempts to improve your bond with step-kids, you might risk your own kids thinking you’re ignoring them!

It’s important to remember that you’re not going to get anywhere by forcing things. Something as simple as reading stories together at night or taking trips to the playground can help blended families bond effectively. It’s also important to develop return rituals because the kids might be spending a lot of time at different houses. By establishing these new rituals, you can show the step-kids that you’re not just someone that lives in the house; you’re their parent as well!

Above all, what’s important to remember is that the relationship between the adult partners matters the most in a blended family. Make sure that you connect with your partner as much as possible. That’ll give your kids more incentive to bond and spend time with their new step-parent. The stronger the relationship between the two adult partners, the easier it is to bond together as a family.

As a bio-mom, discuss all family matters with your partner. It’s a good idea to decide on some time in advance to discuss family issues. At every meeting, don’t start with an avalanche of issues. Take it one or two at a time. Also, after every meeting, set aside time where you and your partner can appreciate one another and bond.

Dealing with the past

A bio-mom in a blended family has to deal with a lot of stress because of the past. Whether it be your ex or your partner’s ex, things can quickly become a struggle if you’re not careful. In an ideal world, every household that kids visit would have the same rules and values as yours. However, that’s not the case, but there isn’t much that you can do about this.

Instead of embracing the conflict, you must try to harmonize with your ex or your partner’s ex. Communication is the most important tool, and in a way, all of you come together to form one big team. That’s why it’s important to learn to communicate as a team. Not only will you set a great example for your biological kids, but your step-kids will also bond with you more readily if you can have a harmonious relationship with previous exes.

Try to always be available to co-parents when they’re looking to call. That doesn’t mean drop everything and attend to them the minute they call, but keep your communication lines open. By finding peace in your relationships outside your house, you give yourself a greater chance of living in harmony with your blended family.


Being a bio-mom in a blended family can be a struggle. Having to juggle your previous relationship, new relationship, biological kids, and step kids is enough to overwhelm anyone. However, with the right amount of effort and communication, your struggles as a bio-mom will become a thing of the past. It might seem like tedious amounts of scheduling and communication. Still, it’ll all be worth it when your family life runs smoothly, and your struggles as bio-mom are over!

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Integrating families Living together

Blended Families: Navigating Challenges and Celebrating Love

Blended Family

In today’s world, families come in all shapes and sizes. Blended families, in particular, have become more common than ever before. Whether formed through remarriage or the blending of families for the first time, they offer a unique set of joys and challenges for all involved. While they can be tough to navigate, blended families also offer the opportunity to create a loving and supportive environment for all members. In this article, we will explore the advantages and disadvantages of blended families, the challenges faced by parents and children, and strategies for creating a successful and happy blended family.


Advantages of Blended Families

Blended families come with their own set of benefits, including:

  • More role models for children to emulate
  • Financial stability with multiple sources of income
  • Higher levels of happiness for parents who have remarried
  • Opportunities for children to learn to adapt to change


Disadvantages of Blended Families

Despite the advantages, blended families can also present challenges, such as:

  • Potential sibling rivalries
  • Mixed feelings towards step-parents
  • Financial difficulties
  • Differences in parenting styles


Challenges for Parents in a Blended Family

Blending two families together can be a difficult process. Parents may face the following challenges:

  • Accepting Your Role as a New Parent: Trying to balance parenting and bonding with stepchildren can be a source of stress.
  • Parental Insecurities: As a step-parent, you may feel anxious about how the children compare you to their natural parent.
  • Relationship with Ex-Partners and Step-Parents: The relationship with ex-partners and step-parents can be challenging to navigate, particularly if children wish to keep in touch with their biological parent.

Challenges for Children in a Blended Family

  • Children can experience several challenges in blended families, including:
  • Difficulties in Accepting the New Parent: Children may take more time to accept the new parent.
  • Changes in Family Traditions: The new parent may have different ideas on how to celebrate events like birthdays, vacations, or holidays, which may affect children who are not used to the routine.
  • Changes in Family Relationships: Children may find themselves in new positions within the family, which can be challenging.


Strengthening a Blended Family

Blended families can thrive when parents are committed to making them work. Some strategies for making a blended family work include:

  • Having a plan for the family
  • Acknowledging and coping with challenges
  • Open communication with your partner
  • Developing a personal relationship with all children in the family



Blended families can be challenging, but they also offer the opportunity to create a loving and supportive environment for all members. If you have experience with blended families, we would love to hear from you in the comments section below. What challenges have you faced? How have you overcome them? By sharing your experiences, you can help others who are navigating the complexities of a blended family. Together, we can build a community of support and resources for blended families around the world.

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When Your Partner & Your Child Don’t Get Along

Daughter upset with mother 02 scaled e1639828249300

It’s not easy when your partner and your child don’t get along, and it can have a real impact on your own relationships. You might feel angry or disappointed in your partner for not being able to get along with your child. You might feel frustrated with your child for rejecting your partner’s attempts to get along.

What to do when your partner and your child can’t get along

Do they not get along, or does your partner just not love your child as much as you do? It is completely natural for you to desire that your partner will love your child in the same way you do. However, we need to consider the fact that this bond may not be possible to achieve.  You have seen them grow, watched them laugh, watched them achieve various milestones, and celebrated each one of them. You’ve read books together, taken trips together, were there on their first day of school. Your partner cannot expect (or be expected to) develop this kind of bond overnight.  You could argue that a stepparent and stepchild’s relationship has a distinct attribute to it; that love is ultimately a decision. They have to choose to love each other.

But they REALLY don’t get along

Your child might still be missing not only their own parent (who is now living separately from you) but also missing all of you being together as a family unit. As long as they’re still processing this, and grieving the loss of this family unit, they will likely display some unwillingness to bond with your new partner. Grief doesn’t just happen when someone passes on—grief happens with any kind of loss.  Let your child grieve this loss before you expect them to fully embrace their new family situation.

Your partner may need support finding ways to connect with your child. If they don’t have children of their own, the relentlessness of parenting will probably take them by surprise. They may need more guidance from you than either of you anticipated; this is ok. It’s better that you take the lead here than leave them feeling unsure of how to proceed.  You should absolutely discuss what their role is as a parental figure, including how you approach matters like discipline.

It’s not like it is on TV

Has the media ingrained false images of what a stepfamily should be like? No doubt about it! The Brady Bunch seems to have stepfamily life all worked out. Jake and Josh, Modern Family, and other shows make it seem like stepfamily life only has beautiful sides and no ugly ones. The truth is, real life looks a little different from what’s on TV. Being a stepfamily can be complicated and it can be messy. So don’t beat yourself up if you’ve been trying to live up to TV standards.  We’re here to tell you it’s OK for your blended family to be imperfect. Hang in there – you got this!

Think about how your partner and your child feel

It can be upsetting for your partner if they feel like they’ve been working hard to develop a relationship and your child keeps rejecting them. Jealousy can arise when they observe the time and love that you give to your child, and the way your child responds to you. They may just now realize that they will probably always come second in your eyes.  These feelings are valid and allowed! Your partner might even not like your children sometimes, and this is ok. It may not be ideal, but it’s not unusual. It might give you less stress to understand that it’s OK to have both positive and negative feelings between stepparents and stepchildren. What’s important is that your partner and children are treating each other with respect.

Accepting your partner and your child may never love each other

And what if even with time and work, love never develops between your child and your partner? Maybe they end up just caring for each other, with mutual respect. What if you let go of all expectations for love and deep-rooted bonds to develop? Aiming for mutual care & respect can lift a weight from everyone’s shoulders and lead to a more harmonious life. And of course, love may still develop in time.

Things you can try (but don’t force anything!)

  • Look for natural opportunities to do family activities together.
  • When you create opportunities for bonding, do it without expectation. Trying something new that none of you have done before can be a great way for this to happen.
  • Throw out some ideas and allow them to land naturally. Forced interactions will only lead to more tension and unwillingness.
  • Make sure both parties feel like they’re important to you by spending quality one-on-one time.
  • Keep talking to both parties about how they’re feeling, and make sure you step in before resentment or disrespect becomes an issue.
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Integrating families Living together

Welcoming a New Baby Into Your Blended Family

Family of 4 06 with new baby scaled

Bringing a new baby into a blended family is exciting, but it can also be a little anxiety-inducing. It can be tough for the kids to understand the new dynamic. They may have struggled with creating your blended family in the first place; accepting a new stepparent, maybe a new house, and possibly new stepsiblings. Now there’s a new baby in the mix. You may also receive unwelcome input from family members, your ex, your partner’s ex, or other ‘well-meaning’ outsiders.

The important thing is to celebrate the news of a new baby, while doing your best to prepare your blended family for the changes that are coming. Here is some advice to guide you (plus a story from a mom who’s been there!).

How do the kids feel about a new baby joining the blended family?

You and your partner are probably over the moon about this news, but more likely than not, it’s tempered by concern over how the kids might react. If they’re young, they might be quite excited at the idea of a baby, since they don’t have the ability to anticipate how life will change once the baby arrives. Older children will quickly come to understand how this might impact them and therefore may not be very excited.

How might they react? On one hand, a new baby can feel like an anchoring point for the family. After all, he or she will be the first member of the family who is biologically related to everybody. This can give your kids a sense of togetherness that the family may have been missing before.

On the other hand,  children may feel threatened at the idea of welcoming a new baby. The fact that this baby will have both its biological parents in the same house may cause jealousy or resentment.  Common concerns for kids include the fear of losing your attention, as well as the possibility that you could love the baby more than them, or that the baby will be more part of the family than they are.  A new baby can heighten the feeling that while the blended family kids are ‘yours’ and ‘mine’, the new baby is ‘ours’.

It can be hard to hear that your children have thoughts like this, but  it’s important to talk to them so you can help them process any negative feelings about the new baby in your blended family.

How to prepare stepchildren for a new baby in a blended family

Before the baby comes:

You might feel like you want to delay the news as long as possible, in order to avoid uncomfortable situations.  But the earlier you talk about this as a family, the more time you have to process it together. It’s a good idea to speak to your children about the possibility of a new sibling if you decide to try for a baby.  Bringing it up early and speaking of it in a positive light can help give them time to get used to the idea and create positive associations.  That way if you and your partner do fall pregnant, they’ve already had the opportunity to process the idea and it doesn’t come as a shock.

If you and your partner are already expecting and haven’t had the chance to speak to your kids about the possibility of a new sibling, that’s okay. You’re not too late.  As a general rule, the more time they have to process, the better. So start NOW!

It can be a great idea to include your child in planning and preparations for the new baby. This can be everything from buying new baby clothes, picking colours for the nursery, aww-ing over ultrasound images, feeling the baby kick, and brainstorming baby names. Make sure that they feel included and like they are part of the new baby excitement, rather than just witnessing it from outside.

This can also be a great time to make your children feel special. Buying them a new toy, making them their favorite meal for dinner, or dedicating some special time to bond as a family can make a big difference. Talk about how much you love them, and how much their new sibling will love them too. It’s important that they feel your love so they don’t worry you will have less of it for them once the new baby comes.

If your children are experiencing anxiety or fear about what’s to come, glossing over it or pushing it aside is never a good idea. Instead, talk openly about their worries and make sure they feel validated and heard. These feelings are completely legitimate and they need to have the space to feel them. Your job is to create a safe environment for your children to feel and express their emotions and to address them as they come up. Listening – and some comforting words and hugs – can be incredibly healing.

After the baby comes

Once the new baby arrives, it’s only natural that a huge chunk of the parents’ time, attention, and energy will go toward caring for him or her. This means that you need to be extra careful that your older children don’t feel neglected. Doing your best to keep their routines as consistent as possible will help to minimize their feelings of disruption.

This is the perfect opportunity for your children or stepchildren to learn about being a good big brother or sister. No matter their age, you can let them hold and kiss the baby, learning how to be gentle with him or her. And if your kids are a bit older, get them to help out with things. Younger kids love to feel useful, so give them jobs like fetching diapers, finding a toy, or passing you things if you have a sleeping baby on you. Older kids can push the stroller, give a bottle, or read to the baby.

After the arrival of the new baby, try to continue having one on one time with your other children. Things as simple as going on a walk or watching a movie together can ensure they feel that they can still count on your love and attention. This can also be a good time to check in with your child about how they’re feeling and see if they need any reassurance. Remember,all feelings are valid!

Don’t overthink it!

We just gave you a whole lot to think about so this may sound counterintuitive, but it’s true! It’s an exciting time, and having a new baby entails enough logistics, so don’t overthink the other stuff. Prepare the kids, but don’t waste time worrying about what ‘might’ happen when the baby arrives. Don’t dampen your excitement because you’re worried about upsetting other people. You and your partner are allowed to celebrate this, and if you try to mute it you may end up feeling resentful.

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