Tuesday, 30 June 2009

SMOMS.org hacked?

I have just tried to go on my beloved sister forum at SMOMS.org and got 404 Not Found error messages. When I tried to go to SMOMS.org home page this is what I found:

It Reads:
'Hey Stupid Fly Catcher Obama! Stop talking about Iran and telling to your dogs (UK, France, Germany) to talk about Iran and Iran Election. Keep working on your f**ked country and try to solve economic crisis in your hungry country! Iran's election doesn't have problem and Moosavi with his tiny brain will be in jail in near future, so don't pay your time and money for him and for his fans. 70-80% of Iranian people hate Moosavi nowadays... We never cheated in elections and even Moosavi knows that. So stop this stupid things! OK????

I pray that SMOMS.org is backedup somehow and this valuable resource for stepmothers worldwide is not lost!


'Must Read Award' Nominations

Though I read alot on the Blogosphere, I am pretty sure I have not read everything.

If you have found an article that you think is a must read for Stepmums please leave your nomination, with a link to the article, as a comment.


Monday, 29 June 2009

The Stepchildren in your wedding

Its very easy to get swept up in wedding plans, but you do need to consider the stepchildren.

They will most likely have settled into a routine between both parents houses, then all of a sudden the dynamic is changing again. This is when you may find most resistance.

A slow introduction to the stepchildren will help things seem less confusing for them.

Set out to build a relationship with them. This will be hard as you will most likely have to go at the childs pace and all children are different.

If you wish to include them in the wedding party you could make them bridesmaid or page boy, sprinkling rose petals or handing out orders of service. Whichever you chose it will go towards reassuring them they have a place in the new family and are important to you to be included in the wedding.

There are books that the children can fill in and keep , also you can ask them to help you make small decisions eg. will we sprinkle 'Hearts' or 'Just Married' confetti on the reception table. The little things will mean so much.

It would also help if the stepchildren were introduced to the others in the wedding party before the big day so they feel more comfortable if others are looking after them for any period of time throughout the wedding.

It is more to consider, but it will be worth it to have a happy bridesmaid, rather than a child out of their depth, crying or throwing a tantrum for attention!


Tool Box Girls Must Read articles on Self Deception

ToolBox Girl, author of the Step Mom's Toolbox blog, has written eye opening articles on Self Deception. Below are easy links to these articles.

Part 1 The Stepmom's Self Deception
What is Self Deception

Part 2 The Stepmom's Self Deception
Tool Box Girls Journey of Self Deception in her remarried and stepmom life.

Part 3 The Stepmom's Sept Deception
Examples of self-betrayal and how self-betrayal plays into the self-deception that keeps us stuck in the muck.

Part 4 The Stepmom's Self Deception
Continuing the discussion on how Self-Betrayal and Self-Deception impact your remarried life and your role as a stepmom.

Part 5 The Stepmom's Self Deception
The Grand Illusion
Introducing Arbinger’s concept of Collusion and how this plays out in our Self-Deception.


Friday, 26 June 2009

TGI Friday

Well the end of another week!

What now for the weekend?

My stepdaughter will be with us this weekend and she will probably be doing a lot of soul searching.

Apart from that we will not be actually doing very much as I have just had a pay cut and the belt needs severely tightened.

What are you doing?

Michael Jackson

Michael Joseph Jackson
29.08.58 - 25.06.09

'Gone but not forgotten'

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Poll: How do you feel when your Stepkids arrive for visitation?

Inspiration ...

The Thursday Think Tank

I have often wondered how my husband felt with the step family dynamic. Therefore I have tried putting my size 4 feet into his size 11 shoes.

1. He still has ties to a woman he divorced and dislikes.
2. He has to deal with parenting his child from a distance.
3. He has to deal with a preteen going on 30 that dislikes her father telling her what to do.
4. He has to deal with any fall out within his second family that his first may bring.

Now what can I do to help?

Well the first I can do nothing about!
The second I can talk to my husband and maybe open new directions of thinking, but accept my limitations.
The Third I can support my husband, but accept I can not control others feelings.
The Fourth I can influence and make sure that if there is fallout it is minimal.

Dont deceive yourself that you can fix everything you cant.
Know your limitations!
Do what is in your power to do.

This ties in beautifully with a fellow stepmum who has written a series of articles on Self-Deception. I urge you to read these articles!

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Pass the Partner

The Daily Mail have reported Mr Justice Coleridge speech in Parliament calling to stigmatise those who destroy the family and said a 'National Commission' is required to find ways to stop the 'epidemic' of divorced families.

Surely this is a stretch too far!

A National Commission to stop divorce. How can the government possibly think they have the right to interfere in someone elses life to the point that if a marriage breaks down for any number of reasons they will be stigmatised to ensure the marriage stays intact and to use financial incentives as a solution to do so.

I wish our Government would stop thinking that throwing money or financial incentives at a problem will make it go away, especially when they make it their business to mess with peoples lives!

Apparently statistic show that:
~ 1 in 3 marriages end in divorce
~ 1 in 10 children live with both unmarried parents
~ a quarter live with a single parent.

What next!

Stepmum Feelings: Resentment

Resentment can cause stress and anxiety, even depression so it is from the outset a very unhealthy feeling to hold.

As a Stepmother the feeling of resentment can manifest itself for a number of reasons. The common reasons are:

~ The time that your new family revolves around someone elses child.
~ The 'invasion' of your home when it is your partners visitation.
~ The cost and money taken from your household.

Initially you may feel resentment towards the child, but in realistic terms its resentment of the situation.

Suggestion to Help Deal with your feeling of Resentment:

Write it down.

Take a piece of paper and write down ALL the things that cause you to feel resentful.
You can make it as detailed as you like.

Now re-read it several times.

Ask yourself these questions. Are they really that important? What can I do to change them? Then look at who or what the majority are centred around. If it is one person (say stepkid) then ask yourself what can that person do to stop me resenting them?

More likely than not, with a stepchild, there won't be much they can do. They did not create this situation, nor did they ask to be born into it.

You may find you feel less resentment and feel better in yourself.

Remember When ...

I have been toying with the idea of a memory chest for my Stepdaughter and can't makeup my mind what to put into it.

I went through photos and visits we have made to different places and of course the bridemaids dress and shoes from her father and my wedding.

Having memories now is not important to a pre-teen, but I hope by the time she is getting married it will be appreciated.

What would you put into a memory chest as a stepmum for yourself and also for your stepkids?

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Don't worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. Robert Fulghum


The Smile

A smile is not just a reaction, but also reactive. Think of all the situations were you have been blaytantly angry and shown it.

If instead you wore a smile how would it have changed the situation?

When we smile there is a reaction in the brain that is mood altering. Not only will it help alter your mood but will also affect the moods of those around you.

It is one of the strongest facial expressions that infants naturally have from hours old which is apparently used to enhance the bonding process between mother and child.

Now use that information with your stepchildren.

Resentful/Annoyed Frowning stepmum -v- Pleasant/happy Smiling Stepmum.

Im not saying be false, but it is easy to smile and children use emotions in association. They will be happier if you are!


Some quotes that say it all:

A smile confuses an approaching frown. ~Author Unknown

Life is like a mirror, we get the best results when we smile at it.
~Author Unknown

The shortest distance between two people is a smile.
~Author Unknown

Monday, 15 June 2009

The New Stepmum

Whether you have moved in with your Partner or Married what do you expect as a Stepmum?

For the majority the first steps on the road of stepparenthood can be pretty daunting. Stop and think about it. Have you walked into a home with a Custodial Parent? Does you partner only see their kids every other weekend? Is your partner moving in with you?

Now whatever the situation put yourself in the childs position. Whos that women moving into our house? Daddy doesnt spend as much time with me now that she has moved in? I like our old place I dont want to move?

Scary thoughts right! and probably even worse for a child that may have stability issues having been bounced between parents.

It can be a major upheaval for EVERYONE. As a step parent you are walking into a family unit, with bonds and trust in place. It will take time to bond and trust with a new member of the family so do not expect things to be ideal from the moment you walk through the door, they will not. There will be work to do on both sides.

Boundaries: So that everyone including the kids know the boundaries that is acceptable you must discuss with your partner and then inform the kids. Also seek clarification with your partner they are happy for you to discipline the kids in their absence and what sanctions are appropriate. In doing this your partner will not start to feel they have lost control or that you are unfair in dealing with their children (its the authomatic defence mechanism to protect their children).

Bonds: DO NOT buy off the kids. Children will respect you more if you spend time with them. What I mean is spend time on activites together such as helping to bake cakes, making hand painting picture, having water fights on hot sunny days is a lot more bonding than buying Jimmy a new Wii game and him disappearing into his room for the rest of the weekend.

Birthparents: Regardless of the situation they have a place in the childs life! Depending on your situation that may be hard to swallow. You may never be able to accept that position, but you will have to accept your stepkids feelings and make sure whatever happens you will be there for them. In saying that though, it maybe difficult (or not in some cases) to try and work together, it will be more beneficial for the child. Just do the best you can.

Your Marriage/Relationship: Talk, discuss, be open with each other ooh and did I say TALK! The last thing you should do is clam up. This can cause resentment with your stepkids and build tension within your marriage/relationship. You must make time for your relationship and listen to your partners fears and issues, as well as being open about your own. Also work together and not against each other.

Above all else as a new stepparent, give yourself time!

Welcome to The Stepmum Cafe

A warm welcome to the Stepmum Cafe.

Pull up a chair and a cuppa, and read through the postings of all us Stepmums with issues or to share your views and experiences.

There will be articles of regular issues within Stepfamilies. These maybe instigated by myself or researched if requested by you.

I look forward to a coffee and a natter with you.