Childless Stepparent

for stepmoms + stepdads with the unique challenges – and gifts – of creating a family with their spouse + their spouse's child(ren) and no child(ren) of their own

Loving-Kindness Meditation for Stepparents

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“Just as compassion is the wish that all sentient beings be free of suffering, loving-kindness is the wish that all may enjoy happiness. As with compassion, when cultivating loving-kindness it is important to start by taking a specific individual as a focus of our meditation, and we then extend the scope of our concern further and further, to eventually encompass and embrace all sentient beings.”
~H.H. Dalai Lama

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There is No Destination. Being a Stepparent Is Never-Ending, Always-Evolving.

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Time. It changes things, if you let it.

So much time has passed since my last post and – as they always do – things have changed. My perspective has changed.

Rather than go into all the ways our situation has shifted (in a good way), I’d like to pause for a moment to reflect and give thanks.

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Mother’s Day for Childless Stepmoms

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As a childless stepparent, Mother’s Day is all about celebrating my mom, my sisters, my friends, my husband’s mom – all the amazing moms in my life.

On Mother’s Day, I want to shower the moms in my life with the love and appreciation they deserve. I wish them a day full of laughter and peace.

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Revising The Childless Stepparent Manifesto

Cultivate Your Garden
Maybe it’s because my husband’s former wife is a difficult person in this situation. Maybe it’s because they were married for so long, and old habits die hard. Maybe it’s because it took a while for my husband and me to align our definitions of healthy boundaries. Maybe it’s because co-operative parenting after divorce is not what it’s cracked up to be (watch for my upcoming post: The Case Against Co-Parenting).

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Returning to The Childless Stepparent Manifesto

Cultivate Your GardenI’ve been away from the blog for a while. It was a mindful decision not to analyze my situation but simply to BE.

My husband’s daughter is thriving. My husband and I are happy and close. It’s been a good time for us.

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Give Your All As If It Costs You Nothing

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One of my favorite feminist writers, Simone de Beauvoir, says this of true generosity: “You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.”

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Letting Go Is Letting Happiness In

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We often experience “letting go” as resignation. Passively letting something slide through our fingers. Passive letting go feels like loss.

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Creating Independent Time and Space at Home

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It’s Saturday, and my husband’s daughter is with us. My husband is meeting a friend for lunch, and I’m in our bedroom, getting some much-needed down time after a very busy work week.

I asked my husband to let his daughter know that I’m writing and enjoying a quiet morning, but that if she needs anything, I’m here. My husband wants to encourage his daughter to be more independent (co-dependence is a direct consequence of narcissistic parenting). So this is a good opportunity for her.

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Don’t Expect Gifts from Your Spouse’s Child

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When your spouse’s children are young, do not expect them to make you cards or gifts on the holidays. Not in the way they will for their parents.

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What To Do When Your Spouse’s Child Manipulates

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The short answer is: do nothing.

Let your spouse handle his child when she manipulates or otherwise misbehaves. Remember, this is his relationship to manage and you are not a parent.

This becomes more complicated when the manipulation involves you.

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