I am thankful you’re joining me here. If you are anything like me, you’ve had a really tough time being in a stepfamily. It’s so hard to find your fit and feel like you belong in a stepfamily. I didn’t know my place, my role and I certainly didn’t know how to be a stepparent. I wasn’t a mom- what do I know about  looking after an adolescent and 2 teens?  And being in a relationship where I had to share my man with a family – kids AND another woman- was a completely different playing field. My vision of married with kids didn’t include an ex, access with the kids, child support, and instant family vacations. I had no idea how to handle all of these complicated relationships with so many people while feeling insecure and ..LOST.   

The relationships have been there for years before you arrive on the scene. The family culture- routines, structure, communication patterns, quirks- is well established in most cases.  It was hard to break into their inner circle. I said I would never date a man with kids. He had 3! And one was pre- adolescent. Which in my books is the toughest time to navigate having to change how your life is right now. Life as an adolescent is hard enough!

If you are like me you were falling madly in love without thinking about how hard it would be- just relishing in the feeling of sunshine and roses and jumping in with both feet. But,  when I did stop and think things through,  my expectations were  keenly and significantly stomped on. I didn’t know they were unrealisitc. And I didn’t know what supports were out there, so I felt alone. But, I was also scared to get help. I was a social worker for 6 years working with high risk families- many who were struggling to “blend”. I had two university degrees- one in psychology and another in family studies. Besides, I was too embarrassed and thought there was something defective with me. These kids didn’t think I was as awesome as all the other kids in my life. They didnt wanna hang out with me. They didn’t love me. I took that really personally- thinking it was a reflection of me not how upsetting their SITUATION was. It really sucked for a long time. Then things slowly got better, over time. Then we hit a really, REALLY tough spot. We were scared it was going to lead to a divorce. Thankfully, my husband and I were able to navigate it and that brought us closer together and made us a stronger team. Now after 10 years of marriage with two girls of our own, 3 independent adults, and two grandchildren our life is blessed in so many ways. So, if you think it isn’t easy- I agree. BUT, I’m here to say it can GET better. I can help you discover how #stepfamilystrong you are and how #stepcouplestong you can be.

What is stepfamily coaching and how do I get some of that?

When it feels like you are struggling to keep your head above water as a stepmom or in your couple relationship, stepfamily coaching can help. As a certified stepfamily and relationship coach I can provide you with tips and tools, insights and awareness so you feel you can put on a lifejacket to navigate the choppy waters and find your safe ground. Self preservation can be a monumental task when it feels like you are an outsider in your own home or it feels like the two of you are being dragged under by the kids and the ex. If you don’t know where to turn for practical advice to cope I’m here to toss you a life line.  The dynamics of stepfamily life are HARD, on your head, your heart and your soul. Let me support you and walk you through challenges both big and small. Because sometimes the small ones turn into the monumental ones.

Parenting Preservation

There are no simple rule books for step parenting. If parenting is the toughest job in the world add about an extra 50 shades of confusion to the dynamics of step families. Trying to get clear about step mom roles and rules while raising someone else’s kids is no easy feat. It’s good to get a handle on expectations as soon as you can: if you expect to parent the kids and/or are you expected to parent the kids. So many swirling questions can bombard a seasoned parent let a lone a never parented before mom. These challenges are hard ones: where do you fit in without fading out to the background? How do you establish personal boundaries? Who gives you the authority to discipline someone else’s kids? How do you deal with the undermining?

Some other challenges are how to handle difficult emotions and behaviours without the explosions and eruptions when it comes to a child not born to you. The heart is so fragile and so is the ego. It may seem impossible to navigate and separate feelings to gain clarity, but it can be done! How do you not take it personally? How do you manage your own emotions? I can help you see the forest AND the trees. Connect with me for some of my insights I’ve learned on my journey. Together we can find the answers!

Self
Preservation

Time for ourselves…it is something we never seem to find but something we always want and wish for. But despite our best intentions we never can seem to carve out that time. Somehow something sneaks in to steal those precious few moments where we feel we can finally catch our breath. And we must catch our breath. This is about finding time for ourselves so we can replenish. Self care is a really foreign concept for all moms. We as caregivers are the worst offenders of taking time for self care. Without self care we are spent and run along the fine line of burn out. We try to keep it together for as long as we can. Stress really takes a huge toll on us physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Stress is the flight or fight reaction we needed for survival for that burst of energy we needed to protect us from predators who thought of us as tasty appetizers. When the threat of impending doom was gone so was the stress. Now the predator is stress itself. And it is stress that eats away at our body, our hearts, our minds on a daily basis. There are so many well known health risks associated with high levels of stress. But if we constantly sacrifice ourselves for everyone else then what have we left for ourselves? As stepmoms stress is a constant and it often has nasty companions with it called self doubt and self criticism. It’s important to take care of ourselves first and love ourselves first. I’ve relearned the importance of self care and radical self acceptance. It’s not easy but it can be done! Time to kick that which no longer serves us to the curb!!

THIS RETREAT IS ALL FOR YOU.

THIS IS YOUR TIME

INHALE PRISTINE MOUNTAIN AIR….
feel the stress, the anxiety leave your body. Feel your muscles relax with every breath…replenish your soul…rejuvenate your strength..

The Canadian Rockies are the background. Surround yourself with the strength of women who get you the way your other friends and family don’t…and CAN’T.

Here’s your chance to set yourself on a new trajectory if you answer “yes” to any of the following “get real” questions: Do you feel yourself being stretched further and further sacrificing for children you didn’t give birth to? Are you feeling lost, alone and standing on the sidelines trying to navigate your role as  a stepmom and fit into a premade family? Do you feel like you’re losing ground in your intimate relationship to your stepkids?  Then join us for a stepmom retreat. All you have to do is take care of your wants and needs for 2 nights and 2 days.  We have 3 packages at the Coast Canmore Hotel and Conference Centre where our Stepmom Retreat will occur October 28 to 30th, 2016. Come,  be replenished and renewed and meet some other amazing stepmamas.

WHAT DO YOU GET OUT OF THIS:
  • Relearn about, and remember who you are
  • Better understand your role as a stepmom
  • How to support your relationship with your spouse.
  • How to manage the feelings of anxiety that come with the territory of being a stepmom.
  • How to prepare for your future beyond stepparenting the kids.
  • Opportunities to socialize, learn from the experiences of other stepmoms, have fun and laugh, and….RELAX with out the demands of other people!

We have 2 guest speakers, 4 amazing workshops/seminars, fabulous fun and fantastic food. There will be lots of opportunities to socialize, relax, and SHOP!!

PLUS the lovely Erin Careless from StepLife -Stepmom Coaching and Supports and I will  be right there if you need some one on one, solution focussed support tailor made for you. We are both certified stepfamily coaches.  We have had our own personal struggles growing up in stepfamilies and learning how to be stepmom strong! We know how hard it can be…

Your turn to make a move

I accept email transfers, Pay Pal or credit card. You can do a split payment plan as well. Just contact me on my contact page and I can answer any questions and provide more details!

Stay updated for upcoming retreats