Day 21: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Our mother-in-law. She is the reason we have our wonderful husband. While she gave us a great guy, sometimes she can also give us a slight headache. I’ve heard from numerous stepmoms how their mother-in-law can’t let go of “stuff” the ex does and seems to think that their son’s new wife holds all the answers to her questions.

Personally, I can attest to getting some interesting comments and questions from my mother-in-law too. Because I love her and I love my husband, I had to put up some boundaries. Sharing today some boundary setting techniques when you struggle with your husband’s side of the family.

Hope this vlog makes you laugh a little, realize you are not alone and that you gain some valuable knowledge.

Takeaway: Understand that if your mother-in-law asks you questions about the mother of your stepkids, compares you to her or just brings her up there is a high chance you aren’t going to enjoy it and you are not alone in that. If you find that her words are building a wall between you, consider speaking in love to your husband about it and ask him to put up a boundary with his mom.

Are mother-in-law issues an issue for you? Do you find setting boundaries helps?


Day 20: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Happy Sweetest Day. We don’t officially celebrate this holiday but I do feel it’s important to tell your sweetheart just how much he means to you.

My vlog today is short and sweet.

Takeaway: Take a moment today and everyday to let your husband know you love him and you are grateful to spend your life with him. Nurturing our marriage is important.

Do you celebrate Sweetest Day? How does it make you feel when your spouse shows his love for you? What difference does it make to your spouse and your relationship when you speak love in words and actions.

Day 19: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Today, I’m vlogging from my bedroom. I’m talking about a choice we made about what we would allow and not allow in our bedroom.

Tune in to see what choice we made and let me know if you have any rules about what’s in your bedroom.

Takeaway: Do you have a space in your house that is just for you and your husband? What do you think of the idea? Whatever your decision, make time and find a place to just be with your husband during both easy and challenging times.

Our bedroom is kid free. Is yours?

Day 18: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Today, I’m vlogging in my green puffer vest for a reason. We are talking “Back to the Future.” Have you ever asked yourself, “if I could go back in time, would I do it again. Would I marry a man with kids?” 

I have and today I share my thoughts around it and my suggestions for when that question pops into your head.

Takeaway: Focus on today and tomorrow. There is blessings in everything and there are burdens in everyone. Find and focus on the good stuff in your life.

What are your thoughts on today’s vlog? As always, thanks for your comments and support.

Day 17: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Are chores a struggle in your home? Today we are talking solutions and I’m sharing my solution to the constant fight over chores. My husband and I were tired of hearing ” you give your kids the easy chores and me the hard ones because you don’t like me!” from all the kids.

Watch today’s vlog below for my tips on taking the chore out of chores for the kids!

Takeaway: If you have a recurring issue in your stepfamily, take a moment and think of a solution. I hope the chore jar helps you if your stepkids and/or kids fight you on chores.

Would love your thoughts on the chore jar. If you have a method for chores that works, please share below. If you try the chore jar, I would love to hear about the impact it has on YOU and your household. Thanks.

Day 16: 31 Days of Life in The StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Today, I want to talk about the legacy we are creating and leaving for our children. All mothers, biological, step, adoptive, foster,  leave a legacy for their children. We are impacting our kids with both the words we speak and the actions we take. Recently, I had the distinct pleasure of meeting Cyndi Spivey and hear her speak at the Be Still Retreat at BloggyCon in Cincinnati.

Cyndi spoke with love about her mother and the legacy she left for her family. I was deeply moved by Cyndi and the way she spoke of her mother and the impact she had on those around her. It is so apparent of the legacy that her mother left in Cyndi and  I can only pray that my children will be so blessed by me.

In my vlog below, I share Cyndi’s story and I talk about how it relates to us as stepmoms. As stepmothers, we have an amazing (albeit hard somedays) opportunity to leave a legacy of unconditional love and compassion and model for our kids what a loving marriage looks like.

Takeaway: Think about the legacy you are creating. Think about that word legacy each time you interact with your family today. Think of the idea that how you respond to negativity in your life can shape how your stepkids may grow to respond to adversity. That can be a powerful motivator in doing the right thing.

I urge you to visit Cyndi’s blog Walking in Beauty and Grace and I leave you with a link to the poem I referred to in my vlog. Enjoy.

What legacy are you leaving? What does the word legacy mean to you?

Day 15: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Today, I’m sharing with you an idea that comes from a class that I teach: “catch your negative thoughts.” I love this expression and what it signifies. It acknowledges that we all have negative thoughts and encourages us to catch them when they enter our head.

I believe it is important to understand and accept that negative thoughts happen. It’s what we do with our thoughts, both positive and negative, that really define our day.

In today’s vlog below, I share with you the phrase and how it benefits us stepmoms. It works much better than just telling yourself “don’t take things personally.”

Takeaway: Remember this phrase: “Catch your negative thoughts,” and think of it when negative thoughts enter your mind. It is normal to have negative thoughts. It’s what we do with these thoughts that can define our mood, our actions, our state of mind. Catching our negative thoughts doesn’t mean we don’t have those thoughts but rather says we are going to catch them before they catch us off guard and cause us to say or do something we might regret.

For more information on DivoreCare please click here. If you know someone hurting from a divorce or separation, I encourage you to put them in touch with this ministry. Whether a friend is separated two weeks or divorced twenty years, DivorceCare can bring healing to a broken heart and spirit.

Day 14: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Today, I want to take a moment to tell you how special you are. My vlog speaks for itself and it’s my heart’s desire that you will embrace the beauty of you and share this message with another stepmom and/or woman who is in need of being reminded how very special she is. This is my message. This is my takeway.  Enjoy! And thanks for being YOU.

Day 13: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

Time is precious. As women, we value time alone with our spouse. Just as we love that time so do our stepkids. No matter how much time we spend together as a family, our stepkids want and need time with just dad.

As both a mom and stepmom, I value time together with our whole family but I also value time with just my four kids as I do when it’s just my husband and my two stepdaughters. Conversely, my kids have expressed how much they love it when it’s just the five of us and I know my stepdaughters love time with just their dad.

In today’s vlog, I am talking about the blessing you bring when you encourage your spouse to spend alone time with his kids and the message that sends to your stepchildren about how you support their relationship with dad.

Takeaway: Take some time to think of a “date night” for your husband and his kids. Then think of a way you can spend your time where you can relax and celebrate the gift you gave to your family. Often, when our stepkids demand dad’s time….. feelings of jealousy or being on the outside can set in. Yet when that time is our idea, the mindset around it is very different.

Do you encourage your husband to spend time with just his kids? What do they do with that time? What value does it bring to your family? Thanks for sharing.

Day 12: 31 Days of Life in the StepMom Trenches (Vlogtober)

It’s nearly 11pm tonight and I’m just posting. The vlog today was actually taped yesterday because I thought I’d be so busy today doing what I talk about that I wouldn’t have time to tape with the all the kids home. As life would have it, I woke up this morning with one of my killer migraines. They are so well timed. You know it has been a rough day when I still haven’t had my coffee.

Needless to say, what I said we were going to do in the video did not get done today and I want to be upfront with you on that. But two other messages came shining through to me as I feel like half human again.

First, my kids all rallied together to help each other out. The oldest handled lunch and the kids played well together as I took care of my migraine. The kids come together when someone in the family is in need. There is no STEP relations when someone is down. I’m grateful for that.

Second, life happens. Yes, life happens and I’ve learnt not to get stuck on what was supposed to happen but find blessings in what did happen. I’m not going to feel guilty that I spent most of the day in bed tending a terrible headache and I didn’t get the donations or cleaning done. I wish I never got these headaches but I do and they take me down. I’m reflecting on the fact that my kids pulled together and my husband took care of dinner. Family is family regardless of whether there is bio, step, single parent, foster or adoptive in front of it.

So here’s the video of what was supposed to happen today and I will plan on doing this the next time the kids are off of school.

Takeaway: Make plans but don’t get upset if they don’t happen. Don’t let yourself feel guilty if there are times when you can’t be what you want to be for your family. You give 100% everyday and those you love see and feel that. Enjoy your weekend friends.

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