We’ve done the homework for you! After reviewing nearly 100 blogs about remarriage and stepfamily life, RemarriageWorks.com has narrowed the list to provide you with the best of the best.
by Bonnie Welch
Google the terms remarriage and stepfamily today, and you’ll find more information and blogs on these topics than even 5 years ago. Continuing our mission to deliver credible and valuable resources to remarrieds and stepfamilies, the RemarriageWorks.com staff pored over close to 100 blogs to handpick 10 that we think are the most informative, supportive, and inspiring.
Here are our Top 10 blog picks for 2010; where you can find them; our quick assessment (in italic type); and a rundown of what excited us most. We hope these Top 10 will enrich your life.
#1 Becoming a Stepmom
Blogger: Jacquelyn Fletcher
This blog by Jacquelyn Fletcher, author of A Career Girl’s Guide to Becoming a Stepmom, is intelligent, witty, warm, and inviting—like spending an hour over coffee talking with your best friend.
Jacque, a great sharer of knowledge, has created a blog that stands out among the others because it offers the “whole package”—not simply written blog entries, but also video and podcasts, as well as thoughtful resources. Her blog is well rounded, offering more topical variety than many we read, from advice, to education, to support. What really made an impression on our staff was that she clearly works hard to share viewpoints in addition to her own. An added bonus: Becoming a Stepmom oozes with positivity.
We especially loved the insightful video she shared on November 30, 2010, from TED, a small nonprofit devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading” through www.ted.com. In that recording, William Ury, author, expert mediator, and speaker, talks about transforming conflict. Jacque introduces the video and then challenges us to think about how we can transform conflict in our homes.
This number-one blog shares ideas about stepparenting, becoming a stepmom, and being remarried that are worth spreading.
#2 Wednesday Martin: Official Blog for the Author of Stepmonster
Blogger: Wednesday Martin
It’s uncanny how the blog by Wednesday Martin, the author of Stepmonster, captures so candidly and dynamically just what us stepmoms go through everyday!
Wednesday, a psychologist who writes for Psychology Today, offers her readers professional advice and solutions via her page-turning writing style. Her blog entries are a pleasure to read, and the accompanying graphics are delightful!
What strikes us most about her blog is that she keeps it real with her word choices and topics. We bet a lot of people can relate, whether they are experiencing “Barnacle Syndrome,” which she describes as “feeling like you just got ‘tacked on’ to your husband’s life—that it’s all about the way he and his kids do it…,” or are wondering, as one blog title says, “Why Did the Remarried Couple with Kids Make Two Turkeys?”
#3 Co-Parenting 101: Divorce Ends Marriages...but Families Endure
Bloggers: Deesha Philyaw and Michael Thomas
Deesha Philyaw and her former husband, Michael Thomas, offer an honest look at the trials and errors of co-parenting and provide heartfelt advice plus an array of resources.
This blog should be a mandatory read for any divorced couple with children. It represents what all of us should strive for: cooperative co-parenting for the sake of the kids. (And, we don’t take “shoulds” lightly!)
Deesha and Michael are not advocates for divorce. Instead, their focus is on how to “establish a successful, congenial co-parenting relationship which allows our children to thrive….” They provide a list of helpful resources, and readers can even nominate co-parenting heroes who are then featured on the bloggers’ BlogTalkRadio show Co-Parenting Matters.
Given that 65% of remarriages include children, we think Deesha and Michael can be a model for many of us remarrieds. We love their approach: inspirational and positive.
#4 The Stepmom’s Toolbox: Tips, Tools, Advice
Bloggers: Peggy Nolan and Team
This blog is teeming with gold nuggets of information, resources, and event “homework” for stepmoms.
Peggy’s passion “to help others live true, authentic lives” is not just words on a Web page. Rather, her energy and enthusiasm to help women are boundless. She’s kicked cancer and corporate stress, and even was chosen for AOL’s Career in Transition Image Makeover. And, she is pursuing her second-degree black belt. On top of that, she is the wife of a U.S. Army soldier—and that takes a special strength, because her husband has been deployed to the Middle East. Powerful stuff, and many stepmothers will benefit from Peggy’s inspirational life story.
According to Peggy’s website, her BlogTalkRadio show The Stepmom’s Toolbox, is one of the most popular and downloaded shows in the category “women.”
What stepmother wouldn’t want to seek tips, tools, and advice from another stepmom who has accomplished so much?
#5 Stepmum of the Year
This Australian newly engaged “stepmom,” who, in her blog, refers to her partner as “The Lovely Man” and to each of her sons as “Boy A, Boy B, and Boy C,” tackles a topic not often addressed: stepparenting part-time and from a distance.
We love how Stepmum provides details and anecdotes from her life, especially quotations from her children. It really helps to know the kids’ perspectives and that other stepfamilies have children who say the same kinds of things your own kids do!
Mel has brought up and discussed unique topics and resources, such as “How Narcissists Abuse Children During Divorce.” Thanks, Stepmum for sharing remarkable stories from your life and the lessons you have picked up along the way.
#6 Rockstar Coparenting: Divorce and Co-Parent Children Like Grown Ups
This straightforward, engaging blog strives to “build a community of like minded parents who want to coparent their children of divorce a little less Jerry Springerish and a lot more awesomish.”
This down-to-earth blog makes us feel like we are sitting in our neighborhood café, talking with the most hip, stylish, and fun person we know. We knew we were on to something good when we saw that the main navigation bar on the home page includes “get support,” “good to know,” and “talk to me.”
Click on “get support,” and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. According to Jenn, “Knowledge is Totally Power,” and she isn’t kidding. She has one of the most comprehensive resource lists we have seen, with subtopics ranging from “Divorce,” to “For the Kids,” to “Stepping & Blending,” to “Professional Associations.” The list is impressive.
Her insights are so interesting and thought provoking, we’d like to see Jenn write a book!
#7 Stepmother’s Milk: When We Need a Place to Spill
Blogger: Izzy Rose
The welcome message by Izzy Rose, author of My (not-so) Glamorous Transition From Single Gal to Instant Mom, captures why we like her blog so much: “The best pacifier is the voice of another woman, telling her unique story that lets you know you’re not alone.”
We love Izzy’s premise that “Stepmother’s Milk is a metaphor for how women nurture and care for each other in trying times.” Izzy has the unique perspective of becoming a stepmom after a successful career as an Emmy award-winning TV producer, and it definitely shows through her voice and style—entertaining and often humorous.
Although her latest blog entry is from early 2010, don’t skip reading this blog, which is accompanied by a robust list of resources.
#8 Smom: The Heart of the Blended Family
Blogger: Heather Hetchler
Stepmom coach Heather Hetchler serves up positive advice and encouragement in her inviting and colorful blog entries.
Heather’s vision at Café Smom [pronounced “smahm”] is to “serve up a hearty cup of uplifting words, encouragement and support and to connect you with other stepmoms around the world going through exactly what you are going through.” We seriously wish we lived near her so we could hang out, laugh, cry, and vent together.
This blog imparts practical, real-world advice—whether it’s helping you to create a concrete action plan to set your goals for the year or tips on how to deal with your husband’s ex. Heather’s conversational writing style, sincerity, and empathy make you feel like you’re sitting right next to her and she’s someone you can trust right away.
#9 Stepmom Magazine Blog
Bloggers: Brenda Ockun, Publisher of StepMom Magazine, and Others
The short blog entries covering a wide range of topics are a welcome respite in a stepparent’s busy world.
It’s not often that stepmoms get to be the center of attention, but in the StepMom Magazine blog, stepmoms receive the TLC that they deserve. Many of the bloggers named in this RemarriageWorks.com Top 10 list have contributed to StepMom Magazine, which is top-notch.
When the RemarriageWorks.com staff reviewed this blog, entries ranged from a list of remarriage statistics to the “hotly debated topic” of disengagement, and just what that term means. The majority of the blog page describes content in recent issues of the online magazine.
The real gem of the website, though, seems to be the discussion forum, where—as a subscriber—the reader “will receive access to our private, support group forum where you can talk to other stepmoms about issues that concern you most.”
#10 Mama J’s Parenting Posts: Conversations About Raising Girls
Blogger: Diane Fromme, also known as “Mama J”
Author of Stepparenting the Grieving Child, Diane Fromme embraces an important topic that is often at the fringe of the stepfamily conversation: stepparenting a child whose parent has died.
For those of us who are widows or widowers—or are married to someone previously was a widow or widower—this blog is a wonderful resource. To our knowledge, there isn’t another blog devoted to this topic.
Diane has said she “constantly ponders family issues and dynamics.” She posts on stepparenting issues every Wednesday and is writing a guidebook for stepparents living with children who have lost a parent or parents. This blog will likely be helpful to remarrieds or people who have adopted a child too.