Positively Paula

LeAnn Rimes, Gary Busey, and Huh? A Call for Better Stepmom Reporting!

Thursday, August 18, 2011
A couple of weeks ago I tweeted about People.com's "Caught in the Act!" column that opened with a picture of LeAnn Rimes, her husband Eddie Cibrian, and Eddie's sons. The piece consisted of four lines total, and the opening line was "What a good stepmom!" I tweeted about it, and I knew from LeAnn's tweets back to me that she wasn't too happy.

You see, I had tweeted, "'What a good stepmom!' for shopping w/ stepsons. More to being a good stepmom than shopping. Let's hear it." And, once again I learned a lesson about communicating on-line whether it be via email, Twitter, or whatever else. Most of us have had the experience of our thoughts and even feelings being interpreted differently than we had intended.

Here's the real point I wanted to make in my tweet, and I am so thrilled that I have more than Twitter's 140 characters in which to say it. I wish the media would cover remarriage and stepfamilies in a more positive way. (By the way, I just tweeted the preceding sentence because it fit into a tweet.) 

That paragraph that opened with "What a good Stepmom!" didn't really do justice to what LeAnn or the majority of stepmothers do every day for their stepchildren. It pointed out that: their family was enjoying a shopping outing; she was wearing leopard print shorts while browsing; she ran into Gary Busey; and, she returned to the area for a romantic meal with her husband later that day.  That's it!

I'm just not getting how the opening line connects in any way with the rest of the paragraph. Good stepmoms do more than shop with their stepkids, and I think the column contributed to the unfair picture of remarriage and stepfamilies that is often painted. (Read more about this in my column entitled, "On ReMarriage: Hollywood Paints an Unfair Picture" in The Washington Times.)

I'm pretty certain that LeAnn Rimes, like most other stepmoms, did a lot more that day to be a good stepmom than what was portrayed. And, regardless of what people think about her, her marriage and the circumstances in her and her family's personal lives, which I was quickly informed about by people whom I doubt even know her in a flurry of Twitter activity, my point was and is this:

Attention media! Let's please hear more about the positive, inspiring, loving things that stepmothers do every day for their stepchildren. I'm not looking for "The Brady Bunch" model, nor am I trying to be a Pollyanna. But, when will the media provide us a broader range of views of stepfamily and remarried life?

I  invite LeAnn Rimes and the millions of other stepmothers to join me in calling for a shift in the way media covers stepmoms. Let's talk about about stepfamily life, its challenges, and more importantly, real solutions.

Ask Us About How to Marry for Life When You've Already Got a Life!

Thursday, August 11, 2011
On the RemarriageWorks.com home page in our RemarriageWorks Book Giveaway, we are giving away a copy of Love for Grown-ups: How to Marry for Life When You've Already Got a Life by The Garter Brides - Ann, Pat, and Tish. Now is your chance to post your questions to them! The Garter Brides want to hear your relationship questions! To receive their first-hand advice, submit your questions here, and they may be answered in an an exclusive video on RemarriageWorks.com. The authors will be receiving questions via RemarriageWorks.com through August 15th. Their book is an invaluable resource to finding love and happiness for women 35 and older.

Who Are the Garter Brides?

It all started, as many great adventures do, with girlfriends having dinner (i.e., drinks). Nina, Ann and Pat were business colleagues and longtime friends, all over the age of thirty-five. All had successful careers and were going on dates (approximately 9,000 of those by Pat alone, according to her), but none of them thought she'd get married. But...Six months later Nina got married. Six months after that, Ann got married. Six months after that, Pat got married. Nina said, "At my age you wear a garter, but you don't throw it." She slipped it off and gave it to Ann, who wore it at her wedding. Ann then gave it to Pat, who wore it at her wedding. They named themselves The Garter Brides and a new tradition was born!

Today girlfriends ranging in age from thirty-eight to fifty-seven have worn this good-luck garter, and it has traveled - in a FedEx box - all over the United States and even to that city of newlywed bliss, Venice.

Send in your questions in the comment section below!

These women have a lot to share. They won't insult your intelligence with babble about getting in touch with your inner beauty. And, as they say, "We understand you have a busy life you'd love to share, a cozy bed into which you'd welcome a good man for some great sex and great fun, and a well-oiled BS detector you didn't possess in your twenties. You're mature enough to handle grown-up love, to move forward without looking back and to appreciate how great a gift that is."

Hmmmm....sounds like some people in our RemarriageWorks.com audience who are thinking about or taking the plunge of getting remarried may like this!  We invite you to post your questions as a comment for The Garter Brides here! And, enter to win a free copy of their book, too.


2nd Wedding Wednesday: Where Will We Live as a Stepfamily?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Finding a home to call your own is often far from a walk in the park for remarried couples and stepfamilies. There are so many factors to include. Which house do you keep? Which do you sell? Or, do you just bite the bullet and sell them both? Ideally, the most viable decision would be to purchase a new home that you can truly call your own. But, we all know about the country's current economic woes, so that may not always be possible.

If your remarriage includes children, incorporate them in the search for the perfect residence. According to Jeannette Lofas, with Dawn B. Sova in Stepparenting, "look over magazines together before starting your new home and discuss the pictures in the magazines rather than argue over an actual new home with your family. If there are going to be some deep arguments about your tastes in living quarters, this is a good way to begin developing family cohesion."

One key factor in a move remarriage-style is location. The children are already overwhelmed with the adjustment of what they had viewed as their family, and now they are dealing with new family relationships. To avoid any additional trauma, keeping the kids in their same school district is probably a smart move. More quests for the perfect home are limited to a certain area for this reason.

Some blended families are comprised of more than one or two children who have been accustomed to having their own room. This may drive you to attempt to purchase a home big enough to accommodate each child. Making an effort to have the kids feel part of the family is a top priority. The last thing you want to hear is "Why do I have to share a room, and he/she doesn't?" Or, "Why do I have to change schools, and he/she doesn't?"

Many remarrying couples try to keep everyone happy. That's a major challenge. And, finding a new house can be a financial burden. For couples who are remarrying and older, the idea of buying a five bedroom house when retirement is just around the corner may not seem reasonable.

Despite all the challenges and accommodations that go into selecting the perfect roof for your stepfamily to live under, finding a home is just another step in the so-called blending process. Remarriage and stepfamily living is a journey. And, it is one to handle with care down to the smallest detail.





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