Positively Paula

Get Inspired by Mrs. Delaware, a Stepmom on August 6

Thursday, July 26, 2012
Are you a stepmother who is trying to juggle many balls in the air at once? Can you benefit from a shot of inspiration? If so, don't miss my radio show interview on August 6 with the amazing Mrs. Delaware United States, Dr. Francine Edwards. She is a mom and stepmom to four children, an Associate Professor at Delaware State University, the newly crowned Mrs. Delaware, a novelist, and that's just a small piece of what she has accomplished. Her platform as Mrs. Delaware is all about supporting blended families...

Francine participated in the Mrs. United States Pageant on July 12, and in the national forum of the pageant, her platform spotlighted issues of blended families and stepparenting.  Unfortunately, she did not win the Mrs. United States title, but she is a winner in our view, and you can bet she won't be slowing down any time soon.  
You can read more about Francine Edwards in the RemarriageWorks article, "Mrs. Delaware Brings National Exposure to Blended Families." Join me on August 6, 8-9 p.m. EST for a motivating and lively discussion with Mrs. Delaware on the RemarriageWorks BlogTalkRadio show featured by Stepmoms Toolbox.


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.

Fascinating Stepmom Art: You May Not Believe Your Eyes

Thursday, February 24, 2011
I want to share one of the most unique things about stepmothers that I have ever come across on the internet with you. The Other Mother website is dedicated to stepmothers "for all that you do...and have been put through..." by artist and stepmother Karen Piovaty. Karen warns viewers, "Enter with caution! The faint of heart need not apply to the world of stepmotherhood."

I admit up front I have no background in the study of art. I can tell you I find her exhibit compelling. The pictures struck several chords in me, evoked emotion, and made me stop to think about my own stepmom experience. On top of that, I started thinking about stepmotherhood in our society in general. 

And, don't miss the accompanying essay, "Disturbing the Piece(s): Re-Viewing the Role of 'the Other Mother'" by Jane E. Hindman, Professor, Department of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, San Diego State University.

I've talked about having a future National Stepfamily Summit, and wouldn't it be great to have this artwork displayed there? Take a look and let me know what you think. 

Attention Stepmoms: Give Yourselves a Great Holiday Gift

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
This is the time of year when you see a lot of articles and blogs pop up about the challenges that stepfamilies face during the holiday season. Stepmoms often face extra stress as they fulfill holiday obligations that include entertaining, hosting visitors, shopping, figuring out hectic schedules, and determining holiday traditions. Even people who aren't experiencing life as a stepmother can be depressed, stressed, and overextended.

Two especially helpful resources I've seen lately that offer useful solutions for stepfamilies dealing with holiday problems are: holiday tips on Wednesday Martin, Ph.D.'s blog page, and "1-2-3-step approach makes holiday traditions easy" by Christina Roach, MA, NCC, DCC on Examiner.com. And, dear stepmoms, I know the perfect gift you can give yourselves this year.

Give yourself the gift of journaling. Check out "The Health Benefits of Journaling" by Maud Purcell, LCSW, CEAP who lays out the case for journaling very well. Journaling can help you ease stress, work through problems, safely vent, figure out your thoughts, explore your past baggage, and more.

I know some of you are probably saying, "But, I don't have the time to do the things already on my Thanksgiving plate!" We all do. Just try this for a month and let me know how it goes. I think you may be surprised. And, journaling can be a great place to focus on those things in your life for which you are most grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!





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