How to Build a Strong Blended Family

3 practical ideas for stepmoms

This week I had coffee with Kathi and was encouraged by her stories of being a stepmom. You can listen to our conversation here! —Juli

While “intact” families usually have a little time between the wedding night and the arrival of the first kiddo, blended families have a reverse timetable: we have all the kids with none of the alone time. Our “getting to know each other” happens in the midst of disciplining and organizing—and bathrooms that smell like cages at the local zoo.

But then we get to really look forward to the chance that we get to be alone for long stretches after the kids move out. While other moms are openly weeping as their babies drive off to college, I will kiss that last kid goodbye, dry the tear from my eye, and then promptly start making out with my husband on the living room couch!

Couple Time Is Not a Luxury; It’s Necessary for Survival

When Roger and I were first married, we found that the best time for us to connect was at lunchtime. We would each drive about halfway (around ten minutes) and have our alone dates at a Mexican restaurant or at a food truck at the park.

Another stepmom I know, Casey, makes sure that her travel for work never overlaps with the weekends her stepkids spend with their mom. If she has to travel, she does her best to make sure it’s a time when her husband and the boys can be together. They go car camping or just go to their weekend games and then hang out afterward and watch boy movies. The boys appreciate having their dad to themselves, and Casey loves knowing that next weekend she gets her husband to herself.

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May 25

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