Sometimes I Forget to Add The Step

I write often about our life as a blended family. I realized recently that I haven't talked about an important part of our story. Up until now, I've focused on how our blended family is different from first families. I tell you about stepparent boundaries and loyalty binds and managing grief. I highlight all the ways [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:44:07+00:00 March 30th, 2017|Our Bunch, Our Life Together, Our Story, Stepparenting|

When Banana Bread Means I Love You

"Goodnight, Lottie. I love you." "Love you, Mama." "Goodnight, Jack. I love you." "Goodnight, Kate.  I mrrrmph you" Two happy eight year-olds exhausted after a long, fun day at home together.  Two sweeties tucked into bed with stories and snuggles.  Two little ones who I know love me very much. Two different good nights. We expect [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:44:10+00:00 March 27th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Bunch, Our Life Together, Stepparenting|

Ten Reasons This Divorced Mom is Glad It’s Dad’s Weekend

I am a divorced mom and I share custody of our three children with their dad. I write often about the sadder side of shared custody: transitions, feeling like a part-time parent, and managing grief. Today though, I am focusing on the part of shared custody divorced parents don't talk about: the I'm-happy-to-say-goodbye-this-weekend part. Why [...]

Saying Goodbye: Custody Transition Do’s and Dont’s

Years ago, when we first began sharing custody, I dreaded the time my children were with their father. I missed them terribly, and transitions triggered all my grief and guilt about our divorce. I felt like a part-time parent and the days were excruciatingly long. As the time came for the kids to leave for [...]

What I Learned The Day My Daughter Forgot The Word Divorce

"Where are you going?" a little voice asked. "What?" I turned back against the tide of moms and dads leaving the dance studio and saw a little dancer looking up at me, bun cocked and eyes narrowed curiously. "Where are you going?” Nosy McNoserson’s repeated. “You said you’d see Lottie tomorrow. Why aren’t you picking [...]

By | 2017-03-21T13:08:37+00:00 March 21st, 2017|Divorce, Our Bunch, Our Story|

What To Do When The Ex Won’t Stop Talking Trash

Dear Kate, Yesterday, I had a really tough conversation with my daughter.  She told me "Daddy hates my stepdad so much.  He makes mean comments to me and expects me to agree with him. I don't agree, and I know how much my stepdad has helped me and my sister.  It hurts me, and I [...]

By | 2017-08-17T10:15:53+00:00 March 16th, 2017|Ask Kate, Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Divorce, Stepparenting|

How to Carry Your Baggage: The Work of Becoming an Adult

My fifteen-year-old son and I are sitting in the car in our driveway.  I've asked him about his grades, and tripped a live wire. Simon, the child who has never had to work to succeed, is struggling mightily this year. A high school sophomore, he's juggling a load of advanced academic classes and a busy [...]

By | 2017-07-26T14:40:15+00:00 March 13th, 2017|Divorce, Our Bunch|

Three Questions I Wish We Answered Before Blending Our Family

Gabe and I talked non-stop before we married. Each busy during the day with our work and three little ones, we chatted via text, in endless chains numbering fifty messages or more. After we kissed the kids goodnight, we settled into our nightly phone date and often didn't hang up until after midnight. We talked about [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:44:11+00:00 March 9th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Story, Stepparenting|

What Every Second Wife Needs to Hear

The most romantic statement Gabe ever made to me didn't happen on our wedding day.  He didn't declare it at the base of the Eiffel tower, or pen it in a greeting card.  The sentence caught me by surprise as we were out to dinner on a rare weeknight alone. It was around the holidays, a particularly tough [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:44:11+00:00 March 7th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Love Story, Our Story, Stepparenting|

The Surprising Secret of Separate Vacations

Gabe is leaving me this weekend. He's humming as he packs his suitcase, looking forward to the next several days he'll spend on the road with his children. You read that right, Gabe and his children are traveling without me. There was a time, not so long ago, when the idea of separate vacations made me anxious. [...]