This is how we manage our large blended family. Find tips, tricks, and things we’ve tried that didn’t work here. No promises that these tips and tricks will work for you, just another voice in the stepfamily trenches on what’s worked before.

How I Became a Blended Family Star-Seeker

I'm standing on our front walk,  shivering in the night air, dressed only in my nightie. I'm waiting for the dog to say his final goodnight to the yard, a process that involves sniffing every bush and marking his property repeatedly. Like most things with dogs and small children and the elderly, the ritual takes [...]

By | 2017-06-26T14:30:58+00:00 June 26th, 2017|Other Musings, Our Life Together, Our Story|

A Love Letter to All Stepdads (and Especially My Husband)

I see you, you know. I see you watching my sixteen year-old son, waiting for the right time to offer your help. He's at our kitchen table, hands woven through his curly hair, struggling with an advanced math problem that would be easy for you. I see you carefully weighing the value of that help with [...]

How We Survive Summer With Six Kids (in 5 Easy Steps)

It's coming. The children are gleefully counting down the days and parents everywhere are white-knuckle bracing for the same. Summer is almost here. With six children in our busy household, summers are epic. Epic for the children in that they involve long lazy afternoons at the lake, firefly chasing in the evenings and endless dripping popsicles. Epic [...]

The Secrets I Keep and The Battle I’m Fighting

It happened again recently. A woman approached me after hearing me speak and said, "I know my situation is much worse than yours was, but..." She went on to describe a situation that closely mirrored one Gabe and I faced last year.  This well-intentioned woman assumed that because I hadn't addressed that specific issue in the [...]

Our Top Five Blended Family House Rules

When we first decided to marry, blending our two families of four into our tribe of eight, we read every book possible. Each of them recommended we establish house rules as a couple, sit down around a table for a family meeting to share the rules, and ride off happily into the sunset. We didn't do [...]

How My Father’s Blunder Reminded Me We’re All Beginners

There's a rumor about me swirling in our small town. It's not the first time, of course. As you can imagine, when people realized my second husband is a man I'd known while married to my first, tongues wagged. I was ready for it then, and was comfortable that the people who mattered knew the truth and [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:42:32+00:00 May 19th, 2017|Coparenting, Divorce, Our Life Together, Stepparenting|

How Changing My Headline Changed My Life

I was furious. Billy and I had just had a particularly tense custody exchange and while we didn't talk much, he'd managed to push every single one of my buttons. Every look, every sideline glance, every loud "your mother..." spoken to the kids landed just as it was intended, and I lost my cool. I [...]

How I Survive The Stepfamily Spiral

I love our life. I love gathering noisily around our dinner table and piling on our couch shouting at the television and running around town together. This is where I am meant to be and I want to be present and enjoy each moment for the gift that it is. And yet... Sometimes all of this [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:42:33+00:00 May 5th, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Our Life Together, Stepparenting|

How (and Where!) to Start The Search for Divorced Parent and Blended Family Resources

Like many of you, I struggled to find the support I needed as a divorced mom. The parenting websites and books I'd frequented before my separation seemed not to apply now that my home was "broken," and the shelves of books in bookstores seemed to focus on me as a survivor or victim rather than a parent. [...]

By | 2017-06-13T15:42:33+00:00 May 2nd, 2017|Blended Family Tips, Coparenting, Divorce, Stepparenting|

Ready to Give Up on The Whole Dang Thing? Hang On and Try This

Last week, I worked late into the night, letting my thoughts drift to all the unorganized cobwebby corners of my mind as I typed. I decided to cut my hair short. I decided to quit blogging. I also decided to buy a new washing machine, talk to my ex about updating our child support calculation [...]