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When Therapists + Parenting Experts Steer Stepmoms Wrong


I’m a wife, stepmom x3 and mom x 1. When I couldn’t find the stepmom support I was looking for, decided to create it myself. I love mac + cheese, distressed denim, sauvignon blanc and all things Dateline. 

Hey, I'm Jamie


Content, Coaching, Conversations + Support I don't share anywhere else 


I used to work for The Children’s Aid Society. That’s our child protective services here in Canada.

I started out on the Intake Team, which meant I completed the investigations. If someone reported an allegation of abuse or mistreatment, I was the one to go investigate and determine if it was worth opening up a case.

After completing an investigation, I had to consult with my manager about next steps.

I was working with a family who were in the depths of a custody and access dispute. Mom was making allegations against the Dad and Stepmom. From what I could see, she was grasping for control and struggling with the changes that had taken place in her life. There were no child protection concerns—just a high-conflict co-parenting relationship.

When I went to consult with my manager about my findings, I shared something that the stepmom said about what was going on.

The stepmom was kind, considerate and had the children’s best interest in mind.

As I shared, my manager interrupted me. She advised that the stepmom had no say, nor was her opinion valid.

She was not a parent. This was between mom and dad.

To give you some background, the parents had 50/50 custody. The stepmom was with the kids 50 percent of the time,  She was clearly in a caregiving role.

When my manager minimized her role, it didn’t sit right with me.

I wasn’t a stepmom yet, but I grew up in a divorced family. Sure, most of my Dad’s girlfriends were… well that’s another blog post… but if they were to have gotten married, they absolutely should have had a say.

(Except for Vikki and Jeannie. If you’re reading this, Hi Vikki and Jeannie!)

But I was new, and she was a manager, so I did what I was told.

I think about this conversation often.

Here was a couple who needed support. A couple who was acting in the best interest of their kids. A woman who willingly inserted herself into a family saturated with extra stress, complications and allegations from the ex.

A woman who was taking care of these children just as much as the other parents. But her comments weren’t even considered.

Unfortunately, this is common in the parenting space. There are parenting experts and therapists who believe that if they aren’t your biological children, you don’t get a say. You don’t get to be part of the plan.

As a result, stepmoms’ experiences are diminished. The value they bring to the home is minimized. Their confidence is crushed, and it impacts the way they show up for the family that they choose to go all in for. 

It’s completely messed up.

What is the role of a stepmom? It’s based on your unique stepfamily dynamic, but surely it is worth something.

I love therapy. I am a huge advocate of it.
I can honestly say that going to therapy saved my marriage.

BUT sometimes stepmoms find the wrong therapists. They get the wrong parenting experts.

Ones that minimize the stepmom experience.

I’ve had stepmoms tell me that just one coaching session with me was more impactful than years of therapy.

That right here is why coaching is different.

There are no blanket statements about what a stepmom should or should not do.

We look at your individual stepfamily situation and create a plan that works for you.
Your feelings are heard. They are considered. They are validated.
You learn that there is nothing to feel guilty about.

You won’t hear“Well what did you expect?”

“Stepmom guilt” goes away.
You feel empowered and leave with strategies to reset the foundation of your stepfamily life – whatever that looks like for you.

I guess my point is sometimes experts aren’t really experts.
Especially when it comes to the complicated dynamics of stepfamily life

Choose them wisely.

Specifically, someone who specializes in the complications of stepmom life.



If you’re looking for more conversations with stepmoms who get it, be sure to check out
The KICK-ASS Stepmom Community. You can find all the details here!

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