A re-marriage brings new and unique challenges into a child’s life, and moms can feel extra pressure to build unity in the home. That’s particularly true around the holidays.

Speaker and author Laura Petherbridge has learned how to thrive—not simply survive—as a step mom, and she shares dozens of practical insights and tips from parenting to finances and holidays. We’ll discover wise counsel and biblical encouragement for helping your family blend as we talk 101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom: Expert Advice From One Stepmom to Another. Here’s where our conversation leads:

We’ve come to the point in America where step families outnumber first time families. When you bring an increasing number of people into a tender situation, you make it more complicated. These complexities are going to exist no matter the age of the kids involved – even adult children will face them.

Every step family is birthed from a loss of some kind, and the kids are going to be grappling with their grief.

There is a new normal that comes into play with a step family. The things that were normal in a first time family aren’t going to be normal anymore.

Laura offers some tips for co-parenting during the holidays. She suggests making one or two new traditions each year, starting with sitting down together and discussion potential options and plans. Transitions take time and are sensitive changes.

Amidst the changing family dynamics, you’ll note that – if you have adult children – they likely won’t feel any need to bond with new step brothers or step sisters. An additional challenge can be evident within your extended family. Relatives may not always show acceptance to step children, showing favoritism to kids from the first family unit.

Many of the potential challenges for step moms around the holidays aren’t intentional. Laura says moms shouldn’t take it personally when families already have traditions in place.

Highlight: For the holidays

Encouragement for blended families

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