A Healthy Stepmother . . . knows reading or watching Brene Brown’s work is an act of self-soothing.

Some of you may know of Brene Brown and her fairly famous TED Talk on Vulnerability with almost 7 million views to date. . And then, there was the amazing Whole-Hearted Parenting Manifesto. . Finally, we have the fairly recent article on the Whole-Hearted Parenting Manifesto from the Huffington Post. It’s well-worth a read, as […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . knows the season to feeeeline. (more self-soothing)

It’s not too early to prepare yourself for the November-December embers. You know what I mean. The time of year when the expectation is for happy, merry, and thrilled-to-be-alive from all the family members. A few of them have permission to play that out a different way and others do not. It’s a vulnerable time […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . gets used to not-knowing. (Self-Soothing #12)

For most of us, stepmothers and mothers alike, knowing what is coming is one of the ways we cope with our lives. We grew up learning to anticipate others needs, we jump up and get something for the company or the family when others are just as capable of playing the role of host. We […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . soothes her furrowed brow (self-soothing #11).

The wrinkle in her forehead was about as deep as it ever got. That wasn’t saying much since she worried a lot. Never mind those articles and books and Dr. Phil telling her and legions of women if they would just stop worrying, life would be nicer. Doh, call her Homer Simpson. Do you think […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . and the soothing of connection. (Self-Soothing series #10)

I’m coming to the end of my 10 posts about self-soothing and I can think of about 5 more ways to look at the issue, so keep an eye out since I’m keeping this topic open to add more. Let’s assume we’re still thinking of self-soothing as the ability to work with yourself until you […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . gets wet. (Self-Soothing Series #9)

Do you remember when you were a child and your mother bathed you in the tub? She lovingly washed your skin with a soapy washcloth and made sure to clean behind your ears and the other hard-to-reach places. The washcloth felt good as it took off dirt and old skin and your feet and hands […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . soothes about self-soothing. (Self-Soothing series #8)

They say you teach what you need to learn. Well, maybe it’s true. As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, we’re in the  middle of the stepfamily stew and it’s taken me a bit to get my perspective back so I can keep on with our series on self-soothing. As I worked with my […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . takes off her shoes. (Self-soothing series #7)

First of all, let’s all take a breather. Sometimes in the journey toward self-soothing it might be useful to stop self-soothing, stop placating, stop worrying, and stop anything. Relax, take off your shoes, let your toes wiggle and sigh deeply while you sip some nice cold seltzer with lime. Nothing more refreshing, unless perhaps you […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . leaves the big stuff on the table. (Self-Soothing series, #6)

I struggled a long time to write this blog post because we’re headed into discussions of the big stuff and how to self-soothe. The big stuff stirs up our internal stuff. Self-soothing is all about how we manage our emotions and what we do with our actions in the face of the big stuff in […]

A Healthy Stepmother . . . stops and waits. (Self-Soothing series, Week 5)

(Note: Week 5 of a 10-week series on self-soothing. Looking to our animal nature to access our ability to manage our reactions and have the life we choose, not the life that happens while we are upset or retreating.) After our evening dog walk, my husband and I linger on the front porch watching the […]