What do do when resources are stretched?
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
Dear Anna, I'm a stepmom who is about to have a baby. When inner resources (patience, energy, tolerance) are stretched, I find dealing with stepkids (with opposite influence from different house) especially hard! How can I deal with this better? ​ - Stretched resources Dear stretched resources, Congratulations on the baby! The last few months of pregnancy can be hard, so any additional stressors will be harder to deal with. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the extra space to feel and process. I’m reading between the lines and hearing a potential limiting belief that “resources ar ..read more
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Guest Post: Is your partner struggling with guilty parent syndrome?
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
Here’s help in 3 easy steps. By Tracy Poizner, essentialstepmom.com What I want your spouse to know is that guilty parenting is not a crime. If you feel guilty, it’s a sign that you’re a good person, it means you have empathy! Guilt is actually a healthy emotion, it’s supposed to help you modify your behaviour. It pushes you to do better.  Shame is another story altogether. Shame shuts you down, it makes you want to give up. That’s because guilt is about something you’ve done and shame is about who you are. No one should ever be shamed for their parenting fails because that never leads t ..read more
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How to Support your Partner through “Guilty Dad Syndrome”
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
Do your partner’s parenting skills leave much to be desired? Does he avoid conflict and just let things go? Or maybe he spoils the kids with gifts, attention and time?  You may have thought the selfless-parent and fun-dad gig was cute and attractive at the beginning of your relationship. You may have seen it as evidence that he was a “good man”.  ​Now you’re noticing that his sacrificing it all for the kids or tolerance of bad behaviors isn’t good for anyone involved - least of all the kids who need to be empowered with boundaries and structure, but instead are learning to play th ..read more
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How to Protect Your Family from a Toxic Biomom
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
​Do your stepkids act out or give you the cold treatment when they come back from biomoms (or maybe all the time)? ​Maybe they act lovingly when they are alone with you, but in front of biomom, or over the phone when she is listening, they are completely different.   Do they care-take or over-protect their mother? If so, these may be clues that biomom is ‘toxic’. ​By my definition, a toxic biomom is emotionally unstable, and often puts her own emotional needs before her children’s needs. She often reacts with anger or sadness, and in the heat of the moment may put her children ..read more
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Sick and tired of all the drama?
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
Master the Karpman drama triangle and learn to step-out, now! I was first introduced to the Karpman drama triangle as a pre-teen girl attending counselling with my family. Little did I know the impact it would have on my life, and the value that fully understanding it would provide to my own family one day. As a mom of 4, soon to be 5 (which includes my 2 full-time stepkids), my proudest moments are those where I can recognize negative family patterns and nip them at the bud. It’s in those moments that I really feel like things are flowing and happening for a higher purpose, and I’m h ..read more
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What Have You Done For Me Lately?
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
Feeling unappreciated and taken for granted as a stepmom.  As stepmoms, we do a lot for everyone else on a regular basis. You may be packing lunches, taking your stepkids to their after-school activities, or taking a back-seat to the kids' daily necessities as dad takes care of them. Many times, we don’t get much in return for our efforts – not even a simple thank you. Over time, that can really leave you feeling taken for granted and unappreciated. Do you know the feeling? Like the old Janet Jackson song goes, you may be asking your partner or stepkids, “what have you don ..read more
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The Stepmom Community: A Welcoming Home for a Perpetual Outsider
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
I’m honored to feature this article from fellow stepmom and friend, Beth McDonough of BabblingBlonde.com. I met Beth at a networking event I organized for stepmoms in Toronto this past summer. Beth’s openness and vulnerability in sharing her experience as a same-sex step-couple were truly inspirational. Despite Beth’s unique experience being part of a “nontraditional family within a nontraditional family”, her triumphs as a stepmom are so commendable. She’s taught me that as stepmoms, we have more in common than what makes us different. I hope you enjoy this honest perspective and can’t wai ..read more
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Stepmom Over-stepping? Mastering the Stepmom Two-step
Anna de Acosta Blog
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2M ago
In a recent call with a stepmom, the issue of stepmom overstepping, meddling and taking-over came up. It’s such a fine balance between stepping-up, and over-stepping… it’s almost like a dance. You don’t want to step on the other person’s toes, but sometimes being in-sync with one another (especially biomom), isn’t easy. Full disclosure: I love dancing, and I love using analogies to teach, so when this analogy of the two-step came to me, I got so excited I had to drop everything and write about it ASAP. Thanks to that lovely stepmama for the inspiration ;) Many dances have a move ..read more
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What do do when resources are stretched?
Anna de Acosta Blog
by
1y ago
Dear Anna, I'm a stepmom who is about to have a baby. When inner resources (patience, energy, tolerance) are stretched, I find dealing with stepkids (with opposite influence from different house) especially hard! How can I deal with this better? ​ - Stretched resources Dear stretched resources, Congratulations on the baby! The last few months of pregnancy can be hard, so any additional stressors will be harder to deal with. Be gentle with yourself and give yourself the extra space to feel and process. I’m reading between the lines and hearing a potential limiting belief that “resources ar ..read more
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Emotionally Draining Stepkids: Some Do’s and Don’ts
Anna de Acosta Blog
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1y ago
This may sound harsh, but I'm just going to say it. Regardless of whether you love your stepkids or not, dealing with bad behaviors can be emotionally draining.  It can be irritating because they aren’t yours, you didn’t create the problems, yet you need to deal with it or else your life will be impacted in big (and often negative) ways. You may feel like the house revolves around the child when they are present, and like you can’t relax or be yourself. This is especially true if you are sensitive to energies and feel unspoken “vibes” that you can’t explain. ​You may feel like a monst ..read more
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