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It can be seriously tough being a stepmom. On top of building a new relationship with your spouse, you’re tasked with building rapport, trust, and understanding with their kids. Maybe their ex-partner, too. All the while, you’re also keeping up with the daily demands of life.
What makes it more challenging is that there’s no right way to be a stepmom. Every family and every child is unique. But that doesn’t mean you’re alone. According to a 2010 Pew Research Center study, 42 percent of polled adults living in the United States reported having at least one steprelative in their extended family; 30 percent reported having a step or half-sibling; and 13 percent reported having at least one stepchild.
Blended families are on the rise. There are more resources than ever on being a good stepparent. That’s why we’ve rounded up the best stepmom blogs of the year. Whether you’re a seasoned “smom” looking for new tips or a new stepmom unsure on navigating boundaries with a co-parenting ex, you’re sure to find something to help you step up your stepmom game. Here are our top picks for the best stepmom blogs of the year.
Jenna Korf is a certified stepfamily coach who draws on her own experiences as a stepmom to help others. On her blog, Jenna explores tricky topics, like the importance of sticking up for yourself, making time for self-care, and how to keep your cool on family vacations. Jenna’s coaching side comes out in podcast-esque calls where she doles out advice with the help of other stepmom experts. In fact, if coaching piques your interest, check out the coaching section for access to a community of stepmoms, survival kits, and sessions with Jenna herself.
The Evil Stepmother Speaks
Barb Goldberg was a single mom of one before she became a stepmom of three (and supermom of four). She is an accomplished businessperson and life coach and approaches stepmom life with fearlessness and a sense of humor. She wears her “wicked” stepmom label with pride. Barb blogs about balance in stepfamilies, like making time for yourself, not feeling obligated to say yes to every request, and the importance of trust in familial harmony. She also breaks down issues and gets to the bottom line, like on managing expectations for a spouse. Like a great stepmom, Barb is tough but fair, and even a little funny.
In January 2009, Brenda Ockun launched the publication she wished she’d had when she met her husband. Now, StepMom Magazine publishes monthly to bring you the best information, advice, and support for building a strong stepfamily. This online home is the place to be for insightful articles, like the stepmom’s guide to Mother’s Day, how to help a grieving stepchild, and prettily-packaged tips. The publication also runs a support forum for stepmoms, so you can meet, share, and learn from others who’ve “been there.” To access the bulk of the content, however, you’ll need a subscription to the magazine.
Families Unbroken looks beyond stepmoms. They offer advice for blended families, stepparents, and single parents alike. Donna Mott, the blog’s creator, speaks from the perspective that all stepfamilies start out broken. With guidance from her spiritual faith, Donna’s mission is to help blended families like hers identify their rough edges and heal together. Posts cover everything from how to curb worry when the kids are with their co-parent to how to handle holiday stress as a stepmom. Lately, Donna’s posts tackle sensitive subjects head-on, like praying over sex in marriage. Her gentle writing and perspective make this a great blog for anyone needing a boost of faith or a Christian take on building family.
Life in a Blender
Valerie DeLoach was a single mom of two for nearly a decade before she remarried and welcomed two stepkids into her life. She started her blog as a way to help find her family’s “new normal” (read more on “normal” here). She writes frankly about her experiences as a stepmom as well as a divorced mom sharing custody with her ex. Posts come from the heart and range from discussing the power of positive thinking to processing the stinging realities of parenting, like when your son says he wants to live with his dad. Valerie balances heartfelt introspections with big picture reminders, like that there are no winners in divorce. She also provides helpful tips for moving toward your own new normal.
Heather Hetchler is the “smom” (stepmom) behind this blog. She is a mom of six, including two stepdaughters. She also co-parents with her ex-husband. It’s no wonder that Heather’s favorite descriptor of stepfamily life is “complicated.” Her blog posts speak to this chaos and cover everything from kid’s books on blended families to responding to your stepchild and respecting boundaries when their bio mom disappoints them. Heather also draws lessons on being part of a strong parenting team from her faith and encourages readers to be proactive in theirs.
Filling Your Niche
Maarit Miller didn’t set out to start a stepmom blog, per se. But because stepparenting is a big part of the life she’s recording, it makes sense that stepmoms seek solace in her posts. Maarit and husband Dan are both stepparents to Miss L and Miss G, respectively. Maarit’s thoughtful posts reflect on issues that go beyond stepparenting, like money and debt, as well as issues that sit at the heart of stepparenting. Her most recent post declares “tribe” her word of the year, and speaks to her desire for community and support as a stepmom. The post ends with a bit of a cryptic call for things to come, so keep an eye on the space for big things from Maarit.
Simplicity in the Suburbs
Simplicity in the Suburbs is run by Samara Postuma, a mom of three and stepmom of two. It’s the blog equivalent of hanging out with your favorite stepmom gal pal. Based in Minneapolis, Samara is tapped into local and kid-friendly events, and is more than happy to share not only her know-how, but tips to make the most of every experience. Check out her take on the latest Children’s Theater Frog and Toad production, for example. She also writes about more personal topics, such as grief and faith and its limits. Samara’s mom sense is matched only by her fashion sense, so be sure to stop by if you’re a Stitch Fix fan, too!
Gara Ann Hoke was a lawyer climbing the corporate ladder when she met her husband-to-be. Over a decade later, this legal eagle blogs about family and parenting, drawing lessons from her own experiences as well as from pop culture. Posts explore lessons in co-parenting taken from Honey Boo Boo, practicing gratitude while vacationing in Vegas, and lots more. Wherever you start on Suddenly Stepmom, you’re sure to learn something — even if it’s about Abraham Lincoln’s stepmom, Sarah.
Intimate Journey of a Stepmom
Kristi is a first-time wife and stepmom of two daughters. Her blog chronicles her experiences adjusting to stepfamily life and managing challenges like shared custody with the girls’ bio mom. Kristi writes frankly and passionately. She uses the blog to vent and process topics like Mother’s Day expectations, manipulative co-parents, and feeling worn down. This is a great space for any stepmom who’s tired of positive thinking for the moment and just wants to vent with someone who gets the trials and tribulations of stepparenting.
Kristen Barta is a doctoral candidate in Communication at the University of Washington, where she researches the intersections of technology, social support, and sexual assault disclosure. Prior to graduate school, she worked as an educator and activist in the movement to end violence against women. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and enjoys gardening and cooking elaborate vegetarian meals in her spare time.