As many of you know who have followed my former blog here at the PD, I am one year into blending my family with my fiancé’s, 5 months away from our wedding, and in the throes of stepparenting. And while we’ve had our share of difficulties in the process, I’d like to say that both my fiancé and I have also shared in a fair amount of successes along the way.

This morning I had the honor of talking about remarriage and stepfamilies in front of Joyce Johnson’s Sociology 10 class at the SRJC. I was joined by my friend and fellow stepmom, Joelynn McIntosh. Together, we shared our individual stories that got us to where we are today in our separate blended family adventures before diving into several different topics that surround stepfamilies, like:

– The typical societal differences between stepmoms and stepdads and how it related to us.

– Bonding with stepkids.

– The pitfalls and triumphs we experienced in stepparenting.

– Parenting a kid who isn’t biologically yours.

What I loved the most is that students had so many great questions and stories of their own to tell – stories as a stepparent AND as a stepchild. One woman shared how her former partner was purposely turning their child against the woman’s current partner. A girl told us how her hurt that her stepmother had tons of pictures of her son all over the house but none of her. Another talked about how her stepdad refused to get to know her as a person.  And another referred to her stepdad and stepbrother as just “dad” and “brother”.  One student was interested in our level of affection with our stepchildren, and many times the topic of different levels of separateness in our family was asked about.

Over the next several weeks I’d like to discuss stepfamilies in this blog. And I’d love if any of you readers could share your story with me. Tell me what it’s like in your blended family, the stuff that works and the stuff that doesn’t. Share the things that you’ve noticed that make you different from a typical family, and how you are just the same. Tell me what it was like as a stepchild – like how it was with your new siblings and new parent, and what it was like to have to split your time between homes. Share whatever you think is relevant. Some material may even make it into the newspaper in my bi-monthly column.

You can email me at crissi@santarosamom.com, or just leave me a comment on this blog entry.

I look forward to hearing from you!