Hi, Mamas! I’m Kristen,

and I’m so glad you’re here!

Stepparenting

My parents have been divorced since I was 2 years old and both remarried (my dad has remarried four times, my mom once).

I had an extraordinary example in my 2nd stepmom, Michelle. She loved me as one of her own, and I’ve carried that over to my relationship with my stepdaughter K. Her father is an extraordinary man who has pushed me to be better, encouraged me in all of my pursuits, and loved me, faults and all. I am so blessed that he came packaged with the sweetest girl.

Learn more about what it’s really like being a stepmom here. I consider it the most challenging role I’ve ever held, but easily the most rewarding.

 What I Really Think about My Stepdaughter’s Mom

I’m supposed to really dislike Amanda, aren’t I? After all, she was Kevin’s first love, and she’s K’s birth mom. How can I compete with that?

I don’t have to! I’m me. I’m Kevin’s second wife, and K’s super stepmom. It took us a little while to be comfortable with each other, but now Amanda and I are actually friends! I know it’s bizarre, but it didn’t happen overnight. We went from “So this is K’s mom. She seems standoffish. I guess we shouldn’t talk” to “Oh, she must really be as nervous and uncomfortable as I am” to that one night when I had to pick K up when my husband Kevin had military training and she was so sweet. She knew that I had a fun night planned for K and told her how excited she was for her. We traded numbers and sent each other photos when she was with us, sharing all of the little moments you tend to miss when a child has to split households.

Co-Parenting & Our Relationship

Things haven’t always been great with my stepdaughter’s mom. We’ve been through a lot, navigating the ebbs and flows as they come.

Truth is, I didn’t even meet Amanda until 6 months after I had met my stepdaughter. We were cordial but not friendly – until one night shortly before the birth of her second daughter, when my husband and I were blindsided by a stranger at our front door serving us paperwork to modify the court order, on the very same night of our first truly agreeable evening with mom and stepdad at back-to-school night.

A few arduous months later, and we all got over our egos and started working toward what was best for our daughter – not for us – and came to a new agreement without the help of lawyers or a judge. An agreement that not only made all of the parents happy, but also was truly in the best interest of our daughter.

One of the final weekends before the new arrangement was confirmed, I attended a women’s faith-based conference with my mother-in-law. I did some true soul-searching about my second wife insecurities and my co-parenting resentments, and I came out on the other side a brand-new woman. I found peace and acceptance in my role and never looked back.

Just a couple of short months later, in the strangest turn of events, I started blogging with my stepdaughter’s mom right here on Stepmomming (previously known as Kandy Apple Mama). Blogging together about co-parenting forced us to have really deep conversations about our unique perspectives, our parenting beliefs, and all things co-parenting. It was the absolute best thing for our relationship; we even came out on the other side best friends!

My Goal

At the end of the day, I’m here to empower stepmothers and breakdown stereotypes.

You guys – I’m infuriated that it’s taboo for me to be friends with K’s biological mom! I want to be friends with Amanda; she’s awesome!

Plus, how amazing for our daughter that she doesn’t have to choose sides or feel like she’s betraying one of us by liking the other?

We, as women, must love and support each other.

I am so excited to represent the new face of co-parenting, the new future of womanhood and sisterhood, and a new way of stepmomming.~

-xoxo-