Blending families is no easy task. With 1,300 stepfamilies formed everyday and 15 million stepmothers in the U.S. alone, more than 1 in 4 American adults have at least one-step relative in their family, and over 50% of U.S. families are remarried or re-coupled.
The Stepmoms’ Club is here to support all of them!
Founded more than 20 years ago (before social media), Kendall Rose*, a finance professional and three stepmom friends started getting together monthly for a girls’ night out to discuss and compare tales of combat, truces, failures and victories.
They are sharing some of the advice they’ve culled over the past decades here, in THE STEPMOMS’ CLUB: How to Be A Stepmom Without Losing Your Money, Your Mind, and Your Marriage a girlfriend’s guide to this unique life. [MORE ABOUT THE BOOK BELOW].
Rose, a finance professional, urges all stepmoms and stepmom-to-be to be sure to Focus on the 4 Ds (as soon as possible) to Make a Harmonious Transition:
— DOCUMENTS: Examine the divorce decree and custody agreement to find out financial obligations to previous spouse; to understand milestones in the settlement agreement regarding child support payments or certain financial responsibilities as to where money is going and for how long. These are the stepmom roadmaps to your future.
—DOLLARS: Now that you’ve digested the documents, get a calculator and a pencil. It’s time for a spreadsheet. Start with your salary and your spouse’s net salary (by net we mean net salary AFTER alimony and child support). Now discuss how much additional money should be set aside for court-sanctioned support, doctor co-pays, ballet lessons, therapy, kids’ clothes, sports equipment, etc. Be proactive about what your income will contribute and what his really is. Will you have separate accounts? What is your estate plan (no this cannot wait!)?
—DELEGATION: Delegate as much as you can to professionals. If possible, hire a team of third party unbiased experts who specialize in tax, estate planning, financial planning, and legal matters for blended families. Meet with your ‘advisory team’ to help ensure all professionals are on the same page. Prepare for difficult situations ahead of time and don’t delay uncomfortable topics and conversations.
—DO stay true to YOURSELF. Practice self-care. Keep your hobbies. Have friends. Find a local Stepmoms’ Club or join in online judgement-free, guilt-free, honest talk and advice. https://www.instagram.com/
Written by stepmom for stepmoms, THE STEPMOMS’ CLUB is full of takeaways and checklists to help navigate these murky waters. Staying ahead of the financial and legal agreements means less fights and more peace.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
KENDALL ROSE* has had a long career as a business executive in the financial services industry. She and her family reside in the Midwest—where she is also able to follow her passion for horseback riding and her volunteer work in equine-assisted therapy. She is an accomplished public speaker who has been a featured guest and provided commentary about blended family legal and financial challenges, and solutions to leading media outlets such as: TODAY, CBS Radio, The Jenny McCarthy Show, New York Post and more.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of families and loved ones.
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK—THE STEPMOMS’ CLUB
You’ve met the partner of your dreams and have gotten your happily ever after, but now you’ve taken on a new role: stepmom. And you have no idea what you signed up for. Or maybe you’ve been a stepmom for a while now, but things are getting you down. Who do you turn to for help? Where is the stepmothering support group that’ll give you the advice you need? Who actually gets how hard being a stepmom can be?
We do. We are the women who have chosen stepmotherhood and lived to tell the tale. This guide holds our solutions to help you:
- Brave the crazy ex demands
- Overcome the financial hurdles of a blended family
- Be prepared for the legal battles and custody arrangements
- Handle disrespectful children
- Nourish your relationship
- Maneuver the emotional breakdowns of stepmotherhood
- Build your own stepmom’s club
- Understand why you need your partner to have your back