Blended Family Testimonial

"I am a competitive perfectionist…in my career, in
working out, in my family…in mostly everything
and always have been. One thing in my life that I
wanted to be perfect at was being a stepmom.

 

As a stepmom I have set unrealistic expectations
for myself and silently berated myself when I didn’t
live up to my own standards. I berated myself out
loud when I felt like I wasn’t living up to my
husband’s expectations. I fought with my husband
when I felt he said hurtful things because he
believed I was treating my stepdaughter differently
than our boys. I secretly cried when my in laws
would get involved in situations without
understanding and no one was taking my side.

 

I was hurt that no one understood how I had been hurt in this situation. I loathed neighbors who said things about being a stepmom when they weren’t one. I didn’t want to, but I even hated clothes that my stepdaughter’s relatives bought just to hate them because of how I had been treated. I had to force myself to feel love and show her affection when it felt like it came so naturally with my boys. I thought about how I was stupid to get myself into this situation and how I should have listened to my friends and family that said marrying someone with a kid was a bad idea. I thought about divorce and how I could get out of this and not have to deal with the hatred I was starting to have at my constant failure.

 

Then my life changed! I had been to counselors and for all sorts of reasons they just never felt right. I never moved forward in my feelings. It felt more like a time for my husband and me to get vindication for our feelings rather than to move forward together. Then I told my husband about parenting coaching and how I wanted to go see a parenting coach I had found. My husband agreed to go mostly because I said it meant a lot to me. He was very skeptical. Meeting Robin was a life changing moment for our whole family. My husband and I both feel that Robin and her coaching not only saved our marriage, but made us better parents and relieved the major stressor between us. I feel so passionately about Robin’s work that I think anyone considering entering a blended family should be required to complete a certain number of sessions prior to making that commitment.

 

I think anyone planning to have children would benefit greatly from the experience. It is hard work and requires all parties to be ready to do their homework and practice the skills, but we are a different family now. I feel love freely and easily for my stepdaughter and feel like we are forging our own very special relationship. I feel like a successful stepmother instead of a failure. My husband and I have found a way to really listen to each other about parenting and to step back and see each other’s perspective. Parenting is never easy, and I believe strongly all parents could benefit from this, but parenting in a blended family brings a list of challenges that those not in a blended family will never face or truly understand. Parenting coaching is the best money that a family can spend to set themselves up to raise a beautifully successful blended (or non-blended) family. Robin’s kindness, compassion, and dedication to her craft is unmatched by anyone I have worked with in a counseling setting and she will forever have a special place in my heart for changing the path our family is taking."

                                             ~R.C.

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