Stepfamilies and Money: Part One

July 21, 2011

A new Stepmom Circles Podcast is ready! When I first began researching stepfamily life so I could write my book, I came across Dr. Margorie Engel. At the time she was the president of the Stepfamily Association of America, which is now the National Stepfamily Resource Center and we talked then about stepfamily money issues. I recently interviewed Dr. Engel again and we talked for hours about all the things that stepfamilies face when it comes to money: saving for college, insurance, estate planning and much, much more. This podcast is the first in a series of three. She also generously gave us documents to help guide our discussions of these topics with our families.

Visit my blog at to download a PDF with Dr. Engel's packet of information. I hope this starts some fruitful conversations between you and your family. Good luck!


Surving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships

May 5, 2011

Dear Stepmothers:

This episode of the Stepmom Circles Podcast features Dr. Patricia Papernow. When I first started doing research for my book A Career Girl's Guide to Becoming a Stepmom, I interviewed Dr. Papernow the author of Becoming a Stepfamily. She has worked with stepfamilies for more than three decades. This is a show that all stepfamily members need to listen to. Stepmoms, stepdads, biological parents. Everybody. Dr. Papernow has a new book coming out in 2012: Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships. Like her first book, it is aimed at the clinicians who help stepfamilies (therapists, counselors, etc.), but her work is so important, I think we all need to read her work.

A big thank you to Dr. Papernow for her time. I've been living the stepfamily life for a long time and working with stepmothers and Dr. Papernow always teaches me something critical every time I talk to her.


Read Jacquelyn Fletcher's award-winning blog or book. Find out more at


The Smart Stepdad: Interview with Ron Deal

April 21, 2011

Finally!!! A new podcast is ready. Ron Deal is one of my favorite guests. In this show we talk about Ron's new book, The Smart Stepdad. There are even fewer resources for stepdads than there are for stepmoms. Ron always has so much wisdom to share and this podcast is not just for stepdads. It's for moms who have kids and married a man who became a stepdad to their children. It's for stepmothers because is the advice he gives is applicable to all of us. Find Ron at


Read host Jacquelyn Fletcher's award-winning blog at


Stepmothers: Being Healthy is a Revoluationary Act

February 9, 2011

I know I'm always thrilled to do new Stepmom Circles Podcasts because I love talking to all my guests! But I have to give you a disclaimer, this one was really fun because Pilar Gerasimo, the Editor-in-Chief of Experience Life magazine is not only a brilliant thinker, she's also a dear friend. I always have a blast doing shows with her and learn something new at the same time. On this episode of the Stepmom Circles Podcast, Pilar and I talk about her new manifesto Being Healthy is a Revolutionary Act and why it's critical that stepmothers take good care of themselves. If you haven't listened to my first podcast with Pilar, you'll want to go back and hear that one, too, after you've heard what she has to say!

P.S. Listen to this show and you'll understand why you should never again feel guilty about taking care of yourself!

Read host Jacquelyn Fletcher's award-winning blog at


Stepmoms and the Dance of Anger

January 25, 2011

This is the first Stepmom Circles Podcast of 2011! And my guest is a woman I have long admired: Dr. Harriet Lerner. She's a clinical psychologist and the author of the classic book The Dance of Anger. If you don't have this book on your shelf, you should. It is one of the most empowering books I've ever read about dealing with unhealthy patterns in relationships. Having constant fights with your partner? Read it. Engaged in a battle with the ex? Read it right now.

Have an idea for a future podcast? Shoot me an email at becomingastepmom (at) gmail (dot) com.

For information, support, and inspiration, head to Stepmom Circles host Jacquelyn Fletcher's blog at


Are you a stepmartyr?

January 14, 2011

Dearest Stepmothers: Another free Stepmom Circles Podcast is up! Listen to my discussion with author Wednesday Martin about stepmoms who become stepmartyrs. If you're bending over too far backward for your stepfamily, you'll want to listen to this one!

Wednesday Martin is the author of Stepmonster and a frequent guest on the Stepmom Circles Podcast. Visit host Jacquelyn Fletcher's award-winning blog at for more information.


Infidelity Prevention and Recovery for Stepmothers

January 14, 2011

stepmomcircles3Whether you have experienced infidelity in your partnership or not you can benefit from listening to this episode of my free Stepmom Circles Podcast. The reason I decided to do this show is because I received a letter from a reader in which she revealed her husband cheated on her with his ex-wife. You can read the letter at the end of this post. Instead of responding to her letter myself, I decided to consult two experts in the field of infidelity prevention and recovery.

My guest on this week's show is Dave Carder, the author of Close Calls: What Adulterers Want You to Know about Potecting your Marriage and Torn Asunder: Recovering from Extramarital Affairs. Dave currently serves as the Pastor responsible for Counseling Ministries at the First Evangelical Free Church of Fullerton in California. He’s a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and runs premarital education classes for stepfamilies.

I also consulted Peggy Vaughan of the Extramarital Affairs Resource Center for this show. She generously agreed to write an article for us called When Your Husband Has an Affair with His Ex Wife. Visit her website to read about infidelity issues or to check out her book The Monogamy Myth and the upcoming To Have and To Hold: A Personal Handbook for Building a Strong Marriage and Preventing Affairs, which will be published in February 2010.

Here is the letter from my reader:

I need some advice and you were the first person I could think to get in contact with. I've caught my husband red handed having an affair with his ex - he's totally admitted it and taken full responsibility - and shown proof, in black and white in his sent and received items of facebook. She on the other hand denies she's having an affair and there must be a case of misidentity. I did a very malicious thing and sent the proof via email/facebook and registered post to her husband along with a letter explaining what he's seeing in his hands. I think he and I deserve better. All that she's ever done in the 5 years my husband and I have been together is make my life a living hell - i was never brave enough to put a stop to it, it's bloody 7 years my junior for goodness sake, why am I so darn scared of her?

She's been to my home and shouted I'm a homewrecker rather loudly and clearly (not that I care what my neighbours think!) and generally shown herself up to be the one hurt in all of this - I'm breaking up a home and marriage and I should be sectioned on mental health grounds because I'm a malicious and devious person. I truely believe I've shown her that she has no power over me anymore, and I am strong enough to fight when she's once again pulled my world around my ankles!

My husband is not off the hook - oh very far from it! I'm forcing a lot of thinking on his part - what does she have over you? Why do you keep going back to a person who refuses to give your son your surname, refuses to allow any decisions to be made by you about your son, and generally thinks she's oh so powerful!

The reason I've come to you is, I'm not outwardly showing any emotion to this situation at all... I normally have a pretty fiery temper, but at the moment I'm so calm it actually scares me! What will happen with this damn breaks? I'm finding all the malicious things I did to hurt her and my husband is giving me a buzz that I'm feeding off...

I'm so confused, don't know who to turn to for good sensible advice and essentially my petrified of what my reaction is going to be when the calm wears off!

Could you help?

For more information, visit Stepmom Circles host Jacquelyn Fletcher's award-winning blog at


Interview with Peggy Nolan of the Stepmom’s Toolbox

January 14, 2011

stepmomcircles3This week's episode of the Stepmom Circles Podcast is ready! My guest is Peggy Nolan, a stepmom blogger whose blog The Stepmom’s Tool Box is a place you’re going to want to hang out during the month of October. Peggy is hosting authors on her blog all month who will be available to answer your questions and who will be giving away copies of their books and other fun prizes. (Yes, I'll be one of the authors!) For a full schedule of who will be stopping by Peggy’s blog this month, listen in to today’s show or visit or blog.

Peggy is a mom of two and stepmom of four children. As you’ll hear most of the kids did just fine when Peggy and her husband got together three and a half years ago. However, Peggy’s youngest stepson has proven to be a challenge mostly because he is a special needs child.

Not long ago I received a letter from a reader who is a stepmother of a special needs kid and I thought it would be useful to my listeners to discuss this topic because if your partner has a special needs child or you do yourself, then the issues that are common in stepfamilies are made even more complicated. Even if you aren't dealing with a special needs child, this show will give you some fantastic tools to help you develop  a stronger relationship with your partner and deal with the challenges that sometimes come with stepchildren.

The Stepmom Circles podcast is in an mp3 format. You can listen to it online or download it to your computer or mp3 player.

Do you have something you want to hear about on a future episode of Stepmom Circles? Join the Stepmom Circles group on FaceBook or leave a comment here.

Visit Stepmom Circles host Jacquelyn Fletcher's blog at for more support, inspiration, and education.


Self-Care for Stepmoms

January 13, 2011

stepmomcircles3 Listen up ladies, this episode of Stepmom Circles is an important one for you to hear! Pilar Gerasimo, the editor of Experience Life magazine, a whole life health and wellness magazine talks about how important self-care is for stepmoms.

You all know how important it is to take care of yourselves. I do, too. But I had no clue how bad it is for our bodies when we don't do things we love to do! You'll learn how important it is to increase the pleasurable experiences in your life. And if you're living in a high-stress stepfamily situation, then you really need to listen to this and put the advice you'll hear into practice right away!

During the interview we discuss a few articles that ran in Experience Life. Here they are for your reference: Take Care of Yourself and A Real Pleasure.

Visit Stepmom Circles host Jacquelyn Fletcher's award-winning blog at


Stepmonster: Interview with Wednesday Martin

January 13, 2011

stepmomcircles3Listen to my first Stepmom Circles show ever. It's a classic! Wednesday Martin, PhD, the author of Stepmonster and I talk stepmothering. If you live near New York City, visit Wednesday's website to find out of she's doing an upcoming seminar. You'll love Wednesday and her research-based and life-based wisdom.

Visit for more.