Laura Petherbridge

Laura Petherbridge a/k/a The Smart Step Mom and author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”-Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce serves couples and single adults through her U.S. and international speaking opportunities. Laura is the step mom to two sons who she began parenting at age 11 and 13, and Aunt extraordinaire to her brothers four children. Laura has been a step-mom for 26 years, she and her husband have been married for 26 years.

Resolving Stepfamily Conflict

Recently during a life coaching session I encountered a stepmom who had a track record of acting negatively toward her adult stepson and his wife. They perceived her as harsh, critical and judgmental. The stepmom admitted that her choices weren’t always wise. However, she proceeded to defend her actions, saying her motives were right and Continue »

Trash Talking

I once had a stepmom say to me, “You know, every time I go to my stepson’s baseball game the biological mom makes it very obvious that she does not want me there, that she doesn’t think I belong there.  She storms around the field, and it makes it very uncomfortable for my stepsons.” I Continue »

10,000 Stepfamily Days

My husband recently woke up with a smile, “Happy 10,000 days!!” Steve beamed. “What?” I inquired, still groggy. “We met 10,000 days ago today. Happy anniversary,” He replied. My husband was a banker for 25 years, so that explains his obsession with numbers. And we both like to look back over the years and breathe Continue »

Stepmom Perks

There are times when being a stepparent can serve as an advantage.  Children will sometimes share things with a stepparent that they will not disclose to a mom or dad. They also may view a stepmother as an ally or a friend in a way that is very different than a parent. Recently a stepmother Continue »

The “Normal” Step Family

Recently, while in an airport I overheard two women discussing someone they know who is part of a step family. I wasn’t trying to listen, but they were right next to me so it was inevitable. Their conversation went like this: “The kids refuse to introduce Eric’s sons their brothers,” Woman #1 stated. “They insist Continue »

Unconditional Love

No one has ever loved me like my husband does. I’m not sure why, I only know that Steve’s love for me overlooks my flaws, my tendency to be critical, and my bad habits. His unconditional love is what helped me to “hang in there” when stepfamily living got tough. That coupled with the fact Continue »