Monday, April 25, 2016

I am speaking today - are you going to join me?

I'm presenting today at the Online Stepmom Summit. It’s a special online conference for stepmoms that provides quality and solid tips to guide stepmoms through the challenges of a blended family and find fun and fulfillment at the same time. You can join me and the conversation here.
 You can view my entire presentation for free for up to 48 hours.
You can also watch interviews with many other experts and people who are passionate about sharing their knowledge with stepmoms. If you haven’t registered for the Online Stepmom Summit, you can still register here: 
Plenty of learning for you. So, jump in and get going!
Talk soon, 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Look Before You Leap

A woman often enters the stepfamily experience with stars in her eyes. Wrapped in a cloud of love and optimism she confidently floats down the aisle, smiling serenely at the cute little step-angel flower-girls who are absolutely adorable clad in their frilly attire and happily strewing orange blossoms onto the wedding path. A perfect day - hallelujah choruses soaring - heaven on earth! Right? Absolutely...until...the following morning when the very same little step-angels barge into the honeymoon suite, loudly arguing over who will be the first to crawl into bed with daddy, and she realises that this was not exactly what she'd had in mind for her first morning of wedded bliss. Surely this couldn't happen to you, right? Well, if you intend to become a stepmother it just might!

To minimise the potential of such a rude awakening the number one suggestion I have for any prospective stepmum is: Look before you leap! Get to know your partner inside-out and spend as much time as possible with him when he is in the company of his kids. Then, be brave, put your emotions aside and take a good, hard look at reality. How much do you REALLY want to have his children in your life? Remember, if you marry this man, his children and everyone connected with them will also become a part of YOUR future!
Here are some questions to ask yourself that once answered, will help you make an informed decision: 
  • How does the love of your life behave when his children are with him? Do you still feel like you are an important person in his world or does he turn into an over-indulgent stranger? Who calls the shots - him or the kids?
  • Does he have a civil relationship with his ex, or are they in constant conflict? How are they fighting their battles? Are their disagreements played out through their children?
  • Has he worked through the failure of his first marriage or is he still angry or bitter? Does it seem as though he carries a great sense of loss, resentment or guilt?
  • How does he feel about the possibility of having more children? Does he embrace the idea, or does he tell you that the number of kids he has already are more than enough?
  • Does he have the financial wherewithal required to support an expansion of your family, should this be on you agenda? Will your income be needed to support his former family as well as the current one?
  • What are his expectations of you? Does he want you to become a surrogate mother to his children - someone to deal with all the mothering challenges but with none of the mothering rights?
  • How do you envisage your life 5 years from now? Can you see yourself being happy given the restrictions, sacrifices, challenges and complexities that marrying a man with baggage will bring?
If you have positive answers to these questions, you stand a fair chance of not falling victim to the 60% second-marriage divorce rate. If you do not, you'd be well advised to rethink your relationship intentions. All of you - your partner, his children and you - deserve only the best. If partnering means that either of you needs to make massive sacrifices, the potential for this to cause insurmountable conflict and resentment is too great for a happy outcome. You only live once. Look before you leap!
Sonja Ridden has conducted a private Counselling/Psychotherapy and Coaching practice, located on Sydney's North Shore, for the past 16 years. She is the author of "Hell...p, I'm A Stepmother" as well as numerous other stepfamily publications. She developed and maintained TheStepStop, Australia's 'First Stop For Stepfamily Information' - an interactive web-service for step-and blended families - and has made numerous public speaking and media appearances for the purpose of creating greater public awareness and understanding of the complexities and challenges faced by step-and blended families.

Over the years Sonja has assisted hundreds of couples in stepfamily circumstances. In addition she runs workshops for step-couples and national as well as international training seminars for helping professionals. To visit Sonja's website, please go to

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Join me at the Stepmom Summit

I’m excited to be speaking in the online Stepmom Summit! It’s free and registrants watch the videos at their leisure! There’s still time to grab your free ticket here:  

If you are dating a man with kids, in the process of planning the rest of your life with a man who has kids, or you are already married and have been crowned the title of “stepmom”, I wanted to let you know about a huge online event coming up: April 11-15

I’m speaking at it.

There’s over 15+ successful authors, therapists, and coaches who will be sharing proven and strategic ways that any stepmom can use that will encourage her to respect herself, nurture her marriage, and appreciate her role as a stepmom.

You might recognize names like Jenna Korf, Alisa DiLorenzo, Dr. Harold L. Arnold, Barb Goldstein (The Evil Stepmother Speaks), Jackie & Stephana Bledsoe, and many more.

The event is called the Online Stepmom Summit.

It’s all online and you can watch it from anywhere. You will receive your fist email with valuable videos for you to watch on April 11. Every day through April 15, you receive an email with links to more videos. It is like receiving a gift daily for 5 days!

Since I’m presenting at it, I have a free ticket for you.
Register HERE for the Online Stepmom Summit!

What I love about this online event, is that it’s for stepmoms at any stage of their journey:

Respecting Yourself:
The Down and Dirty of Dealing With His Ex While Maintaining Your Integrity and Sanity (Jenna Korf)
Discover the Biology of Our Thoughts, Strategies to Overcome Self-Doubt and Anxiety, and Ways to Visualize a Bright Future in Your Blended Family (Barb Goldberg)
Second Shift: How to Grow Your Part-Time Passion to Full-Time Influence While Being a Mom, Stepmom, and Wife (Dr. Harold Arnold)
A Roadmap and Guide, from a 35-year survivor, to Being a Stepmom (Sonja Ridden)

Nurturing Your Marriage:
Mandatory Date Nights, Required Family Meetings, and Strongly Suggested Planning Will Result in Solid Relationships Over Time (Yaffa Balsam)
The 7 Rings of Marriage: What Ring Are You Currently Wearing? (Jackie and Stephana Bledsoe)
Get Debt Free and Enjoy Your Money (Dustin Riechmann)
Stripped Down: 13 Keys to Unlocking Intimacy in Your Marriage (Alisa DiLorenzo)
Depth Psychology, Couples Therapy, and EFT (emotional freedom techniques): What They Are, How They Work, and How They Can Help (Hillary Straus)

Appreciating Your Role as a Stepmom
Elbow Room: Approaches to Combining and Organizing a Blended Family While Respecting Personal Space and Needs (Amy Payne)
Single Woman Seeking Single Man…With Kids? (Erin Careless)
The No-Nonsense Stepmom and Positive Role Model: Using Food, Fun, and Other Techniques to Bond a Family (Allison Task)
Legalities of Being a Stepmom: Surprising Facts and Proactive Steps (Stephanie Lefler)
Tips, Tricks, and Tools to Help You Communicate With Your Stepchildren (Karen Becker)
How God’s Word Reveals to Us the Path to Becoming a Godly Stepmom and Navigating Challenges Along the Journey (Heather Hetchler)

Grab your free ticket now! – Online Stepmom Summit Free Ticket

Stepmoms, Don’t miss this opportunity!
Sonja Ridden

P.S. I’m super excited about the content that is being shared at this event. What could your life be like 12 months from now if you were to implement just a few of the tips presented at this event? Grab your ticket now before the event starts! – Online Stepmom Summit Free Ticket