Yelling at the kids: what it really means

woman yelling

If you’ve ever yelled at your steps or bios before…

Guess what it means about you?

👉It means you are simply a human being. Period.

But seriously…what parent hasn’t yelled at their kids before?

{Do you know of any? If so, please report them. They might not be humans 😂}


And here’s something else that I love –

👉The latest relationship science shows that even the best parents only get things right 33% of the time.

Yes that’s right…Sally the PTA president, lunch box wizard, peaceful playground mediator, beautifully dressed momma, with such well-mannered, delightful children…. also gets it right… LESS THAN HALF the time. 

The other 67% of the time? They mess up!

And what matters when they mess up is this:

👉They then focus on repairing the relationship.

Maybe that means an apology, a nice gesture, a hug.

Period.

💕Now please please please re-read this whenever you feel like an evil a$$hole because of something not-so-nice you did to your steps or bios.

💕I promise you…if you are messing up, even if it feels like a majority of the time, it means you’re a human being.

And you can revive your connection with a repair.

And that’s good enough. Period.

But… if you’re NOT EVER messing up…well then that is definitely concerning, and you should for sure get that checked out 😂

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

I’m the happiest I’ve ever been as a stepmom

Happy woman

Charity W., like so many of you, wanted to genuinely miss her stepson when he went away to college. 

 

But when she came to me, she had a really strained relationship with him. 

 

And, she felt consumed with shame and guilt 


Why couldn’t she just have more patience with him? Was she some kind of a monster? 

 

During our free call, I let her know that there was a very logical reason why she was having trouble connecting with him. 


And no, she definitely was NOT a monster. 

 

Of course, on the surface, he might talk back more, not listen, and say cruel things – we’ve all been there, right?  

 

BUT – spoiler alert – our stepkids challenging behavior is actually NEVER the main reason we struggle as stepmoms. 

 

And for Charity – (and let’s be real: me, and all the stepmoms on the planet) – 


all the resentment and annoyance she felt towards her stepson was simply a reflection of her own unhealed emotional pain. 
 

 

Let me explain. 

 

With a little gentle exploring, Charity confessed that one of the main relationship stressors was her stepson’s sense of entitlement. 

 

So we just kept exploring: why was his entitled behavior a problem for her specifically

 

Turns out, deep down, she was jealous of him – she had yearned for a childhood like his but instead, her parents had always struggled with money. 

 

And even today, even with abundant finances and a very comfortable life, Charity was still not giving herself what she really wanted.  

 

So, we granted her permission to start taking better care of herself – FIRST.  



She got braces to fix some gaps she had been feeling really insecure about. 



She gave herself a cute haircut. 

 

She decided to cut back on the number of hours she was working at her day job. 

 

And once she gave herself what SHE needed, the tension in her relationship with her stepson simply melted away. 



And even when they did face the normal parent-child obstacles, I showed her how to approach her stepson with the RIGHT emotions to elicit more cooperation. 

 

He listens better. 



Their conversations are easy now. 

 

They laugh together. 

 

And more importantly, Charity reported feeling the happiest she’s ever felt as a stepmom. 


And that pure joy and love that Charity cultivated for herself and her relationship – 

 

You could be her, too.

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

This stepmom’s 50-minute miracle: constant fights to calm convos

happy couple smiling

I know you want to enjoy a deeply loving, intimate, and lasting marriage to your very best friend…


But, you might be stuck in a never-ending cycle of arguing and feeling too anxious, hurt, and angry to really enjoy your marriage right now. 


I promise you there’s a very good reason this is happening right now, and it’s not your fault. 


🔥 But what if there was ONE simple tool that you could use to eliminate your anxiety, hurt, and anger on command?


And, ultimately help you have more productive and calm conversations with your spouse, whenever you wanted? 🔥

If just thought um…YES TO TALL OF THAT!!!!!!!

You’re in the right place. 

👉 You just need to learn my simple, proven emotional empowerment protocol. 


👉It’s the quickest, most effective way to start feeling calmer AND stop the cycle of heated fighting with your spouse for good.


👉 It’s got two simple steps: 

✅ pause whenever you feel anxious/ angry/ hurt, and take some slow deep breaths in through the nose, out through the mouth 

✅ as you’re slowly breathing, repeat this simple script to yourself until you start feeling calmer: 

This is an emotion. I’m simply feeling {name the negative/uncomfortable emotion}.
It’s coming from my thinking habits. 
I don’t have to react right now. 
I am OK.

I walked my client through these exact steps, and after ONE 50 minute session – and here’s what she had to say:

 

And not only that, but during our next session, she also told me this: 

🥰 “I was able to talk to {my husband} about what happened with his ex very calmly, and rationally, and he responded really well. This is such a relief. 

Before I met you, we were fighting constantly – just like every single day – and now it’s like we’ve had a few arguments, but we were able to calmly end them and move onThese tools are the answer to my prayers. I feel so much more in control.” 


So just put yourself in my client’s shoes –

Imagine feeling angry and hurt when your spouse lets their kids get away with too much yet again, or the ex-wife throws a wrench in your plans once more…

✨ and just like my client, imagine instead…. simply pausing, breathing, and reciting the simple script….and then….. feeling so grounded and in control

✨ Then….imagine how powerful it would feel to have one calm, and productive discussion with your spouse about whatever happened 

✨ Now….just imagine how much more loving and intimate your marriage would become if these types of calm, productive conversations were your norm. 

And just consider….👆👆👆THAT can be your norm – and practicing these 2 simple steps guarantees it. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

The permanent, fool-proof marriage solution for stepmoms

happy couple smiling

If you’re in the midst of a sudden or ongoing marital challenge, you’re not alone. 

 

{In fact you may even be thinking..um Kristin – what stepmom isn’t!!??} 

 

But I have good news: 

 

It’s possible there is ONE simple tweak that you can make today to create more sustainable peace and happiness in your marriage. 

 

I’m thinking about one woman in particular who’s an excellent example of this – 

 

When this person first came to me, she wanted more boundaries with the ex, and more structure in her home during her husband’s custodial time –


And she and her husband fought about this all the time.  

 

She was feeling anxious, guilty, and incredibly stressed – to the point where she was having a lot of trouble sleeping through the night. 

 

And the first thing that I let her know was this: 

 

It’s not that you’re wrong for wanting more boundaries and wanting more parenting structure. 

 

But, at the same time, the WAY you’re doing it isn’t working – it’s just causing more arguments. 

 

And ultimately, we cannot control your husband. 

 

So what if there’s a way for you to feel happier, and more at peace, and argue way less with your husband –


regardless of whether or not he meets your expectations? 

 

She was game. 

 

And after a little gentle exploration, we uncovered that she was taking her husband’s choices really personally – 

 

Any time he wouldn’t set a boundary with his ex, or would be reluctant to enforce certain rules with his daughter – my client started spiraling with thoughts like this: 

 

“Well, he does this because he doesn’t care about me!” 

 

And this line of thinking was actually the root cause of all their arguing at home, as well as her emotional distress. 

 

So I offered her this simple idea: it’s possible he’s not trying to intentionally hurt you here. 

 

So whenever her husband didn’t enforce a rule or boundary at home, like so many men {eh hem…Disneyland dads} in his shoes… he was simply overcome with guilt or insecurities from the separation and divorce.



Period. 



 

And with that, every time my client’s husband didn’t enforce a rule or boundary, my client practiced:
 

  • taking some slow deep breaths, and 

  • simply reminding herself that her husband’s decisions are about him, and his own guilt, and fears, and not actually a reflection of how he feels towards her. 

 

And over time, she started to feel way more relaxed – the anxiety and stress that plagued her days and robbed her of sleep, dissipated. 

 

And their fights decreased significantly – simply because she knew deep down that her husband loved HER – even if he didn’t always meet her expectations on rules and boundaries. 

 

So they could talk about things calmly, or not – and regardless, my client no longer believed her happiness or their love for one another depended on her husband changing. 

 

And guess what: I don’t know that her husband EVER changed his ways. 

 

But she felt more content, and calmer as a stepmom, mom, and wife.

 

And…even months later, the work we did together still has a significant, and powerful influence on her marriage, and overall happiness and sense of peace at home – 

 

She wrote to me recently and said that her husband was feeling crushed and rejected by something his daughters did and was sulking around the house all weekend. 

 

And my client – because she’s a human – immediately felt rejected too – 

 

But then, just like countless times in the past, she remembered her tools: 

 

She remembered that her husband’s sulking was about HIM and his own insecurities with his daughters, and not about HER or their love. 

 

And from that empowered place, she chose to be supportive and comfort her husband – instead of starting a fight about why he needed to stop sulking.

 

And she focused on making her weekend fun – no matter what. 

 

Simply deciding to depersonalize her husband’s behavior has created sustainable peace and happiness in her marriage. 

 

And if this stepmom and bio-mom, me, and countless other women I’ve helped can use this one simple tweak to permanently, and positively shift our marriages…

 

 It’s 100% possible you can too. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

The secret reason we disengage from our stepfamily

Woman with hands up

When my most recent client came to me, she started off talking about how she’d love to genuinely miss her stepkids when they left the house for college…

 

But, at the same time, achieving that felt damn near impossible. 

 

And she had no idea why. She was a nice enough person! She wasn’t trying to be mean. 

 

And if this is you too, there’s nothing wrong with you. 

 

There is a very good reason why it’s been so hard for you to genuinely and unconditionally like and love your stepkids. 

 

And, it’s actually a protective mechanism that is embedded in your subconscious mind. 

 

See, love and connection are biological imperatives. 

 

{As infants, the only way we get all of our needs met is if our caregivers love us}

 

So, whenever we start doing something that puts more emotional distance between us and any other human being, we’re trying to subconsciously protect ourselves from something. 

 

After a little gentle exploring with my client, we discovered that her stepkids reminded her subconscious mind of the happy childhood she never had, but still deeply longed for. 

 

And in a way, even as an adult with financial abundance, she was still denying herself the simple pleasures of life. 

 

So I first helped her start taking better care of herself – she finally got that cute haircut she’d been wanting, went on more date nights with her husband, and bought herself a really nice pair of earrings. 

 

Then, the resistance she felt to connect with her stepkids, to genuinely missing them, simply dissipated. 

 

And this isn’t just true for one client – it’s true for every single person I help. 

 

👉 For another one of my clients who felt super anxious around her stepkids, I helped her see that her anxiety had nothing to do with her stepkids, and everything to do with a past event where her mom had excluded her from a really important family function. From then on, she was able to hang out on family movie nights, and dinners, without being incredibly uncomfortable.

 

👉For another client who also felt very panicky around her stepkids, I helped her see that again, her panic had everything to do with her own neglected childhood, and nothing to do with her stepdaughter. From then on, she stopped needing to hide out in her room all the time. 

 

👉And for another client who was feeling rejected by her stepkids, I helped her see that her rejection was actually tied to an event where she was left out of a friend’s birthday party.  From then on, she was able to take her stepkids’ behavior way less personally. 

 

For each client, we first clear up the past pain, and then, the strong intense emotions of anxiety, panic, and rejection simply melt away and do not return –

and in its place, a genuine desire to connect and hang out appears.  

 

This is how the body is designed to work – it is designed to heal, and it’s always seeking to connect with other people. 

 

Connected relationships are JUST as important to our survival as water and food. 

 

And if you’re struggling to genuinely and unconditionally like and love your stepkids just know this: 

 

I know you’re a kind, decent person – if not, you wouldn’t be on this email list. 

 

And there’s nothing wrong with you – you just have a protective blockage embedded in your subconscious mind. 

 

And with the right emotional support and tools, these blockages can be released for good –

 

So you can be free to have the deeply loving and connected relationships you crave deep down. 

 

And ultimately, enjoy a happy, lasting marriage to your very best friend. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

The connection choice we didn’t know we had

One big family

Does this sound familiar to you? 

 

“I just don’t like my stepson. He’s so annoying, rude, and entitled.” 

 

If this is you, I want you to know you’re not alone. 

 

And there’s nothing wrong with you. You simply have a normal human brain. 

 

{Human brains are biased to focus on the negative.} 

 

The real problem is that no one has ever taught you how to cultivate a lasting, and genuine connection with your stepkids –

even when it feels so easy to dislike them. 

 

I’ve helped myself and so many of my clients cultivate deep connections with our stepkids with just one simple question: 

 

What do I need to remember to feel more connected to my stepkids TODAY? 

 

For me, I just like to remember: 

 

  • This is a human being, just like me

  • They have a beating heart, just like me 

  • They suffer emotionally, just like me 

  • They are trying their best, just like me. 

  

Now I know what you might be thinking – 


Kristin, you’re telling me that when my stepkid calls me stupid I’m just supposed to feel all lovey-dovey? 


YES and NO. 


I’m NOT suggesting we condone inappropriate or harmful behaviors. 


But what I am suggesting is that it’s possible to both dislike the behavior AND still feel connected to our stepkids…. at the same time. 


Just like we have friends or other family members who may have fallen on hard times, and made choices we don’t like- 


We don’t have to agree with their choices, but we can always choose to feel connected to this human being by focusing on what we still have in common, and what we already love about them. 

 

And even on the most difficult days, when I start to notice myself pulling away from my stepfamily, I remember the simple choice I have: 

 

  • I can choose to feel connected right now

 


And I instantly soften. I gaze into their eyes. I offer a genuine smile. We connect. 

 


Over time, these little moments compound.



Little by little, we start to have more open and kind conversations. 



We learn more about each other’s likes and dislikes.




We start to gently tease each other. 




But then, I make mistakes, and then they make mistakes. 




So we talk and figure it out. 



I stop being so hard on them. 



They start cooperating more on the things that matter the most. 




{Bonus ripple effect: I spend significantly less time complaining to my husband about how he needs to correct their behavior and more time talking about fun things like our next vacation}




And then the next thing you know…



POOF! 



I’m asking my stepkids to help me fold the laundry and they instantly pop in to help. Not a single pushback, or complaint. 



They even ask about the most helpful way to fold and organize their baby sister’s clothes. 



They even say things like –  Hey! I’m actually having a really fun week with you. 



These changes that I’ve experienced – and that so many of my clients have as well –



They all started with one simple mindset shift.



And if we can do it, it’s entirely possible you can too. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

How to fall deeply in love with your spouse, again

happy couple

You may or may not know this about me, but I’m madly in love with my two rescue kitties – Pear and Cherry. 

 

I love the way they: 

  • Curl up on my lap while I’m watching TV

  • excitedly dart towards their food bowls when it’s time to eat 

  • Loudly protest when I go into the restroom without them 

  • Squeeze into one tiny cat bed together for hours at a time 

 

And it dawned on me today as I was yet again listening to their loud meows of thanks at mealtime…

 

The way I love my cats is also how I’ve been able to stay deeply in love with my husband. 

 

When it comes to him, I spend most of the time noticing and thinking about how…

 

  • much he makes our 5-month-old giggle 

  • comforting it feels to gaze into his big, bright blue eyes 

  • he does so many loads of dishes, and pretty much all of the shopping

  • dedicated he is to all of his children 

  • soft his lips feel against mine 

  • Safe and warm I feel in his arms 

 

I spend very little time thinking about what isn’t working, and what I don’t like. 

 

And it’s not because my husband is perfect – he’s wonderful! But we all have our flaws. 

 

I learned that enjoying a more deeply loving bond is a mindset game –

 

It’s simple, doable, and not even hard with a little bit of practice. 

 

In fact, you can even start right now if you wanted – 

 

You can make a simple list of what you already like and love about them. 

 

Go slowly, and notice how good it feels to focus on why you love them – 

 

Maybe you love how they brought you some much-needed coffee this morning. 

 

Or maybe you love how comforting it feels to hold their hand. 

 

Imagine looking at this little list every day – even for just a few minutes a day. 

 

Imagine that list growing, as you notice more and more of the good. 

 

And imagine how, with a little repetition, you’d start to feel so much more in love, simply by noticing more of the good, and less of the bad. 

 

So, just consider: Falling deeply in love with your spouse all over again is 100% possible for you. 

And it starts with small, simple shifts – 

And with some repetition – 

These small changes turn into a deep, genuine, and lasting love. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

Overcome your 2nd wife insecurities today

Insecure woman

“I don’t want to keep competing with her ghost anymore,” one of my most recent clients lamented to me. 

  

She’s married to a widower – and was feeling insecure in her marriage and in her role as stepmom. 

 

And, no matter the situation with your partner’s ex, I’m sure so many of you can relate – 

 

You may also feel insecure, not good enough, and like you don’t always belong. 

 

And if this is you, feeling insecure when you are wife #2 is a totally normal human thing to do. 

 

But, the problem for so many of us – and my current client – is that we try to get our security from our partners and our stepkids. 

 

For my client, she kept trying to get her stepkids to appreciate how much care and attention she put into the meals she made for them. 

 

She packed unique lunches for each specific stepkid – spicy almonds for one; seedless green grapes for another. 

 

She noticed the dinners they really liked and made sure to cook them regularly. 

 

Sometimes they would thank her, and sometimes they wouldn’t. 

 

But no matter what, it never felt like it was enough. 

 

And that’s because she was simply forgetting that other people will always fall short of making us feel secure in our marriages and in our roles as stepmoms. 

 

It’s not because they’re cruel –  it’s because they’re human. 

 

So I invited her to consider that she didn’t need their validation anymore, because a previous partner doesn’t actually detract from her value at home. 

 

If anything, the contribution she’s making to her family is unique AND additive.

 

She is already doing an amazing job. 

 

Her contribution matters to her family, even if they don’t always remember it.

 

She is good enough just the way she is – her spouse chose her, after all. 

 

So, if you’re feeling insecure, I want to invite you to turn inwards, and ask yourself: 

 

How am already I doing a really amazing job, just as I am? 

 

Praise yourself. Let yourself feel good. Know that you matter – and being #2 can never detract from that. 

 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

When co-parenting with BM is failing

2 women arguing

I know your heart.

 

You have the best of intentions.

 

💖 You want everyone to agree on how to parent the kids and you know your spouse’s ex is a huge piece of the puzzle.

 

But despite your best efforts, the ex:

 

❌maybe doesn’t even want to talk to you

 

❌ refuses to do anything your spouse suggests

 

❌always tries to throw a wrench in your plans.

 

You think that things would be so much easier – on you, your spouse, your stepkids – if the ex would just be more agreeable.

 

If this sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone.

 

And, I have good news and bad news.

 

Bad news first:

 

👉You’re right – things would probably be a lot easier if everyone could cooperate.

 

👉But the bad news is that there’s nothing you or anyone else (even your spouse) can do to get the ex to cooperate.

 

As you’ve probably experienced, no amount of niceties, accommodations, or reasoning will ever work.

 

So I know you may be thinking:

How do I STOP all of this drama then?

 

And the good news:

 

✨The simplest and most effective way to stop any and all drama with the ex is to simply shift your perspective –

 

Because in the end, no matter the chaos around you, you always get to choose your attitude.

 

And ultimately, your attitude is always 100% in your control.

 

{We all know this innately, and sometimes we just need a little reminder.}

 

✨That shift in perspective could be as easy as remembering things like:

 

✨The ex doesn’t control my feelings – I do

 

✨The ex doesn’t control my marriage – I do

 

✨No matter what, I love my spouse

 

✨Getting upset isn’t going to solve this problem

 

 

 

Just notice how empowering and calming it feels to remind yourself of these simple truths.

 

So just consider what this could be like for you if you simply practiced shifting your perspective around the ex:

 

💖Instead of getting increasingly angry and upset as you overhear your spouse in a heated argument with the ex, you simply take some deep breaths and feel calmer, knowing that the ex no longer controls you, or your marriage.

 

💖Instead of spending so much time and effort strategizing on how to get the ex to change, you no longer think about them so much at all, and feel lighter, and more at ease when your stepkids are over.

 

💖Instead of lashing out at your spouse for allowing the ex to treat them poorly, you simply offer your love and support and move on with the rest of your day. No more useless arguments about the ex, anymore.

 

Imagine how freeing, and peaceful it would feel if all of that…was your norm.

 

Just consider: it can be.

 

And it can as easy as practicing a simple shift in perspective.

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

The kids come 1st: the ugly myth about being #2

child getting upset at parents

We’ve all heard some version of this line before: 

 

“When you marry someone with kids from a previous relationship, their kids will always come first.” 

 

And yet…in our own relationships, we can’t accept this. 

 

If this is you, you’re not alone – and there’s a very good reason why.

 

It’s simply because the subtext of the “the kids come first” is: 

 

  • We’re not important

  • We’re not valued 

 

So of course it’s hard to accept that we’re not valued and we’re unimportant!


No one should even try to accept that. 

 

So instead of compassionately addressing our underlying fears of being unimportant, and undervalued we: 

 

  • stay late at work. 

  • hideout in our rooms. 

  • make lots of plans to stay busy when our stepkids are home

 

But none of that makes our underlying fears go away.

 

And we miss out on what we really want – 

 

The chance to build real connections and genuinely feel loved and important at home. 

 

So how do we bust this myth about the kids coming first? 

 

We simply shift our perspective by asking ourselves this simple question: 

 

“Why am I already important to my spouse and stepkids, just as I am?” 

 

Maybe it’s because I always make sure my family enjoys healthy meals at home. 

 

Maybe its because my stepkid just randomly told me he loved me the other day. 

 

No matter the reasons, our unique contributions matter, and we’re important, just as we are. 

 

Sometimes, we all just need a little reminder of why that’s true. 

 

And a simple shift in perspective can be all it takes to start feeling like a valued, important member of the family…

 

Who genuinely wants to spend time with her stepkids.

 

And who ultimately enjoys so much more peaceful and loving relationships at home. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.