Mary T. Kelly
Realistic Expectations for Successful Stepfamilies
The divorce rate among couples in second marriages with kids is somewhere between 64% and 72%. And part of the reason is that stepfamilies face unique challenges and may not have a realistic picture of just how long it takes for stepparents and stepchildren to get comfortable with each other.
Mary T. Kelly, M.A. is the marriage and family psychotherapist behind Real Stepfamilies, a platform designed to educate, normalize and offer practical solutions for the complexities of being part of a blended family. Her private practice in Boulder, Colorado, focuses on helping step-couples and stepfamilies, and she has 18-plus years of clinical experience in the space. Mary also runs support groups for stepmothers and serves as a contributing writer for Huffington Post and Stepmom Magazine.
On this episode, Mary joins Katherine to discuss the unique challenges faced by combined families with nonbiological members. She explains what’s behind the cultural stereotype of the ‘evil stepmother’ and describes the unrealistic expectations we have for what our blended family will look like. Listen in for Mary’s insight on establishing a good stepparent-stepchild relationship and learn what new stepfamilies can do to ease the transition for all involved.
Why the solutions counselors use for nuclear families don’t work for stepfamilies
What’s behind the cultural stereotype of the ‘evil stepmother’
The competing priorities of being a parent, a spouse and a stepparent simultaneously
The challenge in taking on the role of stepmother when you don’t have kids of your own
The therapeutic value of having camaraderie with other stepmoms
What we can do to ease the transition for married couples with kids
Establishing realistic expectations for what your blended family will look like
The pressure some women put on themselves to be the ‘best stepmom ever’
Why it’s crucial for couples in second marriages to set a regular date night
Why men tend to be more permissive with their kids post-divorce
Mary’s insight on what a good stepparent-stepchild relationship looks like
Connect with Mary T. Kelly
Call (303) 594-5240
Connect with Katherine Miller
The New Yorker’s Guide to Collaborative Divorce by Katherine Miller
Call (914) 738-7765