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  • lesliericks


Updated: Apr 16, 2021

Yep, I said it. Stepmomming is a... I would be lying if I said I love being a stepmom. How is it possible for me to love my bonus daughter the way that I do, and hate being a stepmom? I mean momming is hard enough, but to add the new family dynamics of being blended, takes momming to a whole new level. When my husband and I started dating in 2015, I had no idea we would be married three months later! On January 22, 2016, we married, and I went from being a single mom of one boy to a mother of two. I was excited to gain a daughter; I was excited to teach her the things my mother had taught me.

I was even happy to meet the BM (biological mother). I remember meeting my daughter’s BM for the first time; I invited her to a local coffee shop. During the meeting, I sincerely did everything I could to make myself available, and to neutralize any fears she might have felt by my presence. The presence of a strange woman being intimately and forcibly involved in her one and only child’s life. Our coffee meet-and-greet was calm, I was certain BM and I would partner in sharing the highs and lows of raising a rising star. Unfortunately, my expectations were unrealistic. A few weeks after our coffee date, I faced the first of many BM challenges; this particular challenge resulted in our daughter not attending our wedding. I was angry! In the first four years of our marriage, we fought for our daughter in court, spiritually, mentally, and financially. It nearly destroyed my Honey and me.

The BM challenges taught me the importance of setting realistic boundaries and meeting people where they are emotionally and mentally. I alone set myself up for real failure! I had an idealized image in my head of us blending like the Kardashian-Jenner family (before the change). The truth is, manipulation was at work every step of the way. Finances, emotions, the court system, and so much more had been manipulated. However, once we identified the manipulation, we then used it as a tool to teach our kids how to detect manipulation and to know it is a form of abuse! I REPEAT, MANIPULATION IS ABUSIVE BEHAVIOR.

The merging of two households has been a long process, and we are still growing and learning. But our growth was made evident on April 31, 2020, during a meeting with our Webpage Designer and my bonus daughter, the Director (in training) of OIG. During the meeting, our conversations took a random turn. The subject of the blended family came up, and at some point, I ask my daughter to share her thoughts on the subject, at which time she said: "blended family is hard, but it gets better." The hope and optimism in her voice were chilling; at that moment, I could see that she has her own overcoming story to share one day. The ugliness that is often inherited when combining families is hard, but as our 12-year old daughter said, “it gets better.”


Overcoming the hardships of being a stepmom is challenging and ongoing. It sucks to be the bigger person, to take a backseat, to cry, to feel helpless. But believe me, when I say, it does get better! Just know, that better is a daily choice and requires work. Listed below are a few steps to protect your marriage and the progress of your blended family.


  • Identify and apply appropriate boundaries.

  • Bad behavior does not deserve the attention nor the confusion it seeks.

  • The consequences of a boundless blended family hurt everyone.


  • Individual – Work on the areas in your life and potential triggers that prevent you from being fair and impartial toward your bonus child, and his/her biological parent.

  • Family – Walk through the process as a family, so you overcome as a family. Allowing your kids to be a part of the process helps them to understand blending is hard for everyone, BUT when you are in it together, you will OVERCOME it together.


  • Establish a positive support system of people/families who will encourage, mentor, and pray with and for you when the challenges of stepmomming are more than you can handle.

  • Join a support group! YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


I am in this for the long haul.

Boundaries protect and not hinder.

I give myself permission to make mistakes.

My family will win, with love and grace.

I love you, and I pray you do not lose hope. Peace is possible, and God’s Grace is for you (2 Corinthians 12:9).


Leslie Ricks, OIG LLC, CEO & Founder

Copyright © 2020 OIG. All Rights Reserved.

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