I have been working with families in crisis for over 25 years. Unsurprisingly, when I became a stepmom almost 15 years ago, I thought I had it all figured out. Well, there is nothing like real life and real drama to show you how wrong you can be!
I told myself I knew what I was getting myself into, even after I had broken all my dating rules; 1) never date a cop (being in Child Protection brought too many work similarities) 2) never date a divorced dad, or at least 3) never date a divorced dad with a pre-adolescent daughter. I didn’t know then all the research that backs up the challenges stepmoms with pre-adolescent stepdaughters face, but I knew how I was as a pre-teen female in my intact family. Ali Wilks Headshot.
My stepfamily experiences have brought an incredible amount of personal growth and healing. I wasn’t nearly as grateful at the time for the painful stuff as I am now! Parenting my two bio-daughters is hard, but still much easier than my experience of being a stepmom.
The hurts and healing set me on the path I pursue now: passionate about supporting stepmoms who feel left out, rejected, confused about their role, and are feeling undervalued and underappreciated for their hard work and sacrifices.
My work with stepmoms naturally flowed into working with couples who are part of stepfamilies. The statistics for divorce the second (not to mention the third) time round are REAL; up to 65% of second marriages fail. Why? DYNAMICS. After almost falling victim to the statistic myself, I understand the impact of step-family dynamics on marriages. I love working with step-couples through my Successful Stepcoupling retreats, program, and support group.
I have seen how things can go wrong in families and now, as the new Stepfamily Wellness Editor for Stepparent Magazine, I can show you how things can go very, very well, despite the hardships, and despite the hurts.
My goal is to empower our readers – “we can overcome the overwhelm and turn your stepfamily stress into stepfamily success.”