In the fall of 2013, I joined Laura Petherbridge, co-author of The Smart Stepmom, and three other stepmoms to consider outreach and ministry to stepmoms. We hosted a Stepmom Retreat in Dallas, Texas and were overwhelmed by the needs, excitement, and hunger for support by the 65 attendees.
Seeing the huge need for more help, we prayed about whether to take a leap of faith and start a ministry for stepmoms. We decided to commit our time, finances, gifts, and skills to form a non-profit corporation called The Sisterhood of Stepmoms.
We have held 7 stepmom retreats across the United States and are preparing for our 4th annual retreat in Dallas Sept 22-23, 2017.
Here are a few comments from previous attendees:
It’s helped me to understand what normal struggles look like for a stepmom. I’m not alone in how I feel. The retreat really encouraged me!
My marriage was almost over when I came to this retreat. My husband even asked me to move out. But now I have found help, and what I need to try again. I think we will make it now.
My husband was worried the retreat was going to be a big complaint session. NOTHING could be further from that. Women shared their struggles. Even the speakers shared struggles. But everyone was encouraging. It wasn’t complaining. I left feeling understood, encouraged and knowing what I struggle with is normal. I gained friends and tools to help me on this journey.
Our goal is to:
- Provide information on what’s “normal” in stepfamily living
- Create a safe atmosphere where stepmoms can be themselves
- Connect stepmoms with each other to ease loneliness and isolation
- Prepare stepmoms for stepchildren who may reject them
- Encourage stepmoms on how to co-parent with their husband
- Instruct stepmoms on how to “step back” when necessary
- Coach stepmoms with tips on dealing with a former spouse
- Offer help when her husband is parenting out of guilt and fear
- Pray for stepmoms who are struggling
- Educate the church on the unique complexities in stepfamilies
- Explain how much God faithfully loves stepfamilies