Us stepmoms have to stick together – and one of the best ways is sharing products that have really come in handy for the journey. Please note that I’m not being compensated in any way for featuring these…they’re some of my favorites and I hope they help you too! If you are looking for my favorite books, check out the Happy Reading page.
Our Family Wizard. This online tool (and mobile app) is frequently ordered by family courts in high-conflict custody arrangements, because it creates a neutral space for parents to communicate. Messages can be downloaded or printed for historical records, and you can even grant free access to professionals like lawyers and counselors. There are also modules for calendaring, expenses and scheduling.
Personalized duffle bag. How many times have your stepkids left something at your house – or forgotten something at their mom’s?! My stepdaughter carried a small duffle bag with her name on it (like these from Pottery Barn Kids) on visitation weekends. It was an easy way to make sure she packed (and re-packed!) everything from favorite stuffed animals to phone chargers.
Unity Sand Ceremony. Many couples include a sand ceremony as part of the wedding to demonstrate that even though they are becoming a new family, each individual parent and child retains their own uniqueness – making the end result that much more beautiful. I especially love shadowboxes like this one from The Dream Wedding Shop for beach weddings – you can include shells or sand dollars from your destination before displaying.
Shutterfly Share Sites. Are you looking for a creative way to share photos and schedules with the other parent and extended family, without connecting on social media? I made a family share site for each of my stepkids, and added photos and updates about school, sports & important dates.
Clothing labels. One of the biggest pain points when kids move between two homes is clothes not being returned. Although I know how frustrating it can be when that school outfit doesn’t make it back, I am equally guilty of throwing an outfit in the wash and in my stepkids’ dressers! A stepmom friend turned me onto these personalized, iron-on clothing labels from Stuck On You. She bought one shape/color for dad’s house and another for mom’s – it has worked brilliantly!
Unity Candle Set. The traditional unity candle ceremony is perfect for blended family weddings, symbolizing two families becoming one. I love this set from Etsy shop Heartfelt Candles, which can be personalized with names, dates and a special message representing your new family unit.
My Family Medallion. This lovely jewelry is a special way to recognize your stepkids during your wedding ceremony. The three merged circles in the medallion symbolize the new family being formed. I gave one to my stepson and stepdaughter as part of my vows; check out their website for blended family ceremony wording.
Google Voice. If your relationship with the other parent is high conflict, it can be difficult to set boundaries but also have an open channel of communication. This service allows you to choose an available telephone number for free, and calls to this number are forwarded to a number that you choose. A stepmom friend and her husband provide his ex-wife with the Google Voice phone number and forward it to his or her phone depending on who has the kids.
Unity Puzzle. These handcrafted wooden puzzles from Puzzled One can be used as part of the wedding ceremony or as a keepsake to commemorate your special day. The owner cares greatly about blended family “love stories” with the production of each heirloom piece.