You know, I can relate to many moms because of my personal experiences. I can relate to adoptive moms, empty nest moms, moms who have had breast cancer, those struggling with marriage issues, and so many other scenarios. However, there is a scenario that I do not personally have experience in: being a stepmom. This is why today I’m welcoming my friend, Laura Petherbridge, onto the podcast!

Laura is an author, speaker, and coach who understands what it’s like to be a stepmom, as well as what it’s like to be a stepchild. She is the co-author of The Smart Stepmom: Practical Steps to Help You Thrive, which is a book I have recommended over and over to stepmoms I know!

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • Why it’s not uncommon for children to resent their stepparents (especially after the wedding)
  • The #1 thing a child’s stepparent can do to help with a family transition
  • Why it’s crucial as a stepparent to process your own childhood pain
  • How to learn not to take a child’s behaviors personally
  • And much more!

Even if you’re not a stepparent, this episode is one to listen to! Laura is such a master at helping us understand the inner lives of both the child and adults navigating this family transition.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

My Key Takeaways:

1) We have to start building a bond from scratch. Stepparents often feel the urge to force a connection with their stepchild. However, it’s important that you allow it to form naturally. Even if you’ve had a good relationship with them while you’ve been dating their parent, don’t be surprised if once you actually become their stepparent, they express resentment toward you and your relationship reverts back to zero. Even when it’s hard, make sure you are affirming them as much as possible for who they are and the things they do well.

2) We need to learn to love like Jesus. It can be hard to deal with rejection, but we need to remember that this isn’t about you. All a child can often see is their pain from losing their family, their normalcy, and it sometimes even feels like a loss of a familiar relationship with their parent. This is when we need to remain constant and love how Jesus did. It’s easy for the child to turn their grief and emotion toward the stepparent, but we need to love them sacrificially and in spite of their potential rejection of us.

3) God doesn’t intend for us to do this alone. You may think that you can tough it out and do this alone. But the truth is that God never intended for us to navigate life alone! Find a support group or close friends, preferably ones that have walked through similar experiences, that you can meet with regularly (in-person if you can!). You need people around you that understand what you are going through and can offer encouragement on your toughest days.

About Laura:

Laura Petherbridge is a speaker, coach, and co-author of The Smart Stepmom. Laura’s goal is to serve couples and single adults by addressing a variety of topics including relationships, stepfamilies, co-parenting, and single parenting. She has the unique experience of being both a stepparent and a stepchild. Laura lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband, Steve. She has two married stepsons and two grandchildren. You can find Laura online at






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