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Essential Stepmom Podcast

Essential Stepmom Podcast

By Essential Stepmom
Your trusted source for unconventional advice and inspiration about the Womanly Art of Raising Someone Else's Kids.
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106 It smells like home!

Essential Stepmom Podcast

110. The Magical Apology
If your partner is struggling to connect, or to re-connect with an alienated teenager, make sure he registers for LIONTAMER, my new 6-week intensive for dads. He'll learn to deftly guide his wandering teen back into their natural state of loving attachment and loyalty to him. Here's the link: You can also learn more by emailing me at
March 29, 2022
109. Nail your timing.
OK, this is a bit of a weird episode - it's actually the audio from a livestream video I did in my Spectacular Stepmom Facebook group. I'm talking about how to get better at knowing exactly when to say your peace and when to hold back - when to act and when to wait. This is all about the shadow and power archetypes, and about the real difference between logic and magic. I offer a unique style of coaching for couples where you work with me individually on alternating weeks. Email me for more information at 
March 23, 2022
108. This is the end of Parental Alienation.
Legacy Mastermind is exclusively for the divorced dad who feels helpless against the ongoing high-conflict that's drawing his children away from him. In this program he will be coded to strike the tone of fatherhood and develop the magnetic quality that will draw his kids back into his orbit and keep them there forever. It starts this week, Feb. 17th. There's still time to join - apply by email to
February 15, 2022
107 You're not crazy - magic is real.
Join my Facebook group, The Spectacular Stepmom!  You can reach me any time at  Don't forget to check out the UnDeletable Dad podcast too! Here's a little free advice for you: 3 SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL STEPMOMS!
December 23, 2021
106 It smells like home!
Just two more days left to register! Restorative Parenting for Divorced Dads begins Wednesday November 2.  By Christmas, you could become that dad who knows the trick to following through on what he says without using heavy-handed parenting tactics, how to get rules made that your kids will actually follow (it's true!) and to make sure that your kids really feel safe, loved and seen with you, no matter what they hear from their mom! Go to to register. Upgrade to the VIP package for unlimited 1:1 support from me over Voxer - I'll personally walk you through all the implementation so you don't fall through the cracks!
November 02, 2021
105 The Alienated Stepmom
Want to learn how to get through to kids who are being brainwashed about you? Sign up for my FREE 3-part workshop October 27-29, 2021 called Reversing Parental Alienation. Go to to register and don't forget to join the private Facebook group just for this event! You can always reach me at Limited 1:1 coaching spots are still available.
October 26, 2021
Welcome to Episode 1 of the Undeletable Dad Podcast! You can find it on and very soon it will be found on all your favorite platforms. Here's the link to sign up for Restorative Parenting: You can reach me at
October 19, 2021
ESP 103 Nacho Role-play with Lori Sims (part 3)
Lori Sims runs the Nacho Kids Academy - sign up with this link and she'll send a portion of your fee right back here to support this podcast! Click here: Sign up at for the Ultimate Stepfamily Summit!
September 13, 2021
ESP 102: Nacho Role-play with Lori Sims (Part 2)
"I thought David was a pretty good parent - until we got married!" Here's a link to the episode with Lori's husband David: I do a livestream video every Monday in my Facebook group The Spectacular Stepmom. Tomorrow's session  (Monday Sept 13) at 1pm EDT is called Bouncing Back From Stepmom Burnout - Before It's Too Late. Join the group by sending a join request to or email me at to ask for a link to the replay. Sign up for the Ultimate Stepfamily Summit at It's FREE!
September 12, 2021
ESP 101: "Nacho" role-play with Lori Sims (part one)
It's a Nacho Role-play with Lori Sims, the original Nacho Mama! You can learn more at Sign up for the Ultimate Stepfamily Summit (Sept 15-17) at Would you be so kind as to pop over to Apple podcasts and leave a quick review? If you screenshot it and send it to me at, you can win a 60 minute coaching with me!
September 11, 2021
ESP 11.3 EPISODE 100! Part 3 of my chat with Seth Nelson about what really matters.
Here are some highlights of today's conversation with Seth Nelson: 1:10 - when Seth got divorced, the law required one parent was named the primary residential, the other was secondary. In the end, it’s all about your ego, it’s just a label. 5:25 - On frequency of visits, it's often better to have more visits for a shorter time, especially for younger kids. 7:25 - 95% of the time you have with your child is before they’re 18! You can find Seth's podcast at How To Split A Toaster - and his website is Register now for the Ultimate Stepfamily Summit at
September 10, 2021
ESP 11.2 Attorney Seth Nelson: Should you settle for 60/40?
This is part 2 of my 3-part conversation with Florida-based family law attorney Seth Nelson. Listen at 2:20 to hear Seth describe the  the 3 worlds in which he lives as a divorce attorney, at 5:25 to learn about the many categories that courts consider (Factors A, B, C....all the way to Factor T!) and 10:10 to hear his take on why 60/40 might be better for you, even if you're getting the short end of the stick. Seth's podcast is How To Split A Toaster - you can find it here: His website is Sign up for the Ultimate Stepfamily Summit at This is episode 99 of the Essential Stepmom podcast! In honour of reaching our 100th episode tomorrow, I'm hosting a contest! Give this podcast a review on Apple podcasts and win a chance for a free 60-minute coaching with me - alone, or with your partner! Just find us on Apple podcasts:, write a brief review, screenshot it and email it to me at Can't wait to see yours there!
September 09, 2021
ESP 11.1 Divorce Attorney Seth Nelson
"Live your life, not your divorce!" Seth's podcast is called "How To Split A Toaster: A divorce podcast about saving your relationships". Here's a link to the show on Apple podcasts: You can contact Seth's office in Tampa, Florida via his website, Sign up for The Ultimate Stepmfamily Summit with my link to get my special registration bonus, access to over 50 of my stepmom video tutorials! Click here: My gift is crafting ingenious parenting/custody/life strategies for the divorced dad. Contact me at for more information about my comprehensive 6-month 1:1 Undeletable Dad coaching offer.
September 08, 2021
ESP 10.6 Anna De Acosta in conversation
Visit Anna's website at The Ultimate Stepfamily Summit is happening from September 15-17. It's FREE! Sign up now at to get my special bonus offer of lifetime access to my library of over 50 Livestream stepmom tutorial videos! You'll never be at a loss for something to listen to again!
September 01, 2021
ESP 10.5 The Loyalty Bind, and what to do about it.
Loyalty is one of the most misunderstood topics in the stepfamily world. I believe it's something much more fundamental than wondering which parent to believe, or visit, or like. This episode has been pulled from a live video I did a while back into my two Facebook groups - The Spectacular Stepmom and One For The Dads. If you'd like to belong to a positive, bash-free community, I invite you to join us there. Just send a join request to either group. With apologies for the gendered group names, same sex families are very welcome in both places. To register for the Ultimate Stepfamily Summit coming up from Sept 15-17, use this link to qualify for my special bonus! If you'd like to apply for Undeletable Dad, my 6-month 1:1 coaching program for divorced dads, send a message to my private email address - for more details.
August 24, 2021
ESP 10.4 What your therapist doesn't 'get' about your family.
Does my advice on stepfamily life conflict with what you're hearing from your counsellor or therapist? I'm not surprised, LOL! That's because they're not trained in the area of step-families and they still believe that all families follow the same kind of natural law.  Family Constellation Therapy was created by Bert Hellinger. My favourite book on this topic is by Jakob Schneider - it seems to be out of print but the Kindle edition is available here: Reach out to me for a link to watch my video on some specifics of how to start making a new family. You can reach me at or just click on this link to watch: I'd love to chat with you about my 1:1 coaching for dads. Email me at or visit my calendar to book a call at
August 04, 2021
ESP 10.3 Boundaries: The Bricks and Mortar Edition.
Want to know more about exactly how to make those boundaries you wish you had? Here are my top 5 tools for making better boundaries with your ex, your kids, even your spouse. I love hearing from you - let me know what you think about this, or just reach out to me any time at If you're a divorced dad wanting to rescue your relationship with your kids, or to learn how to parent in this upside-down family dynamic where the kids have way too much power, or to be ready to totally slay any attempt to reduce your custody or visitation, or to protect your personal finances from being shredded over the next 10-15 years, talk to me about my 6-month 1:1 coaching experience for dads. It's a significant investment, but your ROI will be absolutely spectacular!  Set up a complimentary chat at
July 20, 2021
ESP 10.2 Why don't you have better boundaries?
Everything comes down to boundaries. I'll break this apart and show you why yours aren't doing the job.  Do you know a divorced dad who wants to protect his relationship with his kids and maximize his ability to raise them the way he wants? Maybe he'd also like to keep his finances from getting shredded over the long haul of a high conflict "co-parenting" environment?  Invite him to book a time on my calendar at and we can talk about my 6-month comprehensive 1:1 coaching offer for Undeletable Dads!
July 14, 2021
ESP 10.1 Raising a step child on the Autism Spectrum with Dr. Sonia Cann-Milland
You can contact Dr. Sonia via her webiste, Her research paper about autism and stepfamilies can be accessed via Google Scholar or with this link: You can reach me on my private email at If your husband/boyfriend/partner is looking for help to get his high-conflict custody or parenting situation under control, he might be interested in my premium 6-month coaching offer that includes 1:1 sessions, unlimited Voxer support and my signature tool for establishing himself as an engaged and competent parent before the courts. Set up a no-obligation call to learn more and see if we'd be a good fit to tackle this project together!
June 29, 2021
ESP 9.9 Peter Maestrey exposes the unspoken rule
This is part two of my conversation with filmmaker Peter Maestrey about his journey through and past divorce. He shares how he dealt with other people telling him how to feel about his divorce and how he got on with creating the life he's always wanted. Peter's podcast is called Divorce - The First Six Months and you can find it through his website, https://divorcethefirstsix. You can reach me on my private email info@essentialstepmom or Coaching is available for stepmoms, and dads can access my exclusive 6-month parenting strategy program, Undeletable Dad. Call me to learn more:
June 22, 2021
ESP 9.8 Peter Maestrey on Divorce - The First Six Months
Peter Maestrey is an award-winning filmmaker and producer. He's also the host of a podcast called Divorce - The First Six Months. You can find him at The Visible Man Discord is open to men and women who want to have spontaneous, respectful, private conversations about how to recover and move on from the really big shit. There's also a pretty good poker game and some fantasy football, I'm told! Go to You can reach me any time on my personal and private email, or at I offer individual coaching for stepmoms, and a 6-month in-depth program for dads covering parenting strategy as well as custody planning and protection of financial resources. Learn more at
June 15, 2021
ESP 9.7 Reconciled - the book tour!
Bobbi Brooks Wilcox is the Founder of Blended Families United, a published author, is registered as an Unlicensed Psychotherapist in the state of Colorado, a coach, and an ordained minister. She offers online spiritual counseling and blended family coaching services, programs, and resources to stepcouples to help them heal, transform, and strengthen their marriage/remarriage and relationships so they will THRIVE and not just survive. To get 3 free chapters from her book, go to To connect with Tracy, email her private inbox at For dads, message
June 01, 2021
ESP 9.6 Greg Menendez on how the mind works
Greg Menendez teaches people how the mind works - and then, they never look back! Greg can be found at I have a Facebook community for stepmoms where I'd be glad to see you - join The Spectacular Stepmom by sending a join request to If you're a dad, you can connect with me in 3 ways: 1. My private Facebook group is called One For The Dads - send a join request to 2. I'm on the private and anonymous Discord server at VisibleMan - use this link to join: 3. I send weekly messages to my email community and I'd be glad to include you. Message me at
May 18, 2021
ESP 9.5 Jeff Hoffman and Jack Rollins: Visible Man, the Discord Server
"People sign up - we don't know who they are unless they tell us." Jeff Hoffman and Jack Rollins invite you to join their anonymous "Visible Man" Discord server with this link: Men and women are welcome! Men will be subsequently enrolled in a private men-only room by voice verification. If you'd like to experience coaching first-hand, schedule a free session with me any time by popping into my calendar and grabbing the open spot that suits your schedule: I'll set aside some time for you to help you untangle your big hairball of a situation. If you'd like to continue to work together after that, we can discuss how I can best serve your unique circumstances.
May 11, 2021
ESP 9.4 "High Conflict" by Amanda Ripley
You can buy High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out from Barnes and Noble with this link: Learn more about your listening style from Work with me 1:1 to create your perfect parenting strategy and I'll help you implement it in real time, in your home. Reach out for a phone call to learn more:
May 04, 2021
ESP 9.3 The Archives of Essential Stepmom Podcast
Sorry for my podcast fail this week, but join me reading Amanda Ripley's High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out. Here's a link to order from Barnes and Noble: If you're ready to address your deepest stepmom anxieties, or get to work on overcoming that post-divorce "parenting paralysis" that seems to strike even the most professionally successful dad, give me a shout about working together 1:1. You can book a free call with me at Here are the episodes I suggested from our archives: 9.1 Expectations vs Agreements 8.1 The Teenage stepdaughter with Mary Kelly 7.5, 7.6 Up-leveling as a dad with Rich Bolus of The Dad Mindset podcast 6.5, 6.6 Trystan Reese author of How We Do Family 5.5  Kate Anthony - first wife forever syndrome 4.4 Me: How do you bond with a kid who wants nothing to do with you 3.10 Me: Evil Stepmom archetype 3.6 Me: Unbrainwashing your alienated child 2.9 Me: Disengaging for Beginners 1.1 Me: Overstepping
April 28, 2021
ESP 9.2 Q: "How do I merge the best parts of myself with my stepmom role?"
This is an audio recording of a livestream on this topic from my Spectacular Stepmom facebook group. Not a member? Send a join request to THE SPECTACULAR STEPMOM Interested in booking a free coaching call with me? Go to
April 20, 2021
ESP 9.1 Change your expectations - into agreements!
This episode is chock full of quotes from author Steve Chandler's audio lecture Expectations vs. Agreements. You can hear it for yourself here: You can learn more about Steve and check out his books at If you'd like to chat with me about improving your communication with your spouse, your partner, your kids or your ex, you can book a call with me by clicking here: or by sending me an email at
April 14, 2021
ESP 8.7 When the ex won't play by the rules - with Jen Szeghi
Jen Szeghi is a trained psychologist, mediator and parent coordinator, and brings all that expertise to her parent coaching practice. You can connect with Jen at her website Watch for her YouTube channel coming up, The Alienator's Chess Game! You can find me, temporarily, at, at least until my Essential Stepmom website is all hooked up again. Ready to jump on a call? I'm all ears. Sign up for a free call to experience what coaching feels like for yourself , no strings attached. If you like how I work, and I really think I can help you, we can talk next steps!
April 06, 2021
ESP 8.6 Judith Yeabsley on kids who say NO!
Find more of Judith Yeabsley at and on Facebook at The Confident Eater You can reach me at or on Facebook at Essentialstepmom/UndeletableDad I'd love to help you chisel up your big problem into little wee pieces and give you just the right tools to crush them into dust! Set up a free call and let me show you what that could feel like:
March 30, 2021
ESP 8.5 Jonnie Jensen: dad, stepdad, superdad
Please go check out Team Super Dad and get more Jonnie Jensen. I feel very much aligned with his mission and how he goes about empowering dads to make all the impact they want to have on their kids while having a great work-life balance and even a great bank balance! Want to try my new "Day Of Voxer" coaching offer? It's the newest thing! Go get Voxer from the App Store, and we can set up a day to work together - on and off- for the whole day! Shoot me an email at
March 23, 2021
ESP 8.4 How to find the sweet spot of stepparenting!
The show I watched and adored is called Undone. You can find it on Amazon Prime. I'd love to hear from you! Email me at I'll be live on my public Facebook page, @essentialstepmom from March 22-26 with 5 days of tips for staying in contact with kids who you can't access. I'd love to see you there! If you'd love one to one help but can't imagine carving out an hour of privacy in your hectic schedule, I'm now offering a Day of Voxer alternative! Let's hang out together for a whole day and chat over this private voice message service. No pressure, pop on and off as you have the time and attention. If that sounds interesting, email me to learn more!
March 16, 2021
ESP 8.3 Carly Israel says "Thanks, but no thanks!"
You can find Carly at and her podcast is called In Your Corner Divorce. Her book, Seconds and Inches is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon and Find more information about the Nacho Kids Academy at That's the link that will let them know I sent you, so they can sponsor my work here at The Essential Stepmom too! You can always reach out to me with your questions or comments at I'd be very glad to hear from your partner, too. My Undeletable Dad program might be just the thing to get him back up onto that pedestal of fatherhood where he belongs! Book a phone call, no strings attached, and let's see if we're a good fit!
March 09, 2021
ESP 8.2 Nurture Burnout with Anne Cullen
Nurture burnout can happen to anyone who cares a lot about the people they live with, or work with, or share the planet with. It's especially common in stepmoms, so if you ever feeling like you're teetering on the edge of burnout, this episode is for you! I have something else for you - my Healing Stepmom Burnout Quickstart Guide. It's free - grab it here: You can always reach me at Book a free call - no strings attached - and learn more about my Undeletable Dad system and whether it's right for you! Go to
March 02, 2021
ESP 8.1 The teenage stepdaughter with Mary T. Kelly
Mary Kelly is probably the most experienced therapist in America for stepfamilies and their kids with over 18 years of experience dealing with this family dynamic. She's a regular contributor to Stepmom Magazine, HuffPost and other publications. Find her at Her Facebook page is Real Stepfamilies, Real Solutions and she's on instagram @realstepmoms. Email me at and say "Add me to your email list!" for my weekly messages. Book a free call, no strings attached to ask about coaching or to learn about Undeletable Dad:
February 23, 2021
ESP 7.8 How to Raise a Boy - with author Michael C. Reichert
There's a lot of talk about helping girls to take their power and shed limiting stereotypes, but our boys suffer from limits too. How can we stop our unconscious role-typing of boys and girls? Don't we want boys to become compassionate, sensitive, heart-centered husbands and dads? Michael C Reichert can be found at and his book How To Raise A Boy: The Power of Connection to Build Good Men is available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble Join my mailing list by sending me an email message at I'd love to connect with you! Book a free call to learn about my 1:1 coaching program for dads who want to help their kids over parental alienation and get on with being a regular father again. If you're a social media kind of person, join my closed Facebook group, The Spectacular Stepmom and meet some really nice women you can relate to!
February 16, 2021
ESP 7.7 The Addicted Child - with author Richard Capriola
Richard Capriola has been a mental health and addictions counselor for over two decades. He's been licensed in Illinois and Texas and recently retired from Menninger Clinic in Houston where he worked as an addictions counselor for adolescents and adults diagnosed with psychiatric and substance abuse disorders. He is the author of the book "The Addicted Child: A Parent's Guide to Adolescent Substance Abuse". You can find all the information you need at his website: Send your questions on the topic of kids and substance abuse and Richard will address them on a future episode! You can send them to me at and I'll forward them to him. Reach out for help with your parent-child relationships and build the kind of connection that will help immunize your child against falling into the substance trap. Let's talk about retrieving your damaged family dynamic and putting you back up on the dad pedestal where you belong! Book a free, private, no-obligation phone call by visiting If you're a stepmom, I'm always glad to chat with you, too! Hit the same link and let's get acquainted!
February 09, 2021
ESP 7.6 Rich Bolus part 2 "Am I robbing them of these experiences?"
Send your partner over to listen to some episodes of The Dad Mindset Podcast with Rich Bolus at  Book a call and let's talk about whether coaching is the right kind of support for you - I have a free parenting guide for dads who need to make a stronger connection with their kids in a post-divorce family. Grab my RESTORATIVE PARENTING QUICKSTART GUIDE here: I love hearing from listeners - shoot your questions and suggestions over to
February 02, 2021
ESP 7.5 The Dad Mindset with Rich Bolus (part 1)
Rich Bolus hosts The Dad Mindset podcast which you can find at You can download my free Restorative Parenting Quickstart Guide at I have two email addresses - both are super-private! Try either or Did you know I have a Facebook group for divorced dads? It's called One For The Dads - send a join request:
January 26, 2021
ESP 7.4 Best-of-Essential-Stepmom, Red Flags with Lori Sims
Lori Sims is the creator of the ingenious Nacho Kids method and the Nacho Kids Academy which is saving blended families and second marriages every single day. Check out the Nacho Kids Academy with this link and she'll send some support right back to this podcast! Shoot me an email at Ready to just book yourself in as a coaching client? Here's my calendar: Book Your Coaching Appointment Here! Is your husband/partner ready to conquer alienation through parenting mastery, mental resilience and a kick-ass system to track his brand-new parenting wins? Here's my coaching program for divorced dads:  UNDELETABLE DAD
January 19, 2021
ESP 7.3 For the weary dad who feels like giving up.
Alienated kids can be awful to their divorced parent. Does your partner ever just feeling like giving up? It's pretty normal to run out of steam and it's OK to take a break but don't give in to despair. Miracles happen all the time - you can even make them happen yourself! Grab my free "Restorative Parenting Quick start Guide" by going to . Join the awesome Spectacular Stepmom group at Tell your partner to send a join request to One For The Dads at Let's be pen pals! Here's an invitation to my email community where you'll get a funny or useful or heartfelt message from me once a week and you can write back to me any time you like! Send a message to and say "Email list please!"
January 14, 2021
ESP 7.2 A bit of "woo" - from me to you.
Here's a little spirituality for the season - non denominational of course. I hope you enjoy the ESR Technique to help you chill out and turn down the volume on your Yuletide stress. You can reach me at Ready to just take the leap and say this time next year that coaching was the thing that actually transformed your stepfamily into a pleasant and rewarding place to live? Let's talk about what it looks like to work together . (No pressure - the call is free whether or not you decide to enroll!)
December 22, 2020
ESP 7.1 Not Just A Stepmom with Heidi Farrell
Heidi's blog can be found at Grab my free Restorative Parenting QuickStart Guide at Would you (or your partner) share your experiences of parental alienation with me? Email me at to set something up, or just go ahead and jump onto my calendar to book any time you see that works for you:
December 15, 2020
ESP 6.8 F_Divorce: Jack Rollins
Jack is not a dad but he's divorced and he has some valuable insights into one husband's emotional experience after a failed marriage. You can find him on instagram at @f_divorce, on Facebook at and on the F_Divorce Podcast Join my Facebook group "One For The Dads" by sending a join request to You'll find a bunch of fellas there who will be glad to know you! Grab my FREE Restorative Parenting Quickstart Guide here: Ready to stop horsing around and stop feeling the effects of parental alienation in your family? Give me a call and let's talk about how I can guide you to resolve that problem "unconventionally", the way we did it and other families are doing it with similar success. There's no obligation to sign up but you won't know if you're right for my program unless you ask! Click the link and book a call.
December 08, 2020
ESP 6.7 The completely amazing, totally absent bio mom.
Are you sick and tired of hearing about your stepchild's fantastic mom, when you're the one showing up for the child in all the way's she's not? Let's talk this through, and we'll talk about life coaching too - maybe you're finally ready to make a step towards letting go of the filters that are keeping you from having a better experience of stepmom life. Send me an email at and say "I'm not sure yet, but talk to me about what coaching involves".  We have to BOTH believe that I'm the right coach for you, so you won't ever be pressured. Anyway I hope you know that pressure isn't my style! My blog is at, my Facebook group is The Spectacular Stepmom and there's even one for the dads called One For The Dads!
December 01, 2020
ESP 6.6 Trystan Reese Part 2
Pre-order Trystan's book "How We Do Family" from Amazon, or support one of the last standing independent booksellers, Powells of Portland Oregon: Trystan is on Facebook and Instagram @biffandi Interested in learning tools to share with your child or stepchild to help them be resilient in the face of emotional or psychological pressure from their other parent? Join my webinar this Thursday November 19 at 7:30 pm EST: CHILD FRIENDLY TOOLS FOR COPING WITH A TOXIC PARENT - You'll be getting life-time access to the replay and transcript so no worries if you miss the live web event! If you'd like to know more about UNDELETABLE DAD ACADEMY, my 6-month premium coaching program to prevent parental alienation from disrupting your ability to be an effective and authentic parent to your kids, email me at I'll be glad to send you more information or to add you to the waitlist for next year's round of the program.
November 17, 2020
ESP 6.5 Trystan Reese shines a bright light on your secret fears (part 1 of 2)
"If I can't be like those perfect multi-household-happy-families who all get along and do Thanksgiving together, am I broken?"  I don't know about you, but I can totally relate to thinking my family should look - at least a little - like the ones on Instagram, but this guy says things out loud that I only whisper inside my own head! In part one of this 2-part interview, Trystan shares some personal truths (and profound wisdom) from his personal journey as "sudden-full-time-parent", adoptive parent and bio parent. Trystan Reese is the author of an upcoming book called "How We Do Family"  that can be pre-ordered from Powell's at: Don't forget to check out Trystan's Facebook page, Biff and I Register here for my 3-day Facebook event: STICK TO YOUR GUNS: A parenting bootcamp for divorced dads (and other good guys)!
November 10, 2020
ESP 6.4 Man the F_%@ Up! with Deuce Almightee
You can follow Deuce on Facebook at Deuce Almightee, and on Instagram @EHYODEUCE His webinar is taking place on Thursday November 5th - you can sign up here: You can register for my free Facebook Challenge: "Stick To Your Guns": Parenting for Divorced Dads with this link: Connect with me anytime at
November 03, 2020
ESP 6.3 David Sims - Pulling it out of the fire
"My expectations set her up for failure". That's what David Sims has to say about his experience of blended family life before he and his wife Lori figured out how to step back from the edge of divorce and put their marriage and family back together. They founded the Nacho Kids method and now they're saving other people's marriages and families. Check them out at and if you decide to join, you get a 30-day money back guarantee and this podcast automatically gets your support! Join my closed Facebook group for divorced dads, One For The Dads If you're interested in putting your name on the waitlist for my 6-month group coaching program Undeletable Dad, send me an email at or book a free call to learn more here:
October 27, 2020
ESP 6.2 The Divorced Dad Diaries with Stephane Jutras
You can find Stephane's podcast on every platform, and by visiting his website, You can find my blog and other resources at If it's time for you to get another level of support for your stepmom journey, reach out for a 1:1 coaching session or two.  Email me for more info at or just go ahead and book your first appointment at
October 20, 2020
ESP 6.1 Visible Man with Jeffrey Hoffman
Jeffrey Hoffman can be found at I can be found at I'm gearing up for a free Facebook Live 5-day challenge where I'll walk you through how to create immunity from interference in your parenting, and how you can build it right into your parent-child relationships. Just shoot me a message at and I'll keep you in the loop!
October 13, 2020
ESP 5.7 Are you panicking about college fees yet? Part 2 with Denise Thomas
You heard it right - college scholarships are available even for kids in kindergarten! You don't have to go nuts with it, but it's truly never too early to start learning about what's involved in getting your kids a full ride. Learn to line up your ducks and you can save tens of thousands of dollars. Denise Thomas can be found at - this is an affiliate link, so if you sign up for one of her awesome programs, Denise will send back some support to this podcast! Want a scholarship for a free 60-minute coaching with me? Just write a review of this podcast on iTunes, take a screenshot of it and send it to Every application is a winner! Are you subscribed to my weekly email newsletter yet? It's a little more of me, delivered right to your inbox every Sunday evening. Send an email to with the subject line: Email please! or click here to sign up: SUBSCRIBE TO ESSENTIAL STEPMOM 
October 06, 2020
ESP 5.6 Are you and your partner stressing (or fighting) over college fees yet? It's coming!
My guest Denise Thomas dug herself and her family out of bankruptcy and researched her butt off to get $199,000 in college scholarships for her two home-schooled kids. She says it's not about marks, it's about smarts! She'll dish some secrets in this episode and the next one - it was too much goodness for just one show! Learn more about Denise and her programs at (This is an affiliate link - if you sign up for any of Denise's great programs, she'll send a portion of your registration fee back here to support this podcast!) Would you like a scholarship to Essential Stepmom University? Just kidding, I don't have a university, but I CAN offer you a free 60-minute coaching session where I could teach you a heck of a lot in just half an hour. Here's how to apply: 1. Find this podcast on iTunes 2. Write a review of 25 words of less. 3. Take a screenshot and share on the Essential Stepmom Facebook page (or send it to me by email at Every application is a winner!
September 29, 2020
ESP 5.5 Kate Anthony talks First-Wife-Forever Syndrome!
Do you know anybody's first wife who seems to cling energetically to him years, even after she gets a new partner? Turns out this is not such a rare phenomenon.  Today's guest gets full marks for putting her experience as "that" bio-mom on the table, crumbs and all! Kate  Anthony is a gem. She's the host of the critically acclaimed and New York Times recommended podcast The Divorce Survival Guide  Podcast and the creator of the groundbreaking online coaching program, Should I Stay or Should I Go? which helps women make the most difficult decision of their lives  using coaching tools, relationship education, geeky neuroscience, community support, and deep self-work. Kate  empowers women to find their strength, passion, and confidence even in the most disempowering of circumstances and helps them move forward with concrete plans set on a solid foundation, putting their children at the center (not in the middle) of all their  decisions. In  addition to her online programs, Kate works privately with clients all over the world. Kate  lives in Los Angeles with her teenage son (whom she lovingly co-parents with her ex-husband), their two dogs, and a handful of fish. Want to connect with Tracy? Shoot me a message on my personal and private email, You can find my blog at and my highly engaged, very polite Facebook group is The Spectacular Stepmom.
September 22, 2020
ESP 5.4 The hidden cost of Parental Alienation
Never mind the emotional toll, there are dollars to consider too! Therapy, counsellors, private schools, college, mediation or lawyers - it seems never ending. If alienation is a feature of your partner's relationship with his or her kids, it's worth being proactive! To learn more about Restorative Parenting, my comprehensive coaching program to get bio dads back onto their best parenting game and restore healthy relationships, email me at or book a call at
September 16, 2020
ESP 5.3 High Conflict: The Drama Behind Parental Alienation
Can you get off the hamster-wheel of drama? How can you fight for your kids without just buying into more drama? Reach out any time to me at my personal email: Sign up for the FREE Stepfamily Summit 2020 here: Join me and my guest Naja Hall this Wednesday, Sept 9 at 4:30 pm EDT for a livestream about high-conflict X's - watch right from the Essential Stepmom Facebook page:
September 08, 2020
ESP 5.2 It's the stepmoms who find the answers
Stepmoms are the first point of contact with people who help parents heal the relationship with their kids after divorce or due to parental alienation. Then, they have to step aside and let the biological parent roll up their sleeves and do the work. I'll be speaking about how to restore your relationship and regain your natural authority with your kids at The Stepfamily Summit 2020. Sign up for free at Reach out to me with questions or comments (or just a high five) at You can book a free phone chat with me (and I love to chat!) at
September 01, 2020
ESP 5.1 Dorcy Pruter on healing the damage from Parental Alienation
Dorcy Pruter is the founder and CEO of the Conscious Coparenting Institute. She runs a 4 day intensive workshop called High Road to Reunification that boast a stunning 100% success rate! Learn more about her work at: Dorcy has prepared a free e-book called "Stepping In: The Step-parents' Guide For Parenting" which you can grab here: The Stepfamily Summit 2020 is a FREE online event taking place September 16-18. Register with this link and the Summit will support this podcast in turn! I hope you'll tune in to hear my interview: "Brainwashed or Gaslighted: How to Get Through To Your Alienated Child". Date and time to follow.
August 25, 2020
ESP 4.6 Bobbi Brooks Wilcox on Reconciling and More
Blended Families United is Bobbi's website and organization. Her work centres around helping couples who are planning or just starting their stepfamily journey. Her book Reconciled is available from Amazon. Yes, I offer personal coaching for stepmoms and focused support for families struggling with parental alienation, manipulation or brainwashing. Reach out for a chat any time and we can talk about what working together might bring to your family situation.  Book a call at
August 18, 2020
ESP 4.5 Bobbi Brooks Wilcox wrote the book on getting it wrong and turning it around.
You can find Bobbi’s website at and her book "Reconciled" is available from Amazon. Try the Nacho Kids Academy at no risk for a month and support this podcast at the same time by using this link: Grab my free download 3 Secrets of Successful Stepmoms from my website at
August 11, 2020
ESP 4.4 How do you bond with a kid that wants nothing to do with you?
It's actually pretty simple: you bond around the fact that they don't want to connect with you! I'll explain how it looked in my family and how it worked out for us. Spoiler alert: Happy Ending! Check out the Nacho Kids Academy with this link to support this podcast with a portion of your membership fee: NACHOKIDSACADEMY.COM/THEESSENTIALSTEPMOM Visit my website for a free download: 50 Ways to Level Up As A Stepmom #blendedfamily #stepmom #youvegotthis
July 28, 2020
ESP 4.3 Go Blend Yourself: Busting More Stepfamily Myths
This is my new go-to comeback for anyone who wants to give me unsolicited advice about my stepfamily dynamics. They can try whatever they like on their own family! Visit my website at Join my Facebook community by sending a join request to The Spectacular Stepmom
July 21, 2020
4.2 Busting Blended Family Myth #2
Myth #2 is that Blended Families are forever families. Truth is, they unblend just the same as other stepfamilies do. What can we do to make our families stand the test of time, despite messed up custody schedules, high conflict personalities, loyalty issues and more? Listen up and we'll get started. Visit me at for my blog and other info. Join the Facebook group by sending a join request to The Spectacular Stepmom
July 07, 2020
4.1 The Myth of the Blended Family
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that stepfamilies aren't required to blend. They have a much more noble mission in my opinion, which is to "mend". When you shift your focus, everything could change for your family. The book I mentioned is Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. Visit my website at Contact me with your thoughts about this episode, or just to say hi at I hang out with a bunch of wise, supportive and compassionate stepmoms on Facebook in a private community called The Spectacular Stepmom. Send us a join request!
June 30, 2020
3.10 The Evil Stepmom Archetype: #notme
Do you feel like you're walking around wearing a heavy backpack that you can't take off? I don't know about you but I hate it that the idea of a stepmother is automatically linked to an image of someone not so nice.  I'll share some thoughts about how we can change that dynamic. The Budweiser "stepdad" commercial I'm referring to can be seen here: BUDWEISER STEPDAD COMMERCIAL Read MY ARTICLE ABOUT IT ON THRIVEGLOBAL HERE Will you talk with me about BRAINWASHED STEPKIDS? Do you have one? Were you one as a child? Send me an email at or book a short phone or Zoom chat with me here: HERE'S MY CALENDAR - FIND A TIME THAT WORKS FOR YOU!
June 23, 2020
3.9 3 easy steps to conquering Guilty Parent Syndrome
Is your partner struggling with guilty parent syndrome? Here’s help in 3 easy steps. Grab my free cheat sheet: 100% Dad In Half The Time Interested in hanging out on social with some other dads in the blended family dynamic? Send a join request to my Facebook community, One For The Dads . It really IS for the dads, no girlfriends or wives allowed. Visit my website at and reach out if you're interested in couples or individual coaching!
June 16, 2020
3.8 Why feeling bad might be the best thing that ever happened to you [and to your stepkids].
Join my email community by sending an email to with the subject line EMAIL! Here's where you can find the podcast episode of "Unruffled" with Janet Lansbury: UNRUFFLED - listen here Follow Susan David here: SUSAN DAVID'S WEBSITE,  her TEDTALK is linked here! Visit my website at and email me at One to one support is available always - sign up for a free 20-minute call to talk about what it would look like to work together! GO AHEAD AND BOOK YOUR FREE CALL WITH ME NOW!
June 03, 2020
ESP 3.7 Jessica Kuiken has help for your transition-day troubles.
Jessica Kuiken is a nutritionist, NLP practitioner and a Diamond Leader with DoTerra, my personal favourite supplier of essential oils. You can find her at and her Facebook group is called SpOIL the Soul. I'm looking for input to help me prepare my live webinar about Unbrainwashing the Alienated Child. Please reach out to me if you have such a child in your family, or if this ever happened to you as a child. I'm getting a great deal from hearing about your experiences and it will help me a lot to prepare the most helpful webinar on this topic! Send an email to OR Just hit this link and make a time to talk on the phone! CHAT WITH TRACY
May 26, 2020
ESP 3.6: Un-Brainwashing Your Alienated Child
This is a quick primer on a complex topic. I'm thinking about doing a full webinar about healing a brainwashed child - if you're interested in hearing about that, or have anything to contribute to the discussion, please shoot me a message at OR, just book a 20-minute phone chat, I'd love to talk to you! Use this link:
May 19, 2020
ESP 3.5: Your Mother's Day Readiness Checklist
Brace for it - the whole world is getting ready to poke you in a very sensitive spot. Here's how to prepare. Don't forget, Stepmom Day is the following Sunday - put it in big letters on the family calendar and let them know what kind of activity to surprise you with!  Visit me at and get in touch via my private email address,  Did you know you can book a free stepfamily strategy session with me any time? Click this link and then find a date and time when you can lock yourself in your car with your phone and we'll have a chat!
May 05, 2020
ESP 3.4: True Confessions: I've lost it on someone else's kids - more than once.
What can I say? This is embarrassing but it's good for me to talk about it, and it's good for you to hear it because maybe by laughing *at* me (even if I feel like you're laughing *with* me), you can avoid repeating my mistakes! Join my Facebook community, which I police like a pit-bull to keep safe and 100% positive, by sending a join request to The Spectacular Stepmom. Personal support is available - visit for details.
April 29, 2020
ESP 3.3 Five Fast Ways To Shake Off Negative Emotions
Listen to Jack Kornfield's beautiful guided meditation on Broken Record Podcast. There is lots of support available also on his website You can learn more about my coaching process and how to discover and deliver your special gifts by contacting me at or booking a free discovery call at
April 15, 2020
ESP 3.2 Join me for a little "self-care"!
Come with me for a little walk. We'll talk about getting what you need during these extra difficult days. Visit my website at If you'd like to hear my webinar where I shared suggestions from homeopaths around the world for treating symptoms of this virus, just send me an email at I"m always up for a chat if you just need to hear a friendly voice. Book a free call at
April 07, 2020
ESP 3.1 Mothers In A Dangerous Time
Season 3: The Season of Coronavirus! You thought being a stepmom was the hardest thing you'd ever done? LOL - welcome to the new hardest thing ever! I'll share some advice about getting through this pandemic with your head on straight. Kim John Payne's Simplicity Parenting website is Learn more about Juice Plus by following this link: Want my Gratitude Journal template?  Grab it here. Connect with me any time at my personal, private email address:
April 01, 2020
ESP 2.21: Five Kinds of Stepmom Who DON'T Need to "NACHO"!
Lori Wilkins Sims is my guest today. She's the originator of the Nacho Kids method. I challenged her to come up with some situations where it's not necessary to disengage from some aspects of raising your stepkids, and we had a lively conversation - some of it serious and some tongue in cheek. I challenged her to talk about the kinds of situations that would make a stepmom not need to follow her "nacho kids" advice! Learn about the Nacho Kids Academy at . If you register from that link, you'll be supporting this podcast at the same time! Visit my website at and join my Facebook group at The Spectacular Stepmom. PLUS: if you're playing the game of "Babysitter-Hero" set to EXPERT level and there's no end in sight, please help yourself to my e-book 50 Great Boredom Busters. It's free during Corona season!
March 24, 2020
ESP 2.20 More with Tamasin Thomas on stopping those Matrimonial Money Fights!
Part 2 of a 3-part series with Tamasin Thomas, therapist and financial expert.  Grab her free e-book, 3 Steps to Resolving Financial Conflict from her website at My book of Boredom Busters is also available at no cost during this challenging time - find it at With all the "social distancing", I'm extra glad to hear from you. Reach out for a messenger chat or a free phone call with this link:
March 17, 2020
The cure for picky eating [and BONUS: The cure for ANGST over picky eating!].
CLICK BELOW to join my 4 day livestream video challenge from Monday March 9 to Thursday March 12, 2020. You can watch live, on replay or listen in audio only mode and download the tips and recipes too! The book I mentioned is The Collapse of Parenting by Leonard Sax. Please come on over and join us on social media, if that's your jam. We're at The Spectacular Stepmom on Facebook. Ready for some one on one advice you so you can feel lighter and more optimistic about stepfamily life? Want to learn how to support your husband through the challenge of parental alienation? Set up a free call and we can talk about what this kind of support might look like for you! BOOK A FREE 20-MINUTE STRATEGY SESSION
March 03, 2020
Confessions of a people-pleasing stepmom [and the 3 stages of a recovery-in-progress]
What can I say? It's true, I'm a work in progress. Brene Brown's audio-book The Power of Vulnerability is available from her website, Visit my website at Join the Facebook group, The Spectacular Stepmom We have a group for your spouse called One For The Dads too! Got my free guide yet? Grab it here: Playing Hard To Like: 10 Challenging Stepkid Personalities and How To Win Them Over
February 25, 2020
ESP 2.17 Stop the "Stepmom Spiral": 3 ways to conquer the habit pattern of negative thinking.
Want my free gratitude journal template? Grab it here: I love to hear from you - really, it just makes my day every time. You can find me at my personal email, If you'd like to chat, I encourage you to book a free 20-minute strategy session: BOOK A CALL WITH TRACY Learn more about me and my work at Finally, I have a Facebook group for stepmoms and one for their partners. Hope to see you there!
February 18, 2020
ESP 2.16: Who pays for what, and how is that working out for you?
Do you and your spouse ever argue about money? Does it drive you crazy that he spends too much on his kids, or that his ex is making poor choices with the child care payments coming out of your joint bank account? My guest Tamasin Thomas is a certified financial planner AND a certified therapist. She's also the host of a wonderful podcast called The Psychology of Money that you can find wherever you're listening to this podcast or by clicking the link above. Her website is and you can grab a free resource there called 3 Steps to Resolving Financial Conflict to help couples get through their tough money conversations.  Connect with me any time - I love to hear from you! Drop me a line at my personal and private email address, or book a free 20-minute strategy session with me here: BOOK A CALL WITH TRACY
February 11, 2020
ESP 2.15: For those days when you think you just suck at this.
Everyone has days like this, I know I have had my share. Days when you think you just suck at being a stepmom and everything that's going wrong is your fault. I made a live video last year for my Facebook group, The Spectacular Stepmom and I decided to share it with you here. If you'd like to know more about Vipassana meditation, and how you can sign up to do a 10-day course like the one I'm at now, here's the link:  Click on wherever you are in the world to go to the website for a centre near you.  Visit me at or book a free 20-minute strategy session with me here: BOOK A FREE PHONE CALL WITH TRACY
January 28, 2020
ESP. 2.14 Dads, Kids and Consequences (and the 4-minute mile)
There's a lesson we can all learn from the story of how Roger Bannister became the first human to run a mile in under 4 minutes, and especially from what happened next! The world is changing, family structures are changing and we need to change in order to keep to keep the orders of relationship inside our families intact. Here's a little piece of unconventional advice on that topic. Looking for a supportive community of like-minded stepmoms? Check out my Facebook group, The Spectacular Stepmom Could your spouse use a place online to connect with other dads who get what his life looks like? Send him to One For The Dads The other websites I mentioned briefly are: Ross Greene (The Explosive Child) Patty Wipfler, Hand In Hand Parenting
January 21, 2020
ESP 2.13 Dealing with Alienated Teens
This is from a live video I made for my Facebook group called One For The Dads. If you'd like to join (and you're a biological dad) send a join request! If you're a stepmom and you're looking for a social media community, join us at The Spectacular Stepmom I'd love to hear from you! Reach out any time to my personal and private email account at Please take a moment to rate or review this podcast on iTunes. You'll be helping another stepmom out there somewhere to find this great resource!
January 14, 2020
ESP 2.12 Riffing on Brene Brown's "Dare To Lead"
If you don't know Brene Brown, just google her TED talk on vulnerability - it's had over 30 million views. She's the author of a number of fabulous books, but the one I'm working on right now is called Dare to Lead. I dare you to read it and not see every word of it as advice for you as the leader of your family project! You can listen to this book on Audible, and they'll give you a free month to try it out with no obligation. I encourage you to visit her website, My Facebook group is called The Spectacular Stepmom and we'd be glad to see you there. Just send a join request. Please feel free to reach out anytime - my private and confidential email address is You can also book a 20-minute chat at no cost with this link:
January 07, 2020
ESP. 2.11 My Christmas Miracle + REPLAY: OVERSTEPPING
Happy New Year to you, wherever in the world you're listening from. I am partway through a holiday experience unlike anything I've had in 13 years of blended family life. It took us a long time to get here, but that only makes me appreciate it more! If I can give you one single piece of advice, it would be about overstepping. In my opinion, that's  the number one challenge in stepmom world, so I'm replaying the very first episode of this podcast for those of you who never heard it, and as a reminder for those of you who listened way back in June when it first came out. I"d love to hear from you! Drop me a line to my personal and private email account, and if you're not already a member, send a join request to my closed Facebook group, The Spectacular Stepmom and be part of that support community! Leave a private voice message for me right here:
December 31, 2019
ESP 2.10 Something for your heart this holiday season
This is just a quick message about opening your heart, taking the high road and being the better person. It's the holidays, after all!
December 24, 2019
ESP 2.9 Disengaging For Beginners - 3 Easy Steps
What do you know about Disengaging? Here's a "start where you are" guide to finding your way to better stepfamily relationships via a detour from the path you thought you were supposed to take! Connect with me at I'd love to hear from you!
December 17, 2019
ESP 2.8 On Being A Childless Stepmom
In response to a listener request, I interviewed Sonia Richter - artist, stepmom and blogger. Sonia opened her personal struggle with childlessness to the public when she wrote a blog called Raw Brutal Honesty On Being a 44 Year Old Childless Stepmom Artist. You can read that at I want to hear from you, especially if you resonate with this topic. Drop me a line at my personal and private email, If you'd like to get a sense of what it might be like to have my personal support on your stepmom journey, go ahead and book a phone call. There's absolutely no obligation and no charge, just a few minutes of free advice:
December 10, 2019
ESP 2.7 Five thousand desperate stepmoms Googled THIS phrase and found ME on YouTube!
I was astonished to learn that one of my stepmom tutorial videos was outperforming the others by 100 to 1. What was so special about my message in that video that had stepmoms flocking in droves to watch it? Spoiler alert - it's about not liking your stepchild.  Grab my free download about dealing with problem kids here: PLAYING HARD TO LIKE: 10 CHALLENGING STEP KID PERSONALITIES AND HOW TO WIN THEM OVER
December 03, 2019
ESP 2.6 Control Junkie No More!
I am a recovering control junkie and not afraid to admit it. I now get my fix minding my own business and controlling the only thing I really can, which is my own actions, and my reactions to things. Anna de Acosta has a similar story although all the parts of our journey are unique to our own experiences and circumstances. I'm excited for you to hear her story, one that led her back from 6 years in Peru to live practically around the corner from me! You can find more Anna at If you're an Ontario stepmom, like Anna and me, drop me a line, I'd especially love to hear from you. I know there are listeners all around my home town of Kitchener in Brantford, Stratford, Guelph, Cambridge, Hamilton, London, Harriston, Woodstock, Georgetown, Newmarket and even Toronto. Hit me up at and let's chat!
November 26, 2019
ESP 2.5 Step-parent Burnout Syndrome
I am acquainted with burnout, like many other high performing women. I've burned out once as a wife and once as a stepmom. Luckily, I've been developing a rich support network around me to help me cope so that I don't get all the way to burn out ever again. One of my most important supporters is Tania Heinemann, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Certified Lactation Consultant - really sorry I didn't have her around when I had my own breastfeeding woes! You can connect with me at I'd especially like to hear from the stepmoms listening in from Kirkcaldy, Scotland, from Sunbury Australia, and Seville, Spain. Drop me a line! Follow Tania on Instagram @yellowoodnutrition and via her website,
November 19, 2019
ESP 2.4 She wants her mom and dad to get back together...
...and other cute things stepkids say. In this episode, I chat with Tania Heinemann who I invited onto the podcast to talk about recovering from burnout and specifically about healing adrenal fatigue. Fortunately, we got carried away with a discussion about her family, how her kids are coping with loss, her co-parenting relationship with her ex, and their parenting dynamic with her new husband, the stepdad. You'll have to wait until next week for the part about adrenal fatigue, so hang on a few more days! I'd love to chat with our listeners in Berlin, Rome, Tijuana and Christchurch. Hit me up at and let's book a virtual coffee date!
November 05, 2019
ESP 2.3: The Heartbreak Of Feeling Invisible.
Do you feel invisible sometimes? Like, your stepchild acts as if you don't exist? Or your parenting input to your spouse is ignored? And what about a biomom who doesn't acknowledge all that you do for her child? This episode is for you! We'll talk about the difference between FEELING invisible and actually BEING invisible - taking charge of your own presence to decide for yourself when you can achieve your belongingness goals by temporarily getting out of the way. I'll give you some precise strategies and some mindset tweaks to help you over this common hump in your stepmom journey. Please take a moment to rate or review this podcast on iTunes - that's the best way to help other stepmoms to find this program in a sea of podcast offerings. I'd love to hear from you! If you're listening on, leave me a voice message. You can send me an email to It will go straight to my personal inbox. I offer one on one consulting for stepmoms, alone or with their partners. Book a free 20-minute phone chat by clicking right here: BOOK A FREE CALL WITH TRACY!
October 30, 2019
ESP 2.2 Duda Baldwin - Spiritual Teacher and Stepmom
Duda Baldwin is the creator of the Little School of Buddhism and she's a life coach who brings a spiritual edge to learning to crush your goals while staying true to yourself.  You can learn more about Duda at Tracy's articles have been published in ThriveGlobal, Medium and Elephant Journal. Send your comments or questions to her via If you're not already part of her Facebook community, send a join request to The Spectacular Stepmom. Grab this free resource - Healing Stepmom Burnout: A Quickstart Guide
October 22, 2019
ESP 2.1 Who Gets To Be Part Of Your Tribe?
This is about your stepmom tribe, your dream team, your support network. We're going to design your very own dream team on this episode and by the end you'll know exactly who your team members are, where they're hiding and how to get exactly what you need from them. Here are links for the resources I mentioned in this episode: Nacho Kids Academy Susan Stiffelman Essential Stepmom Session Groups - book a call with me here to find the right group for you.
October 16, 2019
ESP 15: The Disengaging Essay
My guest Maarit Miller created and published a version of the Disengaging Essay that made it famous in the stepmom world. You can read it on Maarit's blog, Blended Family Frappe. I'll be taking a break for the next while as I focus on helping the participants in Stepmom Success Lab. There's still room for you there too - come and join us and be supported with a small community of women who are learning the stepmom ropes right alongside you. Start feeling more relaxed and confident ASAP! Get all the info here: STEPMOM SUCCESS LAB
August 27, 2019
ESP 14: Guest Shannon Bally on being a stepdaughter and a bio mom.
Shannon Bally is the host of a podcast called The Bumpcast. Her life so far includes having 4 children and 3 stepmoms. Her husband is stepdad to her oldest 2 children and she can speak to what it looks like as a bio mom when the kids come back from visiting dad! Here's a link for Shannon's podcast: There's just one more episode this season - don't miss Maarit Miller talking about her part in making the Disengaging Essay available to stepmoms so they can make the changes that really help their whole family relate better to each other. After next week, I'll be on a break until mid-October so I can focus on the women in my Stepmom Success Lab program. You can still be one of them! Check it out at
August 20, 2019
ESP 13: Is it mean not to share your cookies?
This episode is about peer support and peer advice, and how to know when to take advice from a stranger. What does that have to do with sharing cookies? A simple request for advice on social media gave me the inspiration to talk about sharing the parenting of your stepkids, and how much of that you should be doing as a stepmom. Interested in learning more about Stepmom Success Lab? We're starting up on September 1 so check it out here! Stepmom Success Lab You can get loads of first-rate, trustworthy parenting tips from Patty Wipfler and her colleagues at Hand In Hand Parenting Connect with me anytime at
August 13, 2019
ESP 12: Infertility - Support and Transformation with Dr. Stacy Thomas
Dr. Stacy is a Clinical Psychologist in private practise in Toronto, Canada. She specializes in helping women manage the emotional challenges of infertility. Her free guided journal is available at  http://growingforwardjournal Learn more about Stepmom Success Lab, my 6-week turbo-training program for women who want to quickly fill in the important blanks in their own knowledge about parenting, step-parenting and step-family life at Connect with me at
August 06, 2019
ESP 11: Parental Alienation Part 3
This final episode of my 3-part series on Parental Alienation is about how to support yourself and your partner to weather the emotional wear and tear of this kind of situation. Please rate us on iTunes so other stepmoms can find us and listen along with you! EssentialStepmom Podcast on iTunes Here's my free Gratitude Journal template - join my email community and it will be sent right to your inbox! Stepmom Success Lab is my 6-week turbo program to help you quickly and painlessly fill in the gaps in your knowledge about parenting, step-parenting and step-family life. Launching for the fourth time on September 1st - EARLY PRICING AVAILABLE NOW! Take a peek here: Stepmom Success Lab  Connect with me and submit your questions at
July 30, 2019
ESP 10: Parental Alienation Part 2
Kim Wilson describes her experience being completely alienated from her mother from age 1 to age 7, and the effect this had on her future relationships. I find it incredibly helpful to hear from adults who lived through this because they can explain to us what it felt like and how it resolved for them. My research - a survey of over 200 women who reported being alienated as children - confirms that the vast majority of kids eventually seek out the erased parent and enjoy a deeper relationship with that parent than they have with the one who controlled them. If you're not already a member of my closed Facebook group, please come and check us out! My website is, and you'll find my blog there and other stepmom-related resources.
July 23, 2019
ESP 9: Parental Alienation Part 1 - 10 Practical Tips
Parental Alienation might be the most difficult challenge a step-family can face. Here are 10 practical tips for helping things along. In the next episode, we'll talk about what to say to the kids, what not to say, and how to help them express whatever they may be feeling. Stepmom Success Lab is starting again on September 1, 2019! Listen to the course modules at your own pace, use the workbook to solidify your learning, and let me help you adapt the techniques to suit your unique situation in our live video Q&A sessions. Here's the link to learn more:
July 17, 2019
ESP 8. Understanding Loyalty: Loving The Stepchild Who Won't Let You In
The loyalty bind, or loyalty conflict as it's sometimes known, is possibly the most insidious barrier to a healthy relationship between a stepmom and her partner's children. It's not always noticeable at the start of a new family and it can become a problem at any time, even years down the road. Its very hard to help by giving love, when the problem is that the child can't allow him or herself to love you back! 1. It can happen at any time, whether bio mom is very present in their lives or not around at all. 2. It's not about you! A true loyalty bind is about the child not being able to figure out how to reciprocate your love without feeling bad inside. 3. We're not wired to have two moms at the same time (no reference to same-sex parents!). Be aware of overstepping as a "mom". 4. Choose another avatar or persona. You can be loved as an auntie or a friend's mom instead of rejected as a "bonus" mom. 5. Click here for my blog on that topic or visit 6. Give more space to dad to fill their need for connection. 7. Let them choose how to show affection - propose alternate gestures like a special handshake to stand in for hugging. 8. Give it time, expect it to reappear. Recognize this vulnerable place in the child and respect it. Please help other stepmoms to find this show by rating us on iTunes. I welcome questions from listeners and I'll be glad to address them ANONYMOUSLY of course, on a future episode! You can send an email to me at
July 09, 2019
ESP 7: The Spiritual Work of Step-parenting (part 2)
Awareness, Acknowledgement, Acceptance. How do these apply to your step-parenting journey, and why are they important? I think they're all that's between you and the dreaded "70%" - the tragic majority of stepmoms who don't make it, whose families can't withstand the pressures and challenges and whose stepfamilies dissolve.  If you'd like to try out my free Gratitude Journal template, you can get it here: If you're listening on iTunes or Apple podcasts and you enjoyed this, please rate us there and help other stepmoms to find us!
July 04, 2019
ESP. 6 The Spiritual Work of Step-parenting (part 1)
I have a personal story to share about my own journey towards embracing spirituality. It's the story of how I found my husband and became a stepmom! The three important steps on the way to true peace and happiness are Awareness, Acknowledgement and Acceptance. I used to be pretty crappy at two out of three of those and  although it made me easy for other people to be around, it wasn't very good for me. I'll focus on how to increase awareness in this episode, and we'll get to acknowledgement and acceptance on next week's podcast. Here's a link to download my free Gratitude Journal template: Connect with me at Join a lovely Facebook community for stepmoms and get my weekly videos too: The Spectacular Stepmom
June 26, 2019
ESP 5: Drop The Knives! Part two of my conversation with Christina Providence
Dropping the knives is a brilliant metaphor for thinking in a new way about working at the edge of your capacity (or the end of your rope, as a stepmom!) and how to get what you need to stay in "growth mode" instead of falling into "stress mode". I do provide that "outside eye" to help stepmoms creatively source the best quality support. Shoot me a message at, or go ahead and book a free 20-minute strategy and support session by phone or Skype with this direct link:
June 18, 2019
ESP 4: When High-Challenge Is Your Normal: Part 1 Of A conversation with Christina Providence
Christina Providence is an energy coach who helps high performing women recover from burnout and get back their physical, emotional, mental and spiritual energy so they can feel like themselves again. She shares a great metaphor about working at the limits of your capacity and how to continually stretch your zone of growth by creating and sourcing the support you need to achieve at higher and higher levels. Notes: 2:28  Hold the umbrella, but don't try to stop the rain 3:20  Christina Providence helps high performing women get back on top of their game with her "Cycle of Creating Healing" 4:12 There's nothing wrong with you when you're exhausted, you've just reached the point of diminishing returns 4:40 Hard work produces results, overwork does not! 5:15 Stretch mode is great if you have high positive energy 5:43 High negative energy is survival energy leads to a crash 7:30 Even sleeping requires energy 7:41 What makes you crash 8:05 What's low quality recovery and what would make it better? 9:45 The point of diminishing returns 10:19 Human energy oscillates up and down by its very nature - we move from high performance mode to recovery mode 12:45 Getting that rich support and recovery allows you to keep stretching and growing 14:55 Drop the knives! Tune in next week to hear the rest of my interview with Christina. You can reach Christina at: You can find me at:  Download my free guide, "Easy Ways to LEVEL UP As A Stepmom"
June 11, 2019
ESP. 3: The trouble with chores
Should your step kids be doing chores? If you think so and their dad doesn't, what can you do?  There's a difference between the practical reasons for giving kids chores (like, you need help!) and reasons having to do with parenting and raising responsible adults. Both of these issues can have good solutions that don't involve you being the evil stepmom! Connect with me at Download my free guide "Easy Ways to LEVEL UP As A Stepmom": 32 tips for winning bonus points and saving energy!
June 04, 2019
ESP 2: Red Flags and How To Spot Them with Lori Wilkins Sims
How can you tell the difference between random step family troubles and real "red flags" you should pay attention to? My guest Lori Wilkins Sims is the originator of the Nacho Kids concept and if you don't know her story, you won't want to miss this! Join the NachoKids Academy with this link so that they know I sent you! Visit me at and if you're on social media, send a join request to The Spectacular Stepmom. Want a weekly email from me to you? Grab my free guide, "50 Ways to LEVEL UP As A Stepmom" for tips that will earn you bonus points and save your energy (maybe even your marriage!) and you'll be signed up to my gang!
June 03, 2019
ESP 1: Overstepping
Overstepping boundaries is almost inevitable as a Stepmom. How can we recognize when we've done it, and more importantly, how do we recover from it and make things right? Did you know that my turbo training "Stepmom Success Lab" is launching for the fourth time on September 1/2019? Fill in the gaps in your knowledge of parenting, step-parenting and stepfamily life quickly and start feeling more confident right away! EARLY PRICING AVAILABLE UNTIL AUG 25! Click below for more info: Stepmom Success Lab Download my free guide, Easy Ways to LEVEL UP  As A Stepmom: 32 Simple Tips to help you earn bonus points while saving your energy! Join my Facebook community at The Spectacular Stepmom
June 03, 2019