Blended families are ever growing in our society as a common norm which gives motivation to those of us who have blended families to work in our best efforts for our children to live in peaceful harmony. The Cinderella story of the “evil stepmother” somehow left a lasting impression with many of the perception of the relationship of women living within their motherhood role within their blended families. Author, Elizabeth Grissett Daniels’ book ” Kicking the Step Out Of Mom: Building Blocks For Successfully Raising A Blended Family” debunks the stigmas associated with the women in our lives we call stepmoms, and she gives encouraging guidance for women in blending families on how to be loving mothers while navigating as blended families. I had the pleasure to interview Elizabeth in sharing her prospective on helpful tips on the subject of co-parenting peacefully and respectfully as mothers within blended families.
P.F.M. : What inspired you to write a book on blended families and step-parenting roles?
E.G. D. : What gave me the inspiration on writing this book was observing some of the dramas and conflict that I observed some families endure in blended families. I personally attained a lot of wisdom and insight while raising my children that I felt I could provide to blended families and help elevate some of the issues and conflicts that they typically face.
P.F.M. : What were some of the lessons from growing up from your childhood that helped you in cultivating a peaceful blended family ?
E.G.D. : Some lessons I learned while growing up is that communication is key. Keeping communication between spouses is paramount. Spouses should stay in constant communication with each other and the children. While growing up in my blended family, I learned that communication played a major part in expressing love and forgiveness.
P.F.M. : What encouragement do you have for mothers struggling in their new role within having a blended family?
E.G. D. : My advice to mothers who struggle in their role to raise blended families is find a good mentor. Someone that will be open and honest with them. Preferably, someone who has walked in the like shoes and has wisdom, insight and a good relationship with their children. Someone that can pass on some good wisdom and insight to them.
P.F.M. : What advice do you have for women entering a blending family situation ?
E.G.D. : Advice I would give to a woman who is getting married is to make sure she gets counseling on blended families before entering into marriage. This counselor needs to be someone who is creditable, experienced in or with blended families. Someone that will not sugarcoat and tell you what she wants to hear only, but rather care enough about her to tell her the truth because she needs to be fully aware of what she is getting into.
P. F. M. : Why is it so important for all parties involved to be on one accord within blending families?
E.G. D. : Being on one accord is key to the survival of a blended family. If a family is not build on a strong solid foundation it will not survive. Having family meetings, laying everything on the table through discussion and coming up with solutions to resolve issues that may arise is vital to a family’s survival. Keep others out of your family business! That means, dealing with conflict immediately when it arises and not sweeping it under the rug. It won’t go away on it’s own, I promise you. Before you know it you will have a big monster roaming throughout your home causing havoc. My philosophy is: there are two things you do to a monster, you feed it or kill it. Don’t allow ugly monsters to roam in your home taking over.
P.F.M : You are a proud mother and a devoted “Nana” to your children and grandchildren. What are the differences within your motherhood journey from transitioning from Mom to Nana ?
E.G. D. :When I became a grandparent, my love went to another level. It’s difficult to explain; it’s one of those things you just have to experience for yourself. You see life and things differently and just want to protect your grandchildren from all life dangers and perilous things. At times, you have to step back and remember, you’re not the parent so you have to allow your child to parent and sometimes that is challenging.
P.F.M. : What is your favorite meal or activity that you like to share in bringing your family together ?
E.G.D : My favorite meals and activities are Sunday dinners or Friday nights get-together, which consist of plenty of conversations, fun and laughter. It can be something as simple as pizza – It’s the fellowship that I love most of all.
P.F.M. : How may we purchase your book ?
E.G. D. :The book can be purchased at kickingthestepooutofmom.com, it can be purchase from Amazon and Kindle, and if you live in the CSRA area, a copy can be attained directly from the author. Author, Elizabeth Grissett Daniels can be reached through social media (Facebook & Instagram) and telephonically (706.231.8786).“We Work Better Together!”