THE EVIL STEPMOTHER SPEAKS BY BARBARA GOLDBERG
Once upon a time, I misplaced my first husband…similar to misplacing your car keys. I came home and my husband was gone, which led me to a life as a single mom for six years. I was a single mom to a darling, little boy, Ean. I am Barb Goldberg. I was about to embark on my next adventure. Read on…
Several years later, I was at a friend’s birthday party at a local restaurant. I noticed a lone gentleman in the room and knew immediately that I would someday marry that guy. I told my best friend to take a look at him because I would one day marry him. True to my word, I married “that guy”, my second husband, Bruce. Thus, began my journey as a stepmother to three wonderful kids: Adrienne, Nathan and Betsy. I now had the opportunity to parent children who ranged in age from six to fifteen. It wasn’t long before my children started to label me, “Wicked One”: a name I have worn with pride (especially when given the opportunity to shoot at them at laser tag). I made it my personal mission to make sure that I showed those kids a good time and appropriate revenge on a daily basis. It has been quite the journey that I love sharing with my readers, students and clients.
Along the way, I received a Masters degree in Business and a Bachelor of Science degree in Special Education. I am also a Certified Life Coach, studying with Dr. Martha Beck. (Dr. Beck is a world renowned author and columnist for O Magazine.) I also have spent almost 20 years in corporate America with a large Fortune 500 company: skills that have certainly helped to create classes and coaching programs for stepmothers who would like a more peaceful life. To that end, my goal is to teach the art and science of stepfamily management. Neuroscience, biology, sociology, leadership skills combined with good ole fashioned Mom know-how combine to find each stepmother’s happily ever after. Bring your sense of humor. You’ll need it!
1) Tell us what your blog is about and what inspired its conception?
The Evil Stepmother Speaks is a blog dedicated to saving the world one stepfamily at a time. Over 95 million people have a step-relationship and many of them suffer. I want to stop that frustration and explore solutions. Look for lessons from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, sociology, physics and leadership. I also like to include practical ideas from my own experience and mom ‘know-how’. If a person reads one blog and learns something or feels better about themselves and their families, then I have done my job.
2) Who is your ideal reader and what do you hope they can gain from your blog?
my ideal reader is a woman who is in a relationship with a partner who has children from a previous relationship. She is about 25-55 years old and has frustrations about her role as a stepparent. The goal of The Evil Stepmother Speaks is for stepmothers to know that they are not alone. My ultimate goal is to teach stepmoms how to love and laugh.
3) Where do you see your blog in 5 years’ time and will the topic continue to be as prevalent?
I see the blog becoming more popular and relevant. Stepfamilies will continue to be recognized, as the ‘normal’ family structure. Readership will grow by double digits. More stepparents will take our classes and understand the value of taking the time to learn how to lead.
4) How do you continually find content for your blog?
It feels as though the stepfamily journey has an unending list of blog topics. After all, the stepmother fable started so long ago! I never struggle with new ideas. The women who chat on my Facebook pages inspire me every day and keep me relevant.
5) “Once upon a time, I misplaced my first husband…” Although I laughed at your opening line, it must have been extremely difficult. How did you find the strength to cope with this and are you a different person now?
The pain of a divorce is like someone stabbing you in the heart. Even if you are the one that initiates the separation, the impact is the same. So, yes, this was an extremely difficult time. The strength came from my son who was a toddler when I got divorced. Children keep you focused and you just do not have the luxury to be depressed or lazy. I still believe the life of a single parent is the most difficult.
Divorce, single parenthood and stepparent-hood changes who you are. Am I a different person? I would say that I am the same person, just wiser and older.
6) How do you find the time to blog, get a Bachelor and Master’s degree, become a life coach and write a book? Oh, and be a wife and mother of course!
All of these accomplishments have happened over a lifetime. My Bachelor and Masters degrees happened prior to the birth of my son. I studied with Dr. Martha Beck and became one of her certified coaches by taking courses at night, during the last several years of my corporate career. The book was a journey over a couple of years. It is all about pursuing goals that you love and taking it one small step at a time.
7) What is the secret to a successful blended family?
One secret to a successful blended family is a stepmother who has a great sense of humour and does not take herself too seriously. She understands the science behind it all and the power of compassion and silence. Don’t try to go it alone. Get support from a trusted professional while understanding that it isn’t personal.
8) How would you describe your parenting style?
I would describe myself as tough on the outside, with a soft heart. I like to think that my family knows what I stand for and what the expectations are.
9) What advice do you have for aspiring bloggers in terms of getting into the media?
The media is interested in what you have to say. There are so many outlets and you can find your place. Have confidence and tell people your story. They want to hear it.
Blog: The Evil Stepmother Speaks
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