Growing up I never thought I would be a step-mom. No girl does. Yet when I said “I do” to my husband I went from single to married with children. Nothing had prepared me for that.
I met the kids while we were still dating and had started to develop a relationship, still things were not quite right. The relationship was not as I had imagined, it was not love at first sight, and things were not moving as fast as I thought they would. I mean, I loved their dad and I loved them. I was awesome and cool, I knew all the lyrics to all the songs, I could pull off the latest dance moves, I was funny, I could make a mean meal… actually several mean meals including all their favorites so why were they taking time to embrace me? Why did I feel like an outsider with my soon to be family? Why were things moving so slowly? Why did I feel like I had this dirty little secret that I could not share with anyone about being a step-mom? Why did I feel like dropping everything and running away? Why were the kids not treating me like an authority? Why was there a loud silence on the end of the phone when I uttered my first ‘I love you’ to the kids? And why did I feel guilty confessing all this to my partner?
These are just a few of the many questions I had which I knew deep down if I couldn’t get the answers to, my soon to be family would not work. So I set out to find answers and the first place I looked was my church. Unfortunately for me, they had no group or special parenting class for step-parents yet this is what I needed. I remember that day leaving the church disappointed and sad. Hoping that it was just my church, I sent an SOS text to all my close friends “Please check for me if your church has a step-parents class or group or any special ministry that caters to them” One by one the responses streamed in, all with negative feedback.
My heart sunk further but I was not about to give up. I opted to read and after checking with my good friend Google, I got some really good books that I could get and read, however they were not available in the bookshops here, so I bought the eBooks and downloaded all possible resources on step-family life. I would get copies whenever I traveled for work, and would buy and ship them to my then boyfriend’s hotel whenever he traveled. As I turned the pages of each book the answers were slowly revealed and as soon as I started applying the principles I had learnt, I began to notice positive changes both in myself and my approach, in the kids as well as my relationship with my partner. I could understand the reasons behind the children’s reactions as well as mine making it easy to steer conversations and actions in the right path and also enabling me not to take everything so personally.
I remember thinking to myself, how many women out there were in the same situation as me yet they were hopeless and of the opinion that they were doomed to fail yet with the right strategies and approach it was possible to make it work and be happy. I decided to share my knowledge with others just like me. I took it a step further and studied with the Step-family Foundation in New York and got certified as Step-family coach in order to teach others what I had saved my otherwise doomed relationship and marriage.
That’s also when I founded Living In Step Africa (L.I.S.A). As a certified step-family coach, I work with step-moms, step-dads and singles that are dating partners with children to help them learn, love and thrive in their step-families. I offer personal and group coaching sessions either in person or online, I am a speaker and hold regular talks every last Saturday of the month at LISA as well as on other platforms upon request.
I am Rotarian with the Rotary Club of Muthaiga and I love the opportunity it presents me to give back to various communities around me. Most importantly I am a proud step-mom of two amazing children aged 15 and 12 who are the inspiration and motivation behind my passion for step-families.
Thank you for taking your time to read this, I hope you can learn a thing or two that will help you in your own journey
Feel free to get in touch with me directly by email