My Biggest Mistake as a New Step Mom

One of the biggest mistakes I made early on as a Step Mom was thinking that I could change Biomom.
I hated how she treated my husband.
I hated how she talked about us to my Step Daughter.
I made the mistake of thinking not only was it my job to fix, but that I actually could.
I thought that I could change her.
And all of my mental and emotional energy was spent on trying to do that.
I tried confronting her in person and on the phone.
That just lead to them to blaming me for creating a hostile environment.
I tried to force my husband to confront her about things I felt needed to be addressed.
That just led to him and I arguing constantly.
We thought the courts would make her change her behavior.
Umm big nope. They don’t give a FUCK if Biomom is being an asshole.
We learned the hard way that boundaries are not the responsibility of the family court system.
And every time my efforts didn’t work, I would feel more and more crazy, and more and more hopeless.
I just couldn’t understand why someone would want to be so uncooperative.
I didn’t understand why she wouldn’t just leave us alone.
I didn’t understand why she couldn’t see the impact this was having on her daughter.
I didn’t understand WHY she wouldn’t just want peace?
I gave her all of this power to completely fuck up my world because I was focusing my energies on all the wrong things.
Her.
It is not my job to make her a better person.
It’s my job to make ME a better person.
Every trigger she flips, every button she pushes, is just a lesson for me to learn about me.
And every time I strengthen that tender spot, I get stronger, more resilient, and give fewer fucks about her or her behavior.

If you’re tired of being a walking raw nerve when it comes to Biomom, let’s have a conversation. You get to tell me all the ways she’s making your life hell, I’ll show you how to build a damn Chinese wall of emotional insulation against her, and then we’ll talk about what it looks like to work together. You ready? Head on over to my “work with me” page to schedule a time to talk!

I’m not the easiest person to be married to…..

I can be a pretty big raging asshole in my relationship.

I want things done my way.

I think my way is the best way.

I am proud.

I am stubborn.

But I also love my husband and want an amazing marriage.

One of the things I’ve learned to do to protect my husband from my inner mean girl is ask for space to allow myself (aka my brain) to throw a temper tantrum when needed. 

Point in case, today.

While cutting up veggies for our meal prep my husband cut his finger pretty bad.

This meant he’d need my help to finish meal prep for our lunches.

“fuck, this is taking time away from working on my business,” is what my brain said and I could feel the pressury anxiety in my chest.

So I took a few deep breathes and thought to myself, “it’s fine, we can do this, we’ll figure it out.”

Then, as I’m reaching for veggies to chop I realize he forgot to get zucchini at the store.

Instantly I’m irritated because I had a plan and when things don’t go as planned, I get bitchy.

He said, “you sound irritated right now. The store was mobbed yesterday, I meant to circle back…”

I put my hand up and said, “yes, I’m irritated. I don’t need you to fix anything. Just let me be irritated.”

And HE DID! He turned around and left the room.

I didn’t get on his shit. I didn’t blame him. I didn’t start an argument.

I threw a mini temper tantrum in my brain, allowed the irritation to pass, and then moved the fuck on with meal prep.

Then I when I was done, I made sure to give him a kiss before I went to resume working on the biz.

Crisis averted; connection maintained.

 

Do you know how good it feels to NOT let that stupid shit eat at me all night? Pretty freaking amazing. 

 

If you’re a badass bitch that’s tired of being so bitchy, let’s have a conversation. You get to tell me all of the things your inner bitch won’t let go, I’ll tell you how we can shut her up and feel good about it, and then we’ll talk about what it looks like to work together.  You in? Set up a time to chat HERE. 

 

Still a little nervous about jumping on a call with me? Then you need to come check out my Facebook group. You’ll get more access to me, my community, and access to my live trainings. Visit Step Mom Mastery HERE

 

Thinking about working with me? Read this.

So I’m chatting with a fave client the other day.

We’re talking about her decision to re-up and continue coaching with me.

She says to me, “I had no idea how impactful this was going to be.”

And my first thought was, “Shit. Why didn’t she know that? What am I NOT telling people about the power of coaching and the awesomeness of working with me?”

This is what I think you need to know:

You will start to feel better immediately.

Not in a week. Not in a month. But the moment you say “yes,” on our consult call, you will start to feel better.

You will start to see progress after the very first coaching session, I shit you not.

Because this isn’t airy fairy bullshit.

It’s fucking science.

What I provide is a new level of awareness and once you see something, you can’t unsee it.

So from the word “go,” you’ll start to notice changes in how you think and feel.

And, even if you never did any of the work I gave you, none of the activities, if all you did was show up to our coaching session each week…. you’d still make progress, no bullshit.

I am your safe place. You can share anything, say anything, about anyone, about anything, and I will not judge you.

Which means we get to shine the light on all the scary things you’ve been too afraid to say out loud for fear of what they might mean about you, your partner, your relationship etc.

My love for you is unconditional. Which means I love you, even when you don’t love you, which helps teach you how to unconditionally love you too. 

Our friends and family are awesome. They love us. They mean the best. But they still have an agenda. They still have strong beliefs about what they think is right for us.

I have no agenda for you. Only you know what is best for you. I help you figure that out.

When shit hits the fan, I’m your ride or die. I am your panic button. I will help you figure shit out, always.

I believe in you, even when you don’t because sometimes, we need to lean on other people’s belief until we can strengthen our own. And when we know we have someone who believes in us 100%, it helps us to be brave and take action and do things we were previously too scared to do.

I am a one stop shop. Yes my focus is relationships, but I am a Life Coach and that means I coach on all aspects of life (and relationships). There is not a single topic you could bring me, that I can’t coach you on.

There is a ripple effect because the way we do one thing is the way we do all things.

Which means when you start leveling up in one area of your life it creates a ripple effect and improves other areas of your life.

It creates compound positive effects on your life. When you are a happier and more resilient person, you’re a better wife, mom, employee, human being. Which potentiates a happier house, husband, kids etc.

Happier people are more productive, they make more money, they don’t spend as much money, which means more wealth, less stress, and better health.

See? It’s like a domino effect in the best way.

And the tools I teach you? They can be applied to literally any circumstance in your life which means you can take the skills and concepts and continue to apply them for the rest of your life.  

Sooo, I teach you how to not need me.

I got it all covered.

I got you covered.

 

There’s no need to continue feeling like shit. Feeling less stressed, less overwhelmed, and actually being happy with your life is possible for you. But, I can’t help you unless you let me. Help starts with a conversation. You get to tell me all the things that are weighing you down, I’ll show you what’s keeping you stuck, and then we’ll talk about what it looks like to work together. So ummm, what are you waiting for? Schedule a consult convo here.

Silence Your Inner Mean Girl

One thing all of the women I’m close to have in common? Their internal dialogue is shit.

They are SO mean to themselves.

The self-assault that happens in their brains hurts me.

I call that shit out ALWAYS.

Guess what? My internal dialogue is shit too.

I’ve been looking at this and really working on this a lot lately.

And what I’ve noticed is that my brain thinks saying mean shit to me is not only super helpful, it also thinks it’s very necessary.

I initially thought my inner mean girl only came out when I made mistakes or “failed.”

But the more successful I become, the more I realize my inner mean girl is actually there ALL of the time and constantly offering her bitchy two cents.

She says things to me I wouldn’t dare say to other people I loved.

She tells me how my success is a fluke.

That it doesn’t count.

She’ll find reasons to discount any and all progress I make.

She’ll point out all the ways I’m failing as a mom.

All the reason’s I’m unlovable and unworthy.

I know when she’s in full effect because I feel terrible.

If I wouldn’t talk that way to people I love, why would I say those things to me?

Because I do love me.

The interesting thing is I thought the way to “fix” this was to eradicate her.

But I’m realizing that I don’t think that’s possible and more importantly, it’s not necessary.

Trying to eradicate her just results in me fighting with me, me attempting to reject a part of me, and that doesn’t work.

It just creates resistance and tension which also, doesn’t feel good.

The answer to my inner mean girl isn’t to mean girl her back and tell her to fuck off.

Because that’s not being loving either.

It’s to listen to her with kindness and compassion.

To honor what she’s telling me, thank her for trying to keep me safe and then letting her know it’s okay. I got this.

This year I’m working on really deepening my love for me.

And that means loving all parts of me.

Even the mean girl ones.

 

You have a mean girl that lives in your brain. I know you do. We all do. Believe it or not, she thinks she’s being helpful and trying to protect you. The answer isn’t to fight her. It’s to love her. And the crazy part is when you’re more loving to her, you’re automatically being more loving to you and she will quiet down. Try it. You’ll thank me.

Stop Letting People Hurt Your Feelings

People don’t cause your feelings, they influence them.

And the degree to which they can influence them is based on YOUR history.

Your history of traumas, microtraumas, past experiences in relationships, and programming you were taught by your parents and society, etc.

All of these experiences are woven together to form an emotional fingerprint that is unique for each and every one of us.

That’s why it’s impossible to know for sure how anyone will ever respond to anything.

And why what matters most is learning how to manage how YOU want to respond in any given situation and how to make that happen.

Why does this matter?

Because when you hear tires in the driveway and you brace because you know your step kids are home? It’s not the step kids that are the issue.

It’s the emotions you’re anticipating they will cause.

But you’re not at their mercy if you realize you have more power over your own emotions than they do.

That moment, when you hear the tires is your moment of power.

When you feel yourself brace? That’s your signal that your brain’s default narrative is running.

Thoughts like, “they’re so disrespectful. I hate the chaos. They give me so much anxiety.”

Are going unchecked and unquestioned.

So, you brace.

This is the moment where you can take your emotional life BACK and decide to change that narrative.

Breathe, and shift the narrative just a little.

Try softening the narrative with new thoughts like, “They are transitioning too. They are adjusting too. I can handle chaos. I am allowed to be anxious, I don’t have to fight it.”

And breathe.

All of your power lies in the endless stream of thoughts and beliefs that are on repeat in our brain.

We’re just not giving credit to them.

Instead, we blame the humans associated with them.

If you’re tired of feeling a certain way around your kids, step kids, the Ex, stop focusing so much on what they’re doing and pay more attention to what you’re thinking.

 

If you’re tired of feeling exhausted by difficult humans in your life (Exes, Step Kids, husbands), let’s talk. We’ll talk about the humans that are making you batty, I’ll show you what’s been robbing you of your sanity, and then we’ll talk about what it looks like to work together.  You ready? Set up a time to see if coaching is right for you here. 

What if there’s no such thing as a HCBM?

There is no such thing as a “High Conflict” Bio-Mom. 

Read that again. 

You’re pissed at me, amiright? 

I bet your brain is arguing with me, and you want to delete this email.

Just stay with me for one second. 

How do you feel when you call someone “high conflict?”  

As in, what vibrations happen in your body? What emotions come up when you think about the person you label as “high conflict?” 

Anger? Irritation? Anxiety? Frustration?

What do you do mentally and physically?

Brace for impact? Prepare for battle? Become defensive?

Do you see how much your mindset and behavior completely shift from just this one thought? 

She’s NOT even around as you’re reading this email, and I bet your entire demeanor changed. 

Bio-Mom is not the problem, my friends; it’s your thoughts about her. 

When we label someone as high conflict, we often end up being the ones who create conflict. 

Our adrenaline spikes, our logical mind shuts down, our primitive brains take over, and everything and anything can and is interpreted as a threat of war. 

I know you want to argue with me. I know you have lots of evidence. 

I know you think you’re right and she’s the problem.

But is your way working?

What if the first step in dealing with a High Conflict Bio-Mom, is to stop calling her High Conflict?

 

P.S. Listen, co-parenting doesn’t have to be a constant battle of wills, power plays, and leveraging. Don’t believe me? I’ll show you in 45 minutes or less, for FREE. Sign up here

When’s That Shoe Gonna Drop?

Despite a rocky start to 2020, things are finally going well.
Today I was thinking about all the things I’m grateful for right now.
My husband is awesome.
The kids are great.
My clients are great.
My friends are amazing.
My family rocks.
So then why is there this looming sense of dread? Like a big dark cloud that slowly sneaks in.
And my brain starts to look around for danger.
Where is it?
I know it’s here….
Where is that other shoe that’s waiting to drop?
Do you do this too? When things are going awesome, you start to brace for impact?
As I said, I was writing down my list of awesome when suddenly I felt it. It was dark and heavy and a little anxiety-provoking too.
It harshed my gratitude buzz in a hurry.
WHY, was I doing this to myself?
Why did this feel so shitty?
The answer. Fear.
Fear of something terrible happening that would come along and rip away all my joy.
Fear of feeling bad.
Fear of disappointment, anger, rejection, whatever the negative emotion may be.
The fear of the hurt and discomfort that comes with negative emotions and not being able to mentally and emotionally handle it.
The dear god, don’t make me have to live through that again, kind of fear. Amiright?
But here’s the thing.
What if I didn’t need to be afraid of all of those things?
What if worrying wasn’t necessary?
What if worrying, only robbed me of my joy now and never actually protected me?
What if maybe I’m capable of handling ALL of those negative emotions?
Dear friends, I am.
I am completely capable of handling it all, and so are you.
Worry isn’t necessary; it only pretends to be.
Worry does not protect you.
Worry is only robbing you of joy.
Worry is optional.
How do you stop worrying?
Stop fearing negative emotions.
They are just vibrations in your body.
Negative emotions are normal.
Negative emotions are unavoidable.
Running from them only makes it worse.
If I can handle them, so can you.
Worry shows you where you have a lack of belief in your ability to handle negative emotions.
What if you believed you didn’t have to brace?
What if you believed you were capable?
What if you believed negative emotions were normal?
You’d be completely liberated from worry.
You’d no longer be exhausted from dread, bracing, and running away.
You’d no longer fear negative emotion because you’d believe you could handle it. All of it, because you can.
I believe in my ability. I believe in yours too.
When you believe, the worry falls away.

P.S. Worrying is normal. It’s also optional. If you struggle with constant worrying about what could be coming around the corner, I’m here to help.

The Gift I Give To Me-Less F*cks To Give

This year has been freaking crazy, to say the least. Sometimes I feel like I haven’t even had a second to breathe. My most important priority this past year? Me.

I want to say it was unashamed. But that would be a lie. There were times I had Mommy guilt when I worked on my business instead of hanging with my kids. There were times I argued with my husband because I spend so much time working on my business.

But this coaching gig, coaching people, and getting coached, has taught me more about myself than any other endeavor, ever.
I’ve put in the work; things haven’t worked, I’ve cried, I’ve learned, I’ve almost quit, I’ve kept going, almost quit again, and kept going. Doing something I’ve never done before, I know nothing about, and wanting so badly has forced me to look at me square in the face on many occasions. The no bullshit, you have only yourself to answer to, kind of face to face interactions.

I like me now more than than I ever have before — all of me. The extra 30lbs me. The stubborn me, the perfectionist and judgmental me. The hardheaded, proud to a fault, grudge-holding, confrontational AF, do not DARE f*ck with my kids or my family, mama honey badger me. The idealistic, old school, unrealistic expectations me. I love all those versions of me (even if they sometimes get me in trouble).

I also love the big-hearted, insanely loyal, hard-working, courageous, determined, intelligent, tenacious, word-smithing, proud mama, fiercely feminine, badass wife, and I will coach the shit out of you, me.

The self-confidence that comes with accepting and loving me for me has allowed me to work harder, take more risks, and be more courageous than I ever have before in my life, which is awesome in and of itself. But the compound effect of doing this work, working on me, has allowed me the freedom of giving fewer f*cks.

Loving me and knowing me has allowed me to stop worrying about what other people love or don’t love about me. It’s seriously crazy. I have always had a polarizing personality. People love me or hate me. There is no in-between. I’ve known this for a long time. I used to acknowledge it with a sort of “fuck you” attitude. And now it’s more of a “that’s fine, sometimes I don’t like me either,” vibe.

Now I worry about me instead of everyone else. What I mean is, I used to get so wrapped up in worrying about what the Anti-Billiejos were thinking about me. I’d try to morph and twist and turn myself into what I thought I should be. It felt awful. And it was a pointless endeavor because I can’t control what other people think. So now I worry about me. How I’m feeling, how I want to feel, how I want to show up in the world, and how to make that happen. I take responsibility for my emotions and my actions, REGARDLESS of how other people behave. Am I perfect at this? Hell No. Have I gotten better? Much. And it’s mother fucking liberating.

You can’t control other people, people. You think you can, but you can’t. So stop trying because it will only make you feel crazy when they don’t comply, and they’re not going to. Can you influence people? Yes. Are you more likely to get more bees with honey? Yes. But it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with you when the bees don’t show up. So if you’re not the kind of bee that digs my honey? Zero f*cks.

I’ve owned my human, flawed parts. The compound effect? I’m more accepting and patient with other people when they show their human, flawed parts. We really cannot recognize in others what we don’t see within ourselves. That means the goods stuff and the bad stuff.
Being kinder, more loving, and accepting of my flaws has 100% resulted in me being more compassionate, more loving, and accepting of others. Being less critical, judgmental, and rigid toward myself has 100% allowed me to be less critical, judgmental, and inflexible with others. But if you’re incapable or unwilling to do the same for me, I’m moving on. No resentment, no bitterness, just zero f*cks.

And I’m not doing this work because I’m some sort of enlightened, holier than though, selfless, Mother Theresa type. I’m doing it because it freaking FEELS BETTER. It feels good to like the person that I am. It feels good to be more patient with my kids and husband. It feels good to open myself up to people I would have previously shut out. It feels good to be more compassionate and understanding to others. It feels good to stop worrying so much about what everyone else MIGHT be thinking. It feels good to give fewer f*cks. Merry Christmas Me, you’re welcome.


I see you. I know you see me.

I see you. I know you see me. I used to be afraid of being seen. I was scared of people judging me. I was worried about what they would say about me. I was afraid of people looking for my cracks, my weaknesses, and my flaws to prey upon. They knew I had them. I knew I had them too.

I remember being so afraid of what everyone who knew “pre-life coach” Billiejo would say about me. That I’m a fraud. That Life Coaching is a joke. That I have no right to call myself an expert in anything. That my life was messy, so how dare I tell anyone else what to do with theirs? And that I’ve been a pretty big asshole at times in my life, so what makes me any better than anyone else now?

All those judgments were really just things I thought about myself. I discovered the only way around them was to own the parts of them that were true. Like I always say to my clients, when you own your shit, no one else can hold it against you.

Initially, I felt like a fraud because I was one. I was running from my own hurt and issues related to being in a blended family instead of facing them. When I confronted them, it gave me some agency over them and allowed me to step into authenticity. My life is messy some times. But show me someone whose life isn’t? My ability to navigate my mess and own my messiness is why my clients love me. And Life Coaching is no joke. It’s completely transformed every aspect of my life. It’s transformed me. Because I continue to be an expert in the transformation of my own life, I can help my clients achieve the same change in theirs.

And yes, I’ve been a pretty big asshole many times in my life. I’ve been an asshole stepmom, I’ve been an asshole biomom, an asshole wife, and an asshole ex-wife. But I’m not claiming to be perfect. I am painfully aware of my imperfections. I am claiming to be human. What’s changed is that I’m working on owning all of my asshole tendencies so I can be a little less asshole each day.

Byron Katie says every judgment is really just a projection, something we see within ourselves and recognize in someone else. We do not recognize in others what we do not also see within ourselves. So umm, when you call your ex inconsiderate, it’s because there’s a little part of you that recognizes you can be inconsiderate too. Or when you call your husband’s Ex “high conflict,” it’s because you can tend to be confrontational also. I’m not gonna lie, that one hit me in the face the first time I thought about it.

And, have you ever noticed that when passing judgments, we tend to demonstrate the behavior we are judging the other person for? Calling someone judgmental is, in fact, a judgment. You tell your husband how rude and careless he is for leaving a mess around the house. And by calling him things like “rude” and “careless,” you are, in essence being rude and uncaring. Or when you fill your girlfriends in about that bitch at work, you can’t stand? You are, in reality, being bitchy also. Well shit, knock me off my high horse.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve judged others as harshly as they’ve judged me. I’m not proud of it. And I’m still not without judgment today. We are humans. We judge. I am human. I judge. But again, what I’ve realized is there is no one judging me harder than I judge myself. Owning and appreciating my own flaws helps me be more compassionate and less judgmental of others’ flaws. I will continue to work on being less judgmental because I know how it feels to be judged, and because the only person judging others hurts is me.