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Day 1. Free yourself from the idea of the picture perfect family. There is no such thing, take
the pressure off. No family has it all together, not even a nuclear family. Write down 5 things
that make YOUR family unique!
Day 2. Let go of any resentment you are having. You may be completely justified in the
way you are feeling right now. Like Elsa famously said in Frozen - LET IT GO. Resentment
is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. The only person you are
hurting is yourself - so let it go!!
Day 3. Stop trying to be Supermum and do it all. You dont have super human strengths
you are mere mortal who has feelings and bleeds. If you dont want to do something or feel
overwhelmed then just say sorry that wont work for me and if your not being heard repeat
your statement.
Day 4. Set clear Boundaries NOW - work out a game plan for your future with these boundaries
in mind. If you're not clear on what everyones expectations are than anything goes. Write
down 5 boundaries that you are going to implement today e.g..
a. How often do your step kids stay over, and what is your role in that.
b. How often do my in laws stay or come over
c. What are the expectations with your husbands ex-wife
Day 5. Book in a Date Night with you and your partner. Go to the calendar right now and
schedule a night out for just the two of you. You may go to dinner or lunch, the movies, day
out together. Whatever, but go out on a date dress up and reconnect. Most importantly dont
spend your date night talking about kids, step kids, ex-wives, in-laws or anyone in the family.
Just talk about life and what is going on in your lives - Tune in and Reconnect! No Texting!!
Day 6. Find out something that one of your step children loves to do... one of your
stepchildren that he or she loves to do and take them out separately to do that. Just you two,
and start to build that bond. They will love that you took the time to find out what they like,
and made an effort to experience that with them. And dont start with the easy stepchild that
you like the most, start with the tough one! You may go see a movie, take them to the circus,
the park , the football, for an ice cream, skate park, out for lunch. Whatever it is, start that one
on one connection and build that relationship. If it has to be with all step kids at the same
time, then do that, but make an effort to connect separately with each one.
Day 7. Cook Favorite Dinner - find out your stepchildrens favorite dinner and cook it for
them, and make a big fuss about it. Say I know you love this meal and its your favorite, so
decided to make it especially for you! They will love it when you make a big deal about them.
Most of the time kids go through their day being told what to do, go here, go there, pick that
up, do this. So, when someone makes a big fuss over them, other than their own parents,
they respond to it. (Its all about building that bond)
First week down and 3 to go, how do you feel? are there any shifts in your family dynamic?
Would love to hear your results

Day 8. No Favoritism - with your step kids, try hard to avoid playing favorites with your
biological and your stepchildren. Treat everyone fair and have empathy for what it must be
like to come into another home every other weekend and feel like the odd one out.
Remember you are trying to build bridges for everyone to walk across, not burn them down.
Day 9. United Front - you and your husband need to be seen as a united front at all times. He
needs to have your back. Your husbands support is vital. He cant force his kids to like you,
but he can demand they treat you with a respect The more he shows you kindness and
respect and includes you in decisions about the children. The more they will understand that
this is the way it is. Ask for husbands support and explain it wont work with out it.
Day 10. House Rules - Create some house rules around common courtesy and basic manners.
Like any child they need to be reminded about being courteous, and saying thank you and
please. Dont get upset if your stepchildren arent doing this. But, do remind them every time,
your not there to be a slave, you are in you're own home, and expect to be treated with the
same respect that you are giving them. It all comes down to respect and common courtesy,
you may be the one that has to show them.
Day 11. Friends and Family - Invite your friends or family over for events or family gatherings.
Not everything needs revolve around his side of the family, make sure you keep in contact with
your side as well. Youll feel like you have somebody on your team and will be more comfortable
being yourself.
Day 12. The Village - accept that you married the whole family! Before you even think of
marrying a man with children, you need to accept that you are marrying the whole family, that
includes all the kids and any baggage that comes along with the situation. Acceptance that it
exists and will always be there is the key. Things evolve and change like everything and kids
grow and they go. But, being accepting of the situation will really help you in moving forward.
Day 13 A Discipline - Dont try to be the disciplinarian, especially in the beginning, let your
husband keep this role. As you transition into the family, dont try to take over all the roles
your husband previously played. He should continue to handle the discipline of his own
children, particularly during the first year. Its very difficult for a step parent to play this card.
That is why having your husband on side who agrees with you and takes control when
something needs to be sorted out is very important.
Day 14. Give kids their space, dont go through their stuff or go into their room without
knocking. As you are building a mutual respect and setting ground rules, you also need to show
respect. If your new step kids are living with you part-time, provide them their own space in the
home. They shouldnt have to sleep on a pullout couch in your office when they come over for
the weekend. Thats not the way to make them feel welcome. Allow them to bring over some
things from mums house, if that makes them feel more comfortable - be kind.
Second week down and 2 to go, how do you feel? are there any shifts in your family dynamic?
Would love to hear your results

Day 15. Dont take it personally - No matter how hard you try, you might not get a warm
reception from your stepchildren right away. They are experiencing significant loss and changes
in their lives that are out of their control. They didnt ask for this to happen and are looking for
someone to blame. It will take time for children to come to grips with the new reality and accept
you as a permanent person in their lives. If your step kids reject you or treat you unkindly,
you have to be the mature one and not take it personally. With some effort and time, you will
eventually develop respectful, loving relationships with one another.
Day 16. Create Family Memories and Traditions - What traditions are you going to
begin? Traditions and memories are made and created. This is YOUR family, so start to
think about what traditions you want to create. Maybe, its an easter hunt that you do each
year. Have a christmas stocking with everyones name it. Birthdays go to a special restaurant.
Go camping each year and create those memories, fishing, picnics regularly. Start to think of
things you can all do together, and do them. It doesnt take much to create a lasting memory
or tradition in a childs life!
Day 17. You Dont have to be like their MUM - Your husbands ex-wife may be able cook
better than you, fold the clothes better than you, organize the kids better than you, make
better lunchs than you. Hell, she may even be - Mary Friggin Poppins! Who cares, take the
pressure off. If your step kids keep reminding of you of how well their mum can do everything,
just smile and say thats great, we are all doing the best we can. And walk away and laugh it off.
Do you really want your tombstone to say, she made the best brownies, or a bed perfectly - NO,
so focus on the things you are great at.
Day 18. I Dont Love my Stepchild - Theres no obligation for you to like, or even love, a
stepchild or stepchildren right off the bat, though it doesnt hurt to make that a long-term
goal. The difference is a biological family gets to develop slowly, whereas a step-parenting
relationship seems to happen over night and thats a huge challenge. Its unrealistic to love your
stepchildren straight away. As long as your nurturing and caring and genuinely wanting your
blended family to work, then you're on the right track.
Day 19. Leave the Past in the Past Dont ask crazy questions about his past marriage. He is
with you now, and he loves you, focus on building your future together and dont get stuck in
obsessing about his ex-wife and what they did together. No comparisons, just keep looking
Day 20. Focus on the Process instead of the end goal Sometimes being the second wife and
a step mum, can be all too consuming. Take a moment and look how far you have come. It
takes courage to take on a role like this, Dr Phil says It will be hardest role as an adult that you
will ever assume becoming a stepparent. So today I want you to feel proud of yourself, and
give yourself a big pat on the back. And if you can go and do something special for yourself,
even if its a well deserved rest on the couch, with a your favorite magazine and a coffee for half
an hour. Then do that! Your a warrior woman!
Third week down and 1 to go, how do you feel? are there any shifts in your family dynamic?
Would love to hear your results

Day 21. Dont focus on Delayed Gratification, Ill be happy when... Be happy now, while
youre going through it. Be happy in the life you have chosen. Everything is choice and we only
have one life so dont spend it mopping around the house wishing these kids would grow up
and get lost. Be happy now, and things will start to evolve. Be happy!
Day 22. Role Models Look for strong, healthy, happy, successful role models and mentors.
Study what they say, learn from what they do, and then adapt some of it into your life. I have
always been a big believer in personal development, looking for people who have gone before
me and find out what they did. Look around you for groups or other step mums that you
could connect with and chat. Make sure they are positive about wanting a harmonious blended
family too. The last thing you want is to sit around and bitch all day about how hard your life is
a step mum or the second wife. Positive encouragement together in moving forward is the key.
Day 23. What are you Proud of Write down 5 things that you are most Proud of in your
Blended Family
Day 24. What do you like about your Stepchildren Write down 5 things that you like about
your Stepchild or stepchildren
Day 25. What do you LOVE about your Partner Write down 5 things that you love about your
Day 26. Extend the Olive Branch - In someway try to connect with your husbands exwife in a
positive way. Maybe call and meet for coffee, or compliment her on something. Try to connect
with her and start to build that relationship. You may never be best friends, but you are bonded
through the same man and the children. Sometimes it only takes one person to raise the white
flag for things to turn around. Give it a go today!
Day 27. Sorround Yourself with People who Love YOU When it all gets too much go out for a
drink with the girls. There are times where you need to be around people who think your great!
like your friends and family (your people) These are the ones who love you unconditionally,
and think everything you do is wonderful, and are happy to see you. Make sure you have time
with them as well, its all about balance.
Day 28. Pursue your OWN interests Ask yourself what are the things you like to do and go
and do them. Think about the things you liked to do before you had children or got married.
Maybe you enjoyed running, or singing, or art, or yoga, or dancing. Figure out what it is that
you really enjoy doing, and pursue it. Having your own interests is really important, whatever it
is, make sure you enjoy it!
Day 29. Watch Funny Movies with your stepchildren, find opportunities where you can laugh
together as a family and connect. Going and see a funny show, or movie or a comedian, or a
theme park, doing something as a family where you can all laugh and enjoy yourself is a great
way to build that bond. We still laugh about camping trips, skiing together, we all do funny lines
out of Austin Powers. Its a connection and memory that you create together.
(Day 30 on the next page)

Day 30. You made it!! Now is definitely the time to reflect, and ask what changed, what
shifted, Did anyone in your blended family notice anything different about you. Do you feel
lighter, happier, more relaxed. I hope you are Proud of yourself, because I am Proud of
you. I also hope you have enjoyed implimenting some new ideas that into your life that have
helped me. Now is the time to share your wins! Please send me your experiences of how
The 30 Day Challenge - to a more Happy Harmonious Blended Family has helped you.

To all the Second Wives and Step mums out there,

one more thing I want you to all remember,
no matter what happens, or no matter what anyone
says or thinks

You my friend are Second to None!!!

Angela Vassallo
The Second Wives Guide
The Second Wives Guide
The Second Wives Guide is an inspirational
book for creating functional relationships
with everyone in a blended family.


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