6 Inspiring Friendships Between Bio-Parents And Stepparents

This is what it looks like to parent like grown ups.

As part of our Blended Family Friday series, each week we spotlight a different stepfamily to learn how they've worked to bring their two families together. Our hope is that by telling their stories, we'll bring you closer to blended family bliss in your own life! Want to share your family's story? Email us at divorce@huffingtonpost.com.

It takes two very strong people to create a healthy co-parenting relationship after divorce. If you're lucky, at some point you get an unexpected parenting ally: your child's stepparent.

Below, parents we've featured in our Blended Family Friday series tell us why they're thankful for their kids' stepmoms.

She loves my son as if they were "bound by blood."'
Shelley Wetton
"My son's stepmom Jill and my ex provide a broader perspective on life for my son. I'm thankful that she loves my son as if he were bound by blood, not just her marriage to his dad. As parents, the two of them are supporters of each other. They are my friends as well as family and our blended family is joyful as a result." -- Shelley Wetton
We're on "the same co-parenting page."
Carolyn Flower
"I'm thankful for my kids' stepmom Eva for her unwavering support. We’ve lived 12 years as an 'extended blended family' with no shortage of love from all the parents. I think I’m most grateful for the solid security of knowing we’re always on the same co-parenting page. Eva and my ex have each shown their devotion and commitment to our kids time and time again, supporting, protecting and enriching their lives. It’s a loving formula that allows our children to feel they can accomplish anything.” -- Carolyn Flower
She maintains a "cool head" in any situation.
Ben Rollman
"I'm the product of divorced parents and my parents' new spouses were always kind, but my brother and I were older and didn't benefit from the additional adult supervision. My children have, what I feel is the benefit of having three parents. Their stepmom (my ex-wife's new wife) brings so much patience to the table. She can always be counted on to have a cool head when both the kids' mom and I may not. I'm thankful they have her support and love." -- Ben Rollman
My sons' lives are "richer for having her around."
Lianne Phillipson-Webb
"I'm grateful for a number of things about Amy, my sons' step-mom. For starters, she has never once done anything that has made me feel displaced or insecure. She's so respectful, she'll quite literally hang back a little on the sidelines to make sure she doesn't overstep any boundaries, which she's never come anywhere close to doing. I've heard some cases where a new stepmom, in her zeal to be helpful, will take the kids shopping for new gear for ballet class and leave the bio-mom feeling like she missed out on an important experience. By contrast, Amy is a quiet, reliable presence, helping with daycare pickups and sports logistics. We have distinct strengths and roles and I believe the boys' lives are richer for having her around." -- Brandie Weikle
She gives my kids a much-needed "contrasting point of view."
Lisa Lavia Ryan
"I'm thankful for my kids' stepmother Deena because she's so different from me and provides my son and daughter with a contrasting point of view. Sometimes it's nice for my kids to be able to bounce things off Deena and get her take before bracing themselves for my Italian-mother intensity! I think with my heart; Deena reacts with practicalities. We make a good team." -- Lisa Lavia Ryan
She's "extremely sensitive and respectful" of my feelings.
Bruce At Imagine Photography
"One reason I am thankful for Julie, my son's stepparent, is because she is extremely sensitive and respectful of the fact that she looks way more like Jackson, our shared child and my biological son, than I do. They both have blonde hair and fair skin whereas I have darker features. One day when we were all together I finally shared with her that I was self-conscious people would see me with this very blonde family and think I was their Italian nanny. From that day on she made a point to always introduce me to friends and neighbors as 'Jackson's mom.' (I'm also thankful for her because she is a mega-minded English teacher super nerd; it definitely comes in handy as the middle school homework assignments become more and more challenging!)" -- Katie Nemer

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