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Belinda Mercorella, a stepmum, shares her journey of becoming a stepmum at 40. She initially had reservations about dating someone with kids but was attracted to Nigel’s dedication to parenting.

Belinda faced challenges in letting go of control and adjusting to living with children. She also felt isolated and faced the decision of whether to add a baby of their own into the mix.

Belinda shares valuable lessons she has learned about herself and being a stepmum, including the importance of communication, flexibility, and self-care.

Belinda Mercorella: What do we want for our lifestyle going forward? Do we want to go back to… Nappies. Nappies or that meat. We’re getting older and less dependent on him and we can have a life that we want to have, the way that we want to do it.

Laura Jenkins: In The Blend is a podcast series that helps parents and step-parents navigate life in a blended family. Join me as I speak with experts and guests to get practical advice on how to create a more harmonious blended family life. Having grown up in a blended family and now a decade into raising one of my own, I bring a personal perspective to these conversations and we dive deep into the unique dynamics, logistics and challenges of raising a blended family. From new partners to juggling mixed finances, we will help guide you through it. Welcome back to In The Blend. In today’s episode, we delve into the realities of becoming a step-mom at 40 with our special guest, Belinda Mercerella. Belinda, who is a scientist, naturopath, and born and bred Adelaide girl, shares her journey of joining a blended family with her partner, Nigel, and his two daughters. Now Belinda reached out to me and volunteered to tell her story in an effort to let other stepmums out there know that they are not alone. She opens up about the significant challenges that she faced during the transition, the isolation that stepmums often feel, the importance of relinquishing control and the value in finding support systems. Belinda also shares the emotional decision-making process behind not having a baby of her own and how it has shaped their family dynamics. So whether you’re a new step-mum or you’ve been on this journey for a little while, Belinda’s insights and advice are sure to resonate and inspire. I just loved this chat. Let’s dive in. Well, welcome Belinda. It is such a pleasure to have you on the show today. Thank you so much for joining us.

Belinda Mercorella: Thank you, Laura. Thanks for having me. I’m very happy to be here and excited to share my experience with you.

Laura Jenkins: Excellent. Excellent. Well, Belinda is a fellow Aussie. She is an Adelaide girl. Belinda, let’s dive in. Lots I want to ask you. Can you start off by sharing a little bit about your journey to becoming a stepmom? Yes. And what initially drew you to Nigel and his daughters?

Belinda Mercorella: Okay, well, I was 39 and single for the first time in my life since I was in my early 20s. So, I was in a previous long-term relationship, but I was never married to him. We didn’t have kids ourselves. And so, yeah, I found myself single. I was dating again. I was looking for people who really didn’t have kids. I kind of saw men on dating apps that had kids. I thought, oh, I don’t know if they’re for me. So I’d, you know, swipe on them. I didn’t think that’s what I wanted. I thought, no, I don’t, that’s not my, um, my future. Um, I met some really great people, had some great, um, you know, interactions with them, but there was nothing really potential, um, longterm at that stage. So, but it was a couple of years into the dating um, time that I thought, yeah, I’m ready to find that person. And, um, I wanted to build a relationship with someone and I had an idea about how I wanted to do that. Um, so when I met Nigel in 2022, 21, um, I, I found out that he had children and I was like, oh, okay, this is not what I thought I wanted. I wasn’t immediately put off. They’re currently 11 and 14, so they’re a couple of years younger at the time. I was ready to build a relationship with someone and I was still meeting people. Then I met Nigel and he found out that he had two daughters. I wasn’t immediately put off because I really liked him as a person and I wanted to get to know him more. So he was very upfront with me about his situation, about the child share arrangements, that his divorce went as well as a divorce can be. So I thought, green flag, that sounds good. In fact, as I got to know him more, I learned more about him as a person and how seriously he took parenting. it really made me even more attracted to him. So if anything, it was actually part of the attraction at that point. And he was and still is a really hands-on father. So obviously not meeting his kids straight away, I could hear secondhand from him, like how he was parenting. And I really liked the way that he did that. He reflected a lot on his own childhood and wanted to change things for his kids that he thought he wanted to have differently. And ultimately, he wanted to have the best life he could for his girls, given that their new life situation, that they’re living between two households. So, yeah, as I started to think about, oh, how could I fit into this? It was actually something that I got excited about and I could see myself doing, even though I, at the point in earlier in the relationship, we hadn’t met the kids yet. So I met them about nine months into our relationship and I knew that it was a big deal for him to actually ask me to meet them. And I thought that was a really, you know, really good reflection on our relationship and his commitment to me and what he thought about me. So, um, the night I met them, I was obviously incredibly nervous. Like, what are they going to think about me? I’ve never met any girlfriend of their their dad before. So I thought, you know, it’s such a lot of pressure. But as soon as I walked in and I met them and I was just trying to be myself, I felt really comfortable. And then that was the start of the journey to getting to know them. So, yeah, really, really what drew me to Nigel and his girls was how he approached parenting and how he wanted to prioritize his kids. Because I’d heard a lot of stories from women that, oh, you know, their, if it’s an ex-partner, say he’s not really, doesn’t really care about their children and having them or wants to have them less time. He was having them half time and really putting his time into spending time with them when he had them and not, making excuses to palm them off to family or anything.

Laura Jenkins: Yes, it’s interesting you say that Belinda. I had a really similar experience personally when I met Matt and that was one of the things that in the end really attracted me to him was the fact that he did have children and I enjoyed seeing the way that he parented these kids and I think it was that responsibility that he demonstrated, which I found really attractive. So I completely identify with that. So let’s talk a little bit then about some of the significant challenges that you faced because it would be a pretty big transition to come from being single girl or in another long-term relationship. Yes. Within the absence of children to then living with Nigel who had his two daughters. Yes. So how did you navigate those early days? Yes.

Belinda Mercorella: Well, we didn’t move in obviously straight away. It was about a year and a bit later that we just decided to move in. That was the next step. I think I was very naive in the beginning that it just all be perfect. All I wanted to do was be that support person and help out where even though Nigel was all over every day to day stuff and could do it on his own, I just wanted to jump in and go, I can help you do this, I can help you do that. And I thought I just easily slot into their lives. But that wasn’t exactly how it worked out for me anyway. Obviously, I’d never lived with children. And I’d always had like an adult, another adult in the house or when I was growing up in a family, it was with my brother and my parents, but there was no other young kids around. So I think it was a real shock, um, to be in a house and have two kids there, you know, half the time. So, um, one of the biggest challenges, I mean, always, always comes back to this as a massive one for me was, um, as still is just letting go of, of control because, um, I lived my life doing the things the way I wanted to do them. now I had to accommodate the needs of other people. And I found that really, really tough, um, to let go of. So, um, especially, you know, when it comes, you know, it came to looking after the house or the kitchen or things tidy, I’m just, I always say I’m a recovering perfectionist because I like things the way I like them. And, um, yeah, kids are kids and they don’t always do the leave things as you want them to be left. And, And that’s just getting my head around that. That’s how it’s going to be. Yeah. Was difficult. Oh, definitely.

Laura Jenkins: Yeah. Yeah. I actually remember when I first started seeing Matt, he shared a calendar with me, which was all of the weekends that he had the children and all of the different commitments that the children had. And then all of his work commitments were in there as well. And then there were these few little bits of white space in there in the next six months. And I remember thinking, oh my gosh. Where’s there going to be time for us in here as well? And that was another example of having to let go of that past control to be able to say, hey, let’s just throw on a jacket and go out tonight. It was more having to be a lot more planned and measured. So yeah, I think that’s another example as well as getting used to having dirty dishes in the sink and all that sort of stuff.

Belinda Mercorella: Yeah. I was getting used to it, so don’t worry.

Laura Jenkins: I know in your note to me prior to us recording this episode, you mentioned that you felt quite isolated at times. Yes. So can you talk a little bit about the importance of support systems for stepmums?

Belinda Mercorella: Yeah. I felt very isolated because it was like no one understood me like Nigel was very sympathetic and still is and so friends and family however there was no one really there that really got me like the my friends could relate who were parents or parents in like people who had kids in my life could relate to like the logistical stuff about having kids and you’re always taking them here and there And then I had friends who are in their own blended families, however, they had their own children as well. So it was like, oh, you kind of get me, but you don’t fully get me. So I think what I struggled with the most in that instance was not being a mother and being in this family situation and not really understanding, like, you know, I really want to help out and I want to be here. However, I also feel this resentment, like, why that they’re not my own kids. Like I didn’t choose to have these kids and now I’m doing these things for them. And it’s like, it was quite negative at times. And I just really wanted someone to say, Oh yeah, I feel the same way that you do. And it’s okay. Um, so I, I searched, I went online, I thought, well, I have to go online and search and see what I can find. And I found like the podcast, like yours or people interviewed about their experiences, um, like Facebook groups and this kind of thing. Um, just desperately for someone to say like, that what I’m feeling is okay. Um, because I felt guilty that why does he have kids? I don’t want them to be here. Like I want him all to myself. Like, even though I really wanted to be here at the same time, I’m struggling with these negative emotions as well. Um, so yeah, when I felt When I heard the other women that I, you know, if I found them online or, um, I heard them actually validate me, it was really encouraging because I thought, okay, I’m not crazy, but it’s okay. Yeah. And I actually thought, who else do I know? I started to think like, is there anyone else that I could even reach out to that I know? And there were a couple of women that who were in family situations like me without having their own children. spoke to them and it was like, Oh yeah, you know, you went through this. Okay. It’s me too. And they were like, yeah. Yeah. And being a little bit down the track for them as well. I could see that even though their struggle at times, like I have, it does get better as you know, you get to know the kids more and build the connection and so on. So, um, yeah, it was, I think that I had to be proactive about it because I knew that it wouldn’t just come to me. I had to go find the support because I felt very alone and if I just let that overtake me then I thought I’m not going to be able to stay here because… No, it’s too hard.

Laura Jenkins: Yeah, exactly. So many of the experts I speak with talk about the importance of community and for stepmums in particular to rally around others because so many of us all face those exact same struggles and you do think you feel guilty for having some of those emotions like resentment. because you think, oh well of course the kids should be spending time with their dad because it’s their dad. And then you feel guilty for feeling that resentment that they’re there and then you want him all to yourself as you said. But it’s so normal and I think there is so much power in community just to help you realize that others are going through the same thing and to start when you start to learn some of the strategies as well to help deal with some of those emotions as they arise, that can really help along with time as you mentioned which we always say it’s a marathon not a sprint being in a blended family and it does get easier the more time passes.

Belinda Mercorella: Yes, I always thought And I still hope maybe in time I can, but you know, especially at that time, I thought I just want to create a space for women like me to somehow get together and be able to be in a non-judgmental space that they can talk freely. So hopefully maybe down the track it might happen and I can create that. But yeah, definitely community is important. Even if the person that you reach out to isn’t exactly like in your situation, as long as there’s someone there to be able to speak to about it because I think the worst thing is just to hanging in and not be able to speak to anyone.

Laura Jenkins: Definitely. I want to talk a little bit about how you found your place in the family. I know you’ve told me offline as well that you’ve been quite hands-on in terms of pick-ups and drop-offs and cooking and cleaning and all those sorts of things. So did that just come about naturally through your way of being? And I’d love to know what were some of the questions or perhaps doubts that you might have had to confront along the way as well?

Belinda Mercorella: Where do I start with that? So many questions and doubts like at the beginning and they still pop up here and there, but it’s like, yeah, the questions like where do I fit in? Like, what’s my role here? Am I being selfish and taking time away from their, their dad? And then do they not hate me for that? Like, do they, do the kids really care about me and what I’m doing for them? Um, am I actually an imposter because I don’t have my own kids? Like, am I even able to do this role because you know, I’m not a mother myself. Um, so yeah, lots of questions like that. And also that feeling like, um, them versus me and it wasn’t because any of them did anything for me to feel like that. It was my own story that I was telling myself that here are these three people who are a family and have a history and I’m this new person coming into their lives and like trying to find my place there. Um, so I knew like in time, like I would have that connection and I would have memories and experiences with them. I guess at the beginning it was just really hard for me to know who I was to the kids because I didn’t want to be their mother. That was something I thought, they have a mum. I’m not going to try and replace their mum. Um, I didn’t want to be too nice and go, Oh, they’ll walk all over me or be too mean. And then they’re like, talk to their mother about me going, Oh, she Belinda, you know, she’s just so nasty. So, you know, this evil step mom picture that has been sort of painted in the movies and things. Um, so. And I’ve obviously had to think a lot about that and talk to Nigel too, about, you know, what, how do I fit in, um, essentially Now I do feel a lot more confident about what my role is and I feel I’m just another role, not just, I am another role model in their lives, another woman that they can look up to and see the way I live my life and what’s important to me and I am different from their mum and other women in their life and that’s okay. It’s like a bonus that they get to experience. me in your lives. Yeah. So, yeah. And I was the, I was very, um, happy to help out. Like that was the thing I was like, I want to help. I want to do this. I want to do that for you guys. It was something that I wanted to do. Um, so it was never an expectation that that’s what I would do for, for the, um, family.

Laura Jenkins: Yes. Yeah. So you just lent in and took that on naturally. Yeah.

Belinda Mercorella: And then I learned later that maybe it’s not good to throw myself all in.

Laura Jenkins: Yeah, I love that you’ve thrown yourself right in like that. Are there moments where you’ve had to take a step back and perhaps say, gosh, I feel like I’m doing too much or I need some me time? Yes.

Belinda Mercorella: Has that surfaced for you? Yes, definitely. Because I am someone that likes to give a lot and give everything. And then I start thinking, oh, well, what about I haven’t done these things for myself or how much time did I spend doing anything for myself like today? Or, um, the balance of that is for me, like I think personally, just difficult anyway. And so this really highlighted that and the fact that I don’t always take time out and I’ve got Nigel in my ear saying, how much time did you spend for yourself today? And I’m like, I don’t know. I didn’t really, oh no, that’s not good. And so I do find it hard just to. just to switch off and leave the things that need to be, like that can be left. Like you don’t have to do that right now. I can go and have like half an hour for myself.

Laura Jenkins: So yeah. It’s hard. It’s a muscle to build, isn’t it? Yeah, exactly. So Belinda, let’s talk a little bit about having children. And if you’re comfortable to talk about this, I’d love to ask you about your decision not to have children together with Nigel, which is a significant and a pretty emotional decision as well, I can imagine. So if you’re comfortable to do so, can you share more about how you both came to that decision and perhaps how it’s impacted your family dynamics? as well?

Belinda Mercorella: Yeah. Well, like I said in the beginning, my previous partner, he didn’t actually want children and I wasn’t particularly drawn to having kids myself. So I kind of like, okay, that’s fine. That’s just, that will be my sort of life without kids. And so I never really thought about it much in terms of do I want kids really deeply. So then when we separated, obviously I had time to go, oh, Maybe do I want to have kids? I did contemplate that idea. However, at the same time, I was almost 40, so I knew that the tick clock was ticking and I can’t make this decision. I can’t make this decision take too long because time is running out. I thought about the possibility, but I didn’t have it as a motivation when I was meeting people that that’s what I wanted to happen. When I met Nigel, I met this beautiful man who parented so well and I was very attracted to him in that way, like I said in the beginning too. And I started to think, oh, like maybe this person I could have kids with. And so early on in our relationship, we’d obviously talked about that as you do when you go through things and like make sure you have matching values and so on. He asked me, do I want kids? I said, oh, no, I’m happy that I don’t have. I’ve made that decision. And I said, do you want any more kids? He said, well, I’ve had a vasectomy, so I can’t easily have more kids. I thought that I’d have my two girls and then that would be it. So I’m like, okay, that’s fine. And then as we got to know each other more, obviously, more deeply, the feeling of having a baby again came up. and we need to discuss it in more depth because it’s one thing to say that we know someone for a few weeks to when you know someone longer and you know that there is a really strong connection there. So yes, we had to do a lot of discussion about that. He even admitted to me that I never thought I’d have to have more kids and then I’ve met you and you’d be a wonderful mother and we’d have a great family together. So even for himself, he had to reflect on that and make that decision. And we knew that if we went that way, it wasn’t going to just be easy. There would have to be medical intervention and so on. So we both went away independently and had our own thoughts about it, came back. decided that as much as the idea sounds amazing, we’re not going to go down that path. And that’s not to say that I don’t feel sad or grief around not having a baby. And I see Nigel with his kids and I go, Oh, I’ll never have that. I’ll never know that feeling that he has with them. At the same time, I get a whole new experience that I never thought I would have with his kids. And that’s to me, like, this is also really valuable. So yeah, it’s definitely, I think it was the timing, obviously, and everything. And we also thought that, what do we want for our lifestyle going forward? Do we want to go back to or nappies or getting older and less dependent on him. And we can have a line that we want to have the way we, you know, that we want to do it. So yeah, we had to make that choice. However, like it wasn’t an easy decision to make.

Laura Jenkins: No, that’s right. Belinda, thank you so much for sharing that. I think it’s such a tough decision and as you really nicely articulated, there’s so many different factors that you take into account. The age and his previous experience with children and then what your future might look like and all of those things. So I think it’s something that a lot of stepmums and stepdads coming together into a relationship that is a second relationship or not the first family, this is something that comes up a lot. So I think there’ll be many people listening who really identify with what you’re saying and what you’ve gone through and 100% respect the decision and the choice that you make as well. And at the same time, as you nicely put, you get the opportunity to be be this amazing influence and figure in these girls’ lives as well. So Belinda, I’d love to know, coming back to the logistics, within the household. What does a typical day look like for you when the girls are with you? So how do you manage responsibilities and find balance between supporting the family and the girls? And then we’ve talked a little bit about finding time for your own needs too.

Belinda Mercorella: Yeah. Well, we have the girls on a 50-50 basis. It’s not a week on week off. It’s more like a few days, three or four days and then three or four days again to the next time they’re with us. So we’ve been together, living all together for over a year and a half now. And so, when the girls are with us, I do school pick up and drop off and I’m very fortunate that I work very close to the girls school. So, it has worked out really well that it’s very convenient to do that. I go to work, they come to school, go to school with me. So, I do that and I do a lot of the, you know, food shopping and cooking and things during the week because I have a bit more time. Nigel works full time and really can only do that because of me willingly helping out as well. But yeah, finding the balance, because I, like I said, I like to just go all in with things. Finding the balance, yeah, has been difficult because I really want to care for them and create this really beautiful space as well. And then also, obviously, have enough time for myself as well. And I can see that when I haven’t done much for myself or anything, I do start to go down that path of resentment. and negativity. And so I can really see the benefit of taking that time for myself and for my own mental health and overall health as well. So we’ve started to, I guess, delegate tasks and get the kids involved with things. However, a lot of that has come from a place of me having to let go of that control that origin earlier. I want to do all the, it’s sort of like, I say, Oh, I’ve got, I feel overwhelmed. I’m doing everything, which there was never an expectation for me to do. I’ve just taken it on board myself. And I say, oh, it’s too much. I can’t do it all. And then, oh, well, let’s, can we get the girls to do something? Oh, Nigel says, can I do something? I’m like, oh, I don’t know. Would you do it the same way I do?

Laura Jenkins: It’s so true, isn’t it? We do, we do that.

Belinda Mercorella: Just letting them actually do things like, you know, the cleaning the house every second weekend or this sort of thing. I’m like, okay, it takes a lot of the work for me. And I also have to realize that I’m, if I do everything for them, it’s actually not a good thing. I want them to learn the life skills and responsibilities that they need to, so that they can take it into their lives when they get older. So as much as I want to do everything and be like, no, no, no, you just go and do your homework or you do whatever. I recognise that now too, that it isn’t, always a good thing for them.

Laura Jenkins: Yes. Oh gosh, I know so many stepmums that I speak to wrestle with that same idea of control and things aren’t always going to be done the way that you like them but at the same time you need the help because otherwise you run yourself ragged in the process. Yeah, I’m nodding along here listening to you Belinda. So look, nearing the end of our chat here, just conscious of time, but I’d love to know what are some of the most valuable lessons that you’ve learned about yourself and about being a step mum as well along the way?

Belinda Mercorella: Yeah, well, yeah, there’s definitely a lot. I’ve learned lots of lessons and had to do a lot of reflection about who I am and who I want to be. I realized that it’s easy to be this ideal person when there’s no one else around and you live the life, your life, the way that you want to live it. As soon as other people enter it and mess with your world, you realize, oh, actually, I’m not this perfect person that I thought I was. Like, oh, I’m very triggered by that. Or why does that make me so angry? Or these sort of questions and feelings like, where are they coming from? I’ve learned a lot about myself through being a step mom and sharing my home with these two kids. Cause I want to be a good role model for them and for Nigel. So I need to, I’ve realized I’ve had to really own my feelings and deal with them appropriately. And this is still a work in progress. Like I’m continually having to do this every day. So I guess one of the, One of the things I really have learned about myself is that I do have this innate desire to care for others and maybe that’s being a woman thing or whatever it is, but I do love looking after everyone and I know that I am valuable even though they are my children. I had to really reframe that idea that being a mum meant having my own children and accepting that I have really so much to offer. Nigel’s girls has been a really important lesson for me to learn as well. So yeah, even though I don’t have those, I don’t have my own children, I can still receive love and care from them and something I didn’t really think was possible actually going into it.

Laura Jenkins: Oh, that’s beautifully said, Belinda. And I think, I’m no doubt that Nigel and the girls are extremely lucky to have you in their lives. Yes.

Belinda Mercorella: They have been very good at telling me. that they appreciate me. And, uh, you know, I had to get over the fact that, oh, they’re just being polite. They’re just being nice. It’s like, no, they actually do notice. I think sometimes being kids, they don’t always notice the things that you’re doing. Um, overall though, they do realize what I am doing and, and just being appreciated, I think is, is all I really want to know that they, they do care. So, yeah.

Laura Jenkins: Oh, definitely. Definitely. It’s nice to hear that. I know lots of stepmoms can feel that really unappreciated. Yes. But it’s nice that you feel like you’re feeling the love for the most part. Yeah, exactly. So just to finish Belinda, what advice would you give to other women who might be in a similar situation as you? So a couple of years in perhaps to the step-mom gig, met someone with kids, none of their own, struggling with some of those feelings that you’ve described of isolation, lack of control, those sorts of things. What advice would you leave them with?

Belinda Mercorella: If you just keep going because I think in the beginning I felt overwhelmed, however, I knew I wanted to be there so I just kept going and it will get better and I still feel like it’s going to get better for me. I heard this stat, I don’t know if it was on your podcast or somewhere else I’d heard it, but it takes about seven years to feel completely comfortable with the blended family and I was like, Oh my God, I’m only two and a half years into it. And so it’s like, it’s okay. I still feel a bit lost and it’s not perfect and it won’t be perfect. So I sort of cling onto that fact, knowing that it’s okay that I still struggle with it. Also, you know, it is okay to have these negative feelings about the situation and also still want to be there. I think that’s something that I felt like, how can that, they’re conflicting, like, If I feel overwhelmed and I can’t do it, then maybe this isn’t meant for me. However, yeah, you can feel that at the same time. Something that I feel very strongly about after reading posts and things, especially on some stepmom Facebook groups, is having a partner who is very sympathetic and loving because if it wasn’t for Nigel, I wouldn’t be here still. If he didn’t have that understanding of my situation then and I couldn’t go to him with my doubts and questions, then yeah, there’s no way that I could have got through the early stages and we still do that now. So yeah, having a partner who is supportive and caring and sympathetic to your needs is definitely a must because he never once expected me to do any of the things that I do. It wasn’t like a replacement mother that he was looking for and I’ve heard a lot of women talk about the expectations that their partners are putting on them, you know, to do certain things and yeah, I think everyone deserves to be in a role that is, they’re doing a role that is valued. And like I said before, like I feel valued every day and everyone’s so respectful to me. So that, yeah, make sure your partner there, the kid’s father, if it’s that situation, is really supportive and caring of you. because no one should be doing a role that they’re not valued for.

Laura Jenkins: Oh, that’s so well said, Belinda. And if you haven’t got someone as supportive as Nigel perhaps in that regard, then for the ladies out there, make sure you’re giving your hubby or your partner an urge and telling him that you need a little bit more. You need a little bit more you know, praise and thank you because it can feel like a thankless task.

Belinda Mercorella: Yeah, it can. And then, and I also think just reach out to anyone, like don’t be a lot, don’t do it on your own, even if you think they’ll never understand me. Just, yeah, you need to reach out to someone that you can trust to talk about it because, yeah, otherwise you’re just, you’re not going to be able to handle it and you might leave a situation that ultimately can’t work really well because you didn’t have the support that you that you needed. So yeah, and I think to finish off like something that was really drilled into me is like, be yourself because I’ve sometimes felt myself going into a place of being a certain way so that the girls will like me. And I think, well, that’s not a real, if I’m doing that, I’m not really being true to who I am and I want them to be able to see you know, who I am and I have these great qualities and I hope that that can be a positive impact on them as well in their future.

Laura Jenkins: Yeah, absolutely. What a lovely note to end on, Belinda. You are such an inspiration for all of the other stepmums out there and no doubt there are many women listening who are nodding along as I was to a lot of the things you’ve said there. So really appreciate you coming forth and sharing your story.

Belinda Mercorella: I’m very, very happy to do that. And I don’t have any, I don’t have a public Facebook or Instagram. However, if anyone wants to reach out, I’m very happy to talk to anyone that would like to, so yeah.

Laura Jenkins: Wonderful, thank you so much Belinda. We’ll make sure we put a link to any of those platforms in the show notes too. Okay, beautiful, thank you. Wonderful, thank you. Thanks for listening to the In The Blend podcast. The show notes for this episode are available at And if you like what you heard, be sure to subscribe and please rate and review in your podcasting app. You can also follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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