We are very firm believers that the more we choose to love and lift our fellow moms, stepmoms, co-parents… well, humanity in general, the more love and lifting will circle back our way. That is why we decided to reach out to Beth at The Babbling Blonde shortly after we stumbled across her Instagram profile. We knew we had found “one of our people” when we found Beth.

Beth is a stepmom and a wife in a same-sex marriage. She struggled to find resources with content that related to her life and the questions she had about blended families, co-parenting, and living as an LGBTQ+ person, parent, and wife. So she decided to create that resource for others by starting her blog.

Beth lives with her wife of just over two years, Jennifer, and her 7 1/2 year old step-daughter, Mia!

Gipford Moms: How would you describe your blended family dynamics?

Beth: I have no biological children. My wife adopted my stepdaughter with her ex-partner (also a woman) at birth. When my wife and I got married, I moved to the town her ex is from. We live around the corner from my wife’s ex’s boyfriend! It all sounds a little bit like a circus, and sometimes it is! But we’re figuring it out as we go and we all work together better and better every day. All things really do heal, grow, and change with time.

Gipford Moms: How long have you been a stepmom?

Beth: In the official capacity just over 2 years – but we lived together for a year before we got married.

Stepmom, Beth McDonough, from The Babbling Blonde Blog
Left to right: Beth, Mia & Jennifer

Gipford Moms: Tell us about your best & worst “stepmomming” moments…

Beth: Most of my worst moments have revolved around my own insecurities. I didn’t understand my place in the beginning, and that triggered so many arguments with my wife. Things seemed to take so long in the moment, but now I realize that my frustrations were based on the fact that I was in so much of a hurry to be embedded into my stepdaughter’s life.

The best moments: 1) The day after my wedding when we were driving back home we stopped at a gas station. I took my stepdaughter inside for a potty break and the cashier asked her if I was her mom. Mia responded, “Yes! She’s my stepmom! We just got married!” 2) This past Mother’s Day, her teachers let her do their classroom Mother’s Day gift THREE times so that she could give one to each of us.

Gipford Moms: What is your best advice for stepmoms who are struggling?

Beth: Patience! Time heals all wounds. And also the “mirror theory” – when others are cruel or hard to/about you, the things they criticize are almost always a reflection of their own biggest insecurities. And lastly, not to take things personally when you can help it. As stepmoms, things are rarely ever really JUST about or because of us.

"When you can't change  others, the only option you're left with is to change yourself." quote from stepmom The Babbling Blonde

Gipford Moms: Do you and Jennifer have any future baby plans?

Beth: We do! We just went through our third round of at-home insemination. If we don’t see success there we’ll be shifting to IUI soon 🙂

Gipford Moms: What is one thing about yourself that not many people know?

Beth: Oh gosh, I’m really an open book. One thing people who don’t know me personally might not be aware of is how complicated of a relationship I have both with where I’m from (West Virginia) and lots of my family from there. I lived a VERY sheltered, incredibly conservatively religious life — and the fact that I am pretty much the only person in my family who has branched out from that has been quite the shock.

Gipford Moms: What are you most passionate about? What lights up your soul?!

Beth: Writing and talking about entertainment. I can eat, sleep, and breathe pop culture.

Gipford Moms: As mothers, Tina and I know that self-care is a huge factor in maintaining our sanity! What are your favorite ways to practice self-care?

Beth: YOGA. I discovered yoga at the beginning of this year and it has really transformed my life. Also, I have begun splurging on getting my nails done every few weeks. It’s something I did before my life became about more than just me and I added it back in recently as a treat I think I deserve.

Gipford Moms: Do you have any new adventures (personal or otherwise) planned for the near future?

Beth: Lots of traveling! In August we’re doing a family beach trip. In September I’m going to speak on a panel about bisexuality in the media and one on freelance writing at the national convention for LGBTQ journalists in New Orleans. Also in September is the Toronto International Film Festival, which I’m hoping to cover as a film critic again. AND in November my wife and I are hoping to go to Ireland where she’s from. The back half of the year is getting a bit crazy! I’m also hoping to dedicate some time working on additional resources I can provide both stepmoms (on their struggles and stressors) and fellow content creators (on LGBTQ inclusivity).

Gipford Moms: We already know people are going to want to connect further with you… where can they find you?


  1. My blog: www.babblingblonde.com
  2. Instagram: @babbling_blonde
  3. Twitter: @babbling_blonde
  4. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thebabblingblonde/

A book written by Erin Gipford (bio-mom) and Tina Gipford (stepmom) about how they have been co-parenting peacefully for the last 13 years.

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