Hosted by Kate Ferdinand, this podcast is a celebration of blended families - exploring the stories of relationships bound by love, no matter what their circumstances are. Covering subjects such as second marriages, divorce, grief and life after loss, adoption, fostering and (not-so-wicked!) stepmothers, Kate will champion different voices and experiences by speaking with experts, everyday people and celebrities in the public eye.
Something we place a lot of importance on in the Blended community is being really open and honest with our feelings and that’s exactly what we are in today’s episode with grief expert, loss author and CEO of the charity The Mariposa Trust (widely known by its primary support division ’Saying Goodbye’,) Zoe Clark-Coates MBE. As you may remember from her last episode on Blended, Zoe has lost five babies, but her ability to take the positives and honour life from these experiences is so inspiring. Zoe shares some great advice and tips from her book 'Pregnancy After Loss', including how to prepare for scans, coping mechanisms for stress and managing the joy and the fear of being pregnant after loss. Click here for more information on Zoe’s Charity ’Saying Goodbye’ https://www.sayinggoodbye.org/ and find her on Instagram at @Zoeadelle. If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram.
This week on Blended we have an inspiring conversation on single parenthood with author of the book ‘Liv’s Alone: Amateur Adventures in Solo Motherhood’, Liv Thorne. When Liv Thorne was in her twenties, and single, she would joke to friends that if ‘Mr Right’ didn't come along she'd have to take matters into her own hands and have a child on her own. When she was still single in her thirties, it stopped being a joke and she started researching sperm banks and fertility clinics. Having chosen donor sperm from a bank in Denmark, her first three attempts to conceive via natural IUI failed. Liv had said to herself that she would try 4 rounds of IUI before she would undergo the more invasive (& expensive) route of IVF. Happily, and somewhat surprisingly, it was her 4th round of IUI that resulted in a successful pregnancy. Liv gave birth to her son on her Dad's birthday who sadly died when she was 12. Her Dad had always called her Little Herbert, which is why her longed for son is called Herb. Liv gives us a really honest account of what it's taken to create her family through sperm donation, the financial burden, and how you need to be especially kind to yourself if you decide to start a family solo. As always, these conversations show that there’s no ‘normal’ way to raise a child, the main thing is to show them support and love. If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram.
Today’s episode of Blended is all about Mother’s Day, an event which can mean so many things to different people. That’s why for today’s episode I really wanted you to hear my husband Rio’s perspective on this day. Rio and I talk about how our family has changed over the years and how our emotions of grief evolve around Mother's Day as time goes on. Rio will describe himself as not having massive highs and lows in his emotions but he’s really getting better at voicing his feelings especially around grief, and our takeaway message as a family is do what feels right to you. We decided not to put this episode out on Mother’s Day so you can listen in the build up, afterwards or whenever feels right for you. If you're struggling this Mother's Day, please be easy on yourself, the greatest bit of advice I've got was from Julia Samuel, just turn your phone off and try to enjoy the day. If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram.
After her advice went down so well with you guys at Christmas, we decided to invite child psychotherapist and co-host of the ’Therapy Works’ podcast Emily Samuel back to Blended to answer your questions. It can be really easy to get caught up in our emotions and everything can seem a little bit overwhelming in parenthood, but Emily gives simple and actionable advice to use. We cover a range of topics including: dealing with grief, divorce, and how we can best support neurodiverse children (and for any parents currently experiencing the terrible two’s, I ask Emily how to deal with those tantrums too!) If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram.
Today on Blended we welcome author Lisa Timoney. Lisa has written 3 novels, including ‘Her Daughter’s Secret’ and ‘Her Mother’s Lies’, stories that are centred around Blended family setups. Lisa was adopted at a young age alongside her elder adopted sister owing to her adopted parents’ fertility problems. Lisa’s adopted parents are now divorced, putting her in the unique position of having 3 sets of parents, although she’s not reconnected with her biological parents who had her as teenagers. Lisa is passionate about changing the stigma around adoption and this episode reflects Lisa’s really positive outlook on being adopted, detailing a life filled with love and nurture. Lisa’s story is a really encouraging one, and the main takeaway should be that everybody’s normal is different, which is the epitome of coming from a blended family. If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram.
I have a very special guest today on Blended… finally my husband Rio has agreed to join me! This is because we’re so excited to announce the gender of our baby with you all. It was great to sit down with Rio and relive the chaotic way we found out for ourselves. As Rio says “it was a typical Ferdinand household gender reveal, it went wrong!” as you’ll hear for yourself… Rio and I laughed so much making this, we hope you enjoy listening to our little family update as much as we enjoyed recording it! If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram.
Today’s episode of Blended is all about celebrating and understanding different ethnicities within Blended families and discussing how we can become the most authentic version of ourselves. Adrienne Herbert’s life centres around positivity and motivation. She’s the host of the Power Hour podcast, a TedTalk speaker and one of the UK’s leading wellness professionals, but her story hasn’t always been easy. She grew up one of four siblings in a single parent household and being one of the elders, she helped her mum raise her younger siblings which meant she had to grow up pretty quickly. Growing up Adrienne’s father was distant, the only member on her Dad’s side was her Grandma but she lived a few hours away meaning she never had the chance to understand her Jamaican heritage. Living in a predominantly white northern town with a white mother with little knowledge on black hair or culture left Adrienne often feeling like an outsider. This all changed when Adrienne moved to London age 16 where she began the journey to better understand herself. She now has her own blended family, her son Jude is interracial and Adrienne has made sure he has the education about his heritage that she never had. Today’s chat is all about embracing your true self, educating and celebrating our cultural differences and advice for parents raising interracial children, enjoy! To become part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
TW: This episode covers matters related to drug abuse and eating conditions. So please be kind to yourself if that feels too close to home. Today’s episode is for anyone who may be considering the option of fostering, has already taken the leap and needs some advice or simply wants to learn more about the processes and experiences of fostering a child. Our guests are mother and step-daughter duo Caroline ‘Caz’ Bullivant & Britney Coole. Caz welcomed Britney into her home when she was 12, and despite a rocky start, these two are now thick as thieves, so much so that Britney, now a mum herself, says Caz was the person who truly showed her how to be a mum. Caz, talks us through the reality of being a foster mum and shares some really inspiring nuggets of wisdom around the ‘best’ way to create a connection with your foster children. On the other side of the coin, Britney shares her experiences growing up and explains the emotional journey of foster care. This conversation is an example of both the heartening and challenging aspects of fostering. If you would like more information on the requirements and processes of fostering, check out the links below. To become part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram. Information on Fostering: At the end of 2022, there were more than 80,000 children in care in the UK. It's expected that this number will rise to more than 100,000 over the next three years, which means more foster parents are desperately needed to provide children with love, nurture and support. Anyone can be a foster parent - you just need to have love to give, and a spare bedroom at home. Foster parents are provided with a fostering allowance to enable them to financially support the young people in their care, plus ongoing training and support, enabling them to provide the best care possible. Fostering People have been supporting vulnerable children since 2000, in Scotland, the north east, north west, West Midlands, east of England and Yorkshire. You can find out more about becoming a foster parent with Fostering People here: https://www.fosteringpeople.co.uk/ You can read more about Caz and Brit's story here: https://www.fosteringpeople.co.uk/resources/fostering-stories/foster-parent-stories/cazs-fostering-story/ For more information on fostering and its importance, the UK's leading foster care charity The Fostering Network has lots of information: https://www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk/ The government provides information on fostering too: https://www.gov.uk/becoming-foster-parent
Trigger Warning: Themes of addiction are discussed in this episode. Today on Blended we have the brilliant author, self development coach and queen of manifestation, Roxie Nafousi and today's episode is all about building positive co-parenting relationships. Roxie and Wade are no longer together, but are passionately committed to staying great friends and being the best co-parents they possibly can be. They’ve gone against the status-quo and written their own rules on how to co-parent which includes holidaying together and a new approach to splitting the time they share with their son, Wolfe. Roxie has also navigated a tricky past, struggling with various addictions, self-worth insecurities and post-natal depression, but discusses how her life completely turned around after she had her son Wolfe, who is her bundle of joy. This chat is packed with honesty and so much great insight and advice on how to create a positive co-parenting relationship that prioritises your children's happiness. To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
Writer and Broadcaster Emily Dean is the author of the hit book ‘Everybody Died, So I Got a Dog’ and subsequently the hugely successful Times podcast ‘Walking the Dog’. Emily’s life turned completely on its head when she lost all of her close family in a 3 year period. First her older sister Rachael to cancer, closely followed by both her parents, leaving her as the key female figure to Rachael’s children and an orphan at age 45. This sudden change left Emily no choice but to clobber together her own Blended family consisting of her nieces, close friends and adorable Shih-tzu, Raymond. This is an emotional episode, a story of unconditional love, resilience and a tale of how loss forces you to step outside your comfort zone. I hope hearing Emily’s story inspires and gives you confidence for all of life’s unexpected challenges.
Hey everyone! I know I’ve been a bit quiet on social media lately, but I’ve received so many messages asking for an update on what’s been going on. Well… I have some big news to share with you all - I’m expecting another baby! I couldn’t be more excited, and I’m so glad I get to talk about this journey with all of you on these mini-episodes of the podcast. Sometimes when you share big news on social media, it doesn’t quite have the same impact as talking about it in person. That’s why I wanted to jump on here and share my thoughts and feelings with all of you. I’m really looking forward to the season ahead and continuing to share my journey with you all in these mini-episodes. If you’re excited to be a part of the Blended community, make sure to follow @Blended on Instagram. Thanks for listening and I can’t wait to share more updates with you all!
Welcome to a brand new season of Blended! In this episode, Kate speaks with Dr Martha Deiros Collado - a clinical psychologist specialising in science of childhood. Her mission is to make the science of psychology accessible to everyone which she does this so well on her Instagram and podcast Talking Sense. Dr Martha has such a refreshing, calm, and empathetic way of tackling big subjects - from how to manage anxiety to navigating tricky co parenting situations, as well how we as step parents deal with imposter syndrome and alienation. Dr Martha also answers the brilliant questions submitted from the blended community, and it's all just so helpful. Today's episode is all about actionable advice you can apply in everyday life with your family. To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
Wow there are just 4 sleeps until Christmas! To wrap up our mini-episodes I wanted to come on by myself to share with you all what my first Christmas was like coming into a Blended family and how our family has developed since. I share some of the new traditions we have created together and I’ve also got some quick practical tips which I found have helped me at times where things have got a little stressful, to help me enjoy the moment. This is a short and sweet episode which I hope leaves you feeling calm and ready for the days ahead. Thank you to each one of you for being part of the Blended community this year, together we are helping the world know that Blended families are beautiful. I hope you all have an absolutely wonderful Christmas and I look forward to seeing you in the New Year. To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
In the last of our Christmas minisodes, I sit down with a wonderful Emily Samuel, she's a child psychotherapist as she answers some of the questions you sent in that relate to your children's experiences of Christmas. We cover expectations of Christmas, managing children's behaviour, presents, and mental health around the Christmas period. These episodes are really short and sweet, but they're packed full of advice. Emily co-hosts the wonderful Therapy Works podcast with her psychotherapist mum (Julia Samuel) and sister (Sophie Samuel) - you can listen to Therapy Works here As always, we'd love to hear from you, so please do get back to me with your thoughts and feelings. So here it is, our blended minisode with Emily Samuel. To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
On Blended today we have a very special guest, Alex Willumsen who’s story is one that so many people have been in touch about, and that’s being a childless stepmum.Alex Willumsen is a parent/step-parent of 11 years to two boys down in Brighton. We hear all about Alex's step parenting journey but also about her and her husband’s attempts to grow their family themselves. Alex is an amazing women and she feels that being a childless step mum is a unique and often overlooked experience and because of this, she started a support group called “Step by Step”- a group for supporting step family/blended life - some who have their own children and some who don’t. To keep up with Alex and her Step By Step group please see the website: Step by step - supporting step family life Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/435013954196017/?ref=share Sign up to the step by step newsletter by Contact email: email@example.com Information and support around womb cancer: https://peachestrust.org/ Meet others in the childless community: https://gateway-women.com/ To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
It’s nearly Christmas, a time filled with joy and excitement, but also a time that can be difficult for anyone dealing with the absence of a loved one. A few weeks ago, I reached out to you on the Blended socials and asked if you had any questions around Christmas. We were inundated with your questions, so I decided to host a short series of minisodes to offer advice to anyone struggling at this time of year. Ann has worked in bereavement for over 30 years and is the CEO of Child Bereavement UK, a charity of which I am proud to be a patron. In this minisode, Ann answers some of your questions about how to help children and young people deal with bereavement and loss throughout the festive season. These episodes are short and sweet and packed full of advice. Ann gives amazing and digestible guidance to families navigating loss at this time of year. You can also find a wealth of resources to help young people navigate grief at the Child Bereavement UK website. Link: https://www.childbereavementuk.org/ To become a part of the Blended community follow @blended on Instagram.
Today’s guest on Blended is comedian, actor, writer and I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! star, Babatunde Aléshé. Baba joins me to talk about life growing up in a single parent home, and how his childhood was one of his biggest drivers in shaping his own parenting style. Baba’s Nigerian heritage and religion comes up too as it was a big pillar in his life overall which prompts a conversation about how to blend cultures in the family home. We also talk about strictness in the home which we have a good laugh about! It’s a conversation that takes so many great twists and turns. I just loved how much love and respect he has for his mum, and how he and his wife balance their culture in his home.
It’s nearly Christmas, a time which can bring so much excitement but also so much stress, especially if you’re part of a blended family. I reached out to you on the Blended socials and asked if you had any questions around Christmas: Be that grief, how to share the kids or anything else that’s causing you stress, and we were inundated with your questions. Today we welcome Professor Lisa Doodson back to Blended. She's an author and psychologist specialising in step-family dynamics. Today she answers some of your questions around splitting time over Christmas, making new traditions and the balancing act between bio and step families. These episodes are short and sweet and packed full of advice. As always Lisa gives some great tips and I hope it eases up the stress in the run up to Christmas. To become a part of the Blended community follow @blended on Instagram.
Today on Blended I’m joined by star of Teen Mom UK, Chloe Patton. We had such a lovely chat about Chloe finding out she was pregnant at just 16 years old, starting a family as a teen, navigating rocky times with her partner Jordan and also being a part of a beautiful blended family. Chloe's faced some really hard times along the way which were played out on the TV - going through postnatal depression and losing her nan and grandad - but has been so amazing in dealing with it all. Her outlook on life is so impressive - she is just so wise, strong and inspiring. Coming from a beautiful blended family herself, Chloe shares just how families come in so many different shapes and sizes - a message I couldn't agree with more. To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.
Today on Blended, I’m chatting to the phenomenal Brian Dowling - the Irish TV presenter who rose to fame after winning Big Brother in 2001 and Ultimate Big Brother in 2010. Brian has a beautiful new baby girl Blake with his husband Arthur and their journey to welcoming her to the world is a fascinating one. Brian’s sister Aoife was their surrogate - and Brian talks us through all of the expected, and unexpected highs and lows of surrogacy with your sister. This is such an entertaining but also informative, and emotional episode. Brian is so open about this complicated and beautiful topic and also about the traumatic sudden loss of his mother. This is a story of love, sacrifice and family. Brian says “Who you are is who your family are” - and you can really feel that today. To become a part of the Blended community follow @Blended on Instagram.