Kate Ferdinand has announced a new network for blended families.
She shared that the network, Blended, is for families that have been brought together by “a break up, fostering, adopting or loss”.
Kate, who recently opened up about her experience of postnatal depression, has been married to ex-professional footballer and Manchester United star Rio Ferdinand since 2019.
He lost his wife Rebecca to breast cancer in 2015, having been diagnosed two years previously and undergoing a double mastectomy.
She explained how she was inspired to create a “safe space” for blended families after her own experiences of becoming a step-mother.
Former TOWIE star Kate said: “Being a step-mum to three children who have been through so much and a husband who’s wife passed away brings a unique set of challenges…
“As my journey continues I’ve realised there is a real need for a place to connect and get advice from people going through similar experiences. I am definitely not a guru, this is as much for as it is for you guys…”
Last year, the couple fronted a documentary on the BBC called Rio and Kate: Becoming a Stepfamily, which explored intimate details of how Kate had coped with stepping up to the plate.
However, Kate isn’t the only step-mum in the spotlight. Here, we take a look at some other blended families…
Christine Lampard has been married to ex-professional footballer, Frank, since 2015. Together they have two young children, Patricia and Frederick, but Christine is also step-mum to Luna, sixteen and Isla, fourteen, from Frank’s previous marriage to Elen Rivas.
And it’s clear they have a strong bond.
Last year the television presenter and former Loose Women star posted on social media for Isla’s birthday, remarking: “How are you thirteen already @isla .rl what a beautiful young girl you are! I feel very proud to be your step mum.”
Being a step-mum is what Christine says helped prepare her for having her biological children.
“I have had the girls since they were four and two and they are [now] 13 and 11 so I have been through all the toddler years, the primary and secondary school bit and teenagers are around the corner,” she said. “That is preparation, although the baby years is all new to me!"
Like Kate, Emily Andrea was quite young when she became a step-mum.
She began dating Peter Andre in 2012, before marrying in 2015, meaning she became step-mum to his children Junior, sixteen, and Princess, fourteen, when she was just 23.
The couple also share four year old Theo and seven year old Amelia.
In a previous interview with OK! Emily revealed that she and her step-children have a unique relationship that goes beyond the bounds of mother and child.
“I think with both of them, there’s always things you feel awkward to speak to your parents about. It could be anything,” she said. “We have a slightly different relationship, maybe that’s why they will ask me questions about certain things.”
“We never have family arguments. I’ve never had an argument with Junior and Princess. Pete and I rarely argue,” she added. “I don’t think Junior’s ever been in a mood with me and I’ve been his step-mum for nearly 10 years!”
Frankie Bridge is a doting mother to young sons, Parker, eight and Carter, six.
But something she rarely talks about is her role as step-mum to her husband Wayne’s teen son, Jaydon.
In a Q&A on Instagram earlier this year, the Saturdays singer and mental health activist was prompted to talk about her experience.
“It's not something I talk about much as him and his mum aren't in the same industry as us. So I keep that part of our life private,” the I'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! star said.
"I've also never really chosen to be a step-parent. He has his parents. I'm just a bonus family! Ha!"
Frankie has previously spoken at length about her battles with mental health and postnatal depression, but hasn’t ruled out more children in the future, admitting to being “broody” last year after her sister had a baby girl.
Loose Women star Nadia Sawalha is step-mum to Izzy and Fleur, her partner Mark’s daughters from his previous marriage.
While Nadia talks openly about her family, who feature regularly on social media and her YouTube channel, her step-daughters have chosen to stay behind the scenes.
She has previously spoken out about how daunting she found becoming a step-mum on her podcast, Confessions of a Modern Parent.
“Even their names were the names of rock star children. Izzy and Fleur,” she said. “They were just trendy names. I felt, 'I am a bit naff. I am this plump, D-list, daytime presenter'. That's what I thought.”
Stacey Solomon and Joe Swash are the epitome of a blended family.
When they got together, Joe already had son Harry from a previous relationship with then-fiancé Emma Sophocleous, with Stacey bringing up sons Zachary and Leighton as a single parent.
Stacey recently spoke about how difficult it was at the beginning.
“It’s something we found really difficult to navigate,” she admitted earlier this year on Fearne Cotton’s podcast, Happy Place.
“Every step-mum ever written about is evil,” she continued.
“It was much more harder for me to build a relationship with Joe’s child than it was with Joe to build a relationship with mine.
“That fun-loving happy go lucky man that comes into their life is always more exciting. They have an easier time than the one meeting the evil step-mother that’s going to give them the poison apple.”
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