Busta’s Person of the Week: Dr. Webb shares the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of being a stepmom

Busta’s Person of the Week: Dr. Webb shares the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of being a stepmom
December 02
12:56 2021

By Busta Brown

My Person of the Week is an expert on a topic that no one talks about, but millions of people are living with it every day. And most couples aren’t sure how to successfully navigate through it. 

Dr. Renita L. Webb is a living testimony on how to navigate through one of the most stressful and difficult challenges for millions of couples. She is also an example of the saying, “Never say never.” 

“I said I would never, ever, ever get with a man with children. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. He sent me an amazing man. From the gate, my husband just goes with it. The month after we got married, I went back to school to start my Ph.D. He said, ‘Go for it!’ When I had to write my dissertation and write my first book, he said, ‘I’ll take the children away so you can write.’ When I was a principal in Durham, he cooked every night. He said, ‘Why would you cook? You don’t need to do that. I got us.’ He was supportive out the gate!” shared Dr. Webb.

When she met her husband, Jarred Webb, he was a single father with two boys and she had two girls. Within six months, they were engaged, and have been happily married for the past 12 years. 

Dr. Webb is an educational trainer, consultant, public speaker, and author. The wife and mother of four authored her first book, “Stepmom: Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs,” in 2016. It’s become the bible for blended families throughout the country. Whether you’re in a blended family or not, this book will either save or strengthen your marriage or relationship. 

Dr. Webb learned at a very early age how to navigate through the trials, tribulations and triumphs of a blended family. “I was blessed to grow up in a single parent household with an absolutely incredible mother. My mom held it down! But she also believed in villaging. I had my entire family and neighbors rallying around me, because I was the only one in the family who didn’t have a father in the household. My mother put me in everything! Dance, sports, everything! And she was always there to support what I did. I don’t think she slept for 18 years,” shared Dr. Webb as she gently laughs. 

She said everyone called her mother “mom,” and she saw her play the role as the “other mother” to neighborhood children and genuinely loving them. This showed her how beautiful other mothering can be and should be. “My father lived in the same city, but he was married. My stepmother is a feisty little lady. She’s about 4’10” and a firecracker. She loves me so strong! And my mother says all the time, she’s very happy to share me with her. My father’s children are her children, and she lets me love her, just like she loves me. She’s the reason I was blessed to reunite with my father,” said the Durham native. 

I couldn’t think of anyone more qualified and with the love and passion on how to navigate stepmoms, and even stepdads, into a beautiful, happy, strong and successful blended family than Dr. Webb. “I never thought I’d date a man with children, because my biggest fear was dealing with another adult that doesn’t want you involved. I was also afraid that it would be a man that wouldn’t stand up for me. Because having a blended family is a different battle you have to fight. There are women that are insecure, so having another woman mother your children can feel like you’re having your power and love taken away, and your rights are being invaded because they are your children,” said Dr. Webb. 

Dr. Webb also shared some of the challenges of having a blended family. “Dealing with the other family that is not really legally attached to either one of you, but they’re very attached to those kids. But my husband’s family saw that I loved the boys, even before we were married. That’s the key to a successful blended marriage, when you genuinely love each other’s children. I remember their birth mother’s mother complimented me on the way I loved her grandchildren. She said, ‘I love you for that.’

“Another challenge I faced was marrying a man that was a single father and had a family and mother that rallied around him. And when I came on the scene, people’s roles had to change. Because when we got married, leave and cleave is real. And we had to leave as a unit. And that’s not only with blended, but with all marriages. We had to create our own unit, which was hard when others had to give up certain roles in that person’s life. Also incorporating that same unit in my own family. Fortunately, they fell in love with my husband and his boys. They saw what God was doing and started to love our unit,” shared Dr. Webb. 

She said the advantages of having a blended family is all the love from the whole village. You have so many people rallying for your success. But there is a flip side of how others see blended families. “People consider blended families as taboo. If you’re blended, that means something failed. And people begin to feel shameful that your previous marriage or relationship didn’t work. I’m a Christian and in the Christian life, blended families are not what you are supposed to do. There are a billion marriage seminars, so there should be an equal number of seminars for blended families as well,  so that people know about the trials, tribulations and triumphs.” 

In Dr. Webb’s book, “Stepmom: Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs,” she talks about how the couple needs to establish their roles. “You need to have some very, very, very real conversations. Who can fuss at the kids? Who’s going to the schools? Who’s dealing with homework? Who’s talking to the baby daddy or mama? What rights do you have and how is it going to be established? Certain power is already established with the birth parent, so you must discuss each other’s roles and rights. This is extremely important, because you must be prepared before you present this to the kids and the family unit. You need to talk about what language will be accepted. You have to talk everything out, no matter how big, small or silly. It has to be a meeting of the minds, and you must take true ownership,” said Dr. Webb. 

I asked if there are signs when the children of blended families are feeling neglected because of the major altering of their lives. “They quickly retreat, so you must observe your children when they clam up. You must observe everything around you, so when you see them stop talking, lose interest in the things they once loved or participated in, and they get to that place of ‘whatever.’ That’s when you need to stop, right then, and make it all about them. We love to have our moments when everybody’s at the dinner table and sometimes we question what my husband cooked,” she shared and then laughed. 

I also asked what causes issues between the couples in blended marriages or relationships. “When decisions are made between the birth parents and not discussed with their spouse or mate. There should never be any secrets, because these are now all of our children. This is why I wrote the book, because people need to hear the story of blended marriages. It’s a lot of work, but it’s all worth it. You’re going to lose some friends and family, but make sure you make your unit is amazing. The best way to do this, you must deal with yourself first, before getting married or going into a relationship. Because you don’t need to bring any mess and insecurities into your family. Blended marriage teaches you a very unique way of leadership as well.”  

It’s clear Dr. Webb wears many hats as a mom and wife, but remains resilient about achieving her personal goals. “Dreams don’t have to die,” she said. 

Dr. Webb currently serves as assistant minister at Union Baptist Church in Durham, where her husband Jarred is also a minister. She’s the reigning Mrs. Black North Carolina USA since 2019, where she focuses on mentoring current and future leaders and reigniting her love for the performing arts. She has a major audition coming up very soon, so let’s lift her up in our prayers. 

Along with authoring “Stepmom: Trials, Tribulations and Triumphs,” she also authored, “While You Are Sleeping.” “When my oldest daughter was three weeks old, one day I picked her up and she wasn’t breathing. She was limp, with no air in her. I remember screaming! We took her to the ER and found out she had sleep apnea. So, I would watch her sleep all the time, and then it became a thing I did with both of my daughters. While they were sleeping, I took some of the most beautiful pictures. I would pray over them, while wandering what would come of them. I still look at them while they’re sleeping to this day. It’s God’s way of reminding us how precious they are,” said the veteran educator. 

My Phenomenal Person of the Week is Dr. Renita L. Webb. “Don’t diminish your own light. Continue to shine.” You can contact Dr. Webb @dr.renita on all social media platforms or visit her website at

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