I’m not a stepmother, but I play one every other weekend.
Given the fact that I live with a man who has children, I was delighted to read and see myself in Stepmoster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We Do, by Wednesday Martin, Ph.D. What a relieving, validating and motivating read!
Regardless of certificates and official titles, being the partner of a man with offspring is a strenuous role to play, especially where the kids are concerned. Between the lack of a standardized job description, conflicting societal expectations, the opinions of the birthmom, the actions (or inactions) of Dad and individual chemistries between everyone involved…. a woman in this position is likely to feel like a raging, lonely, sad, lost, alienated failure at least some percentage of the time. And Stepmonster is here to explain that we are not alone.
Perhaps the best thing about this work is that is not an instruction manual but rather a comprehensive look at stepmothers as well as the concept of stepmothering. In reading the book, I learned about fairy tales, alternative cultures and even other species! Therefore, its audience is not limited to stepmothers (or untitled partners of parents). This book is also for stepchildren (the adult kind) as well as dads… as well as birthmoms who wonder about That Woman. Oh, and anyone else who is close to a woman in such a position and wishes to better understand her predicament (hint: Mom, that means you!).