My Favorite Book for New Stepmothers: Stepmonster by Dr. Wednesday Martin

Updated on March 8, 2017
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Sadie has been a proud stepmother for over 25 years. She writes about blended family issues and modern family dynamics.

I've been a stepmother for more that 20 years. I'd been stepparenting for over 10 years before I read Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do. It immediately changed my perspective and validated so many things I was feeling. This book is a must read for new stepmoms. I wish I had had it by my side from day one!

  • Are you a new stepmother who feels confused about your role in your stepchild's life?
  • Are you dating a man who has children from a previous marriage and you want to know what to expect if you decide to get married?
  • Are you, your husband, and your new stepchildren having a hard time bonding as a family?
  • Do you find it hard to talk to your friends about the challenges of being a stepmother?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, Stepmonster, by Wednesday Martin, PhD, may help you cope with your fears, anxieties, and doubts about what it really means to be a stepmother in today's modern family.

Some days it may seem like your stepchild wants nothing to do with you. But that doesn't mean that you are a monster. It takes time for bonds to develop between a stepmother and her stepchild.
Some days it may seem like your stepchild wants nothing to do with you. But that doesn't mean that you are a monster. It takes time for bonds to develop between a stepmother and her stepchild. | Source

Stepparenting is one of the hardest, most thankless jobs in the world. Unlike biological mothers who can share their parenting highs and lows with other moms, a stepmother isn’t always given the same leeway. After all, the stepmother chose to marry a man with kids, she knew what she was getting into...so the story goes.

Wednesday Martin's Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmother Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do is a groundbreaking book that exposes some uncomfortable truths left unsaid by so many of the parenting resource books that have come before. For example, through insightful, candid interviews, Martin points out that stepmothers don’t always bond with their stepkids right away. But that doesn't mean the stepmother (or the stepkids) are unlovable.

The book has a unique way of getting to the bottom of why stepmothers feel and behave the way they do. The books reads as:

  • part memoir about the author’s own experience adjusting to her new role as a stepmom;
  • part in-depth, intimate interviews with stepmothers from a broad spectrum of family dynamics;
  • part scholarly paper exploring how sociology, biology, folklore, and misogyny have shaped the way stepmothers are viewed by society, by their stepchildren, and by themselves.

Don’t be surprised if while reading Stepmonster, you have the urge to jump up and shout, “A-ha! I knew it! I’m not crazy!"

Stepmothers haven't been treated kindly in folklore and fairy tales. Don't let the stereotype of the wicked stepmother define who you are as a person.
Stepmothers haven't been treated kindly in folklore and fairy tales. Don't let the stereotype of the wicked stepmother define who you are as a person.

Unlike other self-help books that often tackle problems from the perspectives of multiple family members, this book directs its attention to the needs, emotions, and experiences of the stepmother.

Being a stepmother is the new reality for many modern couples. Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children.

We live in a modern society that can sometimes be overly child-centered. The expectation is that everything revolves around the child(ren)'s well-being. Schedules, routines, where a family chooses to live, and so on, are largely defined in terms of the “best interests of the child.” These are all important aspects of raising a child who is well rounded, well cared for, and happy.

The challenge for stepfamilies, however, is to find a balance between what's best for the child(ren) and what's best for the marriage. Dr. Martin asserts that a strong bond between a husband and wife team in a blended family is crucial to making sure that a blended family stays together. Kids deserve to live in stable, conflict-free households and one way to achieve that is to make sure that the marriage between a spouse and his/her new partner is a priority. And sometimes that means not always putting the kids first.

What do you think?

Should stepparents put their stepkids above everything else?

See results
Stepparenting is a tough job but in time you and your stepchild will find a unique way to relate to one another .
Stepparenting is a tough job but in time you and your stepchild will find a unique way to relate to one another . | Source

© 2017 Sadie Holloway

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