A NEW LOOK AT WHY REAL STEPMOTHERS
THINK, FEEL, AND ACT THE WAY WE DO
BY WEDNESDAY MARTIN, PH.D
ABOUT THE BOOK:
A groundbreaking and truly stepmother-centered way of understanding the tensions that seem to define relations between women and their stepchildren
Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children. And what woman with stepchildren has not -- in order to defuse the often overwhelming challenges and anxieties she experiences -- referred to herself as a "stepmonster"?
What Hope Edelman's book has done for motherless daughters, Wednesday Martin's empowering and original Stepmonster does for stepmothers: unlocks the emotional mysteries of why they think and feel and act the way they do. Martin draws on her own experience as a stepmother, interviews many stepmothers and stepchildren, and gathers insights from literature, psychology, and evolutionary biology to reveal the little-understood realities of this demanding role.
Stepmonster illuminates the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, exposes the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, counteracts the prevailing notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the problems they encounter, identifies the five "step-dilemmas" that create conflict, and considers the emotional and social challenges men with children face when they remarry. Stepmonster also sheds light on the history of stepmothering and the previously overlooked legacy of women with stepchildren everywhere.
Finally, in an unexpected twist, Martin shows why the myth of the Wicked Stepmother is at once an elaborate cultural fiction and our single best tool for understanding who real stepmothers are and how they feel.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., is a social researcher and the author of Stepmonster: a New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do (2009). She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today and blogs for the Huffington Post and on her own web site (www.wednesdaymartin.com). She has appeared as a stepparenting expert on NPR, the BBC Newshour, Fox News and NBC Weekend Today, and was a regular contributor to the New York Post's parenting page. Stepmonster is a finalist in the parenting category of this year's "Books for a Better Life" award.
A stepmother for nearly a decade, Wednesday lives in New York City with her husband and two sons. Her stepdaughters are young adults.
For more information, view Wednesday Martin's Web site.
AN ARTICLE BY WEDNESDAY MARTIN, PH. D:
Why You Shouldn't Put His Kids First
By Wednesday Martin, Ph.D.,
One of the biggest points of confusion and controversy as I talk to people about Stepmonster and stepmother reality is the injunction, "Put the kids first" and "The kids should always come first" and other variations on this theme. It's become a virtual mantra since Constance Ahrons introduced the idea of "The Good Divorce" and highly cooperative co-parenting after a breakup as ideal for the kids. The members of the ex-couple, Mom and Dad, should put their differences aside, Ahrons urges, for the sake of a more harmonious "bi-nuclear family" or divorced family that spans two households. This will spare the kids from ugly, painful loyalty binds and help with their adjustment to the shattering of family life as they knew it.
Ahrons is right. Numerous studies verify that high levels of conflict between parents pre- and post-divorce can be emotionally devastating for kids. And that's evidence enough that exes who can't stand each other will do well to turn to Co-Parenting with an Idiot, What to Do When Your Ex Drives You Crazy, and other books that will help them through the minefield of diplomacy and emotional gymnastics it can take to Put Your Kids First.
TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, GO TO THE FSB WEBSITE HERE:
With the divorce rates so high, some day becoming a step-parent is not unlikely anymore. Wednesday Martin presents in her book, STEPMONSTER, a realistic and practical view of what being a step-parent is like not only from the adult's side, but also from how the child views this new parent.
Do not think if you aren't in this situation in your family that you want benefit from this book--you will! First of all, it is an easy read with so much research it is hard for me to understand how Martin could fit it all in one book. No matter what your situation is, you will find yourself agreeing at times, while at other times, you will not. However, by the time you finish STEPMONSTER, you will at least have gotten some perspective and understanding on how everyone feels in these situations and blended families.
I believe this is a valuable resource for everyone who deals with step-parenting or even having friends who are step-parents. It is so easy to try and use your way of solving things when a problem exists, but you have no idea what all the dynamics are unless YOU are in that family. Remember to walk in THEIR shoes!
So often the stepmother hears those four hated words "you're not my mother!" and cringes and pulls back. Often in order to NOT hear those words the stepmother will try too hard to be accepted; to be patient and caring and hope that if she tries really hard that all of a sudden, it will all be OK. Add to that the possibility that this might be this woman's first experience raising children and a whole new set of dynamics arises.
What you find in this book is a plan. A way to take things step by step, day by day, but cut herself some serious slack. Just to survive and do the best you can and not load yourself down with guilt every minute, and you will have succeeded. I truly believe that parents as well as step-parents can gain a whole new outlook on their parenting skills and family dynamics through Wednesday Martin's excellent book!
THANKS TO ALL THE WONDERFUL
PEOPLE AT FSB ASSOCIATES, THIS IS
ONE OF THE THREE BOOKS YOU CAN
WIN IN THE BINGLE BELLS BUNDLE,
MAKE MOMS MERRY!
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