Something I should have done a lot sooner before getting married to my husband was read some good books about stepfamilies and, specifically, step mothering. Over the course of the first year of marriage I read a number of books to help me wrap my mind about what was going on in my new instant family and how to navigate through the turmoils of step motherhood. These aren’t necessarily how-to guides to being a great stepmom, but they are invaluable resources in making your personal journey feel less lonely.
The Smart Stepfamily by Ron L. Deal – This was the first book I read related to stepfamilies and, although I don’t identify with religion, I found most chapters in this book to be a great eye opener to stepfamily life. I even made my husband read this one. As much as being a stepmom was completely new to me, being the husband to a stepmom was completely new to my husband as well so we both had a lot of learning and understanding to go through (and still do).
The Happy Stepmother by Rachelle Katz – What a dream to read the pages of a book that make some of your new feelings feel okay. This journey has brought all sorts of feelings of grief, sadness, anger, confusion etc. that I never knew might be byproducts of stepmother life. Here I could find chapters to help me understand these feelings and not be afraid to have them. They are all natural emotions to have as long as you can understand and work through them positively.
Skirts at War by Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Jenna Korf – I LOVED this book. It’s written together by a stepmother and the biological mother. Although my circumstance is not a circumstance of divorce, this book was a stepping stone to putting myself in the shoes of my stepdaughter’s mother. Adjusting my perspective to be more holistic versus one-sided is a continuous journey, however, Skirts at War is a comforting reminder that there are two-sides to everything. This book is excellent for both stepmothers and biological mothers alike.
I continue to seek out resources to help positively move through this stepfamily journey. These resources are sometimes in the form of books, blogs, friends, or family. Building up your foundation, knowledge and understanding of stepfamily life and stepmother life are important in order to tackle the big and small issues that arise. I highly recommend giving these three books a read and hope you find them as invaluable as I did. Right now, I’ve lent them out to someone else who is in the throws of step motherhood. Now that I’ve gone through the early years of this family dynamic I can share how I got through it and am still standing today.
Thanks for reading,