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A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


An honest and groundbreaking guide to understanding the complicated emotions that develop between stepmothers and children.

When faced with often overwhelming challenges, what woman with stepchildren is unfamiliar with that “stepmonster” feeling? Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children. To guide women new to this role—and empower those who are struggling with it—Wednesday Martin draws upon her own experience as a stepmother. She's frank about the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, she considers the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, and she counteracts the cultural notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the problems that often develop. Along the way, she interviews other stepmothers and stepchildren and offers up fascinating insights from literature, anthropology, psychology, and evolutionary biology that explain the little-understood realities of this unique parent-child relationship and—in an unexpected twist—shows why the myth of the Wicked Stepmother is the single best tool for understanding who real stepmothers are and how they feel.

Customer Reviews


She wrote exactly how I felt. Someone finally understood me. Thank you! Thank you!

Now I don’t feel alone

I have tried for 14 years to be the good step mother to an adult stepdaughter and the doting grandma to her now 10 year old daughter. I encouraged her father always to call her, yet I was never included in the acknowledgement of gifts, If they were mentioned at all. Dad did not plan, buy and send gifts, it was all my doing. I was ignored and sometimes treated rudely when there were visits, everything mentioned in this book came about during this time. I was not even in the picture when her dad and mom split, I showed up after he had two other relationships. The final straw was when the step daughter stood up at one of my favorite fine dining establishments and shouted at me because she thought I had told her daughter that vaping was not good. ( step daughter was a smoker for years and had switched over.) I said no such thing and was dumbfounded. This was the first time my husband actually told his daughter she was wrong. Unfortunately, I shut down emotionally toward his daughter and her daughter. I was so happy to read this book to help me understand how my shutting down really is an appropriate coping mechanism to deal with something out of my control. Thank you

Highly recommend!!!

This book has helped me so much. I stumbled across it during a time in my life when I felt I was at a personal crisis, dealing with a tyrant of an 18 year old, egotistical, self-centered stepdaughter who was pushing me to the brink of absolute insanity. I was almost to the point of running away from my marriage to her father whom I love more than life itself. I felt like all the emotions I felt over her made me someone I didn’t know I could ever be. I felt like a “monster” of sorts. A mother of 6 myself, I couldn’t understand how all my efforts with his child made no ground whatsoever. I felt like a complete failure... until this book! I realized I’m not a failure, I’m NORMAL! Healthy even! And it’s OK! I’ve learned how to take a step back and detach myself from taking emotional responsibility for her actions. What a difference this book has made for me. Thank you for writing this book!! Highly recommend!!!

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  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Parenting
  • Published: May 04, 2009
  • Publisher: HMH Books
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings