About the Book
I begin my review with this beautiful quote as it aptly fits my feelings after reading the book.
“Stepfamilies tell us the story that second chances are possible and love can overcome anything.”
Stepping into a New Role, Stories from Stepmoms is a collection of stories about experiences of stepmoms with their stepfamilies. It stems from the universal fact that everyone can give you some advice on being a parent but when it comes to being a stepparent the reservoir of advices feel empty and mostly unfit for the situation you are in. Accepting a stranger in the role of a mother is a difficult process for a child and so it is for a stepmother whose efforts are weighed less and mistakes more in this two-way learning process. But the question is ‘Why should they be expected to become a mother and child overnight? Or is it necessary to have a mother and child relationship for stepfamilies to live happily? After going through many self-help books and guides online the author did not find anything which would really help stepmoms, so she went on to interviewing stepmothers, each of whom had so much to share and learn from on how to create and sustain this relationship, all of which turned into this wonderful book.
Structure and elements of the book
The author has penned down this book as a testament of the learning curve of both mother and child in a new relationship with a stranger. It is a slow process and one of the best advice would be not to rush and limit yourself to role of a mother only but letting the children accept your love in any way, they let you in as a part of their lives. It can be of a stepmother, a friend, a hero, a guide or any other. The book explores different dimensions of the delicate bond between stepmothers and their children which needs to be nurtured with love and patience.
The book is well knitted with chapters on facing and coping with worst nightmare situation before stepmom such as hearing those dreaded words from the little one “You are not my Mom” to beautiful moments of pure joy of being a stepparent. Each story is an anecdote for a new stepmother, the moments when you should hold on and when you must let go, after all you are a human too. Sometimes giving up your comfort for the little ones can make your journey to their hearts smooth and earn you the best complement ever. Our author knew that she had earned her place in her twelve year old stepdaughter’s heart after an exhausting Black Friday shopping adventure when the little one softly said,
“That was fun. We make a good team.”
I turned to her, smiled, and said, “We do, don’t we?”
The author has been very real in telling the stories, there is no sugar-coating or biasness on the truth that needs to be told when talking about a sensitive yet important subject as this one. The author’s own story is an unusual, least spoken and understood dimension of being a stepmom and so she has talked about her own fears and experiences without any filter. I applaud the author for having the courage to do so. The writing is easy to follow and maintains the flow of the stories.
The book needs to be read by all stepmoms, their family and friends who wish to understand and truly support their journey into being a stepmom. It is an excellent compilation of unique experiences of stepmothers and stepfamilies and will be a great guide to building, nurturing and strengthening this unique bond in families.
Shelley Reviews Rating
Structure and Elements: 4/5