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Stepmonster

A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do
Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (197 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What makes stepmothering so hard? And why are we, as people and a culture, so hard on stepmothers? How can we make it easier?

Stepmonster is a truly unique and groundbreaking book for women with stepchildren, men with kids who repartner, adult stepchildren, and anyone who cares about them. It is a comprehensive, cross-cultural, research-based reconsideration of stepfamily dynamics - from the perspective of the stepmother. How does she think, act, and feel, and why? Part no-holds-barred memoir of stepmothering in the trenches, part analysis of why stepmothering is tough and steps women with stepkids can take to thrive, Stepmonster has been hailed as "the thinking woman's guide to stepmothering" and "life altering", igniting conversations, controversy, and changes in how we perceive and experience stepmothering.

©2009 Wednesday Martin (P)2015 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"[Martin's] well-researched work delves into the animal world, fairy tales, psychology, and sociobiology...." ( Library Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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May make you feel less awful

The author spends a lot of time presenting examples in the animal kingdom of step-parenting and situations that illustrate the point that step-parenting isn’t easy and it’s common to run into major issues. This book doesn’t contain strategies or tactics to mitigate issues. The focus appears to be primarily aimed at making you feel less alone and awful about yourself and your situation. The author draws from 12 families that she interviewed that are friends or friends of friends. This really undermines the credibility of her conclusions or generalizations as they are self-selecting. She also pulls from other people’s research but it seems more like she cherry-picked the research that supports her point of view verses broadly distilling the available research findings. The book felt like a complaining session with a friend who is struggling with the same issues where we didn’t really accomplish anything but felt less awful and alone.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Literally the best stepmom book ever.

If you're like me, you have had it up to here with unhelpful stepfamily advice that amounts to "Just love them like your own. You knew what you were getting into." This book is the antidote to that sort of thing. It's actually helpful. It talks about all the things we stepmoms have often learned the hard way that nobody else wants to hear about.

Have you ever made the mistake of trying to tell your husband honestly what you think of his kids' behavior, thinking he might care that they're driving you nuts in some very fixable ways? I have. I thought I was being really constructive and solution minded. He blew up on me. I was so confused by that until I read this book. Have you ever thought to yourself, "How can I be expected to love these kids who are so completely spoiled and lawless in my home? I don't even like them! I just want them to go home!"? If you have, please read this book. You're not a horrible monster. You're a normal human being who is in an extremely difficult situation. You can do it.

Even if you're one of those rare gems who actually likes your stepkids and thinks this is a really cool gig, you would get something out of this book because it explains so much about why society perceives us the way it does, and really what we're all up against, as well as a ton of historical and anthropological context that nobody else has ever explained so clearly. This book is really for every stepmom, whether you are enjoying yourself, or like me, you're struggling.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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A lot of truth for those of us who feel alone

I loved that this book exists. It finally opens the eyes of all those who feel stepmothers need to live up to so many unrealistic expectations. I found myself relating to so many parts of this book, wanting to give it to my husband while telling him to “Look, I’m not the only one, READ THIS!” It gives clarification as to why we feel the way we do and so much more. It allowed me to find the courage to express how I felt inside but felt horrible for saying it out loud out of fear of judgement. I loved this book but was sad it ended without any tactics to help make it through a troubled marriage as a stepmom. Granted our feelings as stepmoms will continue to be there but how can we make others see how we feel? Learning to cope with this role would have been a great chapter to include. Or continue this book with a part 2 -How to Deal for Stepmonsters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Highly recommended for all stepmothers

I wouldn’t recommend this book to you every single step mother out there, and I would recommend it to their husbands as well. Wednesday Martin does an excellent job of researching and understanding Expectations, social stigma, historical baggage around being a stepmother. I love the solution she presents.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Sloan
  • Elkview, West Virginia United States
  • 04-07-16

A must for stepmothers or those thinking about it.

A book of validation and understanding for the hard feelings you'll have as a stepmother.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Dangerous

Unfortunately I found this book incredibly toxic in that after each listen I would be so angry and resentful about what now seem like the tiniest of inconveniences. Might work for some but I really felt it did me more harm than good. Very bleak. Will not be listening anymore.

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Enlightening

This book was great and made me realize I'm not a wicked stepmother after all.

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She said a mouthful...

The Book I wish I had when I became a stepmom that puts stepmothers on center stage for once.

Looking at their feelings, their thoughts and their lives as a Separate Entity, a woman, not a martyr, not a maid, not a villain, not someone who should have KNOWN what they were getting into, but a person, a human being worthy of the same love she gives to the father or partner she has made the choice to come alongside of and make a life with.

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Good nuggets in there

This is an interesting view in step mother life. For me it was a bit dark. It did help me understand some of the reasons we have the challenges as step moms and some of the feelings I have toward my own step mom. The extensive supporting evidence of “step mother” examples from around the animal kingdom and various tribes was interesting, but lost my interest after awhile. I did appreciate the chapter about understanding the motivations of the ex wife and the loyalty conflicts that plague step families. Over all a decent read. Made me sad for the clearly overwhelming number of people who dislike their step children so much. Shows the good, bad and ugly...

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So helpful!

I loved listening to this book, I’ve even ordered the physical book to review and so I can show my partner certain parts. A great resource of understanding myself and those around me!

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  • Sophie
  • 10-24-18

Essential reading for Stepmums and adult stepkids

Really interesting and well researched look at the plight of stepmothers. Great prep for my impending marriage to a man with three kids!

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  • Donna Holmes
  • 10-04-18

just what I needed

whilst much of the book relates to blending families and the arguments that it arouse,y personal situation was covered sympathetically and so I feel I have gained some insight and knowledge of the life I now lead. thought provoking and a very worthwhile book that will stay on my device for dipping in and out of as necessary.

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  • Flora Di Medio
  • 06-12-16

Stepmonster

I urge all Step Mothers to read this book. It saved my Sanity and give me tremendous relief knowing the hell I was going through was normal. Wednesday Martin has done us all an incredible service writing this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful