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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

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  • Overall
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  • Sloan
  • 07-04-16

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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeff
  • 13-08-18

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.

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  • Natalee Stockdale
  • 06-08-18

Not a fan.

A step family coach recommended this book and is quoted in it. However, I was never able to make it through the title as it just didn't sit well with me. I'm now able to sniff out the underpinnings of a lifestyle philosophy that doesn't work for me in her later work via her Instagram feed. Sorry... absolutely does not work for me wednesday.

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  • A.M.
  • 17-10-17

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.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Sheila
  • 21-01-16

Glad I am not alone

Where does Stepmonster rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It list pretty high. Mainly because it pertains to my own life and what I am dealing with.

What did you like best about this story?

That I learned that I am not alone in what I feel and what I deal with as a stepmother. I don't even like to be called stepmother. I am way more comfortable being called a step-parent.

Which character – as performed by Cris Dukehart – was your favorite?

Not sure this matters for this book.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

That many woman feel the same way I do and that it is ok to not love or even like your stepchild(ren). You do have to be fair, responsible, and kind...which I am. I just don't have to feel bad that I don't have a bond or feelings for the child. Like the book says...you fell in love with the man. You did not fall in love with his children. Some get luck and can develop a bond and even love (maybe), but it is nice to know that it isn't as popular as society makes us think. Being a good parent is important. Having feelings for "said" child is not a requirement. It lifted a lot of pressure/guilt.

Any additional comments?

If you are a step-parent... especially a female and struggle with your feelings about your stepchildren....get this book. Good for men too who are in the same situation. If you can get your spouse to listen with you that is even better. It will help them understand better too.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Jamie Barrs
  • 03-07-18

Awesome Insights

Lots of insight through a range of research and interviews. This book was actually pretty entertaining.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Angie
  • 09-03-18

AMAZING a must read!

Every step mother and every dad with children that gets remarried should read this book! It is spot on!! It helps you realize you are just normal and doing a good job!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kandis Dwyer
  • 05-01-18

Step in the name of Monsters everywhere

Definitely hit on several valid points and scenarios that made me feel like she was telling my story. Provided a lot of interesting nuggets that made me think a lot in regards to my methods to co-exist with my husband, my step daughter, and all that encompasses them.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • On the move
  • 24-10-17

Downer

I wound up stopping this book about half way because I was getting about 90% doom and gloom and 10% actual advice on how to navigate new waters.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • saw
  • 09-09-17

A must read for anyone with step kids!

My wife and I have been married for four years.
I came into the marriage with two children from a previous marriage.
This book has been an incredibly eye opening glimpse into the struggles of being a step parent.
A must read for anyone considering taking on the responsibility of step children.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful