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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Stepmom Stuff

About a month ago, author and stepmom Karon Goodman contacted me about her new book and a blog tour she was doing. Even though I realize more than just my parents and my husband read my blog now, any time I am contacted by a company, author or publisher, I get a little excited. (Ok, more than a little.)

I agreed to have her send me a copy of her new book, Stepping Stones for Stepmoms, with hopes that I would read it and be able to review it. Reading it didn't happen. I'm just being honest, I didn't get to read it.
The thing I was most intrigued about with this book is that it is from a Christian perspective, and honestly I don't think there is a lot of that when it comes to divorce/remarriage/stepfamilies. Some of the Christians I've met are pretty quick to judge and that makes being a Christian stepfamily harder than it needs to be.

I have said before that when I met, started dating and eventually married Jeff, I got a lot of slack. Especially from the Christian crowd. Friends gave their criticisms, loud and clear.

Sadly, before I met J, I probably would have acted the same exact way.

I think it is very neat and inspiring that Karon can write a book aimed at a stepmother from this Christian perspective. Karon's book could offer a good glimpse to a Christian woman who enters into a stepfamily. I did skim the subject/chapter headings through the book and it looks like Karon is pretty thorough in her topics ranging from jealousy and anger to being able to love ones stepchildren. Honestly many of the topics would not have been of interest to me, as I have been fortunate not to have some of the feelings or issues that she discusses, but I am sure there are women that would need to read and hear some of those truths and scriptures to rely upon. I think that with a very specific audience her book will be very successful. For more information about Karon and her works you can also visit her blog.

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This subject of stepfamilies is a personal one because we are all different. We being each family, situation and environment. They all come with their own set of rules.

The way I think about it is this; when you get married, you and your spouse are joining ideas, values and beliefs about life. You will never agree 100% on EVERYTHING. (If you do, please write to me and tell me how you do it!!!) There will always be something come up that you might see a little differently. Now let's add two more adults to the mix, stepmom and stepdad, who each come from their own backgrounds and have their own ideas, values and beliefs about life. It makes for one big blended family salad getting tossed about. That is why every situation is different. There are different issues for each family that one parent might see as a non-negotiable and another parent or family might see as no big deal.

I read a few books when J and I were engaged and also newly married about stepfamilies and being a stepparent. None were from a Christian perspective and none helped me. Rather, they frustrated me. They were not informative, they were not realistic and most of all they were just plain annoying.

What I want out of a stepmom book is the plain truth...the ups, the downs, the dramas and the non dramatic events. More than just the feelings and more than just sugar-coated goodness. Real life stories of being a stepmom. That is what I truly think will help someone in the thick of it.

There are a number of stepmom blogs out there, but sadly there are many (not all, but many) that are negative, nasty and degrading to their stepchildren's mother, I don't relate.

Last week there was a lot of attention here because I wrote about making cookies with Maddy and Lori for Christmas. I wish that was more the norm than the exception. For us, that day of baking was no big deal. We don't mind being together or doing things together. Shouldn't we want to do things together for the kids benefit?

Over time I think we've realized (and continue to realize) that we may be more alike than different after all.

That's not to say there haven't been moments where we've wanted to poke each other's eyes out, but what it comes down to is realizing you're on the same team trying to do what's best for the same kids. Would hating each other help us do that better?

Being a stepmom, and also now a mom, has changed me a lot. But I think the changes have been positive ones. I see a lot of things differently, with a different set of eyes.

It's also been an evolving process. I entered in as a naive 22 year old without a clue of how stepfamilies and relationships with an ex work. I have grown alongside the kids, figuring out things that work and don't work. I have written things I've learned a long the way. Snippits here and there. I don't always do the right thing or say the right thing, but that's what life and learning are all about.

And maybe something I have to say or write will help someone else think about things in a new way.

I have said many times over, if someone would have told me years ago that this would be my life, I would have laughed.

Thankfully, most of the time, I still do.

4 Comments:

Blogger stacey said...

I would have laughed too. But you continue to amaze me! Love you

December 6, 2007 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Karon said...

Samara, thank you so very much for your post and for being part of our tour! Your warm and cooperative approach to steplife is a blessing to all those around you, wishing you much happiness always :-) Thanks again, enjoy your day!

Many blessings, Karon

December 6, 2007 at 12:57 PM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

The best thing of all in handling the curve balls that life throws at you is to retain a HEALTHY sense of humor! You certainly seem to have a good grip on that!

December 8, 2007 at 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Sarah Askins said...

I'm so glad to finally find a blog that address the issue of Christian step=parenting. Being a step-mom myself, I understand the pain and hurt when I want to fit with the other church mom's but get the cold shoulder.

May 18, 2010 at 4:08 PM  

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