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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

National Stepfamily Day.

Today is National Stepfamily Day. Probably one of the least publicized, un-commercialized holidays out there.

Who knew such a holiday existed?

In honor of that I want to point you in the direction of Wednesday Martin, Ph. D. She recently sent me a copy of her book, Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We Do. And over our vacation last month I finally had time to finish reading (and reviewing) my copy.

Her introduction to the book really captured me;

My marriage was meant to be. It was also doomed to fail. You see, I chose a man with children. Experts estimate that more than half of all adult women in the US will do the same in their lifetime and that up to 70% of those partnerships will fail. Factor in all the odds and on the day I said "I do" I might as well have picked out a divorce lawyer as well....

Whoa.

Her book was the most thought provoking, honest looks at being a stepmother I have ever read. (And I've read a lot of books about being a stepmom, believe it or not.)

There were many pages and chapters that I read that gave validation to my thoughts and feelings that I'd probably never actually verbalize. There were ideas given that made sense. Stories that made my heart hurt for the moms, the stepmoms and the kids. Stories that made me relate and understand.

And stories that made me take a closer look at me and the stepmom that I am and this blended-extended-stepfamily of our own.

One of the resonating feelings I received from her book was a sense of normalcy. We are not a traveling circus act that we sometimes feel like when strangers or aquaintences see our large blended-extended-stepfamily in public.

Stepmothers are used to being judged, she writes. And it's true.

So many times I have felt the need to defend myself, my actions, my role to perfect strangers.

And as I've written before there is this desire to be liked.

Ms. Martin's book reitterated the fact that yes, being a stepmother is hard. I believe it's hands down harder than being a parent. There are so many variables, differences, choices and people involved.

While I say that it is hard I know that I personally am very, very fortunate.
I know that my marriage comes first.
J fully supports me and my relationship with T and M.
T and M are very good kids who have never questioned my role and the authority that I have.
We are able to get along, put differences aside and co-parent the best we know how with T and M's mom.

It won't ever be perfect, there will always be ups and downs. Really.

I'm so thankful that I had the chance to read this book and really dig into some of her studies and facts and come to some important self realization along the way. I've already referenced back to her book several times in conversations and things that I've wanted to say but never had the words to formulate.

I highly recommend Ms. Martin's book to stepmothers or adults with stepmothers everywhere. And even those in stepmothers lives who would like better understanding. Better psychological, emotional and personal understanding into what it actually means to being married to a man with children.

Happy Stepfamily Day!

Are you part of a stepfamily? What are you doing to celebrate? And if you're not part of a stepfamily, what do you think of this kind of holiday?

I have to admit, I'm a little unsure of it myself.

2 Comments:

Blogger Jon, Sara, Tyler, and Sophie said...

Happy National Stepfamily Day, P family!

September 16, 2009 at 8:27 PM  
Anonymous dadioz said...

kool.........io!

luv to all
dadioz

September 17, 2009 at 7:20 AM  

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