Friday, May 9, 2014

101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom by Laura Petherbridge

I had no idea how hard it is to be a stepmom before I read this book!  Honestly!!  The only thing I can say is that the stepmoms I've known have made it look easy.  This is a concise, well-written, easy-to-read book that can be managed in one sitting.  Or take one tip at a time and meditate on it.  There's a very practical questionnaire at the end of the book for those considering marrying a divorced man with children.

In this book, Laura deals with practical things like loving your own children more than your stepchildren.  She's honest and forthright.  She raises the issue of dealing with the ex-wife--schedules, money, lies, and the emotional health of the children.  She's not afraid to touch the places that hurt most and teaches us to deal with them in truth and love.

The thing I came away with after reading this book (I was reared in a non-divorce home and I've never been divorced) is compassion for those trying to make a second marriage work.  There are challenges in a second marriage I'd never considered.  I'd never imagined how hard it would be to balance stepchildren and your own children--trying to make everyone feel received and loved--and to take care of your own emotional health in the process.  I'd never thought about a stepmom feeling left out because of a father giving so much to his children--or refusing to discipline his children--possibly because of his own guilt issues.  Or the devastation a stepmom can feel after a stepchild moves in with their mother after the stepmom may have invested so much in that child.  Laura also mentions how the church is ill-equipped to deal with stepmoms and may even bring on condemnation instead of healing.

Even though some of the issues are unique to a second marriage, I also saw how Satan uses whatever is at hand to destroy us all.  And even though Laura was speaking from the perspective of a stepmom, I saw that some of the issues she faced are some of the same I've faced--but just coming from a different perspective.

I highly recommend this book!  I give it a 5 out of 5 stars--for readibility and content.

Thank you to Bethany House for providing this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255

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