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  • Stepmonster

  • A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do
  • By: Wednesday Martin
  • Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (24 ratings)

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Stepmonster

By: Wednesday Martin
Narrated by: Cris Dukehart
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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 listeners say about Stepmonster

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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!

1 person found this helpful

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So helpful

Thoroughly researched and often painfully candid. Being a stepmother is hard, but this book can help you find a way through it. Wish I’d found it sooner!

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Just what I needed; this book has been my saviour

Never before have I read/heard a book that resonated so much with my life. I found it at a time when I was finding my own situation tough and so difficult to deal with that it was eating me up inside and having an impact on my happiness and my relationships.
I found myself nodding and shouting “yes!!!” throughout of it. Wednesday articulates the complexities of being a step parent in such a detailed and clear way. Through her words, I have “let myself off the hook”, I have found ways of navigating my step-relationship woes and have developed empathy and understanding of everyone involved in this relationship.
This is a book that should be a handed to you at the beginning of your step-relationship and made mandatory to read.
Thank you xxxx

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Just what I needed

One of those books that helps you feel like you aren’t going mad. Will do a relisten to get the detail I missed while being in the glow of knowing I wasn’t evil, just normal.

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Finally putting the stepmother's feelings first!

So refreshing to have the SM's needs and feelings considered. So worth a listen.

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Essential listening for Stepmothers

This book is brilliant and has incredible insight when it comes to understanding not only your emotions your partner's and your stepchildren's.

I found this book hugely validating and believe that, now understanding my emotions towards being a step parent far better, my relationship with my stepchild and partner has improved by listening to this book.

Although uncomfortable at times, definitely worth the plunge.

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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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  • 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.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Willis Household
  • 06-11-18

This will help you sleep better at night, promise.

When I first embarked upon my stepmom journey, I was desperately seeking resources to help me navigate this often-fraught role. Stepmonster came up, but the title itself deterred me. I needed a fresh, positive take; and sought to avoid any negative connotations. This decision led me in the direction of general parenting titles, which created a solid, unbiased foundation for me - a first-time parent, full-time stepmom - before revisiting this title, 3 years later. With some practical parenting experience logged, I was more anchored in my parenting self and approach, which made commiserating with Stepmonster's stories and research more enjoyable than dreadful. What I am trying to say is: if you just started your step journey, shelve this book until you have had some time to get into it and make it your own - don't read this first! That being said, the book is a welcome landmark in the sea of step-mothering. I remember listening and feeling so validated by the content, I blissfully fell asleep. It was a soothing testament, hearing a kindred voice, speaking of these challenges unique to step-mothering. Highly recommend!

7 people found this helpful

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  • david bernad
  • 23-07-20

Want to like this book SO MUCH. I am trying. Not working.

I am trying so hard to like book. I came for solutions but I am reading Chapter 5 and so far, it’s a pity party just making me feel worse about being a stepmother. The stories are horrible! I understand many of us go through so much and it is hard, but until now, all this book is is a compilation of horror stories of victimized stepmothers. No solutions, no techniques. I will give it one more chapter before giving up. I’ll review again if anything changes.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ashley
  • 19-11-19

They should give this out at weddings...

If you are looking for a book on tips 1 and 2 to MAKE your stepkids like you and get along, you're in the wrong book. This book, however, is AMAZING for understanding not only your emotions (yes, you're allowed to have them), but also a lot of different circumstances that can be influencing the family dynamic. For me, this book actually made me tear up for finally hearing validation of a lot of what I have been experiencing and feeling! This is a no sugar coated guide to understanding what feelings can be involved, how to cope, and maybe if you're lucky--to understand better.

I loved that this book also included numerous different kinds of scenarios. I am a stepmother of two adults who are not super far in age difference from me. I gained so much from this book. If you have kids of your own and are joining another family, its got you too. If you have no children of your own, its got you. If you see your stepkids part time only, its got you. Whatever scenario, its probably got you too. I highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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  • PinkFlamingo
  • 07-11-18

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.

3 people found this helpful

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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.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Justine McCreary
  • 17-11-19

Deep, emotional, life changing

I couldn't stop listening to this book. I've had struggles myself as a step-mom, as most do. This book picked apart my soul and gave me insights into my own life that I may have never realized on my own. I plan to listen to this book again and again as well as recommending it for any and all to read! Thank you Wednesday 💜

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sara Jo
  • 14-12-18

Very interesting!

I read this book for a sociology class I took. I am not a step parent, but I have a step parent. Being able to read this book and see things from a different perspective was incredibly interesting. The book is easy to read and get through, the performance is well-done, and I recommended this book to my biological mother (who is a step mom too,) and she said she loved it!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Lydia Ojuka Riley
  • 31-08-18

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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Slbond
  • 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.

2 people found this helpful