A Career Girl's Guide to Becoming a Stepmom: Expert Advice from Other Stepmoms on How to Juggle Your Job, Your Marriage, and Your New Stepkids by Jacquelyn B. Fletcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A couple of weeks ago, I was walking by the nonfiction stacks of my library and saw this book out of the corner of my eye. A coworker had put it on display. I saw it and thought, "YES! Someone wrote a book for people like me!!" Most of the books I've seen, including the excellent book Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today's Blended Family, focus primarily on stepfamilies where both spouses bring with them children from previous relationships. This is not me. So much of what these other books have to say is only partially relevant to my situation. Not so with Fletcher's book!
I have never thought of myself as "a career gal" in the fast-talking, high-powered executive sense of the word. I am, after all, a public reference librarian. It is not likely I will ever have to worry about making more money than my husband (an IT manager). But like the women in this book, I have been in the working world for years and had no children of my own when I married my husband. I cannot adequately verbalize how great it felt to find a book like this that speaks to my situation and focuses not just on the hardships but on the joys and the things you can do to improve your family life.
That is not to say that I identified with every situation mentioned. I have never, for example, felt marginalized by church members who didn't know how to adjust for stepfamily dynamics. That concept came as a surprise to me. However, practically everything else resonated with me, to one degree or another, and not only made me feel better about both my successes and failures as a new stepmom but gave me tools and tips for improving myself and my relationships. My only complaints are 1) that once in a while it feels a little redundant, and 2) that I didn't find this book 3 or 4 years ago. Oh, how it would have saved me so much stress and heartache the past few years! Ah well.
For readers' advisors: suggest this title to women in serious relationships with men who already have children. For that matter, it also works for women in serious relationships with other women who have kids.
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