This is a sponsored post. A copy of Stepmother Love was gifted courtesy of Mouths of Mums and Simon and Schuster for the purpose of a trial and review on their website.
Author: Sally Collins
Title: Stepmother Love
Genre: Non-fiction, Autobiographical in nature, Interview Style throughout
If you follow along my social media, or have visited the blog before, you will know that I am a step mum to three very handsome, funny, caring and intelligent young men.
I was chosen by Mouths of Mums to read and review Stepmother Love, on behalf of Simon and Schuster and Sally Collins. Of course I jumped at the chance to hear other step mums stories.
Stepmother Love is all about giving a deeper insight into many different types of blended families, including that of the woman who is possibly Australia’s most high profile step mother, Sara Leonardi-McGrath, wife to Glenn McGrath and stepmother to Holly and James. Each chapter is about a different family and is written in an interview style with a series of topics, relating to how you deal with being in a blended family, the “ex factor” and your favourite thing about being a step parent.
This book really resonated with me, mostly due to the fact that I am a stepdaughter (to a very caring and loving stepmother), and also because I am a stepmother (who loves my stepchildren fiercely). My family history aside, I really did enjoy this peek into others’ lives and how they deal with the various family dynamics. 1 in 4 Australian families are blended, so even if you aren’t a part of one, you are most likely friends with or work with someone from a blended family. And your children will be making friends with people who are visiting their parents every other week and have two houses. So maybe Stepmother Love won’t relate directly to your family, but I can assure you that seeing the other side to being a step parent and getting a glimpse into the life of a blended family can be very enlightening and you will definitely take something away from reading this book.
Sally Collins seems to have found the perfect medium, being understanding of both sides and accepting that there is no right or wrong way to being a step parent. She states on her website stepmotherlove.com that when she first became a step mum, there were no books of hope and happily ever afters for blended families, only words of caution. That’s what Stepmother Love is all about. Casting aside the negative preconceived notions that stepmothers have warts on their noses and are here to steal your children away. Instead, Collins is pushing to the forefront that Stepmothers deserve a little love for taking on children that aren’t their own and loving them and caring for them regardless of all the baggage that often comes with making such a decision. For fellow “wicked” step mothers, reading similar experiences to your own and knowing you aren’t alone in feeling the way you are feeling, or issues you are tackling, can be very reassuring. This kind of stuff doesn’t come from experts. It’s all from real Aussies, doing their best to be there for children who are thrown in the middle of our adult relationships.
This is not a “Let’s bash bio mum’s” book. Each step mother has different experiences to share, and yes some of them are negative, but for the most part, everyone is very respectful of their step children’s Mothers and their new partners too, which I really appreciated.
It may sound corny, but my favourite part of each chapter was the end where Collins had asked each step mum what their favourite thing about being a step mum is, and their advice to others out there.
Some of my fave lines from the book:
Best things about being a stepmum – “No labour pains!”
“‘This is one of the key frustrations about being a stepmother’ she says. ‘You are responsible for providing care and love in a family, just as you would as a mother, but with limited control over some of the big decisions. At the same time, I’m also very aware that a divorced mother suffers the frustration of losing her children for part of the time and not having full control over their upbringing.'”
“It’s clear to me now that you don’t have to give birth to be a parent”
“I feel proud and privileged to be asked to share in all the children’s life experiences…”
You can buy Stepmother Love >>>here<<<
As a side note (and #stepmumrant) I found it interesting that a lot of women don’t like the label “stepmother”. I don’t really get it. A lot of the women said they thought it was horrible that there was such a strong definition.
I ALWAYS define myself as a step parent. Not because I don’t love my kids like they were biologically my own, but because I do not ever pretend to be their mother, or try to take her place, and I feel, personally, that a distinction of “who I am” in relation to the kids asserts that.
Ultimately, the distinction is more for them, so they don’t feel uncomfortable, and because of the respect I have for their mothers. When introductions are being made, the use of the word step mother helps people understand our family dynamic – my step sons call me Sheridan. Always have. And I will NEVER ask them to call me “Mum” because I am not their Mum and don’t feel comfortable with that (coming from both sides of the fence, being a step mum and a step daughter). They have their own Mum’s. I’m not here to take their places.
I just want to be me.
Are there any step parents out there that also feel strongly against the “step” word? I’d love to hear your opinions.
Thanks for stopping by,
Disclaimer: I was sent this book with the purpose of reviewing it on the Mouths of Mums site. I enjoyed it so much I decided I would also review it on the blog and share it on my social media, but it was not a prerequisite of me being sent the book.
Please keep in mind, when I express my opinions on being a stepmum it may not reflect your own values or beliefs. I’m not judging anyone and I don’t intend on putting anyone down for the way they parent, or step parent – there is no right or wrong in my eyes. I’m just sharing my story.
For further information, please read my disclosure policy