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The Courage to Be a Stepmom: Finding Your Place Without Losing Yourself Paperback – April, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is has been an incredible relief. Ms. Thoele manages to candidly acknowledge the difficulties faced by a stepmother and to offer some accurate and helpful insights without ever losing her underlying message that this is possible, we CAN do it, and there are steps you can take to make this a positive adventure. She reminds us that the rewards we reap often correspond to the effort involved, and so there is great hope.
I find myself wanting to highlight far too much of the text to make highlighting worthwhile! I'm tremendously relieved that this book arrived shortly before my wedding, and I rate it in the "top 5" stepfamily books in my growing collection. Do yourself a favor if you're a stepmother: grab this book, sit down with a cup of coffee, and allow yourself some grounded encouragement from someone who has been there.
The Courage to Be a Stepmom skillfully covers the basics-keeping expectations reasonable, going slowly, strengthening the marriage, and so on. There's good, practical advice to be found in its pages. However, it moves ahead of many of the contemporary books on stepparenting and stepfamilies in its ability to present its subject in the context of personal growth. Ms. Thoele, often through personal example, encourages stepmothers to continually look within and work with their feelings, expectations and beliefs as they face the challenges of building a successful stepfamily. The underlying premise of the book is that you have to be willing to grow yourself if you want to promote growth in your stepfamily, and secondly, that this is an extremely challenging, sometimes painful, but potentially quite rewarding process.
Particularly strong, I think, are her chapters on taking care of yourself. Sue Thoele adeptly blends together established concepts about nurturing the self with anecdotes derived from the nearly forty stepmothers she interviewed for the book. What emerges is a compassionate model for caring for others from a position of caring for yourself.Read more ›
She discusses reasonable and realistic expectations and how the stepmom can exercise her right to boundaries without jeopardizing her marriage. The eight concise "stepmuddling" steps are a practical guide for getting through the typical stepfamily struggles.
Mrs. Thoele encourages the reader to be a "true friend" to herself by holding on to what sustains her and taking care of her marriage. She also provides tips to guide the stepmom in helping her own children adjust to the new family.
You'll find inspiration in "Gathering the Gifts," in which the author discusses the gifts that we receive from stepchildren and the spiritual gifts that we would not have so fully developed in perhaps another family situation. The "Twenty Guidelines for Stepmoms" are right on target and equally applicable to stepdads.
One sentence of the book speaks for us all as we struggle to find the courage that we need to succeed in our demanding role against incredible odds: "I believe that I did the best I could considering who I was at the time." Keep doing the best you can where you are.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is a guiding light for step mothers. I found it informative, insightful and fabulous. A truly worthwhile read.Published 11 months ago by Natasha Hubbard
Oh I wish I had this book 3 years ago when I first became a stepmom! It is a great resource and a MUST to read. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Lisa
This book is amazing! It was so nice to read something written by a stepmom that didn't feel like a patronizing step-by-step manual that most stepparenting books seem to be. Read morePublished on July 18, 2014 by ElCalifornia
THE courage to be a stepmom is a must read before starting a blended family live.
In my opinion it's even more importend for the father/husband to read it ! Read more
A gift. Bought as a gift my friend loved it and would recommend. I have not read the book. ThanksPublished on January 12, 2014 by Amazon Customer
This is a really good book for anyone who is new or about to take on being a step mother. It is great to be a parent but comes with challenges that are sometimes hard to see... Read morePublished on December 9, 2013 by Kerissa Galan
Oh. My. Goodness. This book validated my feelings, so much. I truly have learned so much from this. I was/am constantly battling my stepson. Read morePublished on October 5, 2013 by tiana
Amazing book and great eye opener!!! I can do it and I now have tools to help me!!! Thanks so muchPublished on August 9, 2013 by Milka
This book was able to reassure me that I was not alone. The stories and advice are perfect for a newly blended family.Published on August 2, 2013 by B. Roderick