Customer Reviews: The Enlightened Stepmother: Revolutionizing the Role
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Showing 1-10 of 26 reviews(5 star). Show all reviews
on April 11, 2002
"The Enlightened Stepmother" is an amazingly thorough look at the life of the stepmom, including her fears and worries, her problems and challenges, and a realistic assessment of her chances for happiness. Mrs. Norwood takes a stance that stepmoms everyone can understand, calling us "one of the last social groups still in the closet."
She says that we are "new pioneers" because society still often has a misunderstood and unfavorable view of the stepmom -- the wicked woman who takes mom's place and isn't to be trusted. This prevailing stereotype makes life even harder for the stepmom who is insecure or unsure of her place in the family. Mrs. Norwood's book helps that stepmom with a straightforward, in-depth and honest investigation into her life.
"The Stepmom's Quick Primer" at the beginning of the book gives the reader "twelve essential gems of wisdom." These brief items give to-the-point advice and inspiration to the struggling stepmom. It's just the beginning to a lengthy analysis of all aspects of the stepmom's life.
The book is divided into four parts. Part 1, "Getting to Know You," focuses on the stepmom's view of herself and her stepfamily. The author helps the reader explore exactly what her role, rights and responsibilities are and understand her expectations. Part 2, "Relationships," encourages the stepmom to apply the same research that she applied to her own feelings to the other people in her life, to learn directly what everyone feels and what they expect instead of relying on preconceived perceptions.
Part 3, the "Lifestyle and Practical Matters" section, covers those day-to-day concerns that can't be left to chance: the wedding, custody and visitation, discipline, holidays, school, money and more. This section includes the very helpful "Stepmom's Legal File." The final part, "Is This What I Want?" recognizes that we all reach a "moment of truth" in our stepmotherhood when we have to make the choice to embrace or exit this role. This section helps the reader evaluate her satisfaction and progress with some tough questions about how she really feels.
Mrs. Norwood comforts even the most distraught or confused stepmom, noting that "attitudes conducive to successful stepmotherhood can be learned." She gives us all hope.
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on April 5, 2002
I don't think anyone really knows what they are getting into when they marry a man with children. This book is essential to let you know the challenges and joys ahead and then as a guide of how to get through them. There are a million books to help you help your stepchildren. However, this book offers you the tools you need to help yourself. Little steps on how to build your family from the outset to be a place you can be happy and be yourself. I had a bad night last night. And for a few precious minutes, I read a book that was focussed on me - not as a mother or a wife, but as a person with my own challenges. It offered me peace of mind. And with every new change in my life, I want to reread sections to get the same ideas from a different perspective. This book is a key that can help any stepmother. I can't recommend it enough.
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on December 29, 2001
I became a fulltime stepmother 3 years ago to two young children whose mother had died. I was very much in love with their father, and the children accepted me immediately as their "mother substitute". However, after the initial fantasy period (which is described accurately in the book), the real problems began. My husband and I went through hell trying to pick our way through the monumental challenges of living together as a stepfamily.
It was at this point that I had the brilliant idea of researching the whole issue of stepmotherhood. Fortunately, this was one of the first books I read along with Cherie Burns' book "Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out or Wicked". Both these books saved my sanity and also helped my husband understand that what I was going through was perfectly normal and understandable. I highly, highly recommend this book!! It's worth several counselling sessions and probably more value for your money.
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on September 17, 2006
I have been looking for a book like this for a long time. I have read many books on the subject of stepparenting and have found them to be boring and basically worthless.

This book IS revolutionary, just as it says. It's about time someone took a stand for the stepmothers in the trenches and stopped saying that a good stepmother should be just serve as a "friend" to the children and take a "back seat" when it comes to real parenting. Those of us out in stepparent land know what a joke that is.

My only regret with this book is that I didn't have it BEFORE I got married to my husband. If I'd had this book I could have done things differently in the beginning and saved myself a lot of headache and heartache.

I completely 100% recommend this book for anyone dating a man with children or married to a man with children. Even if you've been married for many years you will find it useful.
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on February 3, 2003
This book really gives the low-down on situations that occur in stepfamilies - and helpful advice. It's everything you didn't want to hear, in gory detail, and how to avoid going down those roads. A MUST READ for any step-mother or woman who is dating a man with kids. Compiled from a multitude of real stories, this book is a gem. It will open your eyes.
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on March 8, 1999
This book is a positive, hopeful presentation of the many complex issues encountered in stepmothering. The research in the book is contemporary with response from young and old stepmothers defining the important choices, pitfalls, and joys that stepmothers encounter. There is so much good common sense wisdom in the book -- I'd recommend it for all women, even those who might some day in the future consider the possibility of stepmotherhood!!
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on March 25, 1999
I am Canadian so I paid a much higher price for the book than my American friends would. BUT, it was worth and continues to be worth every penny. This book deals with the stepmoms point of view, her feelings, her needs, HER! This book was well written and I refer to it often.
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on January 7, 2003
I've read many guides and attended a seminar on stepfamilies to help prepare myself before I become the stepmom to two wonderful little girls. So far, that preparation has been so discouraging that I started to doubt the wisdom of going forward! But then I found Enlighted Stepmother. Finally, a positive perspective that acknowledges the courage and integrity of those of us selfless enough to accept and love others' children. Even if we may not feel "love" for them, we act in a loving way as we help raise those little people. This a truly helpful guide that smashes the stereotype of the stepmother as a second class women. This book will help you realize YOUR personal potential, not try to squeeze you like a square peg into a broken family.
My applause and gratitude to the authors!
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on January 3, 2001
I have been reading a lot of resource material ever since I found out I was marrying a man with children. This is one of the best books I have read on this subject. I keep it close to me. I know I will look for guidance in this book again and again. Worth the money in many ways!
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on February 24, 2006
After becoming seriously involved with a divorced father of two teenage girls who, by the way, he had custody of, we decided to get engaged and I would move into his home until our new home was built. My 12 year old son would reside with his father temporarily due to the fact that there wasn't enough room in my fiance's house. Big mistake! I suppose we just thought things would fall into place however we were totally taken aback when his 18 year old daughter blew up and told her father to make me leave. We definitely didn't have enough information going in. If I would have read this book 6-8 months ago, maybe we wouldn't be going through everything we're going through now. Great reading!!! Keep this book close by to keep your sanity.
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