Top positive review
67 people found this helpful
Gotta have it...
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.