Because I can't really afford to buy you all a dozen roses (and let's face it, I also don't have enough time to serve you all breakfast in bed or do mani/pedi's with all of you), I'm going to post a review of No One's the Bitch by Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine instead.
No One’s the Bitch, A Ten-Step Plan for Mothers and Stepmothers is written by Jennifer Newcomb Marine and Carol Marine, writers of the blog http://www.noonesthebitch.com/.
A little background info: Jennifer is the bio-mom and Carol is the stepmom to two girls. Carol also has a biological son with her husband (Jennifer's ex). The book examines some of the tips, trips, techniques and tools the families used to get along and then get along better.
In writing this book, Jennifer and Carol have done with a majority of biomoms and stepmoms wouldn't (or couldn't) fathom doing: working together on something other than a family. They've taken their collective wisdom and collaborated to provide 225 pages of first-hand accounts about meeting the "other woman" for the first time, drop-offs, murky family issues, creating new family rituals and much, much more.
In addition to the feel-like-you're-chatting-in-Austin, Texas-with-them experience you get from reading the book, you'll also find quizzes, lists and charts, chapter summaries and suggested books and website links for further information (including the Stepfamily Letter Project).
I really enjoyed reading the book. There were a few times where I caught myself thinking about how glad I was that I'm friends with my husband's ex-wife. A lot of the suggestions in the book are for ladies who aren't quite there yet.
Even so, there were still a few great tips I picked up to keep my own sanity in check including:
- Recognize that there is a grieving process between the ex-wife and husband regarding the dissolution of the relationship.
- When you befriend the ex-wife, it becomes harder to be a jerk to her and your husband (and vice versa).
- If you're at odds and fighting with the ex-wife, make sure it's for the right reasons. If you're feeling victimized and asking for sympathy to soothe your wounded ego, those aren't the right reasons (i.e., That wicked bitch asks for money from us all the time! I can't even afford to go on my Hawaiian vacation).
- Hold yourself accountable for your actions. If, as a stepmom, you find yourself eyeball deep in to managing everyone's lives and projects and start to resent it (AHEM.....sound like any bloggers we know?) then hold yourself accountable. Don't blame others because you can't (or won't) say no...or yes, whichever the case.
My suggestion? If you're struggling to get along with the ex-wife, pick up a copy of this book and start reading (click here to find it on Amazon). Even if it's not a struggle, the book still has helpful tools to make sure you don't ever fall into a hateful situation.
If you've also read this book, let me know what you think about it!
Other Erin Experiment Stepmom Book Reviews: