“It’s very likely you did not, or will not, marry a man for his children. Yet, if they are integral to your husband’s life, you must immediately and automatically incorporate them into yours, from the moment you say, ‘I do.’”
In every aspect of life our most important work is on ourselves—but when a woman marries a man who has children from a previous marriage, there is much more to care for than the marriage. Even if she only sees the children every other week, they play a recurring role in her life.
How does a woman prepare for this continuing challenge? Is there a mysterious formula, a special technique, an established method by which she can gracefully move into both roles—wife and stepmother—fully prepared for every pitfall?
After two marriages, seven stepchildren, and with 50 years’ worth of experience, Margit Bernard offers her decidedly realistic perspective to those stepmothers who find themselves struggling . . . and to help prepare those women who are embarking on a new life as a stepmother.
Ms. Bernard asks her fellow stepmothers to see themselves differently: not trapped in an impossible predicament, but as a valuable and adaptable part of the expansive panorama of life—a view we can all appreciate, and that can only be achieved, when we step back. Her “Step Back philosophy” is appropriate not only for stepmothers . . . it is, in fact, a philosophy suitable to anyone who experiences the inevitable challenges of life.
“I want to say this to every stepmother: take it a little easier, try not to be so insistent, try not to have your desires dominate—and not just with the stepchildren, but with your husband, your family, your friends. The moment you step back from whatever it is that exasperates you, you get an unrestricted view of the situation—and you can take a breath before you move forward.”