A Healthy Stepmother . . . writes a guest blog spot.

When I began this blog, I didn’t know I’d contribute to Wednesday Martin’s blog some day (see her book, Stepmonster). At the time I began blogging, a little more than 6 months ago, I was bursting with things that weighed me down and overcome with where to say them. The blog format was the perfect place for me to try to share what was on my mind.

The groundbreaking book by Dr. Wednesday Martin

I didn’t want to rant about my stepfamily and I still don’t. These are folks I live with. They are my husband and his children. I will be spending the rest of my life with them and I knew I wanted to find a way to do that with at least a tiny sense of harmony. So, I began writing about my experiences of staying inside myself, my friends experiences of being stepmother’s, and the many ideas I read and heard to try to get my own center.

The advice that came to me over the years was varied and decidedly not helpful. I should have known what I was getting into. I should grow up. I should really put myself out there and into the stepfamily. Reading Dr. Martin’s book was a huge turning point for me in finding my center. As she says, her reason for writing the book was to help women understand that they are not the problem and to offer inspiration.

My adjustment to being in my family ultimately came down to me finding what was true in my own experience. When I say that, I don’t mean in my head. I don’t mean that I knew my thoughts were the truth. I mean I had to listen to my body. I had to find the path and posture that took me to the place where my breath could flow and I wasn’t choking. I had to find the stance where I could thrive and not be another piece of furniture. I did that by studying and unravelling my old habits. They still pop up in front of me, pesky habits, but that’s what a habit does. It follows you around as though IT were your favorite. And, you have to gently and respectfully set it aside sometimes until you decide on the best course of action. I have blogged some of those ideas, and one example of that is A Healthy Stepmother . . . learns about her center.

And, somewhere along that way, I took a deep breath and sent Dr. Martin an email with questions and later I commented on her blog. Being a New Yorker, Dr. Martin must have heard about the Feldenkrais Mehod® because there are many, many Feldenkrais practitioners in New York. If you are lucky enough to live there or in the San Francisco/Bay area, you’ll have many to choose from. And, one day, I was asked to contribute an guest post about what a woman could do to take care of herself inside the stepfamily.

So, here it is . . . the link to my guest post. Dr. Martin, thank you for asking me to write this. Thank you for understanding that sometimes we have to shift up our sensorimotor experience in order to actually make a change in our behavior. And, most of all, thank you for exposing the myths and historical legacy that stepmothers live under, thank you for asking all of us to consider that every person in the stepfamily equation needs a place of respect in order to thrive.

5 thoughts on “A Healthy Stepmother . . . writes a guest blog spot.

  1. Thanks Jill, thanks Stepmum…..

    We write what we need to practice. I’m humbled and appreciative of the women who have been willing to dialogue about finding a place to perch in the midst of the instability we find ourselves in. If ever there was a time/place/event that called on us to “undo” our traditional thinking and conditioning from our girl childhood upbringings, well…..this would be it. Wednesday’s research and book are spot on, aren’t they? I think we should give her the Nobel Peace Prize myself.

    • Dear Wednesday,
      Thank YOU for inviting me and for doing what you do. It appears that inch by inch, woman by woman, we might find a way to build some community that feels supportive and nurturing rather than competitive and undermining. It is not a competition about who is more loved or lovable by all the children in the equations. It isn’t a competition to see who is most beautiful or competent. Somehow, someway, we are all on this path together, to raise the children of the future together. Sounds sappy, I know, but I believe it with all my heart. We’re in an educational crisis of which this is just one piece. But, it’s a huge piece. We are the families that kids go home to at night. “We,” the women and men who raise these kids, should be together in this, in a respectful and honoring way. Anyway, your book goes a long, long way toward beginning that dialogue.

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