10 Steps to help ex-wives and stepmothers end the struggle and put the kids first by Lynn Oxhorn-Ringwood, Louise Oxhorn and Majorie Vego Krausz, Ed.D. & M.F.T.
This unique book offers useful information to anyone raising a child whose parents are divorced and to any women who have been married to the same man and find themselves working together on some project, be it raising children or attending the same parties.
Authors Lynn Oxhorn-Ringwood and Louise Oxhorn created the word Step-Wives to describe the relationship between an ex-wife and a stepmother who are raising a child (or children) together. Louise and Lynn were step-wives for ten years, barely speaking with one another, but they did work together for the sake of Evan, the child they were each helping to raise. When they learned they both kept a diary, they shared their feelings about the same event and began to understand each other. The two women who saw themselves as enemies began to see themselves as Co-Mamas with a common goal, to raise a happy, healthy child. Co-Mamas (another word the authors created) are "step-wives who have learned to co-parent in a healthy, respectful way, always putting the child first while protecting their own right to have a separate healthy life."
With the assistance and guidance of family therapist Marjorie Vego Krusz, the two authors developed a ten step program to help co-wives go from being enemies to co-Mamas.
Using their own journals and comments from other women, the authors examine the relationship from all sides. They admit, "It's a tough job trying to balance the many duties you've undertaken in the name of love." They warn "the single most complaint is bad mouthing." They remind us that "children identify with their parents." They teach readers to put the child first, to communicate, empathize and acknowledge everyone involved in raising the child, to establish good working relationships with their step-wife, ex-husband and current husband. The authors feel that "shared parenting, step-wives getting alone is the next best thing to having mom and dad together."
This easy to read, interesting book has important lessons in living for all of us, whether or not we are involved in a step-family.