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STEPMOTHER LOVE by Sally Collins - Simon & Schuster book review :
4.36 out of 5 based on 28 reviews.

STEPMOTHER LOVE

by Sally Collins

There are millions of stepmothers working hard on their family relationships and Stepmother Love is an inspiring collection of stories  – including that of Sara Leonardi-McGrath – that will uplift, help and support any woman who is doing the toughtest parenting gig of all, as well as acknowledge their tough role and the courage it takes to make it work.

Find out more here

Available as eBook or paperback from your prefered book retailer.

$29.99 paperback, $17.99 eBook


Published 25th March 2014


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    A "must read" for any stepmum

    Being a stepmother myself I could relate to many of the thoughts and feelings expressed by in the book.
    A great insight into the role of a stepmum, I will put this one on the shelf and revert back to i I am sure when I face situations in our own lives later on.

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    I wonderful insite into a missunderstood position

    I really enjoyed this book. I REALLY enjoyed this book.
    “It is so refreshing to read the alternative narrative portrayed by the stepmothers, as they describe their experiences in fulfilling a role that, throughout history, has been portrayed negatively”

    Having been a stepmother for the last 14 years, I found I could relate to almost all the situations and stories. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a step-parent, knows a step-parent or has a step-parent.
    Stepmother Love is a wonderful resource for anyone starting a relationship with someone who has kids from a previous relationship or who wants to understand someone they know in one. There are so many factors involved with step parenting. The dynamics of a relationship can be completely different when there are the extra issues that come with a partner not being able to leave their past behind them.
    In the beginning of a traditional relationship, its is often true that the new couple cant get enough of each other. They each have the others undivided attention. If one of those people has children, the other has to accept that they will never have the undivided attention of their partner. Sort of like the ‘elephant in the room’. You can never think that it will ever be all about you. You cannot ever expect a parent to put you before their children. If there is any sense of insecurity, the relationship will not run smoothly, there will be resentment, jealousy and ultimately the demise of the relationship.

    In the format of the book, I will tell a brief version of my Story of Stepmother Love.

    My husband (lets call him John) had his first child at 19 (lets call her Tia). John and the mother (lets call her Sara) separated when the Tia was 8 months old and she had another child with her new partner.
    John and I started dating when Tia was 5. I was 16. I had always wanted to have kids so the fact that John had a daughter was a bonus to me.
    We both fell in love hard and fast. I was still at school and had many friends telling me not to get involved with an older man with a child. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.
    I was mature enough to know that I would never be put before the child. I never put him in a position where he had to choose. I found I was accepted by his adorable, smart, sweet daughter very quickly. I loved the fact that I was a ‘16 year old step mum’. I relished the ‘family’ time and although I never tried to be Tias ‘mum’ (she would often accidentally call me Mum though) I knew that I needed her to respect me and my role in her life early on. I had Johns support and he would tell her, “you are to do as you are told from either of us”, and so on.
    Despite this, I was not mature enough to understand the dynamics of the relationship between John and Sara, nor the fact that there was another child involved. I always respected that fact that regardless of what I thought of Sara, she was Tias mother. I have a wonderful relationship with my own mother and would hate anyone who said a bad word about her.
    I look back now and feel terrible about how judgemental I was of Sara. I had the ‘hate the ex’ mentality from high school. I hated how long it would take for drop off’s and pick ups. I would question John on why, who and what on every occasion. Not because I didn’t trust him, but because I couldn’t understand why it took so long. I gradually learnt that it was mostly because the ‘joys’ of having more then one child. The dynamics of having a ‘part time’ child and a ‘full time’ child are totally different. The main cause of the delays was coming from the sister who hated the fact that Tia was being ‘taken away’ all the time. It was heart breaking.
    There were many ups and down over the years but we never really had any major problems.
    When Tia was 14, she came to live with us full time. Something I had always hoped she would do. Some said the timing was bad because I was pregnant with my first child but I could not be more grateful for the extra set of hands. There were a few ups and downs while we worked out the difference between ‘part time’ and ‘full time’ parenting. John and Tia have a beautiful relationship and communicate in the same quiet, easy going manner. I on the other hand am totally different to her. It took me a while to realise that she was not the same ‘kind’ of teenager that I was. Whether it was due to her interesting upbringing, or not, she would behave in and react to situations completely differently to what I expected. When there was an issue, I would react the way my mother would have if it were me, which would result in Tia and I fighting and her storming off. I would vent to John, we would discuss the issue and he would deliver the verdict in his placid way. I would be huffing and puffing around waiting for them to have a ‘quiet’ word. They would later appear as if nothing had happened. I never gave her enough credit for how mature she was.
    Tia is 20 this year and I could not be more proud of her. She is a caring and loving big sister, a loyal and sensitive friend and a respectful, trustworthy, honest, balanced young adult and I love the fact that I may have played a small (or big) part in how she has turned out.

    From reading Stepmother Love, I found myself able to understand the emotions and behaviour of all involved in my own experience. I was able to reflect and see from the perspectives of others. I love that I’m part of the ‘Stepmother Sisterhood’ and I actually feel better about the last 14 years and think I can let go of some resentments and negative emotions that have lingered.

    Thank you Sally Collins for writing the book, thank you to all those who told their stories and thank you Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to reflect on an experience that is a major part of my life.

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    Great insight to lives of step mums Stores

    I just started stepmother love this week and was pleasantly surprised to see that it is a collection of short stories who have been there done that do to speak rather than a book written by experts who have no relevant life experience.

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    This is a MUST READ for every stepmother!

    I’ve only just started reading and I have to say that this is the books I have been looking for, for near on 8 years! To hear that I am not alone in my thoughts and challenges surrounding being a stepmother is music to my ears. I feel as though I have been heard, validated and no longer feel awkward about my feelings and emotions.
    I do hope this book continues to deliver as I continue to turn the pages. We are off to a great start though!

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    an insight into blended families that's an amazing read

    As a “stepmother” myself I found this book to be spot on, it offered me new insight and a variety of different ways that I could be handling a lot of situations .Its an extremely helpful book and unlike any other I’ve read on the topic .Sally Collins has provided the reader with a great selection of views and experiences from different blended family situations and different ways and means of diffusing what are extreme and strained relationships between a stepmother and step children .I loved reading about the 10 different stepmother experiences and felt relief and compassion relating to there troubles and great times . I will be talking non stop about this book for a long time and buying copies to send to every stepmother I know

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    Very well written, great read!

    Just finished reading this book, was so enthralling from page to page! Sally did a wonderful job gathering different women’s perspectives on this sometimes arduous role. Myself being a stepmum found the information a great help, and each story had it’s own take on how to deal with the struggles that come with it.
    Thank you so much for the chance to add this great book to my collection ♡

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    I am halfway through this book and I am really loving it. I can relate to so many of these ladies stories and situations. I am a stepmum of three now teen children and my husband and I have three children 6 and under. As I’ve been sitting there reading Stepmother love I have found myself crying thinking about all the tough times I had and have with my step kids and how I have always just felt like I’m an evil so and so because of how they have sometimes been towards me. I am grateful to know that I am not alone in the thoughts and feelings I have about this. Looking forward to finishing the book.

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    Amazing women, great stories!

    Really enjoyed reading this book, so enlightening and useful for all stepmothers.
    I couldnt put it down, would recommend it to anyone who is faced with this situation, made me feel better about myself and my own experience. :-)

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    Great read

    It’s a great book and it’s easy to read. I like that it is very insightful, because you don’t really hear this kind of perspective on being a stepmother. I really enjoyed it and that it was split into different small chapters, it made it easier to read. I definitely recommend this book to anyone.

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    I found it really interesting

    I found the book really interesting and intriguing. It really gives you insight to life as a Step Mum

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    sounds awesome and looks great

    sounds awesome and looks great

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    Filled with real emotion

    What I love most about STEPMOTHER LOVE by Sally Collins is that it is written from the perspective of a real step mother, in the format of short individual stories. It is funny, sad, heart warming, filled with real emotion as Sally finds her feet in playing the role of stepmother.

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    Stories with emotion

    Never having or been a step mother before I had never given the subject much thought. This book is well written. It drew me in and gave me an insight to what it is like to be a step mum. The stories tug at the heart strings and fill you with emotion. It’s any easy book to read and I would recommend it to any parent to read.

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    A "must read" for any stepmum

    Being a stepmother myself I could relate to many of the thoughts and feelings expressed by in the book.
    A great insight into the role of a stepmum, I will put this one on the shelf and revert back to i I am sure when I face situations in our own lives later on.

    Did you find this book helpful?
    Did you enjoy this book?
    Would you recommend it to a friend?


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    Very well written, great read!

    Just finished reading this book, was so enthralling from page to page! Sally did a wonderful job gathering different women’s perspectives on this sometimes arduous role. Myself being a stepmum found the information a great help, and each story had it’s own take on how to deal with the struggles that come with it.
    Thank you so much for the chance to add this great book to my collection ♡

    Did you find this book helpful?
    Did you enjoy this book?
    Would you recommend it to a friend?


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    Every StepMum should read this :)

    My girlfriend’s a step-mum to 2 and has been for 11years. I’ve only been doing this for 3, well ok, maybe 18mths living together out of that 3. My hair’s a lot greyer and I thought I was going stir crazy, then Jude handed me this book and said she wanted it after I’d finished with it.
    I loved the stories, some were nothing like me, and some were. I took bits from all of them and related to some of most of them, if all that makes sense.
    Go read it! It can’t hurt can it? Any advise is always gratefully received.

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    Stepmother Love - informative and accurate

    I really enjoyed the practical, honest and heartwarming stories in this book. Having been a stepmother at one time in my life I could identify with many of the thoughts and feelings expressed by the women interviewed. Having said that, each story was different, proving that families are made up of all sorts of combinations, each just as special as the next. This is a book that provides hope, insight and a little laughter to what can be a very stressful yet amazing role. Well done!

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    Never trusted a Step Mum

    I would really love to read through this piece of writing, because I have never trusted in any step Mum!!

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    Great insight to lives of step mums Stores

    I just started stepmother love this week and was pleasantly surprised to see that it is a collection of short stories who have been there done that do to speak rather than a book written by experts who have no relevant life experience.

    Did you find this book helpful?
    Did you enjoy this book?
    Would you recommend it to a friend?


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    At last someone understands!!

    As soon as the book arrived – I love the cover and it enticed me to want to read it immediately! So I made myself a coffee and sat down and read, smiled, read some more, nodded my head some, read more, smiled more until I was late for getting dinner ready!! Being a step mum to two children and then having one or my own – I felt at last someone is hearing us!! I cringe when I hear Cinderella and all the other stories where there is always as ‘ wicked stepmother’ -I want to say – where are the fairy stories with a good stepmother – I know there are plenty out there in the ‘real’ world- we are an invisible army, who’s good reads and love go unnoticed.
    Having started to read this book – I loved the stories, the mums and could identify so much – I think all stepchildren perhaps should read it!! Thank you for making me feel that my voice is being heard and there are wonderful step mums out there.
    The book was well written, easy to read but powerful in what it said and uplifts your spirits while you read about the different stories.
    For all you step mums out there – give yourself a big pat on the back – and now my stepchildren have grown and given me grandchildren, I realise that it was all worth it. One of them has turned round and said thanks and that he loves me :) payment enough if you feel you need it. My stepdaughter was always a problem – even before I became her step mum,and we are now good friends. So read this book and take heart – you are doing a great job!

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    I wonderful insite into a missunderstood position

    I really enjoyed this book. I REALLY enjoyed this book.
    “It is so refreshing to read the alternative narrative portrayed by the stepmothers, as they describe their experiences in fulfilling a role that, throughout history, has been portrayed negatively”

    Having been a stepmother for the last 14 years, I found I could relate to almost all the situations and stories. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a step-parent, knows a step-parent or has a step-parent.
    Stepmother Love is a wonderful resource for anyone starting a relationship with someone who has kids from a previous relationship or who wants to understand someone they know in one. There are so many factors involved with step parenting. The dynamics of a relationship can be completely different when there are the extra issues that come with a partner not being able to leave their past behind them.
    In the beginning of a traditional relationship, its is often true that the new couple cant get enough of each other. They each have the others undivided attention. If one of those people has children, the other has to accept that they will never have the undivided attention of their partner. Sort of like the ‘elephant in the room’. You can never think that it will ever be all about you. You cannot ever expect a parent to put you before their children. If there is any sense of insecurity, the relationship will not run smoothly, there will be resentment, jealousy and ultimately the demise of the relationship.

    In the format of the book, I will tell a brief version of my Story of Stepmother Love.

    My husband (lets call him John) had his first child at 19 (lets call her Tia). John and the mother (lets call her Sara) separated when the Tia was 8 months old and she had another child with her new partner.
    John and I started dating when Tia was 5. I was 16. I had always wanted to have kids so the fact that John had a daughter was a bonus to me.
    We both fell in love hard and fast. I was still at school and had many friends telling me not to get involved with an older man with a child. I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.
    I was mature enough to know that I would never be put before the child. I never put him in a position where he had to choose. I found I was accepted by his adorable, smart, sweet daughter very quickly. I loved the fact that I was a ‘16 year old step mum’. I relished the ‘family’ time and although I never tried to be Tias ‘mum’ (she would often accidentally call me Mum though) I knew that I needed her to respect me and my role in her life early on. I had Johns support and he would tell her, “you are to do as you are told from either of us”, and so on.
    Despite this, I was not mature enough to understand the dynamics of the relationship between John and Sara, nor the fact that there was another child involved. I always respected that fact that regardless of what I thought of Sara, she was Tias mother. I have a wonderful relationship with my own mother and would hate anyone who said a bad word about her.
    I look back now and feel terrible about how judgemental I was of Sara. I had the ‘hate the ex’ mentality from high school. I hated how long it would take for drop off’s and pick ups. I would question John on why, who and what on every occasion. Not because I didn’t trust him, but because I couldn’t understand why it took so long. I gradually learnt that it was mostly because the ‘joys’ of having more then one child. The dynamics of having a ‘part time’ child and a ‘full time’ child are totally different. The main cause of the delays was coming from the sister who hated the fact that Tia was being ‘taken away’ all the time. It was heart breaking.
    There were many ups and down over the years but we never really had any major problems.
    When Tia was 14, she came to live with us full time. Something I had always hoped she would do. Some said the timing was bad because I was pregnant with my first child but I could not be more grateful for the extra set of hands. There were a few ups and downs while we worked out the difference between ‘part time’ and ‘full time’ parenting. John and Tia have a beautiful relationship and communicate in the same quiet, easy going manner. I on the other hand am totally different to her. It took me a while to realise that she was not the same ‘kind’ of teenager that I was. Whether it was due to her interesting upbringing, or not, she would behave in and react to situations completely differently to what I expected. When there was an issue, I would react the way my mother would have if it were me, which would result in Tia and I fighting and her storming off. I would vent to John, we would discuss the issue and he would deliver the verdict in his placid way. I would be huffing and puffing around waiting for them to have a ‘quiet’ word. They would later appear as if nothing had happened. I never gave her enough credit for how mature she was.
    Tia is 20 this year and I could not be more proud of her. She is a caring and loving big sister, a loyal and sensitive friend and a respectful, trustworthy, honest, balanced young adult and I love the fact that I may have played a small (or big) part in how she has turned out.

    From reading Stepmother Love, I found myself able to understand the emotions and behaviour of all involved in my own experience. I was able to reflect and see from the perspectives of others. I love that I’m part of the ‘Stepmother Sisterhood’ and I actually feel better about the last 14 years and think I can let go of some resentments and negative emotions that have lingered.

    Thank you Sally Collins for writing the book, thank you to all those who told their stories and thank you Mouths of Mums for giving me the opportunity to reflect on an experience that is a major part of my life.

    Did you find this book helpful?
    Did you enjoy this book?
    Would you recommend it to a friend?


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    Great insight to lives of step mums

    A great book to understand what it’s like to be a step mum……growing up with step parents it has given me an insight of their struggles,etc……and going to give the book to my mum so she can read it.

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    Amazing women, great stories!

    Really enjoyed reading this book, so enlightening and useful for all stepmothers.
    I couldnt put it down, would recommend it to anyone who is faced with this situation, made me feel better about myself and my own experience. :-)

    Did you find this book helpful?
    Did you enjoy this book?
    Would you recommend it to a friend?


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    Great read

    It’s a great book and it’s easy to read. I like that it is very insightful, because you don’t really hear this kind of perspective on being a stepmother. I really enjoyed it and that it was split into different small chapters, it made it easier to read. I definitely recommend this book to anyone.

    Did you find this book helpful?
    Did you enjoy this book?
    Would you recommend it to a friend?


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    Stepmother Love tugged at my heartstrings

    I didn’t realise I would get so emotional reading this book. As a stepmother I found some of these stories resonated with me, some sounded like a cakewalk and others had me gasping in horror and calling my husband to tell him how lucky we are!!

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