In my quest to read as much as I can about stepparenting I thought I would give this book a go, though my hopes were not too high. This book was first published in 1975, when I was just a year old. I thought it would be dated and boring and have cobwebs between the paragraphs.
Boy oh boy was I mistaken! Maddox was a journalist before she became a stepmother, so her research is empirical and her writing style is a perfect balance of objective editorial and engaged parental enquiry.
One of the many interesting things I learned (from page 35):
In English and American usage for about four hundred years, from 1440 until at least mid-nineteenth century, the term "mother-in-law" was often used to refer to a stepmother. Although such a meaning is now regarded as incorrect, it made literal sense. A stepmother was a mother "in law", that is, in canon law, by the fact of her marriage to a child's father.
Do I feel like I am half a parent to Z? No. Even though he lives with us for half the week, I still feel like his parent for all seven days, just as I'm sure his mum does.
Recently while we were in an op-shop, PJ found another copy of Maddox's book. I bought it to lend out to people, which I have already started doing, and so I could take this photo.
A half + a half = a whole, right?