By: Mona Minhas
Jasjit Sangha takes us through a beautiful memoir about her journey into stepmotherhood and motherhood. And what a spiritual journey it is. Stepmothering: A Spiritual Journey is an account of the trials and tribulations of walking into a ‘turn-key’ family, and growing into the role of a mother without any grounding. It takes us through Jasjit’s journey of facing uncertainties, emotions, and becoming a role model for her family.
There are many heartfelt moments in the book, where Jasjit strikes a chord with her reader. The moment when she realizes that she is in love with her husband, and the consequences it will have on the rest of her life. The burden she carries when she needs to straddle the divide between her South-Asian culture and upbringing, and the new culture she is trying to create for her family. The struggle she faces, in trying to create a bridge between herself and her stepdaughters, across a gulf that is almost inevitable.
It is clear that the emotions Jasjit experiences aren’t ones that she is accustomed to dealing with. As she struggles to find her footing as a stepmother and form a relationship with her new daughters, she finds sanctuary in spiritualism. It quells her anger and anxiety. It brings peace to her ruptured soul. She finds comfort in knowing that there is a place for her to rationalize her emotions. As this spiritual journey changes Jasjit as a person, we begin to see the transformation in the relationship with her stepdaughters.
Make no mistake: this book isn’t just for new stepmothers, trying to find their place. This book is fundamentally about what it means to be a mother. Sangha takes us through what it is like to have her own children and the close bond that is formed. It is a different journey, and one that almost comes very naturally to her. It still comes with sacrifice and worry. But the unconditional love is automatic. This is where we see the contrast in the journey as a stepmother.
This book is raw with honesty and emotion, about what it means to be a South-Asian stepmother and mother in a bi-racial context. All of its facets are strung together with a powerful thread of spiritualism. But the most resounding theme in this book, is bravery. After all, isn’t that the very premise of motherhood?
Purchase the book here: brunswickbooks.ca/Step-mothering