So here it is, the inevitable Mother’s Day post from a Stepmom.
Mom’s – maybe you could read this too, because I’m not bashing you. At all. My goal for this post, as it is for all my posts, is to allow us to step into each other’s shoes, and try to understand and respect each other a bit more.
First, let me drop a truth bomb about Mother’s Day from a Stepmom’s perspective…
1. Moms Deserve It. (Read on to #2 if that upset you…)
I know, they’ve upset you at some point or another. Possibly every month. Possibly every week. Maybe they’ve done passive-aggressive things to you every chance they got. Maybe they’ve let their kids down in huge ways. They are still the child’s mother. They deserve to celebrate Mother’s Day with their child.
If you and her ex have sole custody of the kids, I know this could be a huge sore spot. It’s hard to hear that no matter how much parenting you do of that child, you didn’t birth them. While birthing them doesn’t mean that they’re the ONLY parent, or that Stepparents don’t matter, it does make them the biological mother, and they should get to celebrate Mother’s Day if they so choose.
2. Stepmom’s Day is the Sunday After Mother’s Day.
Surprisingly, I did not know this before Leanne Rimes posted about it earlier this month.
‘Stepmother’s Day was started by a 9 year old girl named Lizzie Capuzzi who lived in Pennsylvania. Lizzie wanted to set aside a day to honour and appreciate her Stepmother. In 2000, when Lizzie was nine years old, Lizzie and Joyce (her Stepmother) wrote a proposal to their congressional representative outlining the need for there to be a holiday to celebrate Stepmothers. They requested that Stepmother’s Day be recognized as National Holiday.
Stepmother’s Day was brought before Congress and entered into the Congressional Record on September 13, 2000. Since that time, Stepmother’s day has been Celebrated on the Sunday after Mother’s Day.’*
The more you know! So yes, it does not take away our jealousy of Mother’s Day, and it isn’t lost among us that we are celebrated a week later, but it does give you a date to look forward to, and focusing on something positive can really help.
3. You Can Be Celebrated Too! Tell Your Spouse!
As Stepparents, our partners just kind of assume that we’ll step up and be parents with them – which is fair. But it’s funny to think back to how it’s changed from when you first started dating. I’m sure you – like I – took the backseat, because the children weren’t familiar with us.
Flash forward to now – to act like a parent day in and day out, but feel like we constantly have to earn that same appreciation and affection the biological parent often gets right away. It can lead to Stepparents feeling resentful when there’s a day of celebration that leaves us out.
So tell your Spouse you want a card for Mother’s day! Tell them you also want to be acknowledged on Stepmom’s day! If you dropped hints, and he didn’t get it – don’t be mad. Just actually tell him what you want to do next year. Men and hints aren’t always a guarantee. 😉
4. If You Don’t Celebrate Her – It’s OK.
I’ve read many blogs that encourage you to make or purchase a gift with your Stepchild for their mother on Mother’s Day. I’ve read many blogs that say that’s the job of their new partner. The truth is is that everyone’s situation is different, and every year is different. I’m not doing what I’ve done in past years – in fact every year it’s been different – and you don’t have to do the same thing either.
You are the only one who truly knows what is right for you.
If you don’t feel up to helping your Stepchildren create or buy something for their mother for Mother’s Day, and you normally do, then respectfully have a discussion with your partner about it.
5. You Have Options!
Because you know that Stepmother’s day can be the Sunday after Mother’s Day, why not focus on your mom for Mother’s Day? Or spend it with loved ones, or by yourself – do whatever you feel like – you’re an adult!
Personally, my mother has passed away, but I know I’m going to be outdoors, doing something I enjoy on that Sunday. Do something for you, and don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about that.
It’s really easy to judge someone else’s feelings, but it’s really commendable to respect them.
So to conclude, yes. For this week, I’m jealous of her.
I’m jealous, but I’m lucky.
I mean yes, I’m jealous of the fact that she’s a mother. That she has that unshakeable bond that biologically happens. But it’s also a reminder to me that I am important, and lucky, too. Think about it – would I even be jealous if I didn’t love my Stepchild so much? If we didn’t have such an amazing bond?
But I’m Lucky…
- To love someone who isn’t my blood so darn much
- That there is a Stepmom’s Day,
- That I can decide how that day goes
- That my Stepdaughter doesn’t have to feel guilty about celebrating me on that day
- That no loyalty binds will come into play in her head
Because when it comes down to it, my feelings don’t matter. Well, they do – but not as much as that little girls. If she can have two separate days, one to celebrate her mom, and one to celebrate her Stepmom, then I’m happy for her. I’m happy for all the love she’s surrounded by every day.
Try to focus on that, when the unavoidable feelings of jealousy inevitably bubble up on Sunday.
Know that you AND your relationship with your Stepchildren are worth celebrating, and make sure you do.
As always, thanks for reading,
Have a happy day 🙂