With mother’s day quickly approaching, I wanted to give all my stepmoms out there a few tips on how to enjoy this holiday and shake how off the jitters. For some, mother’s day imposes a lot of different emotions. Compound those emotions with a non-response from your stepchild(ren) and you are liable to find yourself full of a lot of sadness on this day. Sound familiar? As I have stated in many posts, stepmoms pretty much live at the end of a double-edge sword. We are expected to take on the role of a parent, caretaker, counselor, cab driver, teacher, etc. etc., but we don’t always reap the same rewards, or for a lack of better words, we don’t always fit into the family circle. For some of those stepmothers, mother’s day actually makes them feel more like an outsider. Of course, I understand the plight of these stepmothers and why they feel the sadness they do, however, I would like to offer a few tips to get you through if you find yourself struggling on May 13th.
In my opinion, one of the main reasons stepmoms struggle on mother’s day is because they set their expectations of their stepchild(ren) way too high. Albeit, as I stated above, you absolutely deserve to be acknowledged but even though you play a huge role in your stepchild’s life, the acknowledgement you desire may not simply be something your stepchildren are capable of giving you at the moment or on this particular day. Remember, conflict of loyalties play a dominant role in your stepchildren’s lives, and especially on special days such as this. Place yourself in your stepchild’s shoes and try to see it from their position of loyalty. If you do, it will make things a lot easier on you.
Redirect Your Emotions
Recognizing your negative feelings is the first step in turning them into positive actions. Accepting that your situation “is what it is” can help you relieve a lot of stress. Find positive ways to spend your day. Take this day for yourself stepmoms. Pamper yourself. Look at it as “your day” instead of “someone else’s” day. Incorporating quality “self time” is not just healthy for your physical well-being, but for your mental well-being. You deserve it!
Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be complicated for you. Managing your expectations and understanding your stepchildren’s feelings is all it really takes to get through the day. Listen, I love my stepdaughter as if she is my own child. I do a lot for her and as much as my ego would love for her to drop everything for me, wrap her arms around me, shower me with a gift and say thank you for being such a good stepmom to her, and as much as I would love to get tons of gratitude from her, I am not her mother and I would never try to be. I do what I do for her because I love her, plain and simple. Not because I need mother’s day to reassure me of that. I get that reassurance every time she hugs me when she walks in the door or when she is happy to see me, when she sends me a random text message when she isn’t with us or when when she spends time talking with me about her day. I get that simply when I see her smiling and I know that she is happy.
Stepmoms, if you are also bio moms, take this day for you and your children. It’s obvious that we are going to feel the need to include your stepchildren but by simply accepting that there is nothing wrong with them feeling the need to spend time with their own mother will allow you to spend time with your own children, guilt-free, without them. Now, obviously, if you are a stepmom who is the primary custodial parent with dad or the stepchildren’s mother is absent altogether, then of course, I am sure you would want nothing less than including them in your heart and most certainly in your plans that day. If you don’t have children, take the opportunity to celebrate yourself, not just on mother’s day but every day. Pamper yourself spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. Keep up the good work! You are a gift to your stepchildren every day!
To all my moms out there whether bio or step, have a wonderful and Happy Mother’s Day!
Peace & Blessings,