I wanted to share some perspective for Mother’s Day and a few tips to make it smoother for you. Mothers day has a tendency to bring out the insecurities of stepmoms almost everywhere. There is a common belief that no matter how hard we try that we can never be enough or do enough to get that long sought after approval from our stepkids. AND we may do a far better job than some bio moms do (whether they are absentee or not). We are there for our kiddos in ways that some bio moms forfeited by choice. Yet, we are still second choice and get dropped to the sidelines if there is even a whiff of bio mom’s presence, love and acceptance. The reality is, this isn’t about your lack or your inabilities in any way, shape, or form. You are more than enough. Let me share some attachment theory facts. (It’s my favourite topic to talk about). The moment an infant is born they are hardwired to attach at birth and that need for connection never goes away. A parent can be the crappiest parent in the history of parenting and that child will still want that parent to love them and accept them. Even desperately at times. So please, this isn’t about you. It’s hardwiring that happened long before you entered the scene. So you see, that’s not something you should be taking personally.
For many stepmoms it is also a day of dread and in some cases a day of grief over loss. Whether that is infertility, miscarriages or loss of a dream of the one big happy family, it still can carry a significant sting. Go ahead grieve that loss…it’s part of your healing process. But also remember to celebrate who you are – an amazing stepmom! And here are some ways for you to do that as we get closer to Mother’s Day
Grabbing Back YOUR Control: When you know you have none or feel that you have none remember and focus on what you DO have control over: your thoughts, your feelings, your actions. And I read a brilliant quote (author unknown) “It takes more energy to control than to let go” I love that. So rewrite your script.
Thank Yourself: We know that this is a thankless job..hell even bio moms know what
they are doing is a thankless job. So celebrate yourself, thank yourself, honour yourself. Order yourself a bouquet of flowers, go for a pedi, or better yet plan a weekend away with your friends or your partner the weekend of Mother’s Day.
Celebrate Stepmother’s Day: YES there IS an actual Stepmother’s Day. It’s always the Sunday after the traditional Mother’s Day. Let your partner know ALL about it.
Celebrate the Other Mother: Yep I just did say that. It’s because it shows you how much class you have. It reminds your stepkids how amazing you are (and maybe even your partner). It’s a huge example to set: that you can honour someone even if you feel like they may not deserve it. It 100% speaks volumes about your amazingly mature and compassionate character. And you know what? That makes in roads to building on your relationships. With HER and with your stepkids
Celebrate Another Mother: Your own mama or your partner’s mama. If they aren’t still with you, celebrate your aunt or grandma or someone who is like a mother figure to you.
Remember Not All Schools Have Stepmom Smarts: Bringing home a class made craft can bea bit of a punch in the stomach if your child only has one and you aren’t the recipient. Yes this is getting better. But many schools don’t think about non traditional families in general. Same sex couples, stepparents, foster parents are but a few examples. I overheard on the radio about a school who decided against any type of acknowledgement on Mother’s Day. They decided that type of day is best celebrated privately. I don’t know how much I like that idea either. Maybe I’m a traditionalist at heart.
A Word for Your Partner: I have heard of many men minimize Mother’s Day with their stepparent partner. Here’s a juicy tidbit that will gain you deeper respect and greater admiration and more of her heart: let her know that she is your moon and your stars and everything that orbits around them on this day..or at the very least on Stepmother’s Day. Being a stepmom is seriously the hardest job in the world. Take it from me, the expert. It is incredibly painful if the day goes by without ANY kind of recognition. And if your kids don’t do it, then you must step up and set the example by showing your kids how to do the right thing. And it is a powerful way to further cement your relationship for the long haul!
You’re welcome my stepmama friend 😉
Have a joyous Mother’s Day and an even more amazing Stepmother’s Day!