I’m going to jump in here and say this, you ladies are all so amazing for doing what you do and deserve to be recognized, thanked and celebrated in a way that fits within your family. I totally get why Mother's Day is so hard for so many stepmoms.
Before I became part of the blogging world my online presence was Facebook and Facebook only. (Well... maybe Pinterest as well because I love pretty pictures of homes and floor plans!). I sucked at social media, rarely posted anything to my feed and barely checked it. With this blog, my online presence has quadrupled and I suck just a little less at social media.
And the beauty of my almost non-existing online presence?
I didn’t get bombarded with constant reminders for Mother’s day, Halloween, Valentine's Day, Father’s Day, Stepfamily day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
My idea of how my first Mother’s day as a stepmom should look like wasn’t formed by any articles, blog post, vlogs or podcasts. It was raw and purely based on my idea of what I expected of it. My first Mother’s day set me up for failure for the next but taught me how to let go of any expectations in the future.
Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect that first year, if anything. I allowed it to play out naturally without putting any pressure on anyone else. Basically, I didn’t say a word about it to anyone in my family.
What I got was an unexpected school made present from my youngest stepchild and nothing from the other one. (FYI, I wasn’t mad, hurt or upset by this)
Guess what happened the next year?
Nothing from the kids and yes, nothing from my husband.
Honestly, this did sting a little and only because an expectation was set the previous year.
With my online presence growing all I want to do at this moment is unplug, avoid malls like the plague and ignore Mother’s Day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking for recognition or do I feel forgotten about on this day. The amount of content on Mother’s day has been overwhelming and over the last few years it has put more pressure on me to think about it than ever before.
Quite honestly, I just don’t want to get swallowed up in the craziness of Mother’s day. I’ve done that before and it’s not worth it.
As I said, my first Mother’s day set me up for failure for the next but taught me how to let go of any expectations in the future. Since then I’ve been surprised by the love and kind gestures received from many different people in my life, especially my stepkids mom. By having no expectations at all, these gestures mean so much more.
But most importantly, I don’t want to put any pressure on my stepchildren. We have all read about the loyalty binds and complicated feelings stepchildren can feel on these days. Plus they are kids! The last thing on their mind is remembering a celebration like this.
What do I expect from Mother’s Day? Nothing.
Do I want a stepmother’s day?
No, not necessarily.
However, I do believe (step)families should be cherished and celebrated whenever we feel is right. Celebrating your family or parents, whether they are your ‘real’ parents or stepparents, can happen on any day. And for me, this doesn’t have to be with gifts or cards.
Remember this one thing on Mother’s day
TAKE THE PRESSURE OFF
And remember that your role as a stepmom is not defined by one day. It’s defined by a lifetime (for some) of taking on the role of stepmom and being part of your stepchildren’s life.
Never, never, never, take special moments with your stepchildren for granted.
When they open up to you about their most intimate feelings and thoughts. That’s when you know you’re special and trusted. Mother’s Day or Stepmothers Day aren’t needed to confirm this.
Please and thank you’s
Enjoy those moments of pure joy when you do something small for your stepchild and it makes them visible happy. You know, those moments when you see their eyes beam with excitement and hear the words thank you over and over again. Yes, it does happen every once in a while.
Appreciate the small gestures
Cherish the times when your stepchildren do something sweet for you, without being asked! I’ve been woken up with breakfast ready and my house smelling like gas. It was scary and very sweet all at the same time.
All these moments are tiny celebrations of our stepparenting role. For me, a card can’t replace this. Yes, it’s nice to receive a sweet card or phone call from your stepchild on Mother’s day. But if you don’t, don’t forget about all these special moments throughout the years that show how loved you really are. Plus it's only one day and they are kids!
However you decide to spend this day, let's not forget that our family dynamics are all so different, what works for one will not work for the other.
So let’s not judge each other.
But rather try to understand a stepmom who does it just a little differently than you do, support her and think outside your box.
Enjoy this beautiful Sunday stepmommas!