Let’s talk about Mother’s Day as a Stepmom.
Like let’s really talk about it.
Mothers Day can be a difficult day for stepmoms. Especially stepmoms who have gone all in with their stepkids and are playing a huge motherly role.
These days, 50/50 custody is the norm. That means many stepmoms are parenting their stepkids for 50% of the time.
Personally, that has been the case for me. For almost 10 years now, I have been with my stepkids half the time.
Half the time.
My role has included things like:
pick up, drop off, shopping for clothes, bringing them to extra curricular’s, going to hockey tournaments, preparing for extra curricular’s, making dinner, laundry, pep talks, homework, birthday party prep, doctors appointments, supervision…
the list goes on.
When my stepkids are with us, I am the motherly figure in the home.
I do the same for them as I do my own child.
Now that doesn’t mean I am trying to overstep or be their “mom”. But I am their stepmom and I care about them. I am the mother in this home. It’s as simple as that.
When Mother’s Day rolls around, a lot of stepmoms feel good enough until they’re not.
Good enough for the nitty gritty of parenting, but then when the special days come, they need to back up and know their place.
Part of me gets it. It’s never bothered me that much. I’ve never had huge expectations for the day.
The other part of me thinks its complete bullshit.
I think the way that stepmoms are perceived in society needsvto change.
Families look different than they used to.
The nuclear family is no longer the norm.
Their mom will always be their mom.
But the stepmom is there too.
It’s not a competition.
It’s not all or nothing.
A child’s love and appreciation for their stepmom doesn’t minimize the love and appreciation they have for their mom.
As a mom myself, I’m not saying this is easy.
I think it would be extremely challenging to watch another women create a motherly bond with my child. No one said it was easy. This wasn’t in anyone’s life plan. No one plans to be with their kids half the time. It’s one of the unfortunate consequences of divorce.
With divorce and co-parenting comes hurt feelings, adult conflict, and emotions that none of us ever saw coming.
But I think that it’s time mothers put their ego aside. It’s time to stop feeling threatened by stepmoms.
(And before you search for my email to rip me a new one, hear me out).
It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
In most situations, moms and stepmoms are on the same team. They are raising kids to be kind, successful, giving, happy, contributing adults in society. They want them to feel loved and they want them to feel safe.
Even if they have different perspectives and values – when you break it down, the goal is the same.
A child acknowledging their stepmom on Mother’s day does not minimize the role of their mom.
A stepmom’s role doesn’t make a moms role any less important.
There is room for everyone in these kids’ lives.
I’m not saying that the day should be split in half, or that the moms should have to give up their mothers day to honour a stepmom.
I’m just saying a little text or acknowledgment can go a long way.
A definition on Wikipedia says:
Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family or individual, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.
We send something to our grandmas, to our aunts, to foster moms… let’s make it the norm to give stepmoms some love too.