To The Stepmom Who Feels “Unappreciated” On Mother’s Day…

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I’m a wife, stepmom x3 and mom x 1 who when I couldn’t find the stepmom support I was looking for, decided to create it myself. I love mac + cheese, distressed denim, sauvignon blanc and all things Dateline. 

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Hi, I'm JAMIE

Mother’s Day can be a tough day for (some) stepmoms. Especially the stepmoms who have wholeheartedly jumped in and provided a motherly role to their step kids – loving them like their own since day one. 

Many stepmoms feel unappreciated and flat out hurt when their stepchildren go all out for their Mother on this day, without the slightest acknowledgement of the role that they play in their lives.

I’ve been there. Trust me. It’s a terrible feeling that can really hijack your day. 

Despite how I felt that day, today, I want to talk about why I don’t think that stepmoms should feel this way at all. 

I want to talk about WHY stepmoms should do their best to override these natural feelings of jealousy and hurt. 

Why?

Well, because your Mother’s Day celebration (or lack thereof ) does NOT define the level of love and appreciation that your stepchildren have for you. 

It doesn’t define your relationship.

It just doesn’t. 

Seriously, trust me! 

Actually, to make sure I get that point across I’m going to say it again!

Your Mothers’ Day Celebration or lack thereof does NOT define the level of love and appreciation that your stepchildren have for you! 

Look, I like to think I have a pretty great relationship with my stepchildren.

With 50/50 custody, they spend half of their time with us. When they are here, I jump in and take on the “motherly role” in our home. I have since day one. (It’s what works for us.)

When my husband and I first got engaged, I received a letter from their Mom that said, “when I’m not around you’re the next best thing.” I took that to heart and have lived my life according to that ever since. 

Since day one I’ve made the commitment to love these (not-so little) kids and treat them the same as I treat my own. 

They are my people! 

But six Mother’s Day’s into our blended family life, I received JACK ALL from them on Mothers Day. Not even a call. 

Wait, that’s not true.

A few years ago my husband had the kids sign a Mother’s Day Card for me, but he ended up forgetting it in the truck. I found it tucked behind the seat in September. I never received it, but the thought was there. 

Two years later he bought me some jewelry from “the kids” but when I thanked them for the lovely gift, they had no idea what I was talking about. The poor guy forgot to mention it. But his intentions were good!

Here’s why none of that makes me upset!

(EDITED: Last year after I wrote this post, I received a really cool gadget that helps me find my keys when they’re lost. It’s pretty amazing! But the point of this post remains true.)

 

 

 

1. KIDS RELY ON THE ADULTS IN THEIR LIFE TO GUIDE THEM THROUGH THIS STUFF… 

Last year before Father’s Day, I asked my 10-year-old stepson what he wanted to do for his Dad. 

He hadn’t thought about it. in fact, he had no idea that Father’s Day was even coming up.  

If I hadn’t brought it up or his teacher hadn’t scheduled a Father’s Day craft the following week, Father’s Day wouldn’t have been on his radar, even though he and his Dad have one of the most precious bonds I’ve ever witnessed.

The point is, kids rely on the adults in their lives to guide them through this stuff….

If they aren’t celebrating you on Mother’s Day, chances are, their Mom, Dad and even their teachers haven’t encouraged them to do so.  

Again, it doesn’t define their love and appreciation for you. 

 

2. “REAL” MOM GETS GIPPED TOO

There are MANY “real moms” who feel like they get gipped on Mother’s Day.

So many Dad’s totally drop the ball! 

It has nothing to do with a blended family dynamic, or whether they are appreciated… it has to do with the culture of their family and whether they put a lot of weight on Mother’s Day.

I can assure you, these women are still loved, respected and appreciated by their family.

It’s kind of like Valentine’s Day… some people go all out and other people just don’t!

3. MEN DON’T THINK LIKE WOMEN

A few years ago, when I brought up the topic of step-motherhood and Mother’s Day, my husband confessed “I guess I never thought about how stepmoms would feel on this day.” 

“Yeah, you and everyone else…” I thought to myself. 

He literally had no idea. But that’s okay, he’s not a mind reader.

Not to mention, men don’t think the same way that women do on these holidays. In fact, from my experience, most men don’t “overthink” things at all. 

You don’t see many (or any) stepdads openly talking about how they wish that their stepchildren would recognize them on Father’s Day.   They just aren’t wired the same way we are. They don’t take things as personally. 

4. IT’S MOTHER’S DAY AND SHE’S THEIR MOM

I do feel like she 100% has the right to this day. After all, SHE is their Mom. 

To be honest, without experiencing what it feels like to be a stepmom myself, I don’t know that if I were in her shoes, I would be encouraging my kids to celebrate this day with their Dad’s wife.

Not out of spite, more out of ignorance. Having never jumped in and cared for someone else’s kids as they were my own, I’m not sure if it would occur to me.   

5. KIDS ARE LOYAL

In many blended family situations, kids feel torn. They have loyalty binds and fear that if they celebrate their stepmom on Mother’s Day, they will hurt their mom’s feelings… which no child wants to do. 

The truth is, picking up the phone and calling their stepmom on Mother’s Day may cause issues for them at their Mom’s house.

So even though it would be nice to hear their voice on the the end of the phone, take comfort in knowing that they haven’t put themselves in an uncomfortable situation.

Look I am sure there are going to be several stepmoms who disagree with what I’ve wrote and that’s totally okay. I also know that there are several situations that may not apply to this list. Every stepfamily dynamic is different.

If you are a stepmom whose husband & stepchildren celebrate you on Mother’s Day, I think that’s amazing and I am so happy for you! You are one lucky lady! 

If you are a stepmom whose husband’s ex makes a point to acknowledge the important role you play in her children’s lives, I think that’s even better, and so freaking big of her.

But if you’re not. If you’re one of the stepmoms whose phone doesn’t ring, who gets caught up in all the hearts and sparkles Mothers Day posts on your Facebook newsfeed, feels unappreciated, jealous and a whole load of foreign and uncomfortable emotions,  I just want you to know that I totally get where you’re coming from…

I also want you to remember what I’ve been saying throughout this whole post… Mother’s Day doesn’t define the amount of love and appreciation your husband and stepkids have for you. And it certainly doesn’t define what a KICK-ASS Stepmom you are. 

It just doesn’t! 

jamie

 

  • Do you feel like no one in your life gets it?

  • Do you want to engage in Facebook Posts about the struggles that come with step-parenting but you don’t want your comments to pop up in your friends and family’s newsfeed?

  • Are you craving support and want to feel like you’re not alone – but don’t know where to turn?

    I’ve got you! That’s why I launched an Exclusive Community for Stepmoms – OFF SOCIAL MEDIA!

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    Check it out – it may be just what you’ve been looking for!

 

 


Jamie Scrimgeour's Exclusive Stepmom Community

 

Comments +

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