Mother’s Day can be tough for blended families. We have my stepkids 50/50, so they spend half of their time with us. When they are here, I take on half of the parenting role. Just as I do as a mother, as a stepmom, I help support them financially, I take them to school, I clean up after them, I participate in school and extracurricular activities, I buy their favorite snacks, and cook them healthy meals.
Stepmoms have it tough.
We aren’t always fully appreciated for what we do–not just from our husbands and stepkids, but also from our family, in-laws, and friends. It can be discouraging because we love these kids so much. If you are a stepmom whose heart aches on Mother’s Day, gets caught up in your Facebook newsfeed, feels unappreciated, and becomes lost in emotions of sadness and jealousy…
I’ve been there.
It’s easy for people to forget about us, the stepmoms, on Mother’s Day. For many of us the person who is there to give us recognition is our husband. Even if your stepkids are old enough to call on their own or buy a card, it may not cross their mind to do so. This day has always been meant for their mother and is a day they probably spend with her (as they should). So, if your stepkids aren’t celebrating you, it’s probably because their mom, dad, or teachers aren’t necessarily advising them to do so. It’s likely not because they don’t feel it’s important, it’s just that to the outside world, we are easily overlooked.
But remember, the lack of recognition on Mother’s Day is not a reflection of your stepkids’ love and affection for you.
I was a stepmom before I became a mother. Some of my first experiences as a parent came from moments with my stepson and stepdaughter. I have always loved them like my own. The days aren’t always easy, and there are times I feel envious or even lonely within my own family. But I know I have strong relationships with my stepkids, I love them deeply, and I know that they love me.
This is why it’s important to recognize a stepmom.
It’s important because we love our stepkids. We care for them. We cheer for them. We support them. We are proud of them. We pray for them. And we want the absolute best for them.
When my stepkids aren’t with us, it feels like part of our family is missing…because it is. I miss them just like a parent misses their child, because I AM a parent missing their child.
They are my children. They are my family.
If you are a stepmom who is disheartened on Mother’s Day, I know how you feel. My heart aches on this day with you. Just know that your stepkids love you, they appreciate you, and they will someday recognize everything you have done for them. Your unconditional love is one of the best gifts that they will receive.
P.S. If you have a stepmom, if you are married to a stepmom, or if you know a stepmom: give her a hug on May 13th, give her a phone call, or simply tell her thank-you. She deserves it.