Mother’s Day is coming up and I have lovely memories of celebrating my grandmother and mother on this special day. These women graciously and selflessly mothered me in many ways and they deserved to be recognized, at least, on this one day carved out for them.
I would put on a lovely dress and we would go to have a brunch at a fancy place. We went out because that was the one day that the ladies would not be in the kitchen taking care of everyone else. My grandmother was a widow for as long as I could remember and my mother a single mom. They didn’t have a choice but to keep mothering and taking care of everyone, including themselves.
Oh, and did I mention I had a stepmom too? My stepmom was on the outskirts of my childhood, dropping in here and there when I would see my father on occasion. It was a amicable relationship we had which I’m grateful for, but I was an easy-play-by-the-rules kind of kid so I didn’t attract much drama or discipline. We were close, but never too close.
Little did I know back then that I would be in the stepmom role years later myself. Surprise! Being a sensitive empath isn’t exactly aligned with this role. I’ve made mistake after mistake after mistake over the years because of being overly involved. But as life goes, we learn from our mistakes and adapt to new ways of being. I’ll admit though, sometimes I wish I could trade in my sensitivity in order to channel that calm, cool, collected British demeanor my stepmom so effortlessly embodied. But no special Harry Potter wand for this girl to create any spells.
Being a stepmom takes courage, grace, and confidence (and a bit of wine doesn’t hurt either).You are not the mother. Nope. Sorry. You have influence, but not control. You can speak your mind, but after you are heard: let goooooo. I mean it. Let go of any attachment of what YOU think the outcome should be. You will drive yourself mad. Focus on the good parts of the stepfamily and find new ways of approaching the not so good parts.
Mother’s Day will never be your day, but there’s room for stepmoms to be recognized too. Did you know there is an official stepmothers day? Probably not as it’s not something that is in the mainstream of our society…yet. The kids have a mother and she will be recognized and celebrated by her children on Mother’s Day. It can be challenging to treat this as any other day, but in my experience it’s best to not have any expectations around this day. But I won’t lie, when I have received a text from the kids or flowers from my partner, I’ve felt incredibly grateful for the gesture and happy I was seen for my mothering.
It hasn’t been the norm in our society, but I feel things need to shift to include stepmoms into the Mother’s Day “club”. Perhaps it is even changing Mother’s Day to Mothering Day. The majority of families today are now blended and stepmoms play a vital role in the raising of children. It takes a village to raise these children and it is time to be more inclusive of the the individuals who are present, despite how they arrived in the child’s life. It’s time to practice coexistence and to let go of old thoughts around the evil stepmother.
If you are a stepmom, had a stepmom, or know someone in the stepmom role (maybe she’s mothering your own children), a small gesture of a text or card to tell her she’s appreciated could make her day…and maybe you’ll experience a sense of gratitude too. At the end of the day we all just want to feel seen, accepted, and loved, don’t we?