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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Stepmothers - How to Honor Mother's Day?

With Mother's Day only a few days away, it's likely you're thinking about how your stepchildren will handle the celebration. It tends to be an awkward holiday for many stepmothers, including myself at times. We don't know whether to expect anything from our stepchildren or let the biological mom get all the attention for the day.

Personally, I believe if we have played an active role as a stepmother, we deserve some recognition. But that doesn't mean we will get it from our stepchildren. We may need to ask our spouse (the father of those children) to honor and acknowledge us on Mother's Day for the difficult role we play.

Stepfamily authority Ron Deal includes a statement from a stepmom in his recent article, "I Dread Mother's Day." The stepmom says, "I get all the grief of parenting, but I don't get to enjoy the pleasures associated with being a mom." As a stepmom, I've had days I feel that way too. But thankfully, it's not everyday.

I've learned to enjoy Mother's Day with no expectations from my stepchildren. If they offer me a gift or choose to honor me in some way, I'm thrilled. But if they don't, I know my husband appreciates what I do and lets me know that regularly. I also believe God put these children in my life to care and nurture and I want to be obedient to His calling.

In my next post I will talk about other ways we can celebrate Mother's Day as stepmothers. What ideas do you have? I would love to hear them!



At May 11, 2010 at 8:52 AM , Anonymous Sue said...

I am so glad I stumbled across your blog. I really appreciate your wisdom; just glancing through your posts, I can tell that I will learn a lot from you. Thanks for this post in particular. I was feeling kind of down because I got no acknowledgment from my stepkids on Mother's Day or on my birthday ten days before that. My husband does appreciate me, however, so I need to be thankful for that and be content in knowing that I am where God wants me to be, doing what he wants me to do.

At May 14, 2010 at 9:21 AM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

Thank you for your comment. I'm sorry your stepchildren didn't acknowledge you on Mother's Day. It can be a difficult day for stepmothers. On those days, I rely on comfort from the Lord and ask for His strength to continue my role as a stepmother. Your stepchildren may not know how to acknowledge you or may be dealing with loyalty conflict toward their biological mom that prevents them from reaching out to you. It doesn't make it any easier but it does help to not take it personally. Blessings to you.

At May 14, 2010 at 10:15 AM , Blogger Sue said...

I think you are right. We have heard bits and pieces that lead us to conclude that our kids' birth mother is actively promoting the loyalty conflict. She has even started poisoning the minds of the next generation with comments like, "she is not your real grandma" or "she is no relation to you whatsoever." This from the woman who walked out on a husband and nine children because she wanted to be a teenager again (her actual words). Sorry. I obviously have a little bitterness about all that.

My husband and I spent years trying to conceive, but I am unable to have children of my own. Some days, that pain, combined with being "ignored" by the children I have helped raise for the last ten years, weighs heavily on my heart, but I am usually pretty good about understanding that the kids are dealing with forces that are beyond our control.

At May 16, 2010 at 3:51 PM , Blogger Step Parenting with Grace said...

I've always thought it would be hard to have stepchildren without the joy of biological children. I don't know the ages of your stepchildren, but as they get older, they will form their own opinion of you, separate from what their mom always tells them. Don't give up on developing a special bond with them, perhaps even after they leave your home. I am much closer to my 25-year-old stepdaughter now than during the period she lived with us.

At June 17, 2010 at 2:46 PM , Anonymous Sue said...

My step kids are 32, 30, 28, 27, 25, 23, 21, 17, and 17. When my husband and I got married, the oldest three were out of the house, and the next oldest had one month left in his senior year in high school. He lived with us through the summer and moved out when he went to college, so I wasn't around him for very long. Ironically, he was the first one who called me Mom, and the two youngest followed suit ... until their birth mom found out and put a stop to it.

Now I am a pariah, and I can't figure out why (although I know who is behind it). I have never bad-mouthed her, prevented them from seeing her, been mean to her--nothing. I think she hates me because, just by being me (a better wife and mother than she ever was or wanted to be), I make her look bad. I love these kids, I care about what happens to them, I am there for them, I want the best for them. If that is my crime, I will plead guilty.


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