With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, I’ve been thinking about my fellow stepmoms. The ones who really step up. I see you going from one activity to the next, helping with homework, giving advice, getting lost in piles of laundry, doing school drop off and pickup, giving hugs and affection. Stepmoms everywhere have been doing all the things for 364 days and will send their kiddos off to celebrate their biological mother on Mother’s Day. I know, it can leave you feeling deflated. Stepmoms give and give, but likely feel left out of the celebration, the day their efforts are supposed to be recognized. They go unnoticed on this specific day of the year, but are still expected to step up every other day of the year. I see you!
I looked up the definition of mom on dictionary.com. It said:
- ones mother.
That’s it! Lame. That definition is true as far as my relationship goes with my son, but I have two more boys who I care for and treat as my own. They have a mother, but they also have me. Clearly this is an unsatisfactory definition, so I looked to the ever reliable resource that is Urban Dictionary and found something I like much better. It said:
- The woman who loves you unconditionally, who puts you before herself and you can always count on above everyone else.
I prefer this definition because it covers all mothers. It is absolutely possible to have more than one woman that fits this definition in your life, and the truth is, many kids do. This definition is accurate whether your children are biological, step, or adopted. We care for our kids. We just do. Our kids, biological and step, can count on us. The first definition just doesn’t do us moms and stepmoms justice. Our title is so much more than that. Honestly it’s more like a Game of Thrones situation and goes something like this:
- Mother~ of the house (insert last name here) – rightful heir to the throne – rightful queen of the husband and kids – protector of the small humans – the mother of dragons – the Khaleesi of the household – the keeper of the schedule – the unphased by poop – the finder of all things.
Sorry, I had to. If you don’t understand this little funny, then shame on you. Get on board. I’m just kidding, you do you, girl.
In all seriousness, if you find you’ve been living out the mom title, but you are having that hey-what-about-me feeling as Mother’s Day approaches, I have some important things for you to remember.
STAY IN YOUR LANE
Your stepchildren are going to be exactly where they should be on Mother’s Day. With their mother. It may not be what you were hoping to hear, but it’s the truth. She is the lead role in the mom show. She just is, and that’s ok. I fully intend to be the most important woman in my biological son’s life until the day he is married, but with that intention comes the acceptance that the same is true for my stepsons’ mother.
LIVE THE DEFINITION
The things you do matter and do not go unnoticed. Your role should be in support of mom and dad. Have you ever heard that saying, it takes a village? You’re the head honcho of the village. Take pride in that. This role allows you to live out the mom definition in your home for your stepchild.
The appreciation and recognition you hope for from your stepchildren begins with your respect for their mother. Even in the toughest moments we as stepmoms should be showing respect to the biological mother. No matter what. Your step children will love you more for it.
BE A PART OF IT ANYWAY
Take the opportunity to be a part of Mother’s Day by talking with your stepchild about what they plan on doing for Mother’s Day. Maybe give them a few tips of what they could do to make her feel special. For me personally slipping in regular positive conversations with my stepsons about their mom serves as reminders that it’s ok and expected for them to love their mom even in front of me. It has gone a long way in building a strong relationship with them.
Find your confidence in the title of stepmom. Live the definition of mom in your household. Find your place, go full speed, but stay in your lane. If you’re feeling left out on this day of celebrating mothers, try shifting your focus to all the other days of the year. Live out that lengthy title every single day, and you are sure to gain the love and appreciation of your stepchildren. Once you have that, you will see that being invited to brunch on Mother’s Day is not the be all and end all of Motherhood. Remember, It’s so much more than that.