It’s that time of year again where you either embrace it or dread it – depending on whether you’re being celebrated or not this coming Mother’s Day. There’s no perfect solution or answer as to whether you should be recognized on Mother’s Day, Stepmother’s Day or every day of the year.
It really depends on your particular family situation. Not all families or relationships are created equally. Some of the stepmoms I’ve worked with don’t feel comfortable being celebrated on Mother’s Day. For others, it’s a big deal and are disappointed when they’re not honored. Some of us see ourselves as a mother, a mother figure, a role model and sometimes as an aunt, teacher or mentor.
We all experience parenting and motherhood in different ways depending on how we see our role in this family. So when it comes to Mother’s Day, it really depends on the relationship you have with your stepkids, with the ex and dad.
There are no right or wrong ways to be a stepparent just like there are no right or wrong ways to parent (unless we’re talking about physical, mental and emotional abuse – under no circumstance is this OK or acceptable)
Now in case you’re a stepmom who’s stepkids don’t take the time to wish you or honor you on Mother’s Day, let’s look at ways you can survive this emotionally challenging time of the year. Remember, there are no perfect solutions or answers as to whether you should be celebrated on Mother’s Day or no. The only solution is the one that works for you and your current situation. And remember, it’s ONE day out of 365 days in the year.
Tip # 1 – Ask your partner to write all the things he acknowledges you for, what he appreciates about you and have him put that either in a card, a journal or even a sheet of paper. As moms and stepmoms, we’re looking for appreciation and recognition. Having this written down is a great reminder not only for you but for the rest of the family. Want to be bold and creative? How about having the kids write those on the wall – sort of a wall graffiti.
Tip # 2 - Have a Female Family Party and celebrate all the Mom figures in your life. Mothering is a verb. It requires that we partake in the raising of a child. And that can look very different from one person to another. And that makes sense considering that we’ve all had different upbringings and view of how a family should look like. So why not have a group of female family/friends come together and honor each other in a way that will make you feel special. Remember, this isn’t the time to commiserate but to celebrate each other.
Tip # 3 – Use this day to enjoy your favorite hobby, go out for a long walk, go to the movies (if they’re open) and order take-out. And if your stepkids are asking you what’s the special occasion – you can tell them that you’re celebrating Mother’s Day – in honor of yourself and all the moms that you know (including their mom.)
Tip # 4 – Create your own Spa Day on Mother’s Day. One of my favorite things to do is to soak in a tub, have my scented candles, some decadent chocolates, my book, music and a “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. Create your own special unique event so that you’ll feel honored and celebrated. It starts with celebrating yourself.
Tip #5 – Have a game day/night together. It’s a way of coming together in a not threatening way. Try a new game that you’ve not tried before or that you’ve not played in a long time. An added benefit of playing games together is that it teaches kids social skills such as waiting their turn, following rules and the art of winning and losing.
Tip # 6 – Spend the day at a winery/brewery. They often have great tokens for Mother’s Day and they rarely ask you if you’re a mom. They treat women like queens. If this isn’t your kind of thing, how about taking a cooking class with some of your friends. You then have the benefit of eating great food in company of great people.
Tips #7 – Create a special day just for yourself where your stepkids can celebrate you and don’t feel in conflict with celebrating their own mom. Give it a special name. Make it fun and age appropriate.
Tips #8 – Celebrate on National Stepmother’s Day instead. Yep, it’s a thing and has been for a many years now. And if you didn’t know about it, no worries, you’re not alone. The good news is that the more we talk about it, the more it will become a thing.
Tips #9 – You don’t have to do anything or even celebrate Mother’s Day if that’s not your thing. It’s become so commercialized that it can be a turn off for some. If that’s you, then go for it by doing nothing.
For extra tips on surviving Mother’s Day, read my blog post on when you feel invisible
NOTE: The Stepmom Coach (aka Claudette Chenevert) shares info, tips and resources for building better relationships—but YOU determine individual suitability. We do not endorse nor accept liability for opinions expressed by any 3rd party: advertiser, affiliate, audience member, etc.