Stepmoms, 5 ways to avoid the Mother’s Day blues

Mother’s Day has come and gone, but there are some stepmothers who are still recovering from the aftermath.

What were your expectations for Mother’s Day? Did you expect your stepkids to make you breakfast in bed? Give you a card? Call and tell you how much they appreciate everything you do for them?

If you didn’t get so much as a nod in your direction, you’re just one of many stepmoms who were brought to tears this Mother’s Day.

Many stepmoms were devastated at the lack of acknowledgement by their stepchildren.

Stepmoms who are fed up with not being recognized by their stepchildren, their husband, or, God forbid, their stepchildren’s mother, for all their selfless actions.

For cleaning up after the kids, for shuttling them back and forth, for wiping their tears and sometimes their butts! For doing all of this while being treated like “the help.”

So how can you make next year better?

Here are 5 simple ways to make sure you don’t spend another Mother’s Day in tears :

  1. Celebrate with friends. Plan a day with your friends ahead of time. What’s better? Sitting at home crying that you’re not appreciated or being out with friends who remind you of how wonderful you are?
  2. Celebrate yourself! I’m convinced we don’t do this enough. Mother’s day is the perfect time to spoil yourself, so splurge on a spa day or just enjoy some YOU time. Read a book that you haven’t had time for, make a favorite meal and enjoy the quiet.
  3. Remember that they are KIDS. Understand that kids, by nature, are self-centered and  usually need to be prompted to show appreciation for their own parents. Plus, they may feel guilty wanting to celebrate you, if they think it’s going to hurt their mom. If you’re lucky enough to be shown love by your stepkids outside of Mother’s Day, then acknowledge that and know their lack of, doesn’t mean they don’t love and appreciate you.
  4. Tell your husband how you expect to be acknowledged. Men love to provide for you, but they need to know what it is you want. And if you’re saying “he should know” or “the kids should know”, then you’re setting them up to fail and you up for disappointment. Spell it out for him. Tell him exactly how you’d like to spend Mother’s Day.
  5. Who needs Mother’s Day when there’s Stepmother’s Day! That’s right, there’s a day JUST FOR YOU! It’s the Sunday after Mother’s day. So there’s no competition involved. Just remember to see number 4 to make sure it’s a complete success!

That being said, Happy early Stepmother’s Day to all you wonderful stepmoms.

Thank you for doing one of the toughest jobs out there!

Have other suggestions? Share them here so your fellow stepmoms can benefit!

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© 2011 Jenna Korf     All rights reserved

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  1. Stephanie Veatch says:

    I think DH has felt pretty inadequate the past few years because I’ve gotten so down on Mother’s Day (I’m a childless stepmother to two). Last week I sent him something via email that I had found on another site that kind of encapsulated why I felt the way I did. His response was “I understand why you get upset, I just don’t know how to fix it.” I told him I thought Stepmother’s Day might be a good alternative and we’re planning to celebrate this Sunday. DH is pretty excited to plan this with the skids — we’ll see how it goes.

  2. Stephanie, yep, men WANT to make it all better, they just need to be told exactly how to do it :). I hope you have a wonderful Stepmother’s Day!!

  3. Hey. The BM came over on Mothers Day so the kids could drop off a card for me – I was and still am in shock – I’ve taken many deep breaths. It felt great! I hope the BM’s out there know that we SM don’t expect anything and the smallest of gestures go a long long way.

  4. Thanks, Jodie, that’s so true. The smallest acknowledgement can mean a huge amount to a stepmom.

    Congrats on your stepchildren’s mom showing her appreciation! It’s a pretty amazing feeling, isn’t it??

    Thanks for sharing!

  5. paulisue says:

    Mother’s day used to bum me out. I used to think I do so much for my stepdaughter and no sign of appreciation (no card, breakfast in bed, etc.; that all went to mom). I’ve gotten much better with mother’s day since I have looked at through stepdaughter’s eyes (or most children for that matter). I really haven’t seen kids making their mother’s day gifts at school really reflect on what quality a parent their mom is, exactly what it is she does or sacrifices for her child, or why they should really appreciate their mom.

    From the children I’ve witnessed it is a I love my mom and I need to make something for mom on this day because I love my mom and it will make her happy. So I really don’t see not getting an acknowledgment from stepdaughter as some statement about her appreciating or not appreciating me, it is simply that she has been taught to interpret the day differently.

    Like that article stated, I have other days that have been meaningful to me at a stepmother. I don’t need to share mother’s day.

  6. Im sorry, but do any of you understand what being a real, biological mom is like? You whine because you aren’t acknowledged as a mother just because you wipe your stepkids butt?? Let me tell you something….YOU ARE NOT THE MOM!! I realize in some situations that the real mom may not be involved, and if that’s the case Kudos to you because I have been a stepmom too and it is hard when in the situation of replacing a biological mom.

    But I am also the fulltime mother and considered bitch ex wife of my son, who I have raised alone since he was 13 months old and he is now 6. his father is now introducing future wife number four!!……. 4!!!! As a mother how do you think I really feel about allowing her to be another mommy or parent to the child I have raised alone? And should I also be supportive when it doesn’t work out and there is wife number 5, or God forbid wife number 6? Should my son be taught that wife after wife is a parent, or another mommy?? In all reality, our society has it all wrong with working on this blended family crap. What they should be working on is people not getting married repeatedly, and helping families stay together.

    You may love children, but you people who have not given birth to a child really have no idea the bond there is, and the love, and the over protectiveness of a mother. Esp when a woman gets married to her ex and starts claiming rights as a mother. Here’s the real deal…at the end of the day stepmoms…YOU ARE REPLACEABLE!! Why?? Because if you get divorced from the kids father, you are no longer in the picture no matter how much you loved the kids and you know who is still their parent?? THE REAL MOM OR DAD.

    This stepmoms day is a load of Crap. If you are taking the place of a child mother because they aren’t in the picture then you should be celebrating Mothers Day. If you are the spouse of a man with kids who has their mother involved….you should suck up and deal with the fact that you are not the child’s mom.

    In all truth, you don’t even have legal rights to these children. In my situation, there is no stepmom on school records, or even being allowed to pick up my son from school or activities etc. It is even specifically written that my ex and I inform our new spouses of our custody arrangement and make sure there is no interference from the new partners. The bottom line is when there are two good biological parents involved…no one should ever try to minimize them as parents just because you get married to their ex. Your name as a stepparent is not on custody papers, and luckily more and more courts are seeing the damage new spouses try to do to mothers and fathers of children. As a mother….BACK OFF! Stop trying to take away from the real parents!!

  7. Esmeralda Caldera says:

    Wow! Someone struck a nerve on Tis. You know, it sounds as though you are one bitter Bm. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like you’ve had the best of luck. Then again I dont know your full story so ill just say im sorry you had to raise your child without the fathers help. But as far as I can tell, you didnt make the brightest decision when you chose him to father your son. Now, it is my first time on this website and I just happen to come accross your posting(bitching). Let me start by telling you that I am a step mom to a handsome 8 year old and have been in his life since he was 4. I now have a soon to be 2 year old of my own. But back to the step mom part. I am that sm that does more for her ss than does his bm. I did wipe his behind and show him how to use wipes to do it on his own. I thought him his abc’s and how to write his name. I am the pta mom and on the board at ssc. Some will say I’m too involved (bm) but those who know me (other parents in ss school, friends who are single moms to mention a few) always tell me how great I am and how wonderful they think it is I am involved. Now, my ss’s bm doesnt do all I do because she has to work. She’s a single mom with a teteenage daughter. So she has a lot on her plate. But since day one, I was the problem. I did too much. Well you know what, I didn’t stop. Things got somewhat better. But I have never once felt left out on mothers day. Nor did I expect or get anything from my ss. I never heard about s mothers day. Which I think is a great idea because as s moms we do do a whole lot. And the want to spend a special day with our step children is okay. I personally don’t think its for me but for those who do I think its great! Go do your thing! And if your ss is not with you, make your own step moms day. Like the Monday after or something.. anyways, when youre a mom, or step mom, and you do the right thing for the kids, eventually one day your s children will remember you. And if they don’t its okay.
    As step moms we should always do the right thing. Treat our s children equally to our own. (Equally!!)
    Do without expecting. Love without expecting. Teach without expecting. Anything in return not a thank you, nothing.
    You’re in a relationship with a child that is not your own. That child has a mom and a dad. But you take care of them as if they were yours whwn theyre qith you. Regardless if it doesn’t work out never see that child again, you always did the right thing.
    Don’t listen to peoplr who sound like Jis. Fuck them and the empty train they showed up on. When the child is with you, you’re the parent. Maybe not the dad and never the mom but you are their parent. They should respect you as such.
    And yes we are replaceable. But so are bio moms because they are not immortal. So god forbid that evil step mom as you so call her is ever mean to your child.
    Think about this for one second or 500. If something happened to you, someone else would care for, love, and teach your biological child. And in such a blended family it will probably be the other parent and step parent.
    Would you rather have some bitch who was treated baldly by you the bm raise your child.
    Or wouldn’t you rather have the step parent who you know will go beyond and above whatever to make your child’s life amazing. And maybe even help keep your memory alive?..
    Just saying. Anyways. Irs freaking late, im on my phone, and I just had ro say something in response to Tis comment.

  8. Danielle says:

    Esmeralda hit the nail on the head with that response!! You go girl! Tis sounds like an insecure person who doesn’t want another person to love her child. Insecurities like that breed hate and anger. We need less of that in this world and more love, kindness and acceptance. A lot of people have children for the wrong reasons, to fill a void because they don’t love themselves and they want someone to love them so they get real uncomfortable when other people get into the picture especially if they are outperforming them as a mother!

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