Take a look at any stepmom/divorce blog or follow a blended family hashtag on social media and you’ll see there’s generally a big topic of discussion around this time of year.
Whether we like to admit it or not, Stepmoms and Moms generally get pinned against each other. And on this day in particular there’s often an epic “this is my day/I deserve to be honored too” argument that gets played over and over again as the years pass.
Personally, I don’t care about Mother’s Day, both as a Mom and as a Stepmom.
And it’s not an “I don’t care but I still expect you to go all out” it’s an actual, I have zero expectations for the day.
Now, I didn’t always feel like this. I’ve been on many sides of this debate. On some Mother’s Days in the past as solely a Stepmom I would feel left out. My first Mother’s Day as a Mom I told my husband I had high expectations – and yes, he delivered. The Mother’s Day following the death of my Mum, I didn’t acknowledge it at all. In fact, it coincided with World Ovarian Cancer day and I decided to honor that day instead.
So how did I get here? How did I get to a point of zero expectations for the one day in the year when mothers all over the world are celebrated for their hard work?
Let me explain. Since becoming a Stepmom, and subsequently a Mom, I’ve learned a lot about the unrealistic expectations I put on myself to be the perfect Mom or Stepmom, and the expectations I put on others to validate my hard work. It became clear to me that my need to be thanked outweighed my ability to stop and be grateful for all of the blessings in my life.
That’s when my husband and I started teaching our kids about the importance of expressing gratitude for the people in our lives – no matter what day it is. Maybe it’s because my husband I both lost our Mums and we know the pain of regret of not acknowledging the ones we love enough. Or maybe, it’s because raising tiny humans not to be dickheads is fucking hard work. And every day we should be celebrating the little victories and the many people who work tiresomely to support our kids.
Now, after writing all that, does that mean I think I’m a better person than all of you that love Mother’s Day or Stepmother’s day? Abso-fucking-lutely not. One of the best things I love about being a Motherlucker is the “you do you” philosophy that’s present in the many voices that write for this website. We all do what’s best for us, best for our kids and best for our families.
And just because I personally don’t care about Mother’s Day, doesn’t mean we don’t acknowledge it for the people in our life that do. I still love to help my step kids with their Mother’s Day gifts for their mom. My husband loves to help our daughter do something small for me. We send flowers to my husband’s Stepmom, my Aunt and Grandmother and I love to give shoutouts and love to my Stepmom and Mom friends. It’s not because we have to, it’s because we want to.
I think what’s most important is that you need to stay true to yourself and honour your personal feelings on the day. So if you want your partner and kids to go BIG for the day, talk to them. Tell your partner you’d love to be spoiled, let them know your thoughts.
If you want to be alone. Be alone.
If you want to pretend that it’s not happening, pretend that it’s not happening.
If you want to be acknowledged by your stepkids, talk to your partner and have an open and honest conversation with them about it.
Whatever it is that you want for the day, go into the conversation with an empathetic heart and a willingness to understand where you, your partner and the kids are coming from.
But most importantly, always remember to stop and take pride in the work that you do – because I and many others think that looking after tiny humans makes you a motherlucking champ.