This is a guest post.
I know this day can be a really difficult one for most of us, so I’d like to personally reach out to you.
The person who said being a Mother is the most thankless job in the world, was never a Stepmother.
I see you over there not being appreciated, or recognized today. I know you are patiently waiting, secretly hoping that any of your stepkids will take time out of their day with their “real” mom to call or text you.
But the thing is, that phone call or text may never come. It’s not that they are trying to intentionally hurt you. It’s just that they probably don’t think of you as their “Mom” and Mother’s Day is for Mothers, not Stepmothers, right?
Related: Jessica’s post “What Mother’s Day is Like for a Stepmom”
But here’s the thing. Mother’s Day IS for you. If you are a Mother to any child, through blood, adoption or marriage you should be celebrated on Mother’s Day. It’s hard work being a mom and each woman deserves a day to be appreciated. Even if your Stepchildren are too young to understand all that you do for them, let me be the one to acknowledge your efforts.
You are courageous. You jumped right into your role as a mom, a stepmom, not really knowing what it meant. I was 21 when I started dating my husband. I was a baby and he had three babies – that was challenging! I had no idea what I was doing. Maybe you’re still trying to figure it out, I know I am. You navigate your way each day through the sea, sometimes through the deadliest of storms that seems to be doing its best to over turn your boat. Here, take this life preserver!
You are a good person. I know you are trying your best in what can often be a difficult situation. You may be under attack from your husband’s ex or the kids may have negative feelings about you. No one understands how emotionally draining it can be in this position of the “bad guy,” the “home wrecker,” or the “evil stepmom.” You are NOT evil. Don’t let the way other people who are hurting and lashing out, make you doubt yourself. Plus the Stepmom stereotypes never help. There is no handbook, no instruction manual. This stuff is hard!
You are brave. It’s easier to leave than stay when the going gets tough in relationships. There’s a reason why second marriages (with blended families) fail more often than first marriages. Most women would have thrown in the towel by now, but you are making your way and not giving up! Bravo!
You are selfless. You often put the needs of your stepkids in front of your own, and that’s a big sacrifice. Sure you do it without thinking for your own children, but when they are children by marriage, it doesn’t always come second nature and that’s okay to admit. Sometimes it takes time to love another human being unconditionally. It will come.
You are valued. Your husband obviously thinks the world of you. He married you, didn’t he? You are his best friend. Maybe even the biggest compliment of all is that he trusts you with the important job of helping to raise his children. You bring a lot to this dynamic and you should be proud of that.
You are strong. I know that sometimes you feel like an outsider in your own home. I know that you smile and bite your tongue when the children bring up their mom, or when your husband and his children share a memory about their “old” life. It’s healthy for them to do so and it really shows your character when you encourage them to be open and honest. There’s nothing more important than them being able to trust you with their true selves.
You are special. It takes one heck of a woman to be a Stepmother! I mean, seriously who would choose this life? But take heart, it’s a very important role that we are in. We have the gift of helping to raise up incredible human beings. (Even if it doesn’t always seem like that.) I believe that it takes a village, and a Stepmom can be a vital part of that village.
So, this Mother’s Day be kind to yourself. Do something with your family or take yourself out. Go shopping, get a pedicure, take a long walk, anything that makes you feel good. I give you permission to treat yourself today, because you deserve it! Whether anyone else tells you or not.
You’re doing a great job! You are amazing! You are an important member of your family. Consider this a big virtual hug and high-five!
Wishing a wonderful Mother’s Day to an incredible mom. Thank you for all you do. I see you. And sometimes, as Stepmoms, all we really need is to be seen.
Jessica Fuselier is a mother to one, and a Stepmom to three. She’s been a stepdaughter since the age of two. You can follow her other adventures at FreshAngeles.com.