The Stepmother’s Dilemma On Mother’s Day: To Celebrate Or Not Celebrate?

05/07/2017 03:49 pm ET Updated May 10, 2017

For some stepmothers, the idea of Mother’s Day strikes fear in their hearts. It is a terrifying event. The anxiety seeps in because stepmothers know that they should not pay attention to this holiday, but they will. They know that there is a high likelihood that their feelings will be hurt. They know that we shouldn’t feel offended, but we do. We are well aware that we are not our stepchildren’s mother. And yet, we are also well aware that we are a support system to the biological parents.

Many of us drive the children to their events, help them with their homework, prepare their meals, support their school activities and serve as a mentor in their lives. It feels a great deal like parenting. We know that if we even suggest that we are a parental figure, we may be met with dismay at the mere thought of such a thing. After all, we all know how “evil” stepparents can be!

As a result, Mother’s Day can feel like a power play. We cannot overstep our boundaries. (Whatever those may be?!) We cannot put the children in a compromising position. We cannot be selfish and ask for time. We should disappear and know our place.

Do we celebrate or not celebrate?

Let’s celebrate in our own way. Give Mom the day if that works for your family. To be honest, it is one day out of the year and it only represents that which we assign to it. It is not a test of anyone’s love. If you know yourself and know that the day will set you into a tailspin, tell your partner what you would like to do that day. Truly ask yourself what you would like to do. Do you want hours to read? Spend a day at a spa? Go to a theme park, a museum, take a drive or do absolutely nothing. Let the stepchildren know that they should do what is best for them. There’s no guilt on your end. Yet, you can let them know that it is appropriate to celebrate your relationship with them and that you would like to do that. Find a date that works and book that day as your special moment. Be creative. Have a happy hour. Have a dinner where it is dessert first. Go to your favorite restaurant or order your favorite pizza. Have the kids make dinner and serve you. Have a picnic in the backyard.

The greatest celebration around Mother’s Day is the freedom in knowing that we are secure in our place within our families and in life.

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