Not-So-Happy Mother’s Day for Stepmom

I work with a lot of stepmoms and step-couples, and I can tell you, Mother’s Day is oftentimes one of the toughest days of the year for stepmoms and blended families. 

Many late-May and June sessions are spent processing what happened (or more importantly, what didn’t happen) on Mother’s Day.  So, if you are a stepmom who dreads Mother’s Day, here are a few tips I would like to share to help make it a bit more bearable. 

  • Be realistic about expectations.  Whether or not your stepdaughter or stepson’s mother is active in their life, it’s normal for them to feel loyalty binds for their mother.  And for those who have lost their mother through death or abandonment, Mother’s Day is often a painful experience.
  • Don’t take it personally.  It’s more about your role than about you.  Many children feel that they are being disloyal to their mother if they are also celebrating their stepmother on Mothers Day.  
  • Talk to your spouse.  Let them know that this is a tough day for you.  You may totally understand the loyalty binds that I mention above, but as someone who loves and cares for her stepchildren, it’s understandable that you may feel left out and hurt.  This may be the perfect time to plan a date day with your spouse.  
  • Wish your step-child’s mother a Happy Mother’s Day.  If their mother is active in their life, this is a great way to lessen the burden that comes with the loyalty binds that your stepchild is experiencing. 

Jackie Dunagan