Entries tagged with “Stepmother’s Day”.
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Tue 9 Apr 2013
Mother’s Day. A time to celebrate moms and the contributions they bring to their family. All moms, bio, adoptive, foster and step – should be celebrated on Mother’s Day yet sadly not all “moms” are recognized for the gifts they bring.
Two years ago, after seeing all the Mother’s Day displays in stores and having a wonderful lunch with two amazing stepmoms, I was inspired to create “The Gift of Stepmom,” a series where stepmoms share the blessings they bring to their families and I’m bringing it back this year!
The series was created to share stories from real stepmoms about the real gifts they bring to their stepfamilies.
For many stepmoms, Mother’s Day can be an emotionally difficult time. Often stepmoms pour themselves into their families yet see little appreciation. And even when stepmoms and their stepkids have a great relationship, kids typically spend Mother’s Day with their mom. And while most stepmoms support and understand kids want to be with their mom, not having their stepkids on Mother’s Day is another reminder of the complexities of stepfamily living.
I’ve said it once and I’ll keep saying it…. the word step may be placed before mother to define a woman’s physical connection to the children she loves but it does not define the heart she has for them or the love she pours into their lives.
Over the past two years, stepmoms have shared stories that have made us all laugh, cry and feel less alone. These stories give hope and that is one thing we all need to cling to especially during the difficult times. Two stories shared were written by grown adult stepchildren who are not stepmoms themselves but shared the gift of their stepparent growing up. A heartfelt story by a bio mom who shared the gift of her daughter’s stepmom touched many, many hearts.
All the stories shared have had a profound and ripple effect on so many lives. As Mother’s Day draws near, I am calling for submissions for 2013 The Gift of Stepmom. YOU are a gift to your family and I want to hear from you. Would you please consider sharing the blessing you bring to your husband? The blessing you bring to your stepkids? Perhaps, you want to share the blessings that your stepkids bring to your life? Whatever your story, I guarentee it will touch another woman’s heart and make a profound impact.
I also want to hear from children who grew up with a stepmom and from any husband whose wife has really blessed him and his children. If you are interested in submitting your story, please email me at email@example.com. I want to connect you so I’m happy to post your story, links, and photos. Together we grow, share, learn, encourage, inspire and support.
Starting May 1st, I’ll be running the stories that have been shared with me to inspire, encourage and support fellow stepmoms. We are a positive influence in the lives of our stepchildren, our husband, our kids and to those around us. It’s time we take a moment to celebrate the heart we bring to our family and the difference we make! (Here’s the archived series if you want to check it out)
One of my goals here at CafeSmom is for every stepmom to feel connected on her journey. These stories help connect stepmoms and celebrate the gift that we are to our families. Please consider sharing the Gift that you are to your family. Your story will touch and inspire many. Thank you!
Your thoughts…. Is Mother’s Day a challenge for you? Do you celebrate the gift that you are to your family? Will you submit your story?
It is my heart that this project is a gift to you.
Mark your calendar for The StepMom Retreat. Join the sisterhood of stepmoms in Dallas Texas September 27th – 29th for help, healing and hope. A full weekend to connect with other stepmoms, learn tips on how to thrive and feel connected. You’ll leave feeling refreshed. To register, click here The Stepmom Retreat.
Wed 9 May 2012
This is one amazing woman with one amazing heart. One of the greatest joys of being a stepmom is connecting with wonderful women like Adrienne. She shares how hard Mother’s Day has been for her and what she has learned through it. Her words will touch you in a way that will leave you wiser and feeling comforted that you are not alone. Grab the Kleenex and get ready to be touched by Adrienne’s story.
When asked the question, “Is Mother’s Day a challenge for stepmoms?” I would say yes, Mother’s Day has been a huge challenge for me from time to time. In the 16 years that I have been married to my husband, I have more often than not focused on what I didn’t have instead of what I did have – causing my own unnecessary grief and anguish. Before I explore that premise more, allow me to share a little background.
I was the custodial stepmother to (3) girls, ages 6, 10 and 14. The girls are now age’s 22, 26 and 30 – adult stepchildren. Their mother was not in the picture in any significant way (i.e. no weekly visits, special outings, financial or emotional support). My husband worked evenings and weekends which left the lion’s share of the parenting to me, which I gladly accepted because nurturing and loving and edifying is my God-given nature.
Well, fast-forward after providing this care for many years, I grew to “expect” (gigantic mistake) that I earned the privilege of being reciprocated and honored for my service on Mother’s Day. After all, I did all of the heavy lifting during their formative years; so I was willing to share this honor with their biological mother – fair is fair right? Wrong!
My “expectation” of being honored on Mother’s Day by the (2) oldest girls after they left the home began something like this:
- One year, they sent a card with my youngest stepdaughter to give to me at 10pm at night. I was so offended that I wanted to hurl that thing out of the window. Of course I didn’t and instead graciously said thank you to save face.
- Another year, when my youngest stepdaughter became a teenager she received a call from the oldest stepdaughter (who is a young adult by now) outlining the full day of events that she had planned for their mother and that she expected my youngest stepdaughter to attend – from beginning to end. Celebrating their mother is not a problem, but disregarding the fact that I exist, that the “family” traditionally honors me on Mother’s Day and not attempting to ascertain the timing of our festivities was a total slap in my face.
- Yet another year, after being reminded that I am celebrated on Mother’s Day as well, so some accommodations need to be made; and then agreeing to have my youngest stepdaughter back in time for our festivities and then reneging on their agreement which requires us to change our plans (once again) to factor in time to pick up the youngest stepdaughter so that she can celebrate with us. I was not a happy camper that day…and I was supposed to be celebrating at my favorite seafood establishment!
- Finally, I remember just leaving my home and driving around crying my eyes out on one Mother’s Day because…I don’t remember why…I just remember the overwhelming feelings of rejection.
Well, silly me, I didn’t have to endure all of this pain, offense and anger. I was too focused on the circumstances and not the root of the problem. I was too focused on my emotions and let them get the best of me. I’ve heard it said this way: “You can have emotions, just don’t let your emotions have you!” Mine had me right where they wanted me feeling less than, feeling unappreciated, feeling as if something was wrong with me because I just couldn’t get these girls to love me!
I now have a new perspective on Mother’s Day, past and present. The girl’s were unable to acknowledge my many positive contributions to our stepfamily because they were in a severe loyalty bind and needed it to be very clear to everyone that their Mom was, is, and will always be numero uno. I was unable to see the forest for the trees because I didn’t and hadn’t realized that they were grieving the loss of their family of origin. Every time they saw my husband (their dad) with our son (their little brother) and my daughter (their little sister) they saw a family unit that they weren’t included in and the grieving starts all over again. I wish I knew 16 years ago what I know now about stepfamily dynamics. It still would have been complicated but I am convinced that it would not have hurt so much.
Now when I think of Mother’s Day, I have my expectations aligned in reality and at a different gauge for each person in my family:
- No expectation at all for my (2) older stepdaughters, so any acknowledgement I receive is a wonderful surprise.
- I expect to receive a lovely poem/card from my daughter sharing her appreciation and fond memories of our life together…always special.
- I expect to be loved, honored and cherished by my husband and my son because I am the only wife and mother either of them have and they both like to spoil me on special occasions.
- I expect to make the day joyful and loving and fun by focusing on all the wonderful gifts that the Lord has given me:
- Stepchildren that don’t hate me and actually like me most of the time.
- A son that loves me.
- A husband that adores me.
- My annual trip to Seattle to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom, grandma, sisters and nieces.
If only I had known and accepted the simple truths of stepfamily dynamics years ago. I wouldn’t have wasted so many years sad and frustrated on Mother’s Day when I had so much to be thankful for in my life. One of the many foundational beliefs’s that I live my life by these days is this:
“The manner in which one endures what must be endured is more important than the thing that must be endured.”
For me and my family and stepfamily, that means simply to “lay some grace on the friction in your relationships and watch those rough edges smooth out”.
Make it a Happy Mother’s Day!
Adrienne Wilson is a
- Committed Christian;
- Wife to my loving husband as we seek to strengthen our Stepcouple;
- Mother of 1 son;
- Smom of 1 daughter;
- Stepmother of 2 stepdaughters;
- Step-grandmother to 2 step-grandchildren (ages 9 and 6months)
Adrienne shares that she finally has her priorities straight for this season of her life and is learning to thrive in this jumbled world by keeping it simple and grounded in her faith.
She plans to join the forces of stepmoms helping stepmoms in some form or fashion. She knows that just hearing someone else’s story has made her feel validated and successful when before she often thought that she was simply wicked and quite the failure. You can connect with Adrienne on Facebook or on Twitter.