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The Light at the End of the Tunnel: Mother's Day

JRI's picture

Mother's Day can be an emotional minefield for step-moms.  I'm the 75-year old BM & SM of 5 who is thinking back over my steplife as I read the blogs & forums.

After 4 years of the 3 SKs going back & forth, they all moved in 1976-1977, one at a time, over a 9-month period.  This was ultimately a good thing.  But that was one of the most hectic periods of my life: hiring a contractor to add a bathroom & finish the basement (a huge mess not completed until Christmas Eve), enrolling each child in a new, more challenging school district, dealing with each SK's emotional reaction to the move, and handling all this while coping with my BKs' & my own feelings about the changes & a hyperactive DH in a demanding job.

After spending all my time, energy, money & emotion, i was blind-sided by the lack of recognition on Mother's Day.  I almost cried.  I'd never given Mother's Day much thought, it seemed like a "Hallmark holiday".  But it was very painful, especially when the SK made a huge effort for BM who didn't seem to be spending much of her own time, energy, money or emotion.  And, who was poisoning our situation with her lies, innuendos and mockery.

I had 1,000 bitter (and true) remarks about her on the tip of my tongue but realized A) they loved her, no matter what and Dirol what kind of a person would i be if i turned them against her (if that were even possible)?

After that year, i learned to get myself something nice to wear on Mother's Day, something good to eat, whatever it took to make me feel good.  This was actually a DH problem, he wasn't (& isn't) good with gifts.  Ultimately, they all learned to respond appropriately (& still do).

Be proactive, step-moms.  Mother's Day can be rough.  Only you understand what all you do for your family.  Take care of you.

Happy (Step) Mother's Day!


Chmmy's picture

I most likely wont see my kids for mother's day and hope that DH doesn't try to force Mother's Day on me and the skids.  They are usually with their mom but not sure with the special circumstances this year.

Valkyrie's picture

The best gift for me would be not to see them. They have never acknowledged my birthday or Christmas, let alone Mother's Day. They actually seem to try their best to ruin them for me including calling SO every single Valentines Day while we're on date night and having a meltdown just to ruin our evening. But I'm not bitter.  Do for yourself or tell DH exactly what you want, don't expect anything from them and allow them to hurt you.To the ladies out there who do so much for skids, you are saints and deserve to be spoiled. 

Kes's picture

I don't think I've ever had a card or any recognition from the SDs on our Mother's Day in the UK which is in March.  Which suits me just fine as I disengaged from them 17 yrs ago.

hereiam's picture

Ultimately, they all learned to respond appropriately (& still do).

I'm glad for you that they finally got it!

I have never expected or received anything from my SD28 (in 23 years of being her SM) and I am fine with that. I did not take on everything that you did, though, and don't consider myself a mother figure to her.

My DH, on the other hand, has always insisted on honoring me for Mother's Day (though I am childless by choice). It's sweet but makes me a little uncomfortable!

MissK03's picture

I was curious on this topic. Thanks for sharing your feelings.

I was curious how other bioless or ones that were bioless when they went into their relationships were treated on Mother's Day... granted every situation is different.

I didn't think of "getting" anything from SO or skids previous years up until last year. Since skids have been with us full time for two years now a little something would have been nice. BM the past two years has taken them to Dunkin' Donuts and brought them home. Nice right?

They know what I do for them but, the little extra thought would be nice.

JRI's picture

You are probably like me, have a dense DH.  That's why i recommend doing for yourself.  You are the only person who really understands and appreciates all your efforts.

MissK03's picture

I found myself looking at the Mother's Day cards the other day at work. (Manager for a grocery retailer) Out of the 300ish Mother's Day cards, including mothers, sister, daughter, daughter in law, there were two "like a mom" and one "bonus mom" cards. That's it. It actually made me feel a little sad. The double  standard of men who step in to when women step in. With the divorce rate at what 50%? You would think we would be more accepting of stepmoms and stepdads for that matter. Still living the past I guess. 

SMto2's picture

I've been reading your posts with interest, as I'm a longtime SM a couple decades behind you in my SM Journey (age 50, married for 20 years with SSs 24 and 26.) Unlike you, my SSs were EOW and never lived with us. They were 4 and 6 when I entered their lives, and although my DH  was hands on and did all the bathing & putting them to bed, Etc., I cooked and tried very much to be engaged in a motherly role for most of their childhood & adolescence (both visited less and less as they became teens until it stopped altogether for a number of years due to severe PAS.) Our first 2 years of marriage, I was childless, and my DH did nothing whatsoever for me for Mother's Day.  To this day, I've never gotten any acknowledgement from SSs on Mother's Day, and I'm sure I never will, as BM is the Queen they serve to whom they are extremely loyal. After DH and I had bios, he got me gifts from them on Mother's Day, and my bios are now 18 and 12. After spending a lot of money the past 6 years trying to "buy" the affection of SSs and now SDILs and 2 SGDs, I am finally distancing myself (both my heart and my wallet) and facing the fact they will always take my money but will never really care about me. I will be cordial to them as I would a distant relative, but they are not my CORE "family," as DH, our bios and I are not considered core family to SSs. I don't see anything changing  about this situation ever, so I protect my heart. If you've managed to form a positive relationship with your SKs despite a toxic BM, I really applaud you. I'm definitely interested in hearing more of your story as you're willing to share. It's nice to be reminded that not all step relationships are poor.

JRI's picture

I hope I'm not sugar-coating my blogs.  The truth is lurid in the extreme!  Just wanted to wave a little flag that somebody did survive it.  I feel such empathy reading these so often sad desperate blogs and forums.  My kids accuse me of having severe memory loss, they will say, "remember when xyz? And you said such and such!"  I will think, " well, that sounds like something I would say".  Nine times out of ten, i don't remember and frankly, i think my brain is doing me a favor not to remember.  But these blogs and forums are bringing it back.

SMto2's picture

Oh,  no, I didn't read anything you said as sugarcoating. I saw the list of all the horrors you faced, including alienation, so I understand it wasn't all sunshine and roses. Lol. . I did take from your posts that you have a good relationship with your SKs now, which I was admiring. I also can relate to your point that you and your DH have a great life together now that the SKs are grown. That's been my experience, too, as my SKs live 2-3 hours away and we only see them a few times a year (to give them gifts or take them on vacation.) 99% of our life is DH & our 2 bios, and it really is as wonderful as I always hoped it would be. Here's to many more years of you and your DH enjoying your life together!