How do you celebrate your Mother’s Day?

What do you do for your wife/the mother of your children, on Mother’s Day?

Mother’s day is loaded with expectations, obligations and therefore often ends in disappointment.  Too often mom ends up making the day special for other moms, like their own mom or their mother-in-law and not much is done for them.

What do moms really want on Mother’s Day?  Speaking for myself – appreciation.  Acknowledgement of all sacrifices made and work done, and a lazy day 🙂  My ex-husband used to ask me what I wanted to do on Mother’s Day and all I ever asked for was to not do the daily stuff that day.  I didn’t want to have to bathe the kids, change their diapers, spoon-feed them etc.  I did this every day and wanted a break on this one day.  He was always good about accommodating this wish, probably partly because every Mother’s Day involved a brunch with his mom and dad and Nana along with our 4 young boys.

With such a large family there is always a birthday at our house

So, as I sit here thinking about Mother’s Day tomorrow… I am aware of that I am not only a mother, but also a daughter and a daughter-in-law, as well as a step-mom.  I have been a step-mom for a few years now.  So, how does one celebrate step-moms?  Should they be celebrated? Or do the step-kids not have to since she is not their mom?  That was the opinion of one of my step-daughters a few years ago, even though she was spending the day with us as her mom was away.  It really bothered her to have to do anything for me, more than usual.  I realized that a lot of this was because she was sad she wasn’t spending this day with her mom.  I think she might have even been a bit angry with her mom for going away on Mother’s Day weekend.   ‘Lucky’ for me I was the one who was on the receiving end of all the negative feelings that day.  It really upset me at the time.  I felt hurt, until I realized it likely had nothing to do with me personally.

So, what should step-kids do for their step-mom on Mother’s Day?  Something!  Show appreciation for that she also does a lot for them.  It is a day to say thank you.  That’s really all.  It’s not about the gifts for me.  I’m more about the gestures.  As with young children who can’t make things happen on their own, a lot of this has to fall on dad.  He needs to explain to the kids that wishing step-mom a happy Mother’s Day does not take away from their own mom.  He needs to help them understand that she does a lot for them as well since they live at both houses.  After a lot of tears on that day years ago, I think they (and their Dad) understood better, and they have been really sweet since.

Guys! I know your wife is not your mom, but she is the mother of your children.  Help them do something nice for her, but let them come up with the ideas.  And especially since you fully expect her to do something for your mom at some point that day.

As families evolve into new and different forms, the challenges change.  I would love to hear your story.

With love from a daughter, mother, daughter-in-law and step-mom ~ Elisabeth xo