In a blended family, Mother’s Day can mean conflict

Does this sound familiar? Mother’s Day is just around the corner, but as a step mom with a strained relationship with the kids in your blended family, you do not have unrealistic expectations of flowers or lovingly worded cards.  On the other hand, maybe this is familiar: your own step kids always remember you on Mother’s Day, but their dad has asked them not to tell their bio mom. Sad for Mom and sad for the kids.

Is Mother’s Day just for bio moms?

Nobody can argue with the idea of thanking mothers for all they are, and for all they do. Moms and grandmothers everywhere look forward to gestures of love and gratitude from their kids on Mother’s Day, and rightfully so. Unfortunately, although being a step mother requires similar devotion and effort, many step moms never experience the ritual of loving feedback that biological moms get.  Try to include in your blended family rituals a standard for celebrating Mother’s Day and Father’s Day along with all your other blended family celebrations and holidays.

Putting a plan in place

You and your blended family partner must be the ones to define your role as step mom, and to plan for events like Mother’s Day. Absolutely vital to your plan is that you both agree on the basics of all your new family rituals, especially ones that support your leadership positions within the blended family.  As the managing partners in your blended family, you both set guidelines, but when it comes to his kids giving you Mother’s Day honors, it is up to bio dad to set the tone and standards of behavior. If step mom plays any kind of role in the lives of her step kids, she deserves to be honored, and Mother’s Day is a perfect day for them to thank her. It is bio dad’s job to instill this gesture of appreciation and respect toward step mom.

Living and teaching by example

Hopefully, celebrating their biological mom comes easy for your step kids. As step mother, be sure to encourage the kids to do something special for their bio mom on Mother’s Day. Your caring gesture will not go unnoticed. Neither will ensuring that, no matter whose scheduled visitation weekend it is, the kids get to spend Mother’s Day with their biological mother. It is good to remind children how important parents are – biological or otherwise – and encourage gestures of respect and appreciation. Biological moms, you should rise to the occasion. It might be a challenge, but express your gratitude to the step mother of your kids. Consider sending a card to the step mother of your kids on Mother’s Day. If you cannot manage a card, how about a hand-written note of thanks?

When bio moms and step moms can share Mother’s Day and allow their shared children to pay respects to both of the important women in their lives, everyone in the extended blended family benefits. Show the kids you love that you have room in your heart for everyone, and teach them to feel the same. Blended family children and their parents – biological or otherwise – are happier when love and acceptance are all-inclusive. Have a great Mother’s Day.