Stepmom bloggers have some pretty wise things to say about Mother’s Day. Today I’m sharing the suggestions I’ve found that I think are the most helpful. And, yes, I’ve added my own comments as well.

1. Take Mother’s Day into your own hands. Plan something that makes it your day, as opposed to waiting for someone else to do something for you.

2. Be bold enough to celebrate an entirely different day with your stepchildren. I really believe (but only after years of experience!) that this holiday is not your day to celebrate with them. Whether she is dead or living, your stepkids have a mom, and this is the day to honor their mom.

3. If your own mother or mother-in-law are around, do something special for her/them. If it’s something you enjoy too, all the better! If weather permits, do something outdoors. Or catch a special movie together. Giving can feel as good as receiving.  Maybe even better.

4. No matter what you choose to do on Mother’s Day, remember that it will feel best if all parties are sincere in what they can give. If the most sincere gift is to offer nothing, in my opinion that is better than something that feels forced.

God bless all stepmothers and the important work that we do.

Mama J is a Northern Colorado writer, parent, and stepparent. For more information on her book, Stepparenting the Grieving Child, go to

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4 Comments on Collective Mother’s Day Wisdom

  1. Candy Gomm says:

    What was your relationship w/your now husband at the time of death of his spouse? Did you know his deceased wife? I am feeling as though I will never be very welcome no matter how hard I try.

  2. Carly says:

    CandyGomm, I understand how you feel. I am still not “welcome” by the deceased Mom’s family. They hate me… yes HATE me. I am over it and apparently so is my husband. He cut all ties with that side of the family since they don’t honor our marriage. I’m glad. The kid’s grandmonster is bi-polar… she has been diagnosed. Her daughter who commited suicide was just as nuts. The kids remember the good things but forget the neglect untill it was brought up in counseling that she in fact is not princess Diana! HANG IN THERE it does get better… your husband will play a role in that.

  3. Mama J says:

    Hi Candy, I did not know my husband’s first wife, although we had met a few times because my husband and I worked in the same division at a large company. So, to answer your question we were coworkers and friends at the time she died. In many ways I wish I had known his then wife. I think it would have helped me hold back a little longer, and it would have made it easier for me to honor her without feeling insulted.

    I would say the kids never really welcomed me, but there were times we actually got reasonably comfortable for a while. Because they process the death differently during every phase of their lives, our relationship seems to change with every phase.

    Carly, yes, that sainthood thing can just drive ya’ crazy! And that will just continue if no one is realistic about the humanity of the deceased — the good and the bad. I think it’s hard on the kids — I’ll bet they subconsciously think they have to live up to that perfection.

  4. Candy Gomm says:

    I too knew my husband’s spouse. I think it would have been better if I was unknown to the family until much later. I believe it would have made a difference in my stepchildren accepting me. I tried to do too much for them when we first got married and were living as one family. I didnt think of myself just them accepting me.

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