Mothers Day Manifesto

I haven’t blogged in a month. Because, well, moving. We’re somewhat settled into our new house but holy crap..moving twice in 6 months is no joke! I love our new house and we are having fun with the process of (slowly) furnishing it. I’m lucky to have a husband who cares about how our house looks and is willing to help me pick stuff out.

Last weekend was Mother’s Day. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you knew that. It was all over TV, all over social media, and all over any print advertisement you saw. For a stepmom, it gets weird. As in, awkward. I’m a member of several stepmom groups and I’ve seen a wide range of reactions toward this day. Some hate it and are upset that their stepchildren (or husband) don’t celebrate them. Some were lavished upon and felt loved. Some had high expectations and some had none. I’ve been on both sides of this.

Right after my husband and I got married, he had each of the kids give me a flower for Mother’s Day. The tradition continued and he always got me something and made sure I was celebrated. However, things change as they sometimes do. One year he forgot and celebrated me on Stepmoms Day (the Sunday after Mothers Day. It’s another Hallmark holiday.) And one year he didn’t do anything for Mothers Day or Stepmoms Day. I got all bent out of shape over it and pissy with him. I felt that if he and the kids appreciated me, they should all let me know.

But as I said, things change. As the kids have grown and become teens, I’ve taken a big step back with my family. Teens don’t even like Mom and Dad half the time, so why would they want another parent? My husband and his ex make the big decisions for them and support them. I’ve changed my mindset and my role is to support my husband. As a result, I don’t identify as a parent. I’m not a mom and have no desire to be, so why force myself? In addition to this, some people close to me have also not approved of my place in my stepchildren’s lives. Putting pressure on myself just made their disapproval hurt more.

On Sunday morning, my husband told me he hadn’t gotten me anything for Mothers Day yet. I looked at him and said, “Don’t. I don’t identify as a parent, so you really don’t need to get me anything.” And it’s true. I don’t. I didn’t give birth or adopt or my stepchildren. I didn’t care for them when they were babies and I don’t make big decisions with them. They have a mom and a dad who love them and care for them. I’m over trying to make myself another mom in their lives and over trying so hard to get their love. It’s been really freeing. Taking the pressure off of myself to try to create the Brady Bunch has been a life changer. I’m sure AF not Carol Brady.

What did I do on Sunday? Slept in, had coffee, did yoga, walked my dog, went to brunch with my husband (we do this nearly every weekend), grocery shopped, and food prepped. All the normal Sunday things. I called my mom at 5:00 pm because she’s an ER nurse who works overnights. She wouldn’t exactly love an 8:00 am phone call. During our conversation, she told me she thinks Mothers Day is overrated. I got a good laugh out of that. I jokingly offered to return her present. ( I got her a book I knew she would love). She declined that offer. I should note, we also presents for my husband’s mom, his stepmom, and my sister. My sis is a single mom to 3 teens- if anyone deserves a present, it’s her! I nearly bought myself a cool wooden sign that said “Fur Mama” with a dog print. Hey, I love my dog. I thought about some friends who have lost their moms and sent them text messages. I sent a message to a friend who had recently miscarried knowing that she was hurting that day. And yes, one of my stepchildren wished me a happy Mothers Day. I appreciated it, let her know, and then moved on with my day.

What’s my point here? It’s ok to not care about Mothers Day. I had several friends check in on me to see if I was ok, and I think if you’ve read this far, you know I was. There is no reason to feel bad for me for not celebrating myself on Mothers Day. If you want to help someone out, find a person who is wanting a baby but doesn’t have one. I can’t speak for them, but I’m guessing they are hurting that day. Find someone who has lost a child or who has recently lost their mother. Be there for them. If you know a stepmom who does all the mom things, go ahead and wish her a Happy Mothers Day. I guarantee she’ll appreciate it. For me? If someone says, “Happy Mothers Day” to me, I smile an say thank you. No need to get all preachy. I have plenty of other opinions that I can get preachy about. I just think that me getting upset about Mothers Day gives it too much power. Why give that much power to one freaking day?

Tomorrow is Stepmoms Day. I don’t know why Hallmark made that a holiday- probably to sell more cards and stuff. I’ve already told my husband we don’t have to do anything. He’s getting home tonight after traveling to Des Moines to see his son in the State Track meet. I’m guessing tomorrow will consist of normal Sunday things. Hopefully brunch at the Purple Onion. We travel to Sibley in two weeks for my cousin’s wedding and to see family. I’m already having anxiety about leaving my dog for 10 days…Tell me I’m not the only one who feels this…..

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