Easter has passed and Mother’s Day is coming. Did you know there is a Stepmother’s Day as well? It’s the Sunday after Mother’s Day. Personally Mother’s Day covers both for me. I reared my husband’s two children from the day we married in 2002 along with my own two biological children. Mother’s Day from year one was a day I was very aware that I was privileged to have someone else’s children in my home on that special day. The children’s mother lived 400 miles away, so it was not often she got to see the children, some long weekends, holidays, and summer. Mother’s Day was important to me. We’ve fostered children as well, and knowing that they were without their mother has helped me to be aware that mothering is more an action than a biological connection some days. As a teacher, I had helped children for decades make and deliver cards to moms, dads, and family at holidays, so it never occurred to me that I wouldn’t help my stepchildren write, make things, and send gifts to their natural mom. Why wouldn’t I? She is a vital part of why I am blessed!
Mother’s Day can be one of the single most painful days of the year for the non-custodial mom or stepmom, single mom, mom of children in heaven, and childless women. Stepmoms may not be acknowledged at all, though they try hard to pour into their step families lives. In fact, somehow Mother’s Day often allows outsiders to use the term as a pistol whipping experience to try to make a statement about who the “REAL” mother is, and in my opinion the real mothers are the women who reach out to love the children in their paths…whether biologically theirs or not.
Why would I want to celebrate a woman who was married to my husband before me? Because its not about that. Its about the fabulous children she brought into my life, about the joy and quiet understanding that together we have reared these children. We have not always seen eye to eye, but we have always loved the children differently, but equally. She is the giver of their lives, the birth mother and biological mother. I am the woman who married them and their father, who loves them the best I can because they are worth loving despite not having grown under my heart, they’ve grown in it.
What are you doing to help your children and/or stepchildren, nieces or friends reach out to the caregivers in their lives? One of the ways we encourage appreciation is to start early, help your child choose 3 or more ladies in their lives who make a difference, make a homemade Mother’s Day Card, You tube Video, or bake a cookie and plan to deliver them near Mother’s Day. Help plant the appreciation for people who pour into their lives and see what your garden grows.
Together you’ll learn so much about who is important to your children…and maybe realize who is important in your own heart too!