In the past, I’ve dared both moms and stepmoms to put down their seething swords, even if just for a day, and send each other a card of thanks. A simple thank you goes a long, long way – especially when it is said in earnest and is heartfelt.
This year I’m encouraging stepmoms to take the dare one small step further. I challenge you to examine your expectations.
What is it about Mother’s Day that sends you into despair? Why are you upset when your step-kids don’t acknowledge you on this day? What acknowledgement are you looking for and have you clearly communicated that to your husband?
“But he should know!”
Honestly ladies, retire that lament. Your husband doesn’t know because you haven’t told him. Without telling him, you set yourself up for a huge disappointment. And then you get angry at him because he failed at reading your mind.
“But if I have to tell him, it just isn’t the same.”
You’re right. It isn’t the same. It’s BETTER. Your man is a happy camper because he knows exactly what you want and how you want it and you are NOT disappointed! In my book that’s better than sobbing into your bowl of oatmeal because you think no one appreciates you.
Your step-kids may want to acknowledge you but do you know how many stepmom cards the greeting card industry puts out? Next time you’re looking at Mother’s Day cards let me know how many Stepmothers’ Day cards you find. Last year I found a whole ONE card and that card was so awful I wouldn’t send it to anyone. I most certainly wouldn’t send it to MY stepmom.
For the last three years my youngest stepson has lamented the lack of stepmom cards. My stepdaughters insert the word “bonus” next to the word mom. But what’s in a card anyway? And why are you hinging your happiness or sadness on a card that will be thrown out or flowers that will die within the week?
What if you remained open to all the possibilities and looked for appreciation in other ways…even if that way is as simple as little Johnny bringing you a cup of coffee.
If you are not receiving what you think you should be receiving from your husband and or your step-kids, I strongly encourage you to look at how you treat yourself. Why? Because we teach others how to treat us by how we treat ourselves. If you don’t appreciate you, believe that you are worthy and deserving, and put yourself on your own priority list, no one else will either. We teach others how to appreciate us when we shower appreciation upon ourselves.
This Mother’s Day, my husband will be out of town. My oldest daughter lives in Dublin, Ireland, my youngest daughter lives in Denver, Co. Both my stepdaughters are new mommies and will be celebrating Mother’s Day with their own families. I’ll be running in a 3k road race in the morning and after that who knows? As always and without expectations, I remain open to all the possibilities. I encourage you to do the same.