I still remember the first mother’s day experience I had with the younger of my 2 step children.
He was about 7. It was just a couple of days before mother’s day. His school teacher had his class make up mother’s day cards. He came home and showed me a card he made, and said “I made my mom this card, and I asked my teacher if I could make another card for you, but my teacher said no.” I thought to myself: Why would you not encourage the student to do that when the student asked to do that? I guess some teachers (or people) have not quite gotten in touch with reality… or know how to deal with children from divorce who have step-mothers. (Mother’s Day’s card is just the tip of the iceburg.) But I know that was only one teacher’s response. I also don’t really know the full story, maybe they ran out of paper. But the sad part was, in our son’s case, he was left to deal with the fact that he didn’t have a card for me. I thanked him for being thoughtful, we didn’t make a big deal out of it.
A few years passed, we were in the car with my husband driving up to the cottage. Our son talked about how half of the parents of the kids in his class were divorced, and that you could actually talk to someone in the school about your parents’ divorce. He said he didn’t need to do that. (By now, our son is in a different school.) I was so pleased to hear that such a dialogue is available and encouraged in school. We told him to use the service, if he ever felt the need.
There are alot of disucssions among divorce professionals and divorcing parents that we need to keep the best interest of the children in mind. I’d like to see such discussions be expanded to many people who touch the lives of these children. Such as teachers. Teachers can influence our future, our relationships with people and our perception of the world, especially when we are young. I do think the conversation is expanding. Probably a lot of teachers have step-mothers.
I wonder how many kids are encouraged to make Happy Mother’s Day cards for their step-mothers this year.
This thought came to me as I wrote the last sentence: How about a Step-Mother’s Day… but really, do we need one? Can’t it just be the same day? I think that’s where I am leaning.
To borrow what Sandra Bullock said during her Grammy Award acceptance: “… for the moms that take care of the babies and children no matter where they come from.” Happy Mother’s Day!
Martha Chan is the co-owner and V.P. Marketing of Divorce Marketing Group and Divorce Magazine. She is responsible for all online and offline initiatives of the company. She is married to Dan Couvrette and is a step mother of two sons. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. She can be reached at (866) 803-6667 ex. 36 or firstname.lastname@example.org.