Mother’s/Step Mother’s Day

Stepfamilies represent nearly 12 per cent of all couples living with children in Canada

Mother’s Day – A special day set aside to celebrate our mothers and grandmothers.  On the surface this seems easy enough – buy a card, some flowers and perhaps prepare dinner.  It is also a fun day for the younger children to take a stab at preparing breakfast and serving it to mom in bed.  The image is full of fun and laughter.  But, for blended families this day can cause stress when trying to find the right balance between attention towards mom and step mom.  Here are just a few tips and thoughts to make the day and days leading up to it easier.

  1. Defining the role of stepmom is personal and needs to be defined between a couple so that when events like Mother’s Day, weddings etc. come up, you have a road map.   Recipe number one for success is that biological dad and step mom must be on the same page.
  2. It is in the children’s best interest regardless of age to have respect for their parents and that does include the stepparent.  The couple can set the guidelines but Dad sets the tone and his role is so important in achieving balance and harmony for the children.
  3. Have a conversation with the kids.  Ask them how they’d like to acknowledge the Holiday for each of the moms in their lives and if you like their answers then go with it and if you do not then guide them.
  4. If step mom plays any kind of role in the children’s lives then she needs to be honored on this day.   If she is creating a home for the children, even older children, then Mother’s Day is a perfect day for them to thank her.  The gesture is important but “the how” should be left to the children so that they can find a way to acknowledge her that feels good to them.
  5. Biological Mom is forever and celebrating her hopefully comes easy for the children.  Because step mom is married to Dad, and therefore can be perceived as a threat, she needs take a leadership role and encourage gratitude towards the biological mom.   The children will benefit greatly from this gesture.
  6. Regardless of whose weekend it may be, ensuring that the children get to spend this day with their biological mother is a must.  It does not matter how you frame it, the children will feel horrible if they are not permitted to spend the day with their mother.
  7. Biological mom needs to rise to the occasion as well.  Few biological mothers have open arms for the stepmother of their children and yet digging deep to find gratitude is not only in the biological mothers best interest but also in the best interest of her children.

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