stepmother

My friend refers to Mother’s Day as “The Biggest Let Down of the Year.” I see her point. What one of us mothers has not wanted a “re-do” Mother’s Day? This is why I’m very PROACTIVE when it comes to Mother’s Day.

My 9-year-old daughter’s father knows the day is important to me and, in the past, I have said things to him like, “She said she really wants to buy me a new Prada purse for Mother’s Day! Okay?” Or, because my daughter can now speak, I’ll get her to say to him, “It’s Mother’s Day in one week and I have no money, so can you buy a present for mommy from me? She is the best mommy ever!” And, just in case my daughter’s father forgets about Mother’s Day (he hasn’t ever yet, but you never know) I’ll also go out and buy myself something, because FUCK, IT’S MOTHER’S DAY AND MOMMY DESERVES A NEW PURSE.

Now I have stepchildren in my life and I’m not really sure what to expect, or how to be proactive when it comes to my two stepchildren. I don’t want to feel like Mother’s Day is the Biggest Let Down of the Year. I know I shouldn’t EXPECT anything. And while I don’t really, I can’t help but know my stepchildren are in my house 50 percent of the time.

Though I’m not their “mother” I’m a female figure in their lives, who spends half the week with them, buys them food, provides a roof over their head, lets them raid my closets for clothes, takes care of their dog, watches them play soccer, hangs out with them, and listens to their problems, kind of like…a mother. But there’s no day called, “Adult Female Figure Day.”

Frankly? I like presents. I like to be acknowledged and appreciated for being a mother…at least once a year. Yeah, yeah. It’s a Hallmark holiday. But I care! And you’re either a saint or a liar if you say you don’t.

One of my friends actually receives flowers from her stepchildren’s biological mother on Mother’s Day. She had had a horrible Mother’s Day one year (because her husband didn’t acknowledge it at all even though they have a son together as well.) She came home after dinner to see flowers at the doorstep.

“I thought, ‘Okay. He’s redeemed himself,’” she said before bursting out into laughter. “But the flowers weren’t even from him. They were from his ex-wife! The card said, ‘Thank you for being such a wonderful person in my children’s life.’” My friend laughed and cried at the insanity of having the father of her child not do anything, but the MOTHER of her stepchildren step up to the plate on Mother’s Day.

I found it so touching and thoughtful that a biological mother was acknowledging my friend, the stepmother.

I don’t think my fiancé’s ex will be sending me anything, at least anything that smells or looks pretty. (And for all of you who keep wondering, no he did not cheat on her with me. I met him on a blind date AFTER they had separated and he had moved on and out.) She hates me, or the idea of me, which I can grasp, even though The Bitter Ex is not a very good look on anyone.

Because my stepchildren are old enough to have their own phones, and also know it’s Mother’s Day, I can’t help but think, “I wonder if I’ll get a call from them on Mother’s Day.” Or will they do something for me before Mother’s Day? They will be spending actual Mother’s Day with their mother.

Stepchildren open up a whole other possibility of Mother’s Day becoming The Biggest Let Down of the Year when you are invested in them, which I am.

I think what will happen is that my fiancé will step up to the plate, and he’ll probably buy something for me and put their names on the card. Or will he just sign our son’s name and not his daughters? See? This is why it’s easy to see how Mother’s Day can turn into the Biggest Let Down of the Year. It’s best not to think about it at all.

But because I DO think about it, it’s best to be proactive. So, this year, I think I’ll be SUPER proactive and buy myself a number of things because I am not only a mother, I am a stepmother. And I don’t want this day, this year, to be the biggest let down of the year.

(photo:  Africa Studio / Shutterstock)