Last Sunday was Mother’s Day and women around the world were celebrated because they have given birth to children. Hallmark sold millions of cards, and many flowers and gifts were given to women out of love. Churches across the nation had special programs, gave out white and red corsages, had luncheons and such to celebrate mothers. Elementary schools helped small children make wonderful gifts for their dear mothers. Many calls and texts went out just to say “Happy Mother’s Day”. Despite having lost my own Mother a few years ago, I had a wonderful Mother's Day.
There were a group of women who did not get phone calls or texts. A card did not come in the mail and no one celebrated them at church. In fact, they didn’t even see the children they care so much about. Some spent the day alone feeling neglected and unloved. What women with children were not celebrated on Mother’s Day you ask? These are some of the women who have married a man with children and are now considered Stepmoms.
Did you know that the Sunday after Mother’s day has been deemed Stepmother’s Day? Wow, a day set aside just to celebrate women who have taken on the sometimes thankless job of being a stepmother. Did you know such a day existed? Hallmark doesn’t advertise it nor do stores and flower shops offer stepmother's day specials. It’s just the Sunday after Mother’s Day to most. I am thankful that I was appreciated by both my children and my stepchildren on Mother's Day, but not all stepmoms were so fortunate.
Here are 5 reasons Stepmother’s Day should be celebrated.
1. Stepmoms are sometimes invisible and/or ignored. Public events are especially a challenge for the stepmom who doesn’t know where she fits in. They are the ones who quietly stand by at children’s event such as school programs, games, graduations, etc. often feeling left out or unappreciated.
2. Stepmoms function in a mothering role: Stepmoms cook, clean, help with homework and do all the things that moms do when their stepchildren are with them. During visitation the workload doubles, there is more cooking and cleaning, and twice as many clothes to wash.
3. Stepmoms are not evil. Unfortunately because of Cinderella, stepmoms have taken a bad rap. Most stepmoms are loving and kind and will do anything for their husband and his children. Even when they have been wronged they keep loving and forgiving.
4. Stepmoms have feelings too. Because children often have loyalty issues, they may be so protective of their mother’s feelings, that they may unintentionally dehumanize the stepmom. Perhaps it bothers mom when the child speaks to the stepmom on the phone or gives her a hug. The child may feel like if they love their mother they have to feel the opposite way about their stepmom.
5. Stepmoms often sacrifice their own needs. Stepmoms share their time, space and resources. Noncustodial fathers are responsible for child support and sometimes alimony. A stepmom may put aside her own needs and desires because money has to go to the other household. Stepmoms cover bills and spend money to assist with stepchildren's needs, like providing health insurance and other needs often taken for granted.
Thank God for stepmoms. They have often had to stand in the gaps for many husbands and children who needed their love and support. Why not take the time to celebrate Stepmoms? If you know a woman who is a stepmom or if you have a stepmom, let her know on Sunday, May 21st that she matters!