A Tribute on Mother’s Day

8 05 2011

Ladies: I got this letter a few days ago from a man with four children and I wanted to share it with you. The Mother’s Day tribute from this man to his wife is gorgeous. May we all have spouses that appreciate what we do the way this man does! Happy Mother’s Day!¬†

Jacque,

I just read your book over the course of a two-day reading marathon. I couldn’t put it down. I loved it, and I’m not even your target audience. I’m the “biological father” of four kids whose ages range from eight to four. I downloaded your book for my Kindle, and after reading several chapters, I quite promptly ordered a print copy to give to my wife for Mother’s Day this year. I think she’s really going to benefit a lot just from the sheer validation that your book brings by acknowledging everything a stepmom goes through. I benefited from it immensely, because it gave me a much clearer insight into her world, what she’s probably feeling, what she’s probably thinking, and all the rest. I feel a lot more empathy for her, as well as a great deal more gratitude and appreciation for who she is and what she does.

I’m including below a short tribute that I wrote for my wife, who (no offense) is the best stepmom in the entire world. But really, it’s a tribute to all stepmoms, and I hope they all get a chance to hear something like this from their husbands. After all, they deserve it.

Thanks so much for your contribution.

————————-

Thank you, first of all, for embracing my children as your own (if not always internally, then at least outwardly, in all that you do for them). This is one of the biggest reasons why I married you in the first place, and it remains one of the biggest reasons why I would marry you all over again any day of the week.

I know you have mixed feelings about your success as a stepmom; sometimes you’re able to congratulate yourself and see how much you’ve accomplished, and sometimes you beat yourself up for being impatient or irritable. That makes you normal. I’m their father, and I still waffle between thinking I’m the Best Dad on Earth and thinking I should just surrender all of my parental visitation rights and move to Siberia. If I feel that kind of emotional conflict, you’re bound to feel it even more intensely, and I want you to know that I get that. I still think you’re an awesome stepmom; the best in the world, actually.

I want you to know that I acknowledge your right to get frustrated, have the occasional melt-down, and expect me to go the extra mile in helping you make this transition. It’s going to be an ongoing process, it will probably take years, and I don’t expect you to do it alone. I might get impatient with you sometimes because I see you struggling to act in ways that have become second-nature for me, but that’s just because I’ve forgotten (for the moment) how to empathize and see the world through your eyes. When I make myself see things from your vantage point, I get overwhelmed with the magnitude of the challenge you’ve taken on, and then I’m amazed that you’re even still in this marriage, let alone thriving and continuing to be the most incredible wife in the world.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not a real mother. You may not have done the hard work of carrying these children in your body for nine months, going through labor, doing the late-night feedings and diaper changes, etc., but you’ve certainly done something equally difficult: you’ve accepted all the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of motherhood – the extra laundry, the added chaos, mediating sibling rivalries, the scheduling nightmares, the truncated social calendar, the extra expenses, the bedtime rituals, the invasion of privacy and personal space – and you’ve done it all without the ace-in-the-hole of being able to say, “Because I’m your mother, that’s why.”

You’re not a biological mother. But you sure-as-hell have a right to call yourself a real mother.

I’m proud of you. This family of ours loves you, and that’s an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Oh yeah, and I love you too. ūüôā

Happy Mother’s Day.

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Mother’s Day Dare

29 04 2009

Hi gals:

Here’s a dare for you from The Step Mom’s Toolbox: Send a Mother’s Day card to your stepchildren’s mother. Can you do it? Will you? Here’s more of the post, check out the blog for the full story.

“This Mother’s Day I am going to not only honor and recognize my mom, my step mom, and my mother-in-law, but I am also going to honor and recognize my daughters’ step mom (she would be my ex-husband’s wife) AND my step children’s mom (she would be my husband’s ex-wife).

This costs me NOTHING except $3.00 for a nice Hallmark card and what ever the US Postal Service is charging for stamps these days.

My goal is to encourage 5,000 or more step moms to send their step kids’ mom a Mother’s Day card.”

 





Mother’s Day Prep

22 04 2009

All right. We know it’s coming. Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 10. So instead of waiting until the last minute, let’s get some ideas flowing ladies about how we’re going to spend the day. The goal, of course, is to avoid hurt feelings. Here are a few ideas:

  • Remind your husband that mother’s day is approaching and you would like him to get you a card to celebrate the great job you’ve done stepmothering his children for¬†the past year.
  • Plan to be out of the house doing something you love. I always love a good massage, so that’s on the books for me!
  • Make a lunch or cocktails date with your stepmom girlfriends.
  • Celebrate your own mother with a visit to her house.
  • Ignore the day completely and throw your own special stepmom day.

So how do you plan to spend the day? Please submit your traditions¬†in case the rest of us what to try something new! And I hope you will, at the very least, pat yourself on the back on Mother’s Day for a job well done. Being a stepmother is not the easiest road to walk and you deserve major kudos!





Survive Mother’s Day

28 10 2008

Mother’s Day¬†is dreaded by many stepmoms, but it doesn’t have to be. Try these alternatives to hurt feelings because you didn’t get a card or call from your stepkids.

1. Celebrate Mother’s Day with your own mom.

2. Throw a Stepmom Celebration on a completely different day.

3. Ask your husband to give you a card and thank you for all the work you do as a stepmom.

4. Go out with your girlfriends and do something fun.

5. If the kids are with their mom, plan a romantic weekend with your partner.

Even if you’re one of the lucky ones who has stepkids who acknowledge you on this day, make sure to take a moment to give yourself a pat on the back. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how incredibly awesome you are for giving so much to these people in your life.





Tips to help you enjoy Mother’s Day

26 10 2008

1. Give yourself a gift. And I mean something amazing-some item or outing that will take your mind off stepkids who might not call or send cards. I have a lovely bracelet I received from myself last year for a job well done.  

2. Have lunch with your best friend. See the people you love who you make you feel good about yourself.  

3. Ask your spouse to cook dinner. It’s a special day. Let your partner do the heavy lifting.

4. Go easy on yourself. It’s an emotionally loaded day for women who do so much work of raising kids without the credit. If you’re having a rough time, be forgiving of yourself.

5. Create your own day. One of my stepdaughters decided our family should celebrate Jacque Day-a separate day from Mother’s day, which my stepkids celebrate with their mother. It was incredibly sweet of her, but it also let us off the hook. Now¬†we don’t have to feel weird or guilty about what we “should” be doing on Mother’s Day. And the kids aren’t placed in a loyalty bind by feeling they have to give me attention on their mom’s day. Happy [insert your name here] Day!