I became a stepmother a little over two years ago after having been with my husband for three years. Being a stepmother wasn't something I ever thought was going to be a part of my life, but sometimes life goes in a certain direction and you just go with it. I think part of falling in love with my husband came from falling in love with his kids. I learned so much about myself and my ability to love, to give and to teach through my relationship with them. I found myself loving that look of wonderment and appreciation in their eyes each time I shared with them a story, a piece of knowledge or a new experience. Somehow life became brighter when I got see it again through their eyes; it was as if I was seeing things for the first time all over again.
When the first Mother's Day came around, that first year we were married, I remember feeling a little out of sorts. I had lost my mother many years before, so I pretty much stopped celebrating Mother's Day-busying myself with other things, so I could try to forget that I was missing out on a ritual that most of the world got to experience. That year though, finally, again, I had a reason to celebrate, But, that elation was short lived, as I quickly realized that I was still in the "not able to celebrate" category.
As per the terms of my husband's divorce agreement, (as is the case with almost all divorce agreements) the kids are with their mom on Mother's Day every year. Of course, that provision made sense, just as the provision that they were with their dad on every Father's Day made sense. I wasn't angry about it, after all, they have a great mom and rightfully so, she should be celebrated on Mother's Day. However, I still felt a little sad that I didn't get a day to celebrate my relationship with the kids also. And, at that moment, I realized that there should be a Stepparent day too, given how many blended families exist today and given how influential and involved many stepparents are in the lives of their step kids.
For all you fellow stepmoms out there, until we get our "own day", here are 10 things you should be celebrating about yourself on Mother's Day, even if you don't get to spend the day with the kids...
1. Celebrate the other times you do get to spend with the kids, instead of harping on the times that you do not.
2. Celebrate the fact that the kids get the benefit of your wisdom and experiences which they would never have gotten if you hadn't come into their lives.
3. Celebrate your goodness and generosity as a person in that you are willing and available to give love to children who are not your own.
4. Celebrate the fact that you get to experience "mini-me" versions of your husband which gives you a window into what he was like as a child.
5. Celebrate the fact that a stepparent relationship can be different and sometimes better than a parent relationship.
6. Celebrate your role as a partial parent and partial friend in the lives of the kids and what a unique role that is.
7. Celebrate your participation in a non-traditional family setting and how that enhances your life.
8. Celebrate the patience and understanding you exhibit when you get relegated to stepparent when it comes to certain decisions regarding the kids.
9. Celebrate your desire for there to be a Stepmother day because that means that you believe your relationship with your stepkids warrants it.
10. Celebrate life and the fact that you are living it filled with people you love and you who love you.
What have your experiences been on Mother's Day as a stepmother and how have you celebrated yourself and your relationship with your stepkids?
Samantha Daniels is a well-known Professional Matchmaker and Dating Expert as well as the founder of The Dating Lounge, the exclusive invitation-only iPhone dating app for upscale people looking for real relationships. You can follow her on Twitter @Matchmakersd. For more information, go to www.SamanthaDaniels.info