Stepmoms Feel Like They Have The Devil On One Shoulder and the Angel On The Other

The angel and the devil sits on the shoulders of all stepmoms.  You know what I mean.  Mother’s Day is a perfect example.  The angel on my right shoulder says:

“I don’t want to cause any conflicts.  I want the kids to spend time with their mother. This is my main concern.”

The devil on my left shoulder whispers the following:

“I work really hard.  After all I have done for those kids, the least they can do is spend some time with me on Mother’s Day.  I deserve to be recognized!”

The conflicted feelings make me just hate Mother’s Day.  But, then I think, “Hey!  Just like everything else about my life as a stepmother, Mother’s Day makes me face a core human need:  Seen, Heard, Mattered.”  At the end of the day, isn’t that what we all want?  We want to know that we mattered.  We want to be heard.  Since Mother’s Day is a day of recognition, it brings those core needs to the forefront.  Sometimes, they come SCREAMING to the forefront!

Let’s face it.  Tell me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t it feel as if we are never acknowledged for anything?  The key is that this is how we feel, not what is real.  Many times, our family members are trapped within their own emotions and obligations.  Children don’t want to disappoint or hurt their moms.  Some children just don’t want to spend time with their stepmother on Mother’s Day.  They just want their mom.  Husbands are put in the middle trying to make everyone happy.  Think about those dads that have young ones.  They have to plan Mother’s Day for the bio mom and the stepmother.  I think that is called a lose-lose proposition.

Why don’t we celebrate ourselves?  We know we rock the house.  We don’t need others to prove that for us.  Tell your partner exactly what you want to do on Mother’s Day and relax.  If the kids can’t make it on Sunday, get together on another day.  It’s all good.


  1. I must be in the minority on this one, because I can honestly say I don’t want to be recognized by my stepchildren on Mother’s Day. I am not their Mother and as harsh as this sounds, I don’t want to be. I have my children and my stepchildren have a Mother. It truly doesn’t hurt my feelings in the least bit that they do not acknowledge me on Mother’s Day. Now, I must say, it really bothers me when they don’t recognize my husband (their Father) on Father’s Day or is birthday – and they don’t, but it isn’t my battle to fight. Goodness knows I’ve been told and shown that I am not to put my nose into business that isn’t mine…

    • Talia,
      You have a beautiful attitude. The fact is that you have mastered the art of compassion with detachment, which is a gift. You are right. This stuff is not our business.

      Take care!

    • Thank you, Talia! Too many step moms feel that they deserve to be recognized on momther’s day. Perhaps I could agree with that if the real mom was out of the picture. But children should always be able to spend the day with their real mom, and not have to acknowledge a step-parent. Step moms say they are not trying to replace the “bio mom” (I hate that term – it is so completely impersonal and does not do justice to the mother-child relationship), yet they feel they deserve every right that the real mom has. Which is completely disrespectful and inconsiderate. Step moms need to step aside (no pun intended) and let the real mom and real dad handle the parenting decisions. It is one thing to love your step child. It is another to overstep your bounds and think you have every right to be that child’s mother.

  2. I am a full time custodial Stepmom without any biological children. I believe Mothers Day IS for children to spend with their bomom and would never interfear with our be jealous of that!

    However, our dear husbands DO have to acknowledge us, privately if the kids aren’t asking to make us something, because we are women helping to raise his children and it’s a good time to say thanks, I appreciate you! It takes NOTHING away from BM.

    “Lighting someone else’s candle does not take any of the glow out of yours”

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