*THAT* Holiday

Dear Stepmoms,

We're coming towards it.  It's almost here... *THAT* Holiday.

The holiday with all the sappy commercials and "Last Minute DIY Gift" articles and facebook photos tacked with captions about moms and the special bond with their children because they're "the only person who's heard my heart from the inside."

Awesome. Super.  Love that.

I've written about this subject before, but that was years and basically another world ago, so as we approach that day again, I thought I'd give it another look.

This Mother's Day will be my very first one as an official, legally defined stepmom, so it may end up being or feeling different from other years, and I'm prepared for that.  But I'm also prepared to feel just as much confusion and mixed emotion as in the past, and I'm okay with that, too.

Stepmamas, no one can tell you what to feel on this day.  I don't even know if there's one thing you SHOULD feel - everyone's situation is different and everyone's relationship with their stepkids is different and even everyone's relationship to the word "Mother" is different, so feel what you feel today.

Ask your partner to acknowledge you or ask him/her to pretend the day doesn't exist. There is no right or wrong here.

My stepdaughter surprised me this morning by talking about a potential sleepover she was going to have at her friends house this weekend - one she was invited to, but that we declined because this weekend isn't like other weekends and she should be home for it.  I was pretty hurt that she even wanted to go, if I'm being honest with myself, but I often have to remind myself that friends are an 11-year-olds main priority, and that's actually probably a sign that we're doing something right.

But anyway, I was still hurt that she wanted to go and I was battling with that yesterday. But then this morning she said to me, she said straight out: "My friends are going away for the weekend and I didn't go with them because tomorrow is a completely random day of no importance..." with this HUGE grin on her face.  You guys... she was acknowledging it.  She was acknowledging Mother's Day and why it might be important.  She was even acknowledging it with sass and sarcasm - two things I openly take a ton of credit for her being awesome at.

To anyone else, this may sound silly and unimportant and meaningless.  Or even a little insensitive on her part, but it wasn't.  It was what I needed.

I didn't even know it, but it was exactly what I needed.

Tomorrow is still another day, and I'm under no delusions that it won't be coated with a huge layer of awkward and difficult. But today, I heard words I didn't even know I desperately needed to hear.

And that, for me, will have to be enough.

As for you, stepmom? Take comfort in knowing that I see you. You are important. You are doing the best you can. This day may not go as you wish it to (or maybe it even will!) but no matter what, you are seen and heard and important. Please know that.

I get it. I'm with you, mama.

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