"You're helping the kids get their Mom a Mother's Day Gift? That's really big of you... but kind of weird? Does she get anything for you?
"No we don't really do the Stepmom thing on Mother's Day. It's no big deal.
"Well, why would you go spend money on her then?
This is a conversation I had with my girlfriend last year around Mother's Day. She was shocked that I always make sure that the kids get a gift for their Mom.
Some may think it's weird. Other's may do the same thing. Every blended family is unique.
I personally don't think it's weird at all.
Some years I buy the Mother's Day gift for them, while other years they have it taken care of. Either way, I always I make sure they have something special planned for her.
I've heard other Stepmoms talk about getting their husband's ex-wife something on Mother's Day... Many of them struggle because:
they don't want to spend their hard earned money on a gift for their husband's ex
because their relationship is high conflict and they don't want to do anything nice "for her"
they fear that she won't appreciate the gift
she doesn't acknowledge the "motherly role" that they plan in the kids lives, so why should they acknowledge her?
(to name a few)
Look, every stepfamily has a different dynamic, and like I always say, what works for me may not work for you.
There is no one size fits all approach...
But let me explain WHY I make sure that they always get her a thoughtful present....
It isn't motivated by a personal desire to shower her with gifts or make sure she has a fresh pedicure for the upcoming sandal season.
In fact, it has nothing to do with her at all.
It's about the kids.
I take my job as a stepmom very seriously. As a parental figure in these kid's lives, it is my responsibility to help shape them into kind hearted, thoughtful, successful adults.
I want to them to understand the sentiment behind giving & showing their appreciation for important people in their lives.
I want them to know that days like Mother's Day and Father's Day are important, and are wonderful opportunities to show your parents how much you appreciate all that they do for you.
I want them to know that they can be safe and comfortable expressing their love and loyalty to her around their Father and I. There is no competition! There never will be.
Like I said, I want to teach them to be thoughtful, giving, kind-hearted people who respect and honour their parents.
Despite the inevitable struggles of co-parenting, I honour her as the Mother of the beautiful kids who have changed me in more ways than I can write on this blog. That being said, the gifts truly have nothing to do with her, and everything to do with the people we are teaching them to be.
So even if we were arch enemies who couldn't stand to be in the same room together, I would still make sure that she has a gift.