Stepping on Mother


This Sunday, of course, we celebrate the most wonderful human beings on earth—mothers, because, literally, none of us would be here without them.

Mother’s Day is a special day for us to acknowledge the mothers in our lives as well as those mothers who have passed on; their love, their sacrifices, their ongoing influence on us. Our mothers certainly deserve our acknowledgement and our respect.

But what about stepmoms? Yeah, you heard me right. What about those who did not birth us or may not have even known us until a father’s marriage at some point in our lives? Don’t they deserve our acknowledgement and respect too?

There’s a recent article in the Huffington Post discussing how, for stepmoms across the country, Mother’s Day can sometimes be the hardest day of the year, especially for those without biological children of their own.

How would you feel if you fulfilled the role of a mother to a child all year long—raising them, feeding them, nurturing them, caring for them, and even growing to love them—but, then, on the main day of the year set aside to celebrate that role, you are not recognized as the children go off to spend the day celebrating their biological mom?

Of course, they should celebrate their biological mother. But shouldn’t our active stepmothers be recognized and celebrated as well?

And when was the last time you saw the greeting card section stocked with stepmother cards?

Well, apparently this is an issue affecting a lot of folks given that, according to the Pew Research Center’s estimates, there are 14 million stepmoms in the United States.

That’s a lot of stepmoms and I’m sure there could be some hard feelings on Sunday if they’ve spent a good part of the year fulfilling the role of a mother and yet are not being celebrated as one.

That said, the article also talked about how it’s not always realistic for stepmothers to expect stepchildren to treat them as a mother on Mother’s Day given the traditional commitment to spending the day with biological moms and how, in some families, honoring a stepmom might, quote-unquote, “seem like a breach in loyalty to a child’s real mom.”

In many African-American families, needless to say, you might encounter just a few problems if you don’t spend the day paying homage to the one that birthed you, the one not shy about reminding you that she was, in fact, the one that birthed you.

Yeah, you’ll never hear the end of that one. Still, maybe there’s some middle ground where we can acknowledge the contribution of a stepmom on this special day while honoring our biological moms. Maybe before we head out to spend the day with mom, we can give our stepmothers a token of our appreciation, like a flower or a gift that shows that we care for them.

Text us here at 64-64-64 and let us know what you think… Should stepmoms be recognized on Mother’s Day?

I’ll leave you with these words that speak to the opportunity and impact of motherhood, no matter how one may have come to take on this special role. It goes like this:

“There is no way to be a perfect mother, and yet a million ways to be a good one.”

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, Sheila Hendricks, my mother-in-law, Marsha Sullivan, and to all of the moms and stepmoms out there.

Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.

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