step-mum feeling a little sad today! aibu?

(103 Posts)
Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:08:35

I don't know if step-mum's generally get any recognition today, just a card or a text would be nice I guess, my DSD is 15 and we have a great relationship this is my first mothers day officially as a step-mum since DH and I got married last year. For fathers day I took DSD shopping and bought gifts for her for both my husband and her stepdad, just feel like I am the only one getting left out here, a little acknowledgement would mean the world. am i being over-sensitive and un-reasonable?

squeakytoy Sun 10-Mar-13 12:12:16

yanbu.. I never get anything for mothers day.... am feeling particularly sorry for myself at the moment as my stepson sent flowers to his mother and both his grandmothers..

WorraLiberty Sun 10-Mar-13 12:12:55

As much as I can understand how you might be feeling...

Mother's Day isn't always easy for kids whose parents have separated.

In fact it can be a big reminder for them and wishing their step parent a 'Happy Mother's/Father's Day' can sometimes open a few wounds.

ENormaSnob Sun 10-Mar-13 12:13:32

Does dsd live with you?

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Mar-13 12:13:53

I think you are to be honest assuming your DSD has a mother. Then surely she will have got her a card and gifts.

If the mother isn't around and you do all the 'mothering' then you're not being unreasonable.


IceBergJam Sun 10-Mar-13 12:15:56

My DH taught my stepsons to think of me. Not because I am their mum, but for 50% of their year I perform the role of a parent. They agree.

At their mums today so no idea if they will remember this evening! They do thank me for lifts , dinners all year round though

HeathRobinson Sun 10-Mar-13 12:16:02

It's possible that dsd will come to realise this on her own.
Meanwhile here are some flowers for having a great relationship with her.

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:19:41

DSD is with us 3 nights a week, we get on very well, her parents split up when she was a baby and her mum has been re-married for a few years. She is close to all four of us, parents and step parents and we all get on well so no issues there. DSD cant remember her parents being together but says herself she is glad they aren't, both great parents just wouldnt be good together. As I said last fathers day I took DSD shopping and got a lovely gift for DH and a nice token gift and card for her step-dad so I am the only one feeling left out.

VBisme Sun 10-Mar-13 12:20:00

I know how you feel, but as a stepmum myself I know that the kids have a hard enough time remembering to thank their own mum, never mind including me.
DH however always makes a big fuss of me on Mother's Day, to let me know that he appreciates me.

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:21:07

ice-berg, you are right, she is a great girl, I love her and she does appreciate me, enjoy spending time just the two of us, just having a little whinge today, wanted to hear from other step-parents

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Mar-13 12:21:35

But fluffy you're not her mother and that's probably why she just didn't think of getting you something.

But I do understand why you feel sad.

OrangeLily Sun 10-Mar-13 12:24:25

You should make a new day. A random day in October or something. A friend does this with a stepDC and it works well for them.

MrsCampbellBlack Sun 10-Mar-13 12:24:40

Saying that I send my step-father a card etc on father's day but then my father isn't around. But if he was I think I would perhaps feel a bit guilty doing that - could that be the case with your DSD?

She probably doesn't get her step-father anything on father's day either.

NewAtThisMalarky Sun 10-Mar-13 12:24:46

Will it make you feel better if I tell you I've had nothing from my kids at all?

To be honest though, I'm happy with that as I'm not really into these overhyped commercial 'days'.

Every day is mothers day, as I'm a mother every day. And a hug and a thanks and a smile are so much more than a naff card will ever be.

And I don't have to wait a year for that!

Areyoumadorisitme Sun 10-Mar-13 12:26:25

YANBU - I can understand why you feel sad, particularly as she lives with you half the time. I would think it just hasn't occurred to her, as you are not biologically mum.

I have known DSDs for 18 years now, they are now 22 and 24,but I have never had any recognition of my role in their lives. They haven't lived with us but I have had a close relationship with both as they've grown up. It would have been nice but it doesn't bother me to be honest. I can see why it bothers you though, it is a really tricky balance. Thinking of you smile

CloudsAndTrees Sun 10-Mar-13 12:26:32

I think you are being over sensitive. You aren't her Mum, there is no need for her to recognise you on Mother's Day. She only has one Mum and that Mum deserves to be special today, not just one of two.

Nishky Sun 10-Mar-13 12:28:24

You sound lovely though- helping her buy her Father's Day presents- I'm sure she does appreciate you!

ethansmummy2012 Sun 10-Mar-13 12:30:54

My DSS never acknowledged me on Mothers Day and it did upset me because before I had my baby (who's one today). Being a "real" mummy now I don't mind so much. Although it did hurt. Happy Mothers Day anyway. smile smile xx

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:33:09

as i mentioned, she did get her step dad things for fathers day and clouds and trees, of course she only has one mother but as mentioned, i do split all the caring, lifts, cooking, costs for dsd with her father, mother and step father, there are cards out there for step parents specifically too

WorraLiberty Sun 10-Mar-13 12:35:46

As I said last fathers day I took DSD shopping and got a lovely gift for DH and a nice token gift and card for her step-dad so I am the only one feeling left out.

Perhaps that's part of the problem?

She would have been 14 last year and well old enough buy and give gifts from herself.

If she's never done these things independently, it could be why she hasn't got you a card?

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:36:15

Thanks for the supportive posts, cheered me up x

Iamsparklyknickers Sun 10-Mar-13 12:39:00

How long did you know her before you married?

I just wonder if at 15 she hasn't realised that the subtle shift with all the legalities of marriage means you consider your step-mother title as something so important to you? She may just think it's business as usual.

I think it's fabulous you have a good relationship with her, and I bet there'll be many moments in the future where she makes you completely melt when she does things that show you how much you mean to her.

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:39:00

yes Worra, I think I do try to make sure everything is sorted, probably down to DH, to be fair teenagers too tend to be pretty self-orientated :-)

INeverSaidThat Sun 10-Mar-13 12:41:55

I can see where you are coming from but 15 year olds are not the most thoughtful creatures, even the nice ones. I wouldnt worry about it too much (although you are allowed a little moan) smile.

How about jokingly telling her that Step Mum Day is next week?

It is lovely to hear of step families where things work out well and you sound like a lovely person.

Have some thanks thanks and even a little wine

Vinomcstephens Sun 10-Mar-13 12:44:10

I don't think you're being unreasonable at all. I always send my step mother a card on mothers day - she's been my step mum well over 20 years and is part of my life so it wouldn't occur to me not to! My mum gets a card and flowers and she's the one I call if I'm not with her on the day but I like to acknowledge my step mum being part of my family too. I did this from a very early age but when I was very young my dad "prompted" me so I guess that's maybe something that should come from your DH?

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:45:20

Ineversaidthat - thanks, you are right, at 15 I definitely didn't think of anyone else, luckily my DSD is much nicer than I was at her age.

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 12:47:34

Well, I am off to celebrate with my mum, happy mothers day to you all, mums and step-mum's alike x

As a stepdaughter who was always asked by my dad to make sure I get something for my stepmum, I became very anti getting her anything.

The way I see it is...she is not my mum in any way...she married my dad and they have a relationship but that doesn't make her my mum, I feel bad for my mum if I get something for my stepmum and that's another big reason, even if my mum didn't know, I would just feel it was wrong.

sneezingwakesthebaby Sun 10-Mar-13 12:57:58

I think it may be easily explainable. It took me a long time to feel ready to get my stepdad a Father's Day card as I felt so guilty getting one like it meant I loved my dad less (who is very much around and active in my life). It took a while for me to realise that loving my stepdad didnt mean I loved my dad any less. She might feel comfortable getting her stepdad a card and not you quite yet because it might make her feel like she's betraying her mum to get you one and it might be a step too far for her right now. It might be easier with the stepdad/dad card situation because she might not have had as high a level of guilt around it.

YANBU though because it must hurt. I wouldn't make an issue of it with her though (not suggesting you would though!) because if someone had suggested I got stepdad a card before I was ready to make that step I would have felt so pressured and confused. I was a teenager too back then.

TroublesomeEx Sun 10-Mar-13 13:13:49

I can understand how you feel. I'm not a step mum. But it's about having the relationship you have recognised.

But I think worra might have a point, especially where the stepmum was involved in the breakdown of the marriage. It's a tough position to be in as a child (even when you're an adult) and sending a card to the stepmother would almost being like saying you don't mind/are happy that it happened. When children generally aren't, even when it might appear to be a much better situation for all concerned.

It would never have occurred to me to send my dad's wife a card.

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 13:20:04

folkgirl, just to clarify, I got together with DH when he had been divorced 10 years. DSD may well feel some guilt if she got me something, I don't know, but she is very used to having her step-father and I in her life. Of course I would never say anythng to her, she is pretty sensitive and would be very upset if she thought she had upset me, hence just having a whinge on here

popsgran Sun 10-Mar-13 13:20:59

Its quite understandable to feel a bit neglected.Probably they didnt think,kids dont do they?My SD and SS dont even send me a birthday card although the SS did remark on this and ask my birthday date but I never got a card.They are adults so no excuse.Nowt as queer as folk as my old granny said.Just had a sweet txt from GS saying although I am not his mum I deserve some praise .somebody love me !

AmberLeaf Sun 10-Mar-13 13:21:35

That must be hard.

I sent my step Mum a card from me and one from my boys [who call her Granma] this year and have done for a few years now.

She has been in my life since I was little, but I didn't feel comfortable sending her a card [and so didn't] until I was older, I think the first time I did was when Id had my first child and sent one from him and me.

My Dad even asked me to a few times, but I just couldn't, it felt like I would be betraying my Mum.

Hope you enjoy your day with your Mum and happy Mothers day flowers

teacherandguideleader Sun 10-Mar-13 13:22:45

I am not a step mum, but have been a step daughter. Initially, my step mum and I got on ok, but I would never have bought her a card or gift on Mother's day. To me, even as a 10 year old it felt like a betrayal. My dad had betrayed my mum (not with my then step mum) and I felt that buying my step mum a card was a similar betrayal. As time went on I hated my step mum (she was vile to me - emotional abuse) so there was no way I was going to get her a card.

If we had have got on well, I think I would have felt really awkward about buying a card. She would never have been my mother.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 10-Mar-13 13:23:03

I'm a stepmum but feeling quite the opposite.

My SD is a lovely little girl and I'm very fond of her, but I do not want a Mothers Day card or gift from her. Today is about me and my own children and something I do not wish to share with her as she has her own mum to spend the day with.

That may seem harsh, and as much as my DP wants to buy me a card from her I just don't want it.

Nishky Sun 10-Mar-13 13:23:27

I have a mil and a step- mil, a fil and a step fil. I have always treated them exactly the same as the grandparents of my children- I hope my children grow up to do the same.

ImperialBlether Sun 10-Mar-13 13:27:27

I'd be furious if my children bought their step mother a card for Mother's Day. It wouldn't even occur to them, luckily.

OP, I'm sorry as I'm sure you're really good to your SC but she's not your child.

I do think, if you're really good to her, you should get some acknowledgement and thanks for that from your husband.

IceBergJam Sun 10-Mar-13 13:36:52

I treat all my stepfamily as equals to my blood family. So step grand parents, father, sister, niece, nephew, sons. To me,it is about appreciating and respecting those you love. In turn, the stepfamily does the same. So fathers day, mothers day, weddings etc all treated equal.

I think its a great way to live. A great way to teach children . I could possibley see why others may feel sensitive about it, however my daughter will be brought up to appreciate all who love her.

Regarding your dsd age, probably just an age issue. It what teens are like. Dont take it personally.

whois Sun 10-Mar-13 13:36:53

Wow, I think this thread more than any has reconfirmed my thoughts that I would never get with a man who has kids. Opening yourself up to a whole world of pain.

"She's not your daughter"
"She only has one mum and that's not you"

Wow. Fuck that. So a step mum is supposed to treat husbands kids the same as any she might have, pay towards their care, run around after them, love them, but fuck that nasty cow if she dares to feel like she's doing a 'mum' role.

apachepony Sun 10-Mar-13 13:40:09

Yanbu. My dsd is with us this Mother's Day as her mum is working and she wrote a lovely message on my card - it became a joint card from her and my baby! It is really lovely to have a little mark of appreciation, mum or stepmum!

Bonsoir Sun 10-Mar-13 13:40:56

Relax and don't get hung up on the small things.

I would never expect anything from my stepsons for Mother's Day (it's on a different day here in France anyway). But yesterday, when DSS1 arrived from a week at his mother's house (when I hadn't seen him), he didn't see my lying on the sofa and, after a quick kiss walked around the apartment looking for me and saying to his father "But where's Bonsoir, where is she, where is she?". His need to see me is more important than any flowers or presents!

Eglantyne Sun 10-Mar-13 13:43:14

My mum would have been really upset if I'd sent anything to my stepmum. In fact she still would now. Perhaps your dsd is treading the same tricky path. (Which is horrible for children).

Pickles101 Sun 10-Mar-13 13:46:24

Happy Mothers Day thanks

My (young) stepson hasn't got me anything but I'm ok with it - he still feels nervous around me and it's slightly different because his mother passed away.

I don't think YABU and I'm secretly hoping my DSS feels confident next year to sign a card or something. I'm sure your DSD will wise up soon smile

twentythirteen Sun 10-Mar-13 13:49:41

I think we all have a choice who we call mother and father but my personal decision has been to keep those titles for my parents. I show my parents' spouses that I appreciate them in other ways. Perhaps your DSD will too when she's older.

SoWhatIfImWorkingClass Sun 10-Mar-13 13:55:29

On my first Mother's Day 2 years ago I received a card and a couple of little gifts from my son; nothing from SD as for one I didn't want anything from her and for two I am not her mum. What I found very strange and a bit annoying was when SD's mum dropped SD off at ours and she saw the card, read it and asked why I haven't got one off SD. I wasn't in at the time and this is what my DP told me. I was peeved as Mother's Day is not about my SD and me it is about me and my children.

QuickLookBusy Sun 10-Mar-13 13:56:13

I had a mum and a step mum and I always got both a card and present. I hated doing it when i was younger, it didn't feel right as I used to think "you're not really my mum".

Now that I'm older I realise my step mum did so much more for me than my "real mum". I lived with her and my dad since I was 5, and I really appreciate her since I had my own dc. However it took me until my 20s to realise that. So don't take it too personally Fluffy, she's just a teenager!

DeskPlanner Sun 10-Mar-13 13:57:00

whois has it spot on, in my opinion. And YANBU op.

twentythirteen Sun 10-Mar-13 13:58:50

I never expected my parent's spouses to do anything Whois.

MissAnnersley Sun 10-Mar-13 14:00:30


DS phoned his SM this morning to wish her Happy Mother's Day at my prompting. She does loads for him and it should be acknowledged.

He knows that she is not his mum but he also knows how lucky he is to have another adult in his life who loves him as much as she does. To me, that's the important thing.

whois I was just thinking the exact same thing, my DC they treat both their Step mum and step dad as they do myself and their dad. After all both step parents support them financially and emotionally. I would be furious if they didn't want to get their step mum a card and present today.

TroublesomeEx Sun 10-Mar-13 14:04:04

fluffy Sorry. Didn't mean it to read as though you'd been the OW blush. I didn't read/assume that at all, I was just thinking about my own circumstances.

FWIW, I think it would be a nice thing to happen, I can just understand why some children in some situations might not. I reread my post and it does sound as though I was making certain assumptions/assertions, but I wasn't smile

ELR Sun 10-Mar-13 14:06:52

I do feel for you i can imagine it can be really hurtful. I would be blaming your husband not your dsd he could have reminded her. Next year just let him know you would like something. Hope you enjoy your day anyway I. Sure there are plenty of mums who aren't step mums that have nothing too so you aren't alone!

hiddenhome Sun 10-Mar-13 14:11:54

YABU I would never expect ds to send a Fathers Day card to dh (his stepfather) even though he's helped raise him since he was three. Dh still isn't his dad.

Flixy102 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:28:59

My DSD (15) forgot to get a card for her own mum, so I'm not upset that I didn't get one from her either!

Yes if would be nice to get acknowledged for the emotional and financial input into her life, but I do think that deep down she does appreciate it, and I hate all these money spinning made up days anyway.

cleofatra Sun 10-Mar-13 15:30:47

I feel the same.
I'm a stepmum with a 19 year old DSS who lives with us in the week and visits his mother on saturday nights.

cleofatra Sun 10-Mar-13 15:32:36

whois Got it in one .

Fleecyslippers Sun 10-Mar-13 15:53:36

YANBU to feel a little bit sad in your circumstances.

On the flip coin to Whois however, my kids dad presented them with a card yesterday and told them to sign it for OW. They refused. They don't support my children financially and are doing everything in their power to destroy me financially. Children do not have overnight contact with their father (court ordered) Yesterday evening he told them that he didn't have enough petrol to drive them home and that they'd have to stay overnight. At this point OW laughed and told that they'd have to pretend that SHE was their mummy this year. So not particularly concerned about their emotional well being either hmm

TroublesomeEx Sun 10-Mar-13 16:40:54

That's awful fleecy.

Tbh, I wouldn't have a problem dating a man with children, but I have this (possibly over optimistic) idea that I'd meet with their mother and we'd have an amicable 'relationship'.

I'd certainly have no desire to step on anyone's toes and would want to be as respectful of them as I'd hope they would be of me.

I have pretty much the same idea when it comes to any future partner my stbxh has.

The children are my priority!

WhatICallAUsername Sun 10-Mar-13 16:41:41

Wow. Fuck that. So a step mum is supposed to treat husbands kids the same as any she might have, pay towards their care, run around after them, love them, but fuck that nasty cow if she dares to feel like she's doing a 'mum' role

Yes! (Not agreeing with the nasty cow bit, my DSM is very lovely) My DSM and I have a very close relationship and get on very well , and yes she may have paid towards my care (food, days out without my DF), run around after me when I was younger (have known her more than half my life), and loves me, as I do her! But no, she does not have a 'Mum' role towards me. She and I both understand that I have one Mum, and she has never tried to fulfil that role. The relationship we do have is close and I love her very much, but I haven't sent her a Mother's Day card. She'll have that from her daughter (my beautiful DHalfSister!)

Hope I've explained myself in a vaguely understandable way...

NatashaBee Sun 10-Mar-13 16:48:47

That's exactly what most people seem to think, whois hmm

ratbagcatbag Sun 10-Mar-13 16:52:17

My DSS never got me card or anything when younger, however now he's teens I got a card and chocs last year and the sane this, organised no doubt by his mum, I also got a lovely text off her thanking m for all I do fir DSS and saying she's knows she's lucky I love him so much. I think that's awesome, and it's lovely now he's old enough o see what I do without it confusing him. smile

CointreauVersial Sun 10-Mar-13 17:12:32

From a stepdaughter's perspective, I didn't buy my DSM a card when I was younger, because I was determined that the privilege be reserved for my DM (even though the marriage split was way before DSM came onto the scene). I knew it was important for her self-esteem that, even though I had a new second family, she was my only mother.

But my attitude has changed over the years. I love DSM dearly, and she treated me as a daughter whenever I stayed at my dad's, and I do now buy her a card. DM gets along very well with her, and the family dynamic has settled down as time has passed.

But I have huge problems every year finding a card that doesn't have "mum" or "to my mummy" written on it. I have never seen a "stepmum" card, even though there must be thousands of them out there.

Titchyboomboom Sun 10-Mar-13 17:21:34

I just popped flowers and a card in to my step mum but my mum doesn't know I do it. They have been together 15 years and I have only done it since her own mother died.

I don't mean to be rude but it just doesn't feel right for some to buy for step mums. My sisters don't

Purple2012 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:30:39

Yanbu. I get a gift and card from my 15 yr old SD. It's her idea, she wasn't told to do it.

Melbourme Sun 10-Mar-13 17:56:58

I'm sorry it's made you feel sad. But my Dad has been with his wife since I was 8 years old and I have never thought of her as having a 'mother' role in my life and so it has literally never occured to me until seeing this thread to show her any recognition on mother's day and I'm 99% sure she'd find it pretty weird if I did! I have an excellent and very close relationship with my Dad's wife (I have never called her my step-mother which I know might be unusual), and she is very involved in my life. The way I feel about her is probably more the way you'd feel about a close aunt - I love her and am grateful she's in my life but she's definitely not my mother! What I'm trying to say is don't feel that just because she hasn't given you some sort of 'recognition' on mother's day that she doesn't value you - she probably cares about you a lot, it's just that she doesn't think of you as her mother.

whois that is exactly how many people (especially on mn) expect step mothers to be sad

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 10-Mar-13 18:35:12


I'm sure you get on very well with your DSD but you are not her mother. It may not even have occurred to her to buy you a card or a present as that is not what you are. It does not mean however that she does not care for you nor that you don't occupy an important part in your life and I'd imagine that she would reflect that through getting you a nice Birthday card and present.

I believe if you force the issue by getting your DH to speak to her you could do more harm than good. Enjoy the fact that you both get on well and that you have a good relationship rather than expecting special acknowledgement for the fact. I'm sure there are plenty of mothers around the country that haven't received cards - when I was younger I routinely got it mixed up with Mothering Sunday and would present Mum with a card on the wrong day.

There is however an American invention of the stepfamily day that I have found Perhaps your family should celebrate that in September.

Oops sorry I forgot to answer the actual op!

You say you helped your dsd to buy Father's Day cards, which suggests your dsd still needs reminding to buy cards and presents and probably, no one has thought to tell her. It's lovely that you did that for her/ her dad and step dad, but I guess others are not so thoughtful. Also, does she have her own money? I guess it would be weird for her mum to help her buy you a card, so if anyone did, it should have been your dh. Do you have other children?

madbengal Sun 10-Mar-13 18:54:59

Step mum's day is 16th May if that helps

theoriginalandbestrookie Sun 10-Mar-13 18:58:20

Ah I didn't realise there was an actual step mums day. That's even better.

2rebecca Sun 10-Mar-13 19:14:00

I'm a stepmum and have never expected anything from my stepkids. I'm pleased when they remember my husband on father's day but they have a mum and it's not me. My mum is dead but if my fathe remarried I would never send my stepmother a mother's day card. You only have one mother (unless adopted or mother died very young in which case I appreciate you may feel another woman has taken on the mothering role)

buttons99 Sun 10-Mar-13 19:24:29

I am a step mum with DSC that live with me and see their Mum very occasionally. I find it very hurtful that she gets cards etc and I don't. She is Mum in name and I am Mum in every other aspect. There are step mum cards, and for someone who is like a Mother cards and infact a Thank You card would suffice. My 3 DC buy there own Dad and my Dh (their SD) cards and gifts for Fathers day and it hurts that despite all I give it isn't appreciated (or thats how it feels anyway) If they lived with their Mum it would obviously be her that got the cards etc but they don't. Maybe it is a loyalty thing or just a not thought about thing but it hurts ALOT.

2rebecca Sun 10-Mar-13 19:27:07

You aren't their mum though. Youre the woman they live with because you are married to their dad.

riverboat Sun 10-Mar-13 19:31:39

I'm also a step-mum, and DSS has never given me any sort of card/present/recognition on Mother's Day. But this is OK with me, because I don't see myself as having a mothering role towards him. I feel more like an aunt or godmother or something, but definitely not as though I am in a mothering-type role - maybe this would be different though if he was here more than EOW/holidays.

DSS shows me recognition in other ways throughout the year, e.g; sweetly thought out birthday presents / pictures with my name on etc. The more I think about it, the more I'd feel quite weird if he got me a mother's day gift or card.

But that's not to say I think's a thankless task sometimes being a stepmother, and while I don't think mother's day is necessarily the best time for stepmothers to get their role recognised, I can completely understand why it ends up being the day where the constant LACK of recognition hurts the most.

SorrelForbes Sun 10-Mar-13 19:34:24

I'm a stepmum to two teenage DCs. I don't expect anything on Mothering Sunday primarily because they don't send me or DH anything to mark any other type of event (e.g. birthdays, Christmas, Father's day) for at least four years. This is for two reasons. 1. They're teenagers and have their minds on far more important things and 2) their mum wouldn't approve (nope, I wasn't the OW before anyone asks) as they are not meant to 'like' us.

Does it hurt? After working fifteen hour days to pay for activities, holidays etc and cooking and cleaning for them on a regular basis, I guess that it does a little as it would be nice to have some sort of recognition. We are all off on holiday soon and I doubt I'll get more than a grudging thank you thrown over their shoulder as we drop them home at the end of the fortnight. TBH, I try not to dwell on it all too much as it bad feelings on my part could cloud our (fairly good in all other ways) relationship.

A close friend has two DCs who are under 10 and has received a card from them for the last four years. I think there are so many reasons and variables behind receiving or not receiving a card on this type of occasion.

IceBergJam Sun 10-Mar-13 19:40:04

2rebecca, almost any women can give birth to a child, it doesn't make them a mother. Going merely on what buttons has written , she performs more of a mother role than the women who gave birth to them.

Personally I think mothers day and all similar events should be scrapped.

Llareggub Sun 10-Mar-13 19:44:35

I bought my step mother a present this year for the first time. My parents divorced when I was an adult and my SM has been in our lives for around 8 years or so. She has been massively supportive to me this year following my own divorce and I felt I needed to recognise her importance to me. I didn't buy a card as she isn't my mother, but I will have a little chat with her about how much she means to me.

It would have felt a little disrespectful to my own mother to buy a card, I think, and even before this year I would have felt guilty about buying a present. It is hard to explain but I think one day your DSD will recognise you and it will mean more to you than if she felt she had to buy you something. You might have to wait until she is a mother herself though!

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 20:05:28

Just to update, I did actually have a lovely card dropped round for me, which meant a lot. Very interesting debate though, like all families all circumstances are unique, as I don't have children of my own, I have no idea how I would feel if I did. I do suspect my DH's ex would have no problem at all with DSD giving me a card, they have a very strong relationship and I don't think she would feel threatened and nor should she. i suppose I do actas more of an older friend to DSD but one that also feeds, does laundry, cleans room, buys clothes and treats etcetc, but I konw this varies greatly from family to family. It's still all quite new to me and I only have one friend in a similar situation albeit with a much younger DSC. Thanks to all that posted.

2rebecca Sun 10-Mar-13 20:47:40

So your stepdaughter did get you a card then.

Fluffydeville Sun 10-Mar-13 21:01:25

Yes I did, didn't think it would have been possible due to logistics etc, very pleased

Flixy102 Sun 10-Mar-13 21:24:46

That's lovely fluffy! So glad you got something from your DSD. smile

StuntGirl Sun 10-Mar-13 21:38:12

whois is spot on.

INeverSaidThat Sun 10-Mar-13 21:44:37

That's really nice smile

Xalla Mon 11-Mar-13 09:11:47

Whois - perfect post!

Fluffydeville Mon 11-Mar-13 09:38:24

Whois - it can seem that way from soecific posters. However, this is the first time I had got seriously involved with a man with children, had it not been for the fact my DH and his ex get on great, they are really good friends, been broken up a long time, she is happily married and very welcoming and lovely to me and DSD is a delight, I think I would have avoided. From what I know now it can be difficult enough even when the circumstances are as ideal as could be, I would certainly suggest any friend of mine to avoid the situation if there is any anymosity at all

thegreylady Mon 11-Mar-13 09:49:38

I never get any acknowledgement from my adult dsc even though my own dd always buys dh a Fathers Day card. My dsc are great about birthdays and Christmas. They have a difficult relationship with their own mum so I think Mothers Day is a bit complicated for them. Yanbu but I wouldn't let it bother you too much.

whois Mon 11-Mar-13 10:10:16

Glad you got a token of appreciation OP :-)

Fluffydeville Mon 11-Mar-13 10:20:46

thanks Whois - now I feel a bit silly for letting it bother me in the first place :-)

DoJo Mon 11-Mar-13 10:56:03

Wow, I think this thread more than any has reconfirmed my thoughts that I would never get with a man who has kids. Opening yourself up to a whole world of pain.

"She's not your daughter"
"She only has one mum and that's not you"

Wow. Fuck that. So a step mum is supposed to treat husbands kids the same as any she might have, pay towards their care, run around after them, love them, but fuck that nasty cow if she dares to feel like she's doing a 'mum' role.

Unfortunately, because I acknowledge that it's a very tricky relationship to negotiate, your post highlights one of the problems - who is 'expecting' this behaviour of a step mum? It isn't the kids, who are generally quite nonplussed about sharing their dad with someone new and have to muddle through with whatever situation the adults in their lives have decided upon.

The mothers would probably rather there was nobody else in their children's lives too - I'm sure not many people become parents expecting to split up and remarry - so although it may be the way things work out, expecting someone to be pleased that you get to spend time with their children is possibly a little too much to ask unless the dust has well and truly settled and everyone's lives have moved on happily. Bear in mind there doesn't have to be another woman involved for a mother to feel betrayed by the break up of a relationship so in a scenario where the split has been acrimonious, the chances of some residual resentment bubbling under are fairly high.

Also, very few step-mothers take on the role for the children's sake - they do it because they want to be with the man they love, and although feelings may grow towards his children, and they may go on to have a really deep relationship, they are very much a 'part of the package' in terms of the basis of their relationship.

As I say, it's difficult and I'm not sure I can do it, but to be anything close to a mother, you have to accept all the facets of your role, still loving the kids when they show no appreciation, loving them because you can't help it rather than because anyone 'expects' you to and trying to ignore the times when it feels like a thankless task in favour of doing all those things because you want the best for them even if nobody says 'thank-you'.

AmberLeaf Mon 11-Mar-13 11:30:52

Good post DoJo.

I missed Whois post before.

I agree that step mums do what they do because they love their DH and its a package deal. It is not a totally selfless act we are talking about.

With regard to Mothers day, it is difficult because you are asking for thanks for something that on the whole the child never even wanted and it is the child that the thanks/recognition is expected to come from.

I remember my Dad asking me to send my stepMum a card when I was younger, telling me that I should because she does so much for me But everything that she did used to be done by my Dad and I remember thinking 'dad, its you that should be thanking her not me!' but I didn't say that, I just felt awkward and torn.

Whois, your list of what a SM is 'supposed' to do, who exactly is asking for all of that?

IceBergJam Mon 11-Mar-13 11:51:58

If a stepmother performs the role of a day to day mother, so as an example (jointly with the father), school runs, homework, study buddy, cooking, cleaning, chatting, reprimanding, guiding, days out, gifts, finacial support, with the whole list of issues thown in by being part of a stepmother, but the stepmother does not love the children as she would love her own children, then surely she is to be admired. To be able to perform that role, when there is no love, maybe just affection takes guts, resiliance, determination and strength. It is far harder, in my opinion to stepparent, than parent. As a parent, you can fall back on love.

And who expects it? The father obviously, and would not the mother? She may not want or like it, but if children were staying over at another adults house, would you not expect that adult to provide a safe and homely environment? And the children? Of course they expect it. They may not want it, but I fairly sure if a stepmother performing that role above, withdrew her services, they children would wonder what on earth was going on.

And a mother at times wants appreciation. It's human to want it. So why can a stepmother not want it too?

I admire my stepfather more than my father. Simply because my stepfather took on 3 additional children, and performed more of a parenting role than my father. Thats not to say I don't love or respect my father.

I understand though that my opinions probably are not that popular.

Fluffydeville Mon 11-Mar-13 12:02:33

Just interested in the posts above, of course step-parents start a relationship with their step-child as a part of their relationship with their partner, what would be the alternative, finding a child you like with a single parent and start a relationship with them so that you can become a step-parent to the child - that would be ridiculous.
No it's not a totally selfless act, but nor is any type of parenting (some may disagree). As to say the child didn't want it - how do you know that, if the child has seen one parents be single for a long time and the other happily settled, how do you know they wouldn't want to see their single parent happy and settled too? My DSD welcomed me with open arms, she was excited to meet me and has always treated me like she is happy I am there.

DoJo Mon 11-Mar-13 12:54:30

I'm not saying that there's any way around any of it, just responding to the post by Whois about the expectations on step parents. I honestly don't think there are any right answers - having a good relationship with your step-children can be down to luck as much as anything, as there are so many factors which are beyond the step-parents control including the ages of the children involved, the manner in which their parents relationship broke down and whether their parents have . However, the list of 'expectations' seemed to overlook the fact that these expectations don't come from the children in the equation, given that the thread was about children showing appreciation for their step parents.

And I'm not saying that children don't want step-parents, more that their expectations don't necessarily include a step parent doing the things listed by Whois. I would have been happy for my step-mother just to be pleasant to me whilst I was at my Dad's house - I never asked her for lifts, money or even love and certainly would have been disappointed had I wanted her to treat me the same as her own son. If she felt obliged to any of these things then the expectation wasn't from me, so feeling disappointed that I didn't express any gratitude for this would have been a little misguided and would have run the risk of giving her a negative attitude about our relationship which was unwarranted.

I personally like the idea of step-parents day, where you can acknowledge the contribution that they make to your life, whatever that may be, and not feel as though you are being disloyal or introducing an element of competition with your parents.

DoJo Mon 11-Mar-13 13:10:36

Doh - "whether their parents have moved on happily" is what that was supposed to say!

HoneyStepMummy Mon 11-Mar-13 14:30:24

Happy Belated Mother's Day OP! And thank you for the above comments IceBergJam. If someone had posted that they would like to give a card and gift on Mother's Day to an aunt or Grandmother who had been supportive and helped raise them, the response from posters would have been supportive and admiring. To me Mother's Day isn't a "special day" (yuck) to fawn over mothers but a reminder to show your sign of appreciation to the person who raises or raised you. So why would it be so wrong for a stepmother to like a sign of appreciation?

Comments like "you're not her mother" and "you're just a woman who happens to live with her father" are downright insulting and very outdated.

There's lots of different types or step-parenting, just like there's lots of different types of parents. I love my step children very much. I also provide private medical insurance for them, help to support them financially, cook and clean for them...the list just goes on and on. When my stepdaughter had to go to the emergency room I was the one who stayed up all night with her. I passed my beloved sports car onto her, and pay the insurance. When my stepson is sick or has toilet accidents guess who takes care of it? I'm just like any other parent, only I didn't give birth to them.

It annoys when when people say how unsual it is for a step parent to be "so nice" as if what I'm doing isn't the norm. As my little step son says, "Step parents are parents too".

IceBergJam Mon 11-Mar-13 15:52:53

It is annoying when people throw out those kinds of comments. And I don't understand why people expect stepfamilies to be dysfunctional and the children described as victims. I guess this forum attracts those looking for help.

The stepfamiles I know function healthly, with the stepparent playing a key role in the childrend lives, and appreciation and affection demonstrated by the children.

When I think of these families, I think it is the emotional maturity of the 3/4 adults involved that made this possible. People who make those comments above may lack that level of emotional maturity.

theoriginalandbestrookie Mon 11-Mar-13 16:06:12

But the remark that a step mother is not the DSD's mother is just a statement of fact. It doesn't matter how wonderful the step parent is, they are not at the end of the day the biological parent. Ditto the child may well have an idealised version of reality where the two natural parents are together, or if not then they don't get a new partner.

No matter how wonderful the step parent is I feel that it places an inappropriate burden on a child to expect them to have the maturity to recognise that the step parent may want appreciation for their role, particularly when that recognition is apparently also meant to happen on the day that the child is meant to recognise their biological mother. It must be tremendously difficult for a child to process that. Even in the situation where say the Step mother is the one that provides all the caring and the mother doesn't - as a child you are programmed to want your parents to be perfect despite evidence to the contrary.

I agree that being a step parent or a parent in a successful blended family must require a lot of maturity. I would have thought that the maturity would extend to not expecting the step child to recognise a step parent on a day that is really meant for the natural parent.Listen to what the adult scs are saying, many of them say that they wouldn't dream of giving a step mum a card for mothers day but it does not mean that they don't appreciate what they do.

I think we should start to recognise step parents days a bit more, then the step parents can get recognition on an appropriate day that doesn't clash.

IceBergJam Mon 11-Mar-13 16:26:38

As an adult stepchild, one of four, we always celebrate mother/fathers day with
blood and step parents.

As a stepparent, my dsss bring me a token gift. I don't expect the same gift as their mother but they always show appreciation.

I guess I got very lucky. I would not change my broken family.

Slightly off subject here but some of these posts remind me of a mother who asked when I was going to give my daughter 'proper siblings', saying her half brothers didn't count. I think it was the 'you're just a women ' post.

I would never dream of not getting my step mum anything.
My step mum does my childcare, Is one of my best friends. I call her by her name but in conversations I have two mums.
One northern mum and my southern mum- step mum
I might be a bit biased as I've known her since I was 2, she can't have children. She's been the best mum, and a fantastic grandma.
My mums are both fantastic- they used to come to parents evenings together!!

HoneyStepMummy Mon 11-Mar-13 16:35:04

My step son is 7 years old and makes a card for both his mum who he lives with 60% of the time and for me. He considers me to be the 'mummy' at Dad's house. He does not find this at all confusing and is very comfortable with this.

My 16 year old stepdaughter lives with us full time. Her mother is someone who my DH dated very casually when he was in the Air Force (and young and dumb). She "accidently" got pregnant. This resulted in her raising neglecting DsD in filth and squalor and abandoning her at 2 for my DH to raise.

It's interesting that some posters thinks she deserves a sign of appreciation on Mother's Day simply because she gave birth to my DsD. By the way DsD refuses to have any contact with her.

I understand that if you're an adult and your dad gets remarried you most likely don't feel the need to get his new wife a Mother's day card. Makes sense. However I still strongly believe that a sign of appreciation to the woman or women helping to raise you is the kind and right thing to do. A stepmother can be just as much of a mother as an adoptive mother. You don't see hoards of adopted kids sending cards out to strange women all over the world just because they happened to give birth to them.

BTW there isn't any more burden placed on my DsD to recognize me on Mother's day than there is for her to remember her Dad on Father's Day or his birthday.

We are all very comfortable with our family's arrangements, and my parents also consider my stepkids their grandkids.

I don't want to be celebrated on Step Parents Days, as it implies that I'm doing less of a job than a biological parent.

IceBergJam Mon 11-Mar-13 16:55:11

I agree Honey. My siblings and I never felt any burden, and my stepchildren feel no burden . I know of 3 stepfathers and one stepmother performing the full time role, and apart from normal teenage or family agnst, they fuction just like a normal family.
I guess MN is a sqewed (sp?) view because people come on here for help.

DoJo Mon 11-Mar-13 18:20:02

Just to clarify, my post was regarding step parents who aren't doing the majority of the child care, specifically those who see their step children at weekends or similar. I totally agree that a step parent who is 'step' only in biology as it were is a special case, although I would be surprised if they accounted for more than a minority of cases.

AmberLeaf Tue 12-Mar-13 08:33:22

theoriginalandbestrookie Bang on. Excellent post.

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