Step Talk with Alexandra Mortensen

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This month we celebrated the most awkward day of the year for stepmomsóMotherís Day. First and foremost, Iíd like to give a shoutout to all the incredible women out there taking on the rewarding, challenging and oh-so-complex role of being a mom. I hope you celebrated your day with breakfast in bed, a glass (or two) of champagne and a spa appointment, because you truly deserve it.

For the stepmoms, I hope you survived the day without crying into a glass of champagne. Iíd guess this day isnít quite so awkward if youíre a stepmom who also has her own child. Youíre a stepmom, but youíre also undisputedly a mom. For those of us who are only stepparents, this day isnít just awkward, it can be downright heartbreaking.

Itís the day of the year where youíre reminded that no matter how many dinners you make, toilets you clean, and practices you chauffer, youíre not the mom and you never will be.

Every Motherís Day since I became a stepmom Iíve been celebrated by my husband and stepsons. Itís really sweet and I know Iím lucky. I do. However, itís such a double-edged sword, because if they didnít do anything for me, it would really hurt my feelings, but being celebrated feels awkward and weirdly stirs up painful feelings.

Itís almost like a window into what it would be like if I was a mom. ďOh, it would feel like this, except that weíd have an indescribable bond and I wouldnít be fighting back tears knowing that theyíll be calling the person who does absolutely nothing for them to also wish her a happy day.Ē

I know itís an exacerbated situation for me because Iím dealing with stepping in for an absentee parent, but even if youíre a stepmom who has her stepkids a percentage of the time, you experience the same pain. Youíre not trying to take anything away from the mom. You just want to be included.

Isnít that the overarching motto of stepparenting in general? ďWeíre not trying to take anything away from anyone, we just want to be included!Ē

I know Iím complaining and I donít want to give stepmoms a bad rap for being selfish. We do know that at the end of the day itís first and foremost about the kids, but this column is a safe place for stepparents to be real and honest. Every other day of the year weíre there giving love, feeling worry and trying our best, but then on this day we feel like weíre supposed to be seen and not heardóand that hurts.

So, what did I do for Motherís Day this year? I hopped on the yearly emotional rollercoaster that only I knew I was on while my family celebrated me. Then, I turned my attention to celebrating my amazing mom. Overall it was a good day, and I did enjoy some champagneóno tears included.

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