A mixed bag of emotions comes with being a stepmom on Mother’s Day. A day set aside to honor moms, where does that leave a stepmom?

For those who enjoy loving, meaningful relationships with their stepchildren, the day can be a joyous affair. But for others, it evokes sadness and loneliness. Many stepmoms admit Mother’s Day is the hardest holiday of the year—a reminder of the time and energy they invest in their stepchildren’s lives with little appreciation.

If you’re married to a stepmom on Mother’s Day, acknowledge the important role she plays in your family—it’s not an easy one.

So here are a few tips to notice, love, and value your children’s stepmom on Mother’s Day.

1. Offer a sincere “Happy Mother’s Day.”

Follow it with “I love you.” And don’t dance around whether or not she’s a “real mom” and deserves to be celebrated on this important day. She does!

2. Write her a handwritten note.

Thank her for the sacrifices she makes for your children. If the kids want to write one also, that’s great! But don’t force them to take actions that are insincere and awkward.

3.  Let your wife decide how she wants to spend the day.

If she has kids of her own, you’ll likely spend the day as a family. But if not, she might wish for a few hours alone or perhaps a special day together as a couple.

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4. Skip church if needed.

If your church creates uncomfortable feelings for her with too much attention on traditional families, it’s OK to bow out on Mother’s Day. Instead, consider reading Scripture together and praying over her. Thank God for the blessing she is to your family.

5. Take the lead on honoring your wife and children’s stepmom on Mother’s Day.

Focus on how you can create a day that honors your wife and speaks love to her. But be mindful of appropriate requests of your kids. Asking stepchildren to wish their stepmom a happy Mother’s Day is appropriate. Expecting them to offer lavish gifts or insincere love notes is not.

If you’re married to a stepmom, don’t let Mother’s Day pass by without a few gestures of love and appreciation for the valuable role she plays in your home.

Dear stepmom, happy Mother’s Day! You are loved!

Copyright © 2020 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Gayla Grace serves with FamilyLife Blended and is a writer and a speaker passionate about equipping blended families. She is the author of Stepparenting with Grace: A Devotional for Blended Families and co-author of Quiet Moments for the Stepmom Soul.

Gayla holds a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling. She and her husband, Randy, will celebrate 25 years of marriage this year with their “his, hers, and ours” family. She is the mom of three and stepmom of two, ages 19-35.