Mother’s Day can be tough for stepmoms. I say this with experience, having been one for almost three years. Before my own daughter came along, I struggled with how to truly enjoy the holiday as a stepparent.
Singer LeAnn Rimes has an assuring message for the women who dedicate their weeks to caring for their spouses’ kids. She wants us all to know about Stepmother’s Day.
Rimes recently spoke with Refinery 29 about co-parenting her husband Eddie Cibrian’s two sons. In the interview, she shares their ongoing tradition of celebrating this holiday with 13-year-old Mason and 10-year-old Jake.
“I learned about Stepmom’s Day a few years ago, which is the Sunday after Mother’s Day. We celebrate with the kids as we have the last couple of years. We go to dinner and do the whole thing,” she tells Refinery. “I love that we have a separate day and I think it’s important that people know about it.”
Rimes also shares how her husband makes her feel special on Mother’s Day. In addition to their own celebration, the two share the holiday with their parents. For Rimes, the act of embracing all parents is especially meaningful, since she is a stepkid herself.
“The kids spend Mother’s Day with their mom, so Eddie takes me out. He tries to make the day special for me, which is very sweet,” says Rimes. “Then we go and spend the day with our moms and my stepdad and his dad, and it becomes a family-oriented day of celebrating our parents, as we’re both only children.”
No matter what role you have, she (like us all) feels that parenting across the board is a demanding job — but oh so worth it! Caring for Cibrian’s sons has been especially life-changing for Rimes, who has no children of her own.
“For me, we have the kids half the time, so I feel like I am mothering, which is crazy as someone who has never had [biological] children before,” she relays. “It’s been really rewarding to see them grow up, and know that I have a part in that. That responsibility, to help raise kids, it’s something that hits you really hard … They bring so much joy to my life, and it’s a new experience every day.”
Not only has she greatly impacted the boys’ lives. Her experience as a stepmom has also helped Rimes heal her own relationship with her mom. During a recent songwriting session for her 2016 album Remnants, Rimes was penning the song “Mother,” about understanding and acceptance. It began as a vulnerable struggle to embrace and forgive her mom’s frailties as a parent. Rimes had no idea that the song, alongside a challenging moment with her stepson, would help her find forgiveness.
“I was really angry at my mom the day I wrote the song,” she says. “Then, about two weeks later, something happened with my stepson, and I really wanted to protect him, but I couldn’t, and I could only imagine what my mom must have felt when I was young, trying to protect me as I was out in this world singing and touring. I probably felt a tenth of what she felt. It hit me really hard.”
Once Rimes saw the connection between her mother’s journey and her own, she immediately reached out. “I was texting and calling her, and it was a very healing moment,” she shares.
As a stepmom myself, I find deep comfort and assurance in Rimes’ words. The role has required a vulnerability I was never fully prepared for. And the learning curves in loving a child who isn’t my own have been many. But for every challenge, there has been so much reward, and knowing there are other women showing up for their spouses’ kids, like Rimes, helps make it even more worthwhile.
As I continue with my own stepparenting, I realize that so much of what I learn has helped me become a stronger person in the process. It seems that Rimes wholeheartedly shares the sentiment and is allowing for growth at every possible moment. And that’s a beautiful thing.
And how amazing is it that a day has been established to celebrate stepmoms — to know we have ways beyond Mother’s Day to embrace the multi-faceted sides of being a mom in our modern age?!
I’m so grateful that LeAnn Rimes brought Stepmother’s Day to my attention, because along with being a stepparent, I am a stepkid too. This news is a loving game changer for my family, and I hope it resonates with other families out there like mine.