1. Always put the kids first. Days like Mother's Day can turn into yet another day (like Thanksgiving or Christmas) when the kids are expected go back and forth between homes '- even if it's just for a second to say hi. On this day, in particular, mom may think, "It's my day! She's your stepmom!" And the stepmom may think, "Well, I know they're not really my kids, but I care very much for them… and I do an awful lot for them. A little acknowledgement might be nice…" Once again, that kind of thinking puts the kids right in the middle. Moms need not fear. Your children know who their mother is. Let the children acknowledge both of you and your good works in their own way.
2. Teach children to see their relationship with each of you as two separate relationships. Don't play the "If you care for her you don't love me" game. Moms and bonusmoms have specific roles in their children's lives, and rarely do kids compare. If you don't openly compete for the children's affections, your children will not feel they have to choose between the two of you.
3. Give your child permission to have a relationship with both of you. Kids look to their parents for approval. Giving them permission to form a loving bond with their stepparent '- or to openly discuss their love for their bio parent '- makes for happy, secure children and eliminates those gut-wrenching allegiance issues that make kids feel as if caring for one possibly betrays the other.