Mothers' rings, as well as other types of mother jewelry such as necklaces and bracelets, are a way for mothers to celebrate and remember their children. They often have each child's birthstone set into them or have each child's name engraved on the side. They are a common push present for new mothers as well as a common mother's day or birthday gift for more experienced moms. However, a simple piece of jewelry can become more complicated if you are part of a blended family. Whether you are a mother purchasing a mother's ring for yourself or are purchasing a ring as a gift, there are several things you should consider if step-children are part of the family.
Ask the Step-Children for Permission
If the children are old enough to understand the concept of a mother's ring, ask the step-children if they would like to be included on the ring. This will give them a sense of control in the situation and can help guide discussions about family blending. However, you should be prepared for some step-children to decline to be included on their step-mother's mother's ring. They may feel that being on the ring is being disloyal to their biological mother, or they may simply not be prepared to accept their step-mother as a parent.
If a step-child does not wish to be included on the ring, you should respect their wishes. However, make sure the jewelry can be expanded to include them later if they change their mind.
Consider How the Biological Parent Will Feel
If the step-mother's relationship with the biological mother is already strained, then purchasing a ring that includes the step-children may make matters worse. You may opt to not wear the mother's ring around the biological mother, or you might want to have a discussion with them about the ring before you purchase it. For example, let them know that you are not trying to take their place and are simply celebrating your relationship with the children as a step-parent.
Consider How Your Biological Children Will Feel
You should also be sensitive to how your biological children will feel about you including step-children on your jewelry. If your family has recently blended, your biological children may feel jealous of your step-children, so it is important to get their input.
Consider Who Is Purchasing the Ring
If the ring is being purchased by the biological father of the children, then it is more acceptable for him to include all of his children on the ring. However, if you are a mother purchasing a ring for yourself, then you may have to get permission from the biological parents and the children before designing your ring in order to avoid hurt feelings.
Carefully Consider the Arrangement of Stones
If you do decide to include both biological and step-children on a mother's ring, you should carefully consider the arrangement of the stones or names in order to avoid showing favoritism. For example, consider arranging the stones in birth order and making the stones the same size for each child.
However, some families may feel more comfortable grouping biological children on one side of the ring and step-children on the other side of the ring in order to show recognition that the step-children are step-children and have a unique relationship with their step-mother.
Rings that celebrate motherhood do not have to have each child's name, birthday, or birthstone on them. Instead, you may opt for a simple piece of jewelry that is engraved with the word "mother" or "step-mom." This alternative can help you avoid awkward situations with both your step-children and their biological mother.
A mother's ring can be an excellent tool to help blend a family and celebrate both your biological children and your step-children. However, it is important that you approach the piece of jewelry thoughtfully to avoid hurt feelings from all family members.