If there is one day of the year that can trigger feelings, expectations or drama for a stepmom, it's usually Mother's Day, shares Khushboo Parekh, 47, stepmom to two teenagers.Did you know that stepmoms are not celebrated on Mothers Day but on the following Sunday? Why this differentiator? We all know that being a stepmom takes on a whole new meaning and has challenges and stigmas attached to it. Being a stepmother is full of trials that come with a constant reminder that you are not their mom, but a woman their dad married, said Parekh. But that doesnt mean you cannot have a meaningful bond and love that cant be thicker than blood, added Parekh. *Her Circle spoke to five mothers about the pressures, insecurities and learnings of being a stepmom.You can give, and give, shower them with gifts, emotional support but you can never replace the biological mother. You shouldnt even try to. Take small steps. Ease your way in and dont overdo things and try and take over. Try not to take things too personally, you will feel tired, underappreciated, overwhelmed and resentful. Try to bond with them as an individual that holds no tags. I was introduced to Ayaan when he was 11, confused, about to hit puberty, and disappointed with his parents. At first, he refused to even acknowledge my presence; but today I am the one he comes to when he is in a sticky situation.- Malvika Ranjan, 42Your partner will always prioritise their kids. And that is okay, it is okay to come second. Remember divorced dads run on guilt. To make up for their life decisions they tend to overindulge their kids and avoid confrontation, curfew and even a simple dialogue with their kids. I remember keeping this within me for a very long time and trying to set some pattern something as simple as no phones on the dining table which led to the kids thinking I am Cruella. I learnt that talking to your partner rather than blaming them and keeping it all in will be setting yourself up to problem-solve rather than to problem-create with resentments and anger. The girls are 16 and 22 and they are my friends, they famously call me Poo. Today we laugh and bully their father.- Poornima Dey, 53Dont beat yourself up if you dont love your step-kids immediately. My situation was a little different, I met my step-daughter when she was a toddler, and she dotted on me and insisted that she called me mom. When my partner proposed, I was so sure about him but couldnt connect with the child. The expectation of developing a relationship with someone takes time, the pressure is real, especially when it is with a 2-year-old who has lost her mom. Take it slow, dont feel guilty or pressured but tread very carefully as this is a child. Creating memories with my daughter helped me a lot. Bonding with her, and watching her grow into this beautiful young lady has been the highlight of my life. Today theres nothing I wouldnt do for her.- Arundhati Goel, 48There will always be another woman in your partners life. Your partner's ex-wife is going nowhere and that is absolutely the way it should be for the kids there is no such thing as ex-parents. Remember, even if your partner's ex has no legal rights to her children, or she has deceased, children will always hold her in their hearts. You may be the most secure woman but when it comes to romantic partners, jealousy and getting territorial is a given. Ask yourself what is bothering you. Is it that she constantly oversteps her boundaries? Is it that you are constantly compared? Is it that she is given more credit, even though you are the primary caretaker of her kids? Whatever it is, remember communication and acceptance are key to having a secure relationship and this is just one natural dynamic of a Stepfamily.- Payal Bansal, 39You need to do all the work and make the effort. Do not expect the kids to jump in your arms and start calling you mommy, in fact, dont even expect a smile from them the first few months. After four months of non-stop eye rolls I was met with half a smirk from my 12-year-old and that is a core memory today. You need to be prepared to put in everything, you need to check yourself, you need to be committed to becoming a part of their lives and keep trying even after you make mistakes and miserably fail at it. Being a good guardian involves learning, growing, being flexible, admitting when you messed up and just showing up.- Loveleena Singh, 52*Names have been changed upon request.