National Stepfamily Day is celebrated on September 16th.
Currently, one in three Americans lives in a stepfamily. Families are now starting to celebrate that there is more than one type of family, celebrating the commitment and love it takes to create a new family unit.
My family is still ever-evolving. Just as any family though, we face challenges as a stepfamily that can be different than how I grew up in a non-stepfamily. Let’s be honest, as a stepparent, just your families’ calendar can be overwhelming. It resembles two households trying to functions as one. The months are divided between the two homes causing any stepmom to go out and buy a set of highlighters just to color code whose week is whose, which holidays are yours, pick-up and drop-off times, and making sure you’re not missing a soccer game or a school function.
Stepfamilies also face challenges with names and positions in the family order. In our family, there is no “whole,” “half,” or “step” with our children. Also applying this to us as husband/wife, we aren’t labeled in numerical order, biological, or step, though I might be happy to be referred to as the second wife or stepmom if it got me out of being first in order to do all laundry.
Taking September 16 to appreciate the progress you and your partner have made in the process of creating a new family is well deserved. I personally think having one day to celebrate step-families doesn’t make complete sense if it’s to celebrate the new family unit because it might not fall on your week.
So in my personal belief, Stepfamily Day isn’t about being together, it’s about celebrating that though you may not always be together under one roof it doesn’t make your family any less of a family unit. If you are blessed enough to be together on September 16, I recommend creating a new family tradition or experience may it be baking cookies, family BBQ, or a vacation spot everyone was hoping to go to together.
If you find your family separated on this day you can still find a way to celebrate it. Have every member write a activity or destination on a piece of paper and place it in a jar before leaving, they will look forward to coming home to see which one was chosen and the new adventure that awaits.
No matter how you choose to celebrate National Stepfamily Day, remember just that, it’s your families’ choice that’s simply enough to celebrate for, because let’s face it, we share every other decision and choices being a stepparent. Happy Stepfamily Day from one Stepmom to the next.