As we reported back in June’s Stepfather's Day and Stepmother's Day -- there oughta be a law!, these little known days of recognition are still unofficially the week following Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, respectively. We continue to wonder why stepparents don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Taking this one “step” further (sorry, the word is sometimes unavoidable), did you know that there is a National Stepfamily Day? And that day is September 16th! It was founded by Christy Borgeld in 1997 and entered into Congressional Record on September 13, 2000 by Rep. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. And while the Senator’s recognition is awesome, as Daniel Engber, a Slate columnist, reminds us, “Very few people read the Record . . .” and unfortunately, while the phrase “entered into Congressional Record” sounds very official, anything a member of the Senate or Congress says gets entered into the daily record and “nothing that's inserted in the extended remarks carries legislative authority.” Still, it’s better than nothing and at least it’s on the radar – perhaps the first step towards passing it into law. Clearly, Ms. Borgeld and her National Stepfamily Day Foundation are on a mission to get President Obama to recognize the day in the same way that this Examiner encouraged all you readers to tweet Mr. Obama about Stepmother’s and Stepfather’s Day.
Why has it been such an uphill battle to get these days recognized? Paula and the good folks at RemarriageWorks are asking the same question and came up with some viable theories in Top 5 Reasons Why U.S. Presidents Have Neglected to Make Stepfamily Day an Official Holiday.
The bottom line is, stepfamilies exist in growing numbers everyday, and to paraphrase Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, “We're not gonna be ignored!”. Until our government officially recognizes us, we will continue to recognize ourselves, each other and continue to spread the word. In the meantime, do something this weekend to celebrate. Maybe see the new Robert DeNiro/Michelle Pfeiffer movie, The Family. It’s not about a stepfamily, but about another kind of family that doesn’t get that much respect either.
Whatever you choose to do, have a Happy National Stepfamily Day!