With Mother's Day just behind us and Father's Day right around the corner, I started thinking about what words of wisdom there were to share on the topic. And then I remembered that when I published this article last year, it got more "likes" than any other I've posted, so I thought it was worth repeating. Let's try to beat the 213 "likes" received by the first publishing. Enjoy! And Happy Mother's Day, Stepmother's Day, Father's Day, and Stepfather's Day!
As we recently discovered, unbeknownst to many, there is a Stepmother’s Day, though it is not on any official holiday calendar. So, it would be safe to assume that there is a similar day dedicated to stepdads, too, right? Well, it depends on what you read. A Google search brought up posts that say, for example, “It’s on father's day – father’s day is for fathers, step-fathers and people who are like fathers to you – it’s a day for making father figures feel special”. Further searching uncovered a Stepfather’s Day Facebook page* that says, “The unofficial Stepfather's Day is the fourth Sunday of June, or, the Sunday following Father's Day.” Unfortunately, as of the publishing of this article, only 30 people have “liked” the page, this Examiner being the 30th. Considering that studies show that 3.3 million men, or 11.1% of U.S. fathers, live with at least one stepchild, that's barely a drop in the bucket.
It’s interesting to note that there is a National Grandparents Day. President Jimmy Carter signed it into law in 1978. Law! While grandparents are undoubtedly incredibly special people in our children’s lives, they mostly get the best of and from the kids. They are often seen as the most loving family members. But what about the stepparents? The stepparents are the ones who are often the outsiders, the ones who have to endure the hurtful “You’re not my dad!” or “You’re not my mom!”. And yet they persevere. They do their best to overcome the inherent challenges of step and be role models for their stepchildren. These unsung family heroes deserve “official” days of honor. Perhaps if we are loud enough, President Obama, who had a stepfather himself, will sign into law National Stepmother’s Day and National Stepfather’s Day. Are you with me? Follow me on Twitter @StepSolutionsNY and retweet this article to @whitehouse to get your voice heard. How cool would it be if we could make this happen?
In the meantime, let’s wish all the father figures in our lives a Happy Father’s Day, and now that we know about, send some extra love to the beau-peres (“beautiful fathers”) the following week.
*(The author was disappointed to discover that the Stepfather's Day Facebook page is no longer accessible. Anyone want to bring it back?)