Stepmother’s Day

Who else learned today that Stepmother’s Day is on Sunday?  This official (unofficial) holiday addresses some questions I posed in my last entry– about whether or not partners of parents wish to be recognized in the lives of their partner’s children.

Wednesday Martin, author of the book Stepmonster, wrote a good explanatory article for Psychology Today regarding the reasons why we should have a special day to recognize stepmoms.  A history of how this day came to be can be found here.

Now… I get it.  I understand why stepmothers should be/would want to be recognized for everything they do.  And I understand that having a separate day would make it easier for the kids because it removes any conflicts regarding parental loyalty.

But after thinking about this new holiday, I’m not sure how I feel about it.  Wouldn’t it set a better example if Mom and Stepmom learned to share?  If we’re going to have a separate day for stepmothers, what about mothers-in-law?  What about special aunts?  Foster moms?  What about those of us who are not-legally-recognized partners of parents?  Do we really need another Greeting Card Holiday?  If we have too many of these days, doesn’t it cheapen the significance of all of them?  Aren’t we all important, every day?

Just thinking with my fingers…

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  1. It’s so funny you posted this, I was wondering the exact same thing! I took my daughter’s stepmother (ex’s new wife) out to dinner for Mother’s Day, and that was just last Sunday, so I think maybe that’s good enough for this year. I think it’s more meaningful for the two mother’s to share the day.


  2. As a child of divorce, I’m not exactly sure how I feel about this ‘holiday’ either. Growing up, if I was inclined to honor a step parent (either step father or step mother), I did it on either Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.

    Like you, I understand the reasons behind it. Still, I just don’t know…

    The reality is that merely making the holiday doesn’t guarantee that step mothers will be or feel appreciated. That issue runs much deeper than this. And to be honest, I’m not sure this even scratches of the surface of that one.

    • It seems to me that “honor your stepmother” is another lesson that needs to be taught at home. The government and greeting card companies can’t force it… it needs to come from the heart.

  3. Neither I nor my ex have remarried so my experience dealing with step-parents is very limited. However, I agree on the surface it sounds like a nice idea to special day but I’m with you – I don’t want another day conjured up by the greeting card industry. I think part of what makes families is the way they create traditions and honoring a step-parent is a perfect opportunity to do just that.

    • You’re right about creating traditions within the family. Perhaps children might recognize a stepparent on the anniversary of the day he/she became their stepparent? Stepfamilies have so many dynamics that reach beyond titles…

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