The Sunday after Mother’s Day is a real holiday, it is National Stepmother’s Day, and it was created by Lizzie Capuzzi, a 9-year-old girl from Pennsylvania who wanted to honor, praise, and show utmost appreciation to her stepmother named Joyce. She was the one who set the celebration date to Sunday after Mother’s Day.
Growing up I enjoyed having a stepmother. She came into my life when I was a little girl, just aged three, and she is still a good friend to this day (fifty years later). When I look back and remember the “teenager’s viewpoint” of having a stepmom, I often cringe. I think I was probably a disrespectful young teen and I know I never appreciated the fact that she made me do chores or study my homework and I definitely did NOT appreciate when she told me “No.” I have actually apologized to her for that and we have had some interesting conversations around the experience, both from her lens as a stepmom and from my lens of being a stepdaughter. Back then no one had a manual or a roadmap on how to do life in a stepfamily. My stepmom had two children of her own, they are both younger than me, and I know when I came every-other weekend to visit that just my presence there interrupted their “family flow.” I have thanked her quite often for being so kind and intentional with me because when I look back, I never remember her being angry or frustrated with me (although I gave her many reasons to be) and for my significant life moments she always showed up to celebrate and cheer for me (prom, recitals, sporting events, prom, graduation, etc.).
For anyone reading this who is walking the journey of being a stepmom, I celebrate you and I thank you for everything you are doing to help the stepchildren in your life. They may not say “Thank you” very often but please know that one day they will look back and see that you were a strong and positive part of their childhood. If they seem to derail your schedule when they visit, please know that they don’t mean to. Kids after so often caught in the middle of a “no-win” situation after their parents’ divorce and they are usually doing the best they can to just keep moving forward. Keep modeling to them what love in action looks like and I do believe the full circle appreciation will come back to you one day in the future. Happy Stepmother’s Day to all the fellow stepmoms in the world! (And an extra thanks to my daughter’s stepmom – she has been in my daughter’s life for over 17 years and I appreciate her more every year!)
Tammy Daughtry is the Founder of CoParenting International and is raising her blended family in Nashville. See more at www.CoParentingInternational.com