Positively Paula

Remember National Stepfamily Day is September 16th!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011
This past weekend was pretty tough for many people as our country remembered the events of 9/11 and honored so many heroes and heroines. May we never forget. It was an even tougher day for me personally because my father died suddenly at the age of 54 on the same date 16 years ago. I am certain there were many moist eyes, including mine. When I woke up Monday morning and saw the sun shining for the first time in several days, I tried to think about some good things coming up this week. National Stepfamily Day, celebrated on September 16th is one of those things.

National Stepfamily Day and the National Stepfamily Day Foundation were founded by Christy Borgeld, who has worked tirelessly for 15 years to raise awareness about stepfamily issues, and develop programs, research, and support to American stepfamilies. If you ever get the opportunity to connect with Christy, just do it!

This astounding woman, who received an Outstanding Service Award from the Women's Information Network this year has a contagious passion to help step and blended families. Don't miss her video featuring 101 things to do with your family on National Stepfamily Day.

Lately, there has been some debate about whether stepfamilies need or should have a special day, such as National Stepfamily Day dedicated to them. I agree that a stepfamily is a family. And, while as much I may want or have wanted my stepfamily to not be different from a family that was formed by a first marriage with everyone biologically connected, in some ways it just simply is. It is a family no less, as we know that families come in many varieties these days.

My feelings about whether my stepfamily is different from any other family have shifted over the years. At first, I was hell-bent that my new stepfamily wasn't going to be treated as different. We were all going to learn to love each other and get along no matter what. Now I realize that hell, sometimes there are parts of my biological family, 40+ years old in which I grew up that still don't always get along, and I frankly wonder at times where some of the love is.

Here's the bottom line as I see it today. The majority of stepfamilies that I have come across face unique challenges and circumstances. They are families. And, one of the reasons I support National Stepfamily Day is that I know first-hand how difficult it can be to have a successful remarriage and stepfamily. Building a successful, lasting stepfamily requires hard work, dedication, self-growth, time, dedication, patience, love, and more. I'm celebrating what we have built thus far. I hope you do, too.

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