National Stepfamily Day: Honoring the Ones Who Show Up


There are so many different types of families out there, and no one size fits all. Mine includes stepfamily. A stepfamily is one that is formed by the remarriage of a divorced or widowed person, and that includes children. The special thing about stepfamilies is that they are formed by choice!

National Stepfamily Day

Every year on September 16th, National Stepfamily Day is celebrated! In the United States alone, over 30% of the under-age-18 population lives in a stepfamily environment. For National Stepfamily Day, I am honoring my stepdad. In my life, he has been the man to step up!

My Stepdad

My mom and stepdad have been together since I was around two years old, so he has been the one who has raised me. Growing up, my stepdad and I really bonded over football. He is a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan, and because of him, I am too! We used to watch every game together and I have so many fun memories from those days!

My stepdad and I didn’t always have the easiest relationship (hello, teenage girlhood), but through everything, he has been constant. He has always shown up for me. Even when my parents’ relationship struggled for a few years, it never stopped him from being present for me. He still walked me on my “Senior Night” in high school and came to everything that was important to me. My stepdad would take me out to dinner during that time too.

Thankfully my mom and he worked everything out, but regardless, he’s always been there for me — and now he’s a constant for my babies! He may not be my biological father, but that man loves me more than anything and I have full confidence he will always be supportive and present for me.

It takes a special person to love a child who is not your own, and I think my stepdad has done an amazing job! So, here’s to you, Fabs (I have no idea how this became his nickname)! You are the best out there, and I am so thankful to call you mine!

Stepfamily: a stepdad and stepdaughter sit next to each other on the couch smilingFor the Stepparents

If you’re reading this as a stepparent, I can’t imagine how tough things are sometimes. I promise your stepkids appreciate and love you, even if it seems like they don’t at times.  Just be there for them. The greatest thing you can do for your relationship with a stepchild is to listen and be receptive to their feelings.

I specifically remember getting upset with my stepdad one time as a teenager. My tears came on, not because of the issue we were having, but because of my stepdad’s tone with me. When we could finally talk it through, it was a major point of growth for our relationship. We were able to work on our communication through that challenge.

So communication is key! Keep pressing on with your stepkids; eventually, you can have such a wonderful relationship!

Who knows, they just might end up being a fan of your favorite sports team and their biological parent might be upset! Sorry, Mom!

A series of stepfamily photos: at a football game, in a toddler's playpen, and walking down a hallway holding hands.If you have a stepparent, how have they stepped up for you? If you are a stepparent, share ways you connect with your stepkids in the comments below!

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Jamie Lopez
Jamie is an Atlanta, GA native who recently moved to Summerville with her husband, her *almost* 2-year-old son, and her two crazy rescue dogs! She is a former high school biology teacher, who now works from home! In her free time, you can find her exploring yummy Charleston restaurants, trying new DIY projects in her house, or taking care of her 25+ plants! Jamie also enjoys reading, traveling, cheering on her beloved GA Bulldawgs, and just relaxing with her family! Becoming a mom has revealed some of Jamie’s passions, including sharing/writing about motherhood.