National Stepfamily Day Reflection: Celebrating What Binds Families Together

by Guest Contributors

Heather McCabe and Emily Russell reflect on their blended family in celebration of National Stepfamily Day.

National Stepfamily Day is celebrated annually on September 16.

Post submitted by Heather McCabe and Emily Russell.

In the eight years we’ve shared a blended family, we have never once celebrated National Stepfamily Day. In a family with two moms, five kids and an intricate custody schedule, it can be hard to simply pause and reflect on a life we take for granted every day. But, by reflecting on our lives together, we realize National Stepfamily Day does not have to simply celebrate the ways our family is unique. For us, it’s a day to celebrate the many ways our family is as filled with love as anyone else’s.

Our family, like all families, is far from perfect. When we first came together, we all took a leap of faith, betting on the strength of our love and commitment to each other above anything else. Laws did not always exist to bind two moms to their children – and for us, it’s always been a wild, instinctual love that drew our family closer, and led us to welcome our children into our homes and into our hearts.   

As a family, we make our way through the same busy workday of any other household -- dishes, chauffeuring, homework (so much homework) and all. Eight years in, when asked, “How many kids do you have?” we both respond “Five,” without condition. And, in turn, our children never fail to include all seven of us when teachers ask them to draw a family tree.

It has always been our children -- our brilliant lights -- that bind us together as family. In fact, they teach us what the word “family” really means. As we watch our older kids save the little ones from spills on the street, and the little ones pace about in anticipation of their big brothers’ and sisters’ return, we realize we are a true family -- with or without the “step.”   

Whether we’re searching for colleges, cheering them on at equestrian events, or waking up bright and early for their swimming practice, we do it beaming with pride for our children’s every accomplishment. We may be a stepfamily, but we are never more than a step removed from each other.  

So, on National Stepfamily Day, we celebrate our beautiful family, flaws and all, and we thank each of our wonderful children for making space for the steps and room in their hearts for all who love them.