Everyone loves a good celebration. Balloons, food, confetti and don’t forget the cake! Many of us even have “Gather” signs in our homes symbolizing how important it is to love on our people and be together.

Did you know that September 16-22 is National Stepfamily Week? Founded in 1997 by Christy Borgeld, this is a day created out of love to recognize your stepfamily! We are invited to share our stories, have a picnic and throw a good old party to celebrate being together.

I can see you backing away. Wait, that’s what you are talking about? Celebrating our stepfamilies? Oh, you’re too busy, the kids won’t be home that weekend, you ran out of flour to make the cake! It’s been a tough year, you don’t think it would be right to celebrate. Maybe next year.

It’s ok, I’ve been in your shoes. I know it can feel weird to tell your family “Hey, let’s celebrate blending!” This is usually followed by awkward stares or an eye roll. But let me tell you why it is important to celebrate your stepfamily right now.

Stepfamilies are messy.

We all know that.

 

We need to talk more about the good stuff! Every day there are little wins and successes. These moments need to shine and be pushed to the front.

Imagine yourself driving down the road. In our families, we look straight ahead. Sometimes we scowl in the rearview mirror. Often we are in such a hurry dealing with what is directly in front of us, or anticipating the next bump and maneuvering around the car in front to avoid the next crisis.

Most times we miss those beautiful little wildflowers that line up along the side of the road. They are so small,  that the only way you would ever notice them is if you slow down and turn your head just a little. And if someone doesn’t nurture them, they will wither up.

Those wildflowers are the good moments in your stepfamily.

The triumphs when kids got along, parents worked together.

This is what you need to slow down and celebrate. You have to nurture those moments and acknowledge them. They are the beauty of the drive. Can you have stepfamily without good moments? Sure. But thriving is different than surviving. Take the time to nurture those moments and truly thrive in your stepfamily!

There is a lot of fun to be had in the milestone moments of birthdays and graduations. But we need to celebrate the daily wins too. Cheer each other on for the acts of kindness that might go unnoticed, the daily striving to keep working at building a family. This is not a small task. It deserves the annual party and recognition!

Maybe you still aren’t on board with me, your family is not blending well…yet. I still encourage you to mark the day in a small way. You don’t have to make a big announcement or splash it all over Facebook. But have a Family Game Night or go out for Ice Cream together. Take this opportunity to make a step towards doing more than just surviving. Take the pause to nurture those moments and start to build a thriving family.

Happy Stepfamily Week!