Saturday, May 18, 2024

Stepmoms, this hug is for you

| May 10, 2020 1:00 AM

Happy Stepmothers Day.

With a deep bow to the genetically attached moms out there, we thought it time to acknowledge a modern reality: More stepmothers are being created every single day, and they deserve a rousing Hallelujah chorus and hugs and kisses on this special day.

These moms don’t shine brighter than their more traditional counterparts, necessarily, but they do shine differently. Considering how many have had to overcome the daunting but understandable barriers and tribulations of merging families, medals would not go amiss.

While you’re fixing your stepmom breakfast, munch on these Census Bureau stats — without tongue-clucking or condemnation, please:

• 1,300 new stepfamilies are forming every day.

• Over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled.

• The average marriage in America lasts only seven years.

• One out of two marriages ends in divorce.

• 75% remarry

• 66% of those living together or remarried break up, when children are involved.

• 80% of remarried, or re-coupled, partners with children both have careers.

• 50% of the 60 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent’s current partner.

We believe healthy families that stay together are the ideal, but as the statistics above illustrate, that’s becoming more and more rare. We also know that some stepparents don’t hold their stepkids’ best interests above their own. Yet it’s also completely true of some biological parents.

Rather than compare and contrast the merits of different forms of motherhood, the idea today is to acknowledge them all, including, as Sasha Fisher of Coeur d’Alene reminds us in his poem on this page, adoptive moms.

A great mom isn’t defined by genetics, but by the kindness and love in her heart.