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Celebrating Stepmother's Day

Ideas for observing Stepmother's Day

This page brings you information about Stepmothers Day and ideas about how to observe the holiday and show appreciation for a special stepmom.

Becoming a second mother to someone else's children is not easy, but millions of women have taken on the task. Stepmothers Day is dedicated to honoring those special relationships.

Stepmothers Day is observed on the Sunday after Mother's Day.

Why I like the idea of Stepmothers Day

One of the things children in blended families often face is feeling "torn" between one set of parents and another. Stepmothers who are involved in the lives of their stepkids want to be recognized for what they do, but they don't want to pull the children away from their mothers on Mothers Day.

Having a separate day to honor stepmothers acknowledges the role that stepmoms play in a family. We don't take the place of the children's mother, but the relationship we have with the children is an important one as well.

Portrait of Stepmother by Alexander Lauréus (1783-1823).

Portrait of Stepmother by Alexander Lauréus (1783-1823).

The origin of Stepmothers Day

It started from a young girl's inspiration

The original idea of Stepmothers day came from Lizzie Capuzzi, a girl in Pennsylvania. Lizzie wanted to set aside a day to honor and appreciate her stepmother, Joyce Capuzzi. Doing it on Mothers Day wouldn't work well because she devoted Mothers Day to spending time with her mother and stepdad. She chose the Sunday after Mothers Day as the special day for her stepmom.

In 2000, when Lizzie was nine years old, Lizzie and Joyce wrote to their congressional rep, Rick Santorum, and proposed that Stepmothers Day be recognized as a holiday nationwide. Rep. Santorum brought it before Congress and it was made a part of the Congressional Record.

Here are some special things you can do to celebrate Stepmothers Day

  1. Give a gift of memories. A photo album or scrapbook that highlights special family times.
  2. Make new memories! Plan a special day trip or activity to spend time together.
  3. Write her a letter telling her how much she means to you.
  4. Give a gift that relates to a special interest that she has. That shows that you recognize her as a unique person.
  5. Any of the typical Mothers Day activities or gifts would be cherished by stepmoms as well. Gift baskets, breakfast in bed, a spa day, chocolate, flowers, bring it on!

Leave your ideas and suggestions right here!

Shared on Wikimedia Commons by Durova

Shared on Wikimedia Commons by Durova

A queen's gift to her stepmother

The embroidery on the right is the bookbinding of The Miroir or Glasse of the Synneful Soul, a manuscript translated from French by Princess Elizabeth of England (later Queen Elizabeth I) at age 11 in 1544, and presented to her stepmother, Katherine Parr.

Inspiring stories about stepmothers

There are plenty of articles to be found that talk about the trials of stepmotherhood and how to deal with them. But we can read those on another day, right? On Stepmother's Day, let's read something sweet.

These are true-life stories from real stepmoms.

Scroll to Continue
  • The Joys of Being a Stepmother
    Author Sylvia Brownrigg shares the story of her first meeting with the boy who became her stepson, and how the relationship has developed since then.
  • Stepmom with Class
    Author Corry Lane talks about the positive relationship she has with her stepdaughter and how she manages "fitting in" when it comes to an important family event.

Heartwarming books about stepmothers

Again, there are lots of "how-to" books that talk about strategies for being a good stepmother and working through problems, but on Stepmothers Day, give her something uplifting.

My stepson, David Hall, goes up for a slam dunk while playing at Yavapai College.  He scored 22 points in that particular game.

My stepson, David Hall, goes up for a slam dunk while playing at Yavapai College. He scored 22 points in that particular game.

My stepdaughter, Charity Hall, takes a selfie on our home computer.

My stepdaughter, Charity Hall, takes a selfie on our home computer.

My own story of being a stepmother

David was 6 years old and Charity was 4 when I married their dad. They had known me all their lives, but things were, of course, very different when I became their stepmother. My husband is the custodial parent, so I was jumping into the role of full-time parental figure. They spent more time with me than they did with their mother.

I have to say the early years were stormy. They were accustomed to certain ways of doing things that weren't always compatible with my lifestyle and my plans for the household. There were arguments and tears, there were times I had to call my husband for help, but there was also affection and fun and adventures. Over time, things smoothed out. I became more confident in my role and they got more comfortable with me.

David is now 22 and Charity is 21. They're both in college. We all get along well. They have developed their own sense of what advice and guidance they want to seek from me and what issues they prefer to discuss with their mother or with others. I have high hopes for the future for both of them.

Do/Did you have a stepmother? - How did things go?

This plant is called mother-and-stepmother.

This plant is called mother-and-stepmother.

Gifts to give to a stepmom


What do you think is a good way to observe Stepmothers Day?

Louise Lafond on May 12, 2017:

Because I am a stepmom, I love this idea to have a special day for those like mine. And it's a good thing that it's not the same day that Mothers Day.

Note : I'm a French canadian so sorry for mistakes.... but hope you understood my mind

anonymous on July 02, 2013:

@anonymous: That is so sad.. You sound like a great person and mom! I hope you enjoy your stepmom day :)

anonymous on May 19, 2013:

Your husband only "met" her once? I think they did more than meet!

anonymous on May 18, 2013:

There is a Facebook page!

Miha Gasper from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU on June 21, 2012:

To spend some good time with your stepmother, of course!

anonymous on May 01, 2012:

I have always been extremely sensitive about Mother's Day. My situation is unique and can make me (still) very emotional. I consider my "stepson" as one of my own... always have and always will. When my husband and I were three months into our dating relationship when he was told by a women (who he had only met once) that she was having his baby. She told him she planned it and she didn't care what he wanted. He was defeated and hurt... as was I. But my now husband and I pulled together and created a family with this baby. He credits me with the relationship he has with our 3 year old and I try VERY hard to keep him from feeling like he's been "trapped". Mother's day greatly upsets me because I still feel like I have been "robbed" from having this little boy call me "mom". We love him very much and he loves me, I know this but this day always seems like a smack in my face. My husband tries to understand what I go through, but just like I can't fully understand how he feels, he can't understand fully how I feel. I love the idea of a "step mother's day" and I appreciate people recognizing what we as step mothers go through.

mukeshdaji on May 23, 2011:

Thank you for this lens, I feel like an idiot as I didn't even know there was a Stepmothers Day and Melanie is a wonderful Stepmother to my first daughter Divika. Thank you again, a job well done.

anonymous on May 02, 2011:

This is an amazingly touching holiday! Being a step mom is thehardest job in the family! A bio. Mom and dad get the unconditional love from the children...step dads just have to play and take care of mommy...a step mom builds the foundation of the step family! Children often "resent" the new female figure in their lives..due to many reasons. The bond between a daddy and their little girls or boys are very strong safe and secure. Step moms haveto build a trusting bond for the child(ren) to feel safe with...hoping that they allow you in their circle. It isn't fair for us to celebrate mothers day because we are not th e mother (no matter how hard we sometimes try to be) having children celebrate this dayfor us is truly special!!!

anonymous on May 02, 2011:

Well, I like the idea but unfortunately for the past five years I think it's worked out where mother's day fell on what was our scheduled weekend so BM got that weekend plus the one before and after. I try not to worry too much about it, but it does look like this May, the kids will be home with us the weekend after Mother's Day. I don't think I'd expect them to make a big deal about it..I just like the kids to behave, do their homework, chores, and be happy! And if they want to gift something to me, I'd like to choose what we have for dinner! That's the perfect way to spend Mother's Day for me.

LouisaDembul on March 25, 2011:

Spend time together as a family!

Philippians468 on March 23, 2011:

a lovely meal, quality time spent together! cheers

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